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Literature Analysis of The Great Gatsby

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“I couldn’t forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. “ (Fitzgerald 187) Carelessness in the era of the 1920’s was a common characteristic, that was mainly apparent in the upper class and their actions. The Great Gatbsy is a story of a man named Gatbsy who lived in poverty growing up, he eventually was able to reach his American dream, which was being wealthy. He lives in the 1920’s, in a setting where he is surrounded by people who were born into the social class. This allows him to not only view their actions, but also follow in their footsteps of being negligent towards people. In the novel, The Great Gatsby, the author F. Scott FItzgerald uses the motif of carelessness to show that the upper class people in this era were inconsiderate of their actions through selfieness and within relationships.

Throughout the novel, Fitzgerald portrays Daisy as a very inattentive character because of particular situations she allows herself in. Considering the fact that she is married, her actions were insensitive towards herself and her husband Tom. “As he left the room again she got up and went over to Gatbsy and pulled his face down kissing him on the mouth.” (Fitzgerald 122) Tom, Daisy and Gatbsy are in the same house and as soon as Tom leaves the room Daisy decides to kiss Gatsby. This is an act of carelessness and she is being inconsiderate towards her relationship because she is not only cheating on her husband but she is also doing it in a situation where he could have seen. She did not seem to consider the thought that she could have potentially risked her marriage. Daisy spent a lot of time with Gatsby and it seemed as if she was started to have feelings for him again but when Gatsby passed away her actions indicated the complete opposite. “ I could only remember without resentment, that Daisy hadn’t sent a message or a flower.” ( Fitzgerald 183) Gatbsy was killed because he said it was him who killed Myrtle, but it was in fact Daisy and he was only trying to protect her because he loved her. The least Daisy could have done was came to his funeral or send a flower but she did not do either. She only cared about money and her social appearance so therefore Gatsby’s death was not something that affected her.

Throughout the novel Tom Buchanan is also inconsiderate that he has a wife and he is careless with his mistress Myrtle. “… It was because of this I first met Tom Buchanan’s mistress.” ( Fitzgerald 28) In this part of the chapter Nick meets Myrtle who is Tom’s mistress. This is a careless act because Nick is Daisy’s cousin. Tom did not even try to hide his mistress from him, knowing that Nick could have went to Daisy and ruined his marriage with her. He is inconsiderate of his wife Daisy because everyone he is surrounded with knows about her. This makes her look foolish as a wife. Tom continues to convey this characteristic in several ways such as having Myrtle call him through the house phone not caring if Daisy were to accidentally answer. Or even worse taking her places where she can be seen by everyone. “ His acquaintances resented the fact the he turned up in popular restaurants with her …” (Fitzgerald 28) The narrator Nick is explaining how Toms peers seem more hesitant about him bringing her in public than Tom is himself. If Tom at least cared a bit for Daisy’s feelings he would have tried his best to hide Myrtle from her and everyone else, but he did not. Throughout the novel Tom is overall inconseridere of his wife Daisy and this is shown through his consistent actions of being careless with his mistress Myrtle.

The motif of carelessness is also represented through selfishness of the characters and their actions. Many people in The Great Gatsby seem to be blinded by the love they have for someone and this results in them putting their feelings first rather than others in the story. Take Gatsby for example he desires and tries to be with Daisy for years. He tries to impress her with his wealth, his mansion, nice cars, and fancy clothing. He overall forgets about everything else in his life and just focuses on his feelings for Daisy. “ She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me. It was a terrible mistake, but in her heart she never loved anyone except me .” (Fitzgerald 137) This quote shows how Gatsby is selfish because he is trying to persuade Tom that his wife never loved him, so that he could finally fulfill his dream of being with Daisy like they once were in their teens. Gatsby doesn’t seem to care that her is interfering in Tom and Daisys life knowing they have been married for years and even have a child together. In this novel Gatsby tries to in a way brags about where he got is money from to Daisy. Despite what he tells her about where his wealth comes from, his money actually came from bootlegging. “ I didn’t want you to think I was some nobody.” (Fitzgerald 71) Gatsby is lying about some of the things he said to Nick while explaining his life story growing up and how he got to where he was. This makes Gatsby selfish because he does not give credit to Dan Cody for what he did to change his life from poverty to his present life living in wealth. Dan Cody played an extremely important role in his life and was the real one who brought him to his wealthy lifestyle, not just Gatsby himself and his “ drug stores.” Gatsby’s focus was on impressing Daisy so he did not acknowledge the truth and give recognition to who should have gotten it.

The motif of carelessness is represented in this novel to show how the upper class people did not realize the effect that could have possibly happened as a result of their inconsiderate actions. People in this era and specifically characters in this book were selfish and very insensitive towards people’s feelings. This book has been an award winning book because of the importance behind the story. Although it was written in the setting of the 1920s it is still very relevant to this time period and will continue to be. Although it mainly refers to the upper class or wealthier people carelessness is still important to America’s society in many ways. For example with the topic of selfishness people such as some celebrities that were born into the “ rich life “ seem to not know the worth of money and they decide to be selfish with their money. On the other hand famous people who built their career and become successful themselves a lot of times use their platforms to give back and support the needs of others. With relationships today simply being considerate and understanding of a partner’s feelings can overall have a great effect. 


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Literature analysis Of The Great Gatsby. (2022, April 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 18, 2022, from
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