CherniskyMajor Literary Works11/21/17Tom, Myrtle, and George’s Love TriangleIn the “Great Gatsby” by Fitzgerald there are several love triangles depicted in this novel. In particular Tom, Myrtle’s and George’s love triangle stands out among all the other relationships. George is married to Myrtle and loves her unlike Tom. He treats her right yet Myrtle wants to be with Tom, who does not treat her with the same respect as George. Tom is in a very high social and economic class and is married to Daisy who also shares his socioeconomic status. Tom chooses, however, to have an affair with a woman of lower social and economic class named Myrtle because of her fun-loving adventurous spirit. Although the affair is fun for both Myrtle and Tom, Myrtle is using the affair to ascend to a higher socioeconomic class while Tom is just having the affair for fun.
The affair has nothing to do with true love. Myrtle is married to her husband named George. She treats George horribly and Fitzgerald describes Myrtle as the man in the house. Although Myrtle and George are in the same social class, Myrtle treats George as if he is below her. She makes up excuses as to why she married him by saying “I married him because I thought he was a gentleman,” and “I thought he knew something about breeding, but he wasn’t fit to lick my shoe” ( Fitzgerald 34). Her attitude changes when she is with Tom.
She treats Tom like a king even though he doesn’t treat her nicely and even punched her in the nose and broke it. George treats her like a queen but Myrtle could care less because her only interest is in rising to a higher socioeconomic class. She could care less about true love: which is kind, honest, patient, and humble. Myrtle thinks that Tom would leave Daisy for her anytime. She easily falls for his excuse that he can’t leave Daisy because she is Catholic and they don’t believe in divorce. “You see,” cried Catherine triumphantly.
She lowered her voice again. “It’s really his wife that’s keeping them apart. She’s a Catholic, and they don’t believe in divorce”( Fitzgerald 33). Daisy was actually not Catholic and Tom just made up an elaborate lie to keep Myrtle involved in the affair because he didn’t want to stop having fun with her. Despite Myrtle’s pretensions of worldliness, she is naive and knows very little about Tom or how the upper class operates. She doesn’t understand how effortlessly wealthy privileged people lie in order to get what they want. Her poor lack of judgement makes her an easy target for Tom to manipulate. Although Tom had alternative motives besides love for this affair, Myrtle was also ingenuous in that she only wanted the luxury and class associated with Tom’s life.
Both of them could care less who they hurt to get what they wanted and neither one of them actually truly loved the other one.In the case of Myrtle Wilson, she has been married to George a wealthy mechanic and they live in the Valley of Ashes. In this town it is thought to believe that poor people or people of lower class live. To escape her poor world she goes after a man named Tom Buchanan. The first time she laid eyes on him “He had on a dress suit and patent leather shoes, and I couldn’t keep my eyes off of him”( Fitzgerald 35). She knew that he was a wealthy man and she just had to have him. The only reason she associated herself was him was because his looks showed her he was in a higher class. This was her opportunity to escape reality and live the luxury life.
Although later on her and Tom relationship is not all fun and games. He has hit her before but that does not stop her from going back to him. Tom only lets her stick around because she is fun when he is bored.
While George, her husband actually cares about her she only cares about her social status and not actual love. Myrtle sees the affair as romantic and a ticket out of her marriage. Tom sees the affair as just one of many and Myrtle as just one of a string of mistresses. She is clearly attracted to him because of his lifestyle and the way he looks. She knows he is rich and it could be a way to live a better life. Tom and Myrtle’s relationship is not based on true love. The affair is Myrtle’s way of getting into higher class and Tom’s way of having “fun”.
True love is based on sacrificial giving and considering the needs of your partner. True love always puts your partner’s needs before your own. Neither Myrtle nor Tom displayed any signs of true love. Their affair was about greed for both of them-just in different ways. Myrtle was greedy for money and a higher social class while Tom was greedy for sex and fun. Their affair was more about selfish desires for fun, money and social class than true love.