In the novel, "The Great Gatsby", in what ways does Tom and Myrtle's guests at the apartment lie, deceive or tell only half truths?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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bocateacher322 | Student

Fitzgerald describes how the atmosphere that Nick is in is very artificial and many people avoid everything that is disturbing or sad. As Fitzgerald does this, we, the readers see through the artifice to the reality and that while the upper class society members appear to be ideal and perfect, we see that it really is not. When Fitzgerald depicts the guests at Nick’s party, he portrays them all as being superficial. No one at Nick’s party enjoys themselves until they have sufficient alcohol imbibed. After drinking the guests suddenly become lively and have great conversations all the while, not even knowing each other’s names.  Nick’s guests are so numerous and  different people attend the parties often, many of them do not even know him. What we see as the readers is that while to the guests and to Nick it seems that everything is perfect at these parties, we realize that these people don’t really even know each other (or each other’s names!) and that to even get to this point of interaction, the guests must be drinking. As we see on page 44, “Laughter is easier, minute by minute, spilled prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word.”



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The Great Gatsby

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