In The Great Gatsby, why do you think Tom picked Myrtle to have an affair with?

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There are several reasons as to why Tom Buchanan chooses to carry on an affair with Myrtle Wilson. Tom is evidently attracted to Myrtle, whom Nick describes as being sensuous and having perceptible vitality. Myrtle Wilson is also naive and believes that Tom will eventually leave Daisy to rescue...

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There are several reasons as to why Tom Buchanan chooses to carry on an affair with Myrtle Wilson. Tom is evidently attracted to Myrtle, whom Nick describes as being sensuous and having perceptible vitality. Myrtle Wilson is also naive and believes that Tom will eventually leave Daisy to rescue her from a life of poverty. Myrtle's gullible nature and lower-class status make it easy for Tom to manipulate and control her. She is also relatively low-maintenance, which is evident by her reaction to Tom buying her an inexpensive puppy. In addition to Myrtle's naivety, attractive appearance, and low-maintenance personality, she is also conveniently married to a timid, poor man. George Wilson is depicted as a powerless, weak man who would never question Tom or pose a significant threat to him. Myrtle also lives in a convenient location, outside of the East Egg and on the way to New York City. In this isolated setting, Tom does not have to worry about his affair being publicly exposed or brought to his front door. From Tom's perspective, Myrtle Wilson is an attractive, powerless woman whom he can easily manipulate and control at his leisure without disrupting his luxurious home life.

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It is likely that Tom picks Myrtle because he thinks she will be an easy woman to control. She is not wealthy, powerful, or socially connected, so she doesn't pose much of a threat to him. Myrtle also readily accepts Tom's fabricated story about being unable to divorce Daisy because "she's a Catholic."  

Myrtle is also a relatively inexpensive mistress. Tom buys her a puppy for $10 and sets them up in an apartment in a neighborhood in which the rent wouldn't be exorbitant. She is apparently not savvy enough to understand Tom has had other mistresses from the working class (such as the chambermaid at the hotel where he and Daisy stayed three months after their honeymoon) and that she is unlikely to be his last mistress.

Lastly, Myrtle is a woman who seems comfortable in her sexuality, and Nick describes her as stout and sensuous. Myrtle shows no embarrassment about disappearing into the bedroom with Tom while Nick sits alone in the living room of the apartment.

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