In The Great Gatsby, what are some examples of character blindness?

2 Answers | Add Yours

dstuva's profile pic

Doug Stuva | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In The Great Gatsby, if you name a character, he or she is probably figuratively blind.

Set against the backdrop of the eye doctor overlooking the wasteland, Nick thinks he's objective and doesn't judge people, but he's subjective and very judgmental.  Tom doesn't see that he's a bully, arrogant, closed-minded and hypocritical.  Jordan doesn't realize she's elitist and condescending (although, maybe she does, come to think of it).  Wilson doesn't realize his wife is having an affair with Tom. 

Of course, the character whose blindness dominates the novel is Gatsby.   He spends the novel trying to recapture a past that never really was:  Daisy never loved him like he loves her.    

akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

As mentioned in the previous post, part of what Fitzgerald is trying to say is that many during "the Jazz Age" suffered from a sense of character blindness.  Their myopic view of the world is what ends up causing hurt and pain to others and invariably brings about the end of the 1920s.  The social set of Jordan Baker and Tom and Daisy Buchannan are consciously or unconsciously blind to all of the pain they cause with their social aspiring ways that are steeped in gossip and insensitivity.  Gatsby is blinded by his own pursuit of Daisy, and the belief that the more money and riches he possesses, the happier he will be.  Nick understands, a bit too late perhaps, that such blindness contains intense side effects.  In the end, all of the characters' blindness end up being the ultimate statement as to why the 1920s lasted any true sense of lasting or permanence.

We’ve answered 318,911 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question