The Great Gatsby Questions and Answers
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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How does materialism affect each of the main characters in the novel The Great Gatsby? Please use at least 2 specific quotes per character as supporting evidence.

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In a tableau of the Jazz Age in which Hedonism prevails, the "bad drivers" of the 1920s in The Great Gatsby seek the acquisition of wealth and social standing as a measure of one's worth.  Each of Fitzgerald's main characters is mesmerized with materialism.

Mrytle Wilson

Envious of wealth as an avenue to nicer things than she can have married to a dusty mechanic in the Valley of Ashes, Mrytle becomes the mistress of the affluent Tom Buchanan; and, as his mistress Mrytle assumes affectations such as mitigating an elaborate afternoon dress given her by Tom: "It's just a crazy old thing [that] I slip on sometimes." Her voice adopts a "high mincing shout" as she talks and she adopts an "impressive hauteur" as she complains about her husband George who is "not fit to lick my shoe."

Later, Myrtle feels so empowered by her role as mistress that she complains to Buchanan about Daisy. However, her airs do not work with the brutal Tom, who breaks her nose with his open hand. Nevertheless,...

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