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Can you characterize George and Myrtle Wilson in The Great Gatsby with some suitable...

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kuriger | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 14, 2009 at 5:23 AM via web

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Can you characterize George and Myrtle Wilson in The Great Gatsby with some suitable adjectives?

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mshurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 14, 2009 at 5:38 AM (Answer #1)

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George is a passive personality. He accepts his station in life and defers to others. He is weak and easily intimidated, especially by Tom. However, he is also a decent man who works hard and tries to live a moral life. When he discovers Myrtle's affair with Tom, he shows that he can take action when pushed too far. He becomes decisive in trying to save his marriage. When Myrtle is killed, George becomes irrational in his grief and kills Gatsby.

Myrtle is restless and unsatisfied with her life, which leads to her affair with Tom. She is aggressive and combative, as shown in her behavior when she argues both with Tom and with George in the novel. She is disrespectful of her marriage and contemptuous of George. She is hateful in her descriptions of her husband. Myrtle becomes desperate to escape her life with George and dies trying to get away. She is also naive in believing that she will have a life with Tom.

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