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Hello! What does the narrator mean, when he says that Wilson, Myrtle's husband, "was...

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coutelle | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted March 27, 2013 at 5:31 PM via web

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Hello! What does the narrator mean, when he says that Wilson, Myrtle's husband, "was not enough for his wife" in the chapter 8 of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald?

This was a forlorn hope—he was almost sure that Wilson had no friend: there was not enough of him for his wife. He was glad a little later when he noticed a change in the room, a blue quickening by the window, and realized that dawn wasn’t far off. About five o’clock it was blue enough outside to snap off the light.

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 27, 2013 at 5:54 PM (Answer #1)

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Myrtle was drawn to have an affair with a wealthy, self-assured man. Tom Buchanan was more of Myrtle's ideal than her husband.

Disappointed to find out that her husband borrowed the shirt he wore to the wedding, Myrtle continues to be disappointed by the life that George Wilson has been able to provide for her and by the limited opportunities available to her.

George Wilson is a limited person and Myrtle desires something more. Her personality demands more than what she feels she can get or expect from George Wilson.

She has a vitality and ignores her husband “as if he were a ghost”...

Unlike Tom, George Wilson does not know how to take what he wants from the world. He is quite opposite to Tom's athletic endowment and Tom's bold (and even nasty) demeanor.

According to Nick, “he was a blonde, spiritless man, anemic, and faintly handsome.

George is mild where Tom is terrible. This difference is visible in the circumstances that the two men provide for Myrtle. 

Tom takes her to New York and hits her. George locks her in a room above his garage in the valley of ashes. 

Wilson recognized the depth of Myrtle's needs and his failure to provide for them only after it was too late. In his attempt to take Myrtle away, he creates a desperation in her that leads her to attempt to escape. 

The confines of a life with George Wilson is too much for Myrtle to bear. This is why Nick suggests that there was not enough of Wilson for his wife. His limited abilities and lack of dynamism coupled also with his limited financial means pointed to a future that would not include trips to New York City where she was free to boss around the help and buy whatever she wanted. 

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