Myrtle Wilson Quotes

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mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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About half-way through chapter 2 of The Great Gatsby, Catherine and Myrtle have a conversation about George:

"Well, I married him,." said Myrtle, ambiguously.

"And that's the difference between your case and mine.." "Why did you, Myrtle?." demanded Catherine.

"Nobody forced you to.." Myrtle considered.

"I married him because I thought he was a gentleman,." she said finally.

"I thought he knew something about breeding, but he wasn't fit to lick my shoe.." "You were crazy about him for a while,." said Catherine.

"Crazy about him!." cried Myrtle incredulously.

"Who said I was crazy about him? I never was any more crazy about him than I was about that man there.." She pointed suddenly at me, and every one looked at me accusingly. I tried to show by my expression that I had played no part in her past.

"The only crazy I was was when I married him.

Myrtle's affair with Tom has spoiled her.  It's afforded her a New York apartment, mint julips, and a fancy collar for her dog.  Myrtle thinks she's has gone from the bottom of the social ladder to the top.

Myrtle has also bought into Tom's racist and class-warrior ideas.  As such, she views George as a poorly bred mongrel.  She has bought into Tom's social-Darwinian view that whites are better than blacks, white collar is better than blue collar, East Eggers are better than West Eggers, and that a Valley of Ashes mistresses can become a posh New York socialite.

This is all before Tom slaps some sense into her.