On page 34 of The Great Gatsby, the women are discussing mistakes they’ve made. What kind of mistakes, and what does this conversation tell us about these characters?

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stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Myrtle's sister Catherine is explaining to Nick the sad state of the marriages of her sister to George Wilson and of Tom and Daisy Buchanan.

'Neither of them can stand the person they're married to.'...She looked at Myrtle and then at Tom. 'What I say is, why go on living with them if they can't stand them? If I was them i'd get a divorce and get married to each other right away.'

Catherine goes on to add that Daisy is blocking the idea of a divorce because she was Catholic - a statement which Nick knows is untrue. Nick is "shocked" by the amount of detail Catherine manages to include in her lies about the relationships of other people. Catherine is showing herself to be opinionated, eager to poke around in other people's affairs, and smug about her freedom to do as she wishes. She considers the marriages of Tom and Daisy and of George and Myrtle to both be mistakes.

Lucille McKee interrupts the conversation to relate the story of the near escape she had. "I almost made a mistake, too....I almost married a little kike who'd been after me for ten years." Earlier in the chapter, Nick had concluded that she was "shrill, languid, handsome, and horrible." She is pushy and interested keeping up with the others in attire, in artistic activities, and in relationship difficulties.

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The Great Gatsby

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