How does Fitzgerald present clandestine relationships in The Great Gatsby with particular reference to the eponymous character?
Furthermore incorporate into the discussion with minor references to Edith Warton's novel Ethan Frome.
Good question. Both novels deal with clandestine relationships gone wrong, but while Gatsby is attracted to Daisy because she is a member of better social circles and has an exciting lifestyle, Ethan in Wharton's Ethan Frome cannot offer Mattie a glamorous life. However, it might be fair to say that both females, Mattie and Daisy, are impressionable. The crucial point in both works is perhaps what happens after the catastrophe- the car accident in Gatsby and the sledding accident in Wharton's text. There is no happy ending for any of the relationships. While Ethan takes Mattie into the house with him and his wife, this is not really a happy household. Remember he was unhappy with his wife Zeena to begin with. In Fitzgerald's text there is another crucial influence-money. All the extramarital relationships are directly driven by money. Myrtle for instance is smitten by George because he mingles in higher social circles and Daisy, of course, believes that same misleading fact about Gatsby. Interestingly enough, Wharton usually depicts those same issues in her fiction (the interaction of money and social status), but shies away from it in Ethan Frome.