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Blindness in The Great Gatsby

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Words: 1728 |

Pages: 4|

9 min read

Published: Jan 31, 2024

Words: 1728|Pages: 4|9 min read

Published: Jan 31, 2024

In the 1920s people were blind to see that life isn’t all about parting and spending money. By using wealth they seek to be seen. Sometimes people are so ignorant they ignore what’s right in front of them. The character’s blindness in The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald represents as if they are trying to avoid real life and not facing reality. They have more money than they can spend and think they can buy their way out of any situation. Some characters don’t care what others think and they do what they want. The eyes of Dr. TJ Eckleburg, observed the blindness and ignorance of society. Ignorance is the key to the downfall of many of the characters. The characters in the novel think wealth and money give them happiness, yet they end up living a lie. By using the characters in The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald shows how society becomes blind by wealth leading to ignorance and carelessness.

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Many of the characters are blind because of their lack of ignorance regarding society’s problems. Ignorance leads to more materialistic thoughts and desire for wealth as a result of how they didn’t care about others and just themselves. Daisy speaks to Nick as she describes her hopes for her daughter, as she says, “ I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool” (Fitzgerald 20). Daisy’s comment shows how she wants to raise her daughter in an ignorant and blind world. Daisy wants her daughter to not face reality and be a “beautiful little fool” so her daughter to know that her life is not so wonderful. Furthermore, daisy wants her daughter to be a “fool,” so that she can be happy not knowing the cruelty of the world. She also wants her daughter to be accepted by wealth and high standards, and for that, she needs to be a fool. Daisy also portrays this idea in her own life. By wanting to be blind to the world, she has achieved to stay in east egg and marry a wealthy man. Daisy doesn't care about others and she is ignorant because she wants to stay wealthy. Daisy has no power over her own life. In the 1920s, American society saw women as helpless and dependent on men because they are not allowed to have their own thoughts. Nick gives us an example of what women wanted by saying, “ In June she married Tom Buchanan of Chicago.. and the day before the wedding he gave her a string of pearls at three hundred and fifty thousands dollars” (Fitzgerald 82). This quote shows the dream of every woman during the 1920s. This dream about marrying a wealthy man and end up having a good life in wealth even if you don’t love him. This was the goal of every woman. It also represents the idea of how money buys happiness and love. Women ended up being blind. Daisy wants her daughter to be beautiful because society prefers women who are physically attractive than their intellectual capabilities. She wants her daughter to be accepted by society. In those times, the only thing it mattered to a woman was to end into the arms of a rich man who would comfort her for the rest of her life. When they are at Gatsby's house, Daisy says “they’re such beautiful shirts... I’ve never seen such beautiful shirts” (Fitzgerald 99). She is amassed by all the wealth of Gatsby and cries because if she would have waited, she could have both, money and love. But in the end, she prefers money. It shows here how materialistic Daisy is and how she only thinks of money and wealth. Once someone has that quantity of money in their life, they can’t escape it. Society always wants more and more, and Fitzgerald shows this blindness over wealth people have. Daisy appears to be innocent and pure but she, in reality, is ignorant. Gatsby describes her voice as “full of money” (Fitzgerald 128). Even her voice is described with wealth. She wants to stay in good wealth with Tom. She couldn’t bear to lose the social status that her marriage to Tom has giving her. Daisy is being selfish with Gatsby, making him think that she will leave Tom for him, but in the end, she cared more about money. She thinks there will be someone that will always clean up the mess she makes. Daisy is a selfish person and doesn't care about others, her ignorance and blindness come into play here because she refuses that she is a selfish person, this leads to Gatsby’s death. Daisy didn’t even care about Gatsby’s feelings and didn’t send flowers to Gatsby’s funeral. Because of her ignorance, three innocent people died.

Nick describes Tom and Daisy by saying that, “they were careless people, Tom and Daisy — they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness” (Fitzgerald 191). Daisy and Tom being blind by wealth are careless people. They don’t care about anyone and do what they want. This carelessness leads them to be inconsiderate with others. They use their position of privilege as a mask for their failings in life and moral insulations. Another example about Daisy and Tom's carelessness is when Nick talks about their daughter, “the child, relinquished by the nurse, rushed across the room and rooted shyly into her mother’s dress” (Fitzgerald 124). This quote indicates Tom and Daisy’s disinterest in being a family. Their wealth makes them careless with their little daughter. They don’t even pay attention to her. Daisy is careless when said to Tom, “she looked at him blindly. Why— how could I love him possibly?” (Fitzgerald 141). Here she is being rude even with her husband. She is constantly being inconsiderate with everyone. She doesn't care about hurting someone’s else heart. Tom is also constantly hurting everyone around him, thinking that he has superiority because of his wealth. Daisy and Tom are really not blind, they just want to be blind and ignorant. Jordan is the same as them. When Nick is with talking to Jordan he describes “ Her grey, sun-strained eyes stared straight ahead, but she had deliberately shifted our relations, and for a moment I thought I loved her” (Fitzgerald 64). Her gray eyes represent a person that does what they want to make themselves happy. They were born with so much money, that they just float throughout life like nothing. Jordan also follows how society works and thinks. They don’t know what’s it’s like to be poor. Her gray eyes represent who she really is. She is a dishonest and careless person. Jordan is trapped in her own little world because is where she is comfortable.

Blindness doesn't let them see reality. Myrtle ends up being blind by Tom’s wealth. When she saw him she says, “He had on a dress suit and patent leather shoes, and I couldn’t keep my eyes off him” (Fitzgerald 40). Myrtle saw him as a way out of The Valley of Ashes and an entrance to the high class surrounded by wealth. Money blinds one’s reality. She uses Tom as a way out. Myrtle and Tom are also ignorant because of their lack of responsibility. Nick portrays a dog in this quote as new responsibilities by saying, “the little dog was sitting on the table looking with blind eyes through the smoke, and from time to time groaning faintly” (Fitzgerald 41). When someone has a new dog, it means responsibility but Tom and Myrtle lacked it. The only thing they wanted to do was to party, drink and be surrounded by wealth. They were ignorant, by the fact that they didn’t even take care of the dog. Myrtle ends being killed by this ignorance. Wilson is also ignorant by his wife cheating with Tom. We see Wilson’s ignorance, when Tom says, “Wilson? He thinks she goes to see her sister in New York. He’s so dumb he doesn’t know he’s alive” (Fitzgerald 30). Wilson blindness prevents him from finding about his wife cheating on him with Tom. He doesn’t know how society works around him. He is manipulated by the people he trust.Wilson a poor man that is controlled by wealth. He thinks that if he is wealthy, his wife will love him. Wealth is blinding him. Gatsby also being blinded by love, take the blame for the death of Myrtle, this also lead to his downfall. Gatsby’s blindness is lead by wealth. He wants to win over again Daisy and bring back his past with her. He thinks that by throwing those big parties and having all that money, she will be back with him. His blind ignorance of reality stops him from seeing the obvious fact that he can’t repeat the past. He knew that Daisy would never be with someone from a lower social class than her. Here it shows how Daisy is the biggest ignorant of the novel. Gatsby is doing all this for her and she doesn't care and wants to find her own comfort. People hide behind ignorance because they are afraid to know the truth as how it will change their lives. They use ignorance to protect from being hurt by knowledge and the truth.

The characters in The Great Gatsby are blinded from the realities of the world by their wealth and this causes them to act in ways they are constructed as ignorant and careless. Tom’s wealth has blinded him from the real world and leads him to believe that he can do whatever he wants, with no consequences. Daisy uses her money to excuse herself from reality. Gatsby is careless in giving all his wealth and money to impress Daisy. In the end, all these characters are connected by their blindness in wealth, showing how society acts when wealth controls them. Some people fooled by money believe they are superior to everyone around them and they don’t face reality. Money blinds people and let them think that money gives them happiness.

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Work cited

  1. Behar, Natalia Torres, et al. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Book Analysis) : Detailed Summary, Analysis and Reading Guide. BrightSummaries.com, 2018. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=e870sww&AN=1805059&site=ehost-live.
  2. Igarashi, Hayley. Quicklet on F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby. Hyperink, 2011. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=e870sww&AN=1011890&site=ehost-live.       
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Blindness in the Great Gatsby. (2024, January 31). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 20, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/blindness-in-the-great-gatsby/
“Blindness in the Great Gatsby.” GradesFixer, 31 Jan. 2024, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/blindness-in-the-great-gatsby/
Blindness in the Great Gatsby. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/blindness-in-the-great-gatsby/> [Accessed 20 Jul. 2024].
Blindness in the Great Gatsby [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jan 31 [cited 2024 Jul 20]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/blindness-in-the-great-gatsby/
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