How is honesty the most prevalent theme in The Great Gatsby?    Explain the importance of this theme and why it should take priority over two of the other themes (Dreams and Vision)

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afi80fl | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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In The Great Gatsby, honesty is a huge theme, as no one is quite what they seem.  Be it Tom who plays the devoted husband, yet leads Nick to his apartment in the city where he has an open affair with a girl from the Valley of Ashes, or Daisy who appears weak and defenseless, yet later on runs over her husband's mistress in Gatsby's car, characters are very multidimensional.

Gatsby refuses to give straight answers, and it is not until after he all but loses hope for achieving his goal of winning back Daisy that he comes close to being honest with Nick, the narrator.  In fact, Nick doesn't get the whole picture of Gatsby's life until after he is dead, and he has an opportunity to speak with his father, Mr. Gatz, at a very poorly attended funeral. 

No one is what they seem.  Jordan cheats at Golf, while Tom, Daisy, and Myrtle all have extramarital affairs.  When Nick tells Gatsby that he's worth "the whole damn lot of the put together", he is making a valid judgement call in that no one else ever comes clean and exhibits true honesty except for Gatsby in the end.  This adds a lot of meaning to the quote early on in the novel where Nick says, "No, Gatsby turned out alright in the end... it was what preyed on him" that finally got to him.

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