How does the novel show that behind the glamour of the world in which Gatsby moves lie forces that are shallow and destructive?

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junebug614 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

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There are a few ways that the novel shows that the glamour of the roaring 20s is shallow and destructive.  One of the main ways this is shown is through the many parties featured in the novel. In the first party at Tom and Myrtle's apartment, everyone gets drunk and eventually Myrtle and Tom get into a physical altercation. At Gatsby's parties, Fitzgerald describes how the parties often get out of hand, and usually at the end of the night, men and women are drunkenly arguing about whether or not to go home.  Even Owl Eyes gets into an accident as he drunkenly decides to drive Gatsby's car until the wheels literally fall off.  Perhaps the reader sees this most clearly with Daisy and Gatsby and Daisy and Tom.  Both relationships are toxic and destructive with very little trust or substance. Daisy and Tom are together simply because of money, while Gatsby has real feelings for Daisy. However, with the accidental killing of Myrtle, Daisy rushes back to Tom with no guilt or even sadness that Gatsby is murdered by Myrtle's husband for George's false assumption that Gatsby had an affair with Myrtle. Overall, Daisy and Tom cause destruction wherever they go, which is why they move frequently, always hoping for a clean start before they mess it all up again.  

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