Can you help me find several examples in The Great Gatsby that show that the characters are stupid?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

On one hand, this seems like a fairly off question.  Yet, I think that when one reflects about it, there is a realization that the question might be exactly the point that Fitzgerald seems to be making about life in the 1920s.  They are all "stupid" to a certain extent.  Gatsby is completely misdirected in his belief that he can "win" Daisy over.  His belief that he can "make" someone love him that he has idealized and apotheosized is fairly ignorant.  For her part, Daisy is also fairly limited in her decision making abilities as she tolerates Tom's behavior by staying with him.  Tom demonstrates his limited intellectual capacity with his spouting of racist theories that construct power in the manner that he envisions it to be; narrow and artificial.  Jordan Baker made foolish choices that got her disqualified from the professional golfing organization.  Myrtle does not strike the reader as overtly intelligent and wise, but she might be seen as such when contrasted to her husband.  Nick is also fairly stupid in that he becomes attracted to such a setting.  His repudiation of it in the end might be the one act of intelligence that is present in a setting where wisdom and guidance is lacking.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team