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In The Great Gatsby, how does Wilson's garage symbolize isolation and selfishness?

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foreigner | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 23, 2009 at 5:34 AM via web

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In The Great Gatsby, how does Wilson's garage symbolize isolation and selfishness?

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troutmiller | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted February 23, 2009 at 7:22 AM (Answer #1)

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Wilson's garage is very isolated.  However, Wilson is not selfish at all.  He is struggling just to get by, while Tom teases him with the possibility (which we know he'll never follow through on) of giving him one of his many cars.

This isolation is the product of the East Egg way of life.  They buy/take what they want, and when they are through with it, they dump it. It is no longer useful, so they simply leave it behind.  Wilson's garage is like that.  Tom uses Myrtle for his own selfish needs, then dumps her/leaves her dead body behind when she's hit by the car.  Because of the way that George and Myrtle are treated, they have been isolated by society.  They are only needed for one thing, and then they are left behind.  George works on cars and offers gas, while Myrtle entertains Tom for a short while.  Both are left behind since the Valley of Ashes sits out in the middle of nowhere, and people only pass by taking what they need and leaving.

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