Does Gatsby have a diregard for the consequences of his actions? If so, provide a quote from the book to prove the statement.If at all possible, please provide any examples from the text.

Expert Answers
ophelious eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don't believe that Gatsby has what you might call a gross disregard for the consequences of his actions, meaning that I don't think Gatsby "just doesn't care."  That label might be closer to Tom than Gatsby.  Still, Gatsby is not exactly the most sympathetic of characters, either.  There are lots of examples in the book of him sort of "shrugging his shoulders" at the impact his actions have on others.

For example:

  1. He does not seem overly concerned that he is attempting to break up Tom and Daisy's marriage and that this is going to destroy a family, no matter how dysfunctional it is.
  2. He shows little interest in Daisy's child, whom he would become a step-father to.
  3. He shows little sympathy for the poverty of his parents and switches his name to distance himself from them.
  4. He is involved in a lot of illegal dealings with the mob, some of which, it is implied, are pretty distasteful.
  5. After Daisy runs over Myrtle, Gatsby is really more concerned with Daisy's state of mind than the fact that Myrtle was killed.  In fact, he really doesn't seem that interested in the details at all.
  6. He shows no real thought for Myrtle's husband after his wife is run over.

As far as a quote goes, I like this one: “Just standing here, old sport.” That's the response that Gatsby gives to Nick when Nick finds him in Tom's driveway, hiding, and asks him what he is doing.  Gatsby is not shaken up or overly upset, and to give such a casual reply after having run a lady over...well, I think it kind of tells you something about the guy.

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The Great Gatsby

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