Myrtle Wilson Quotes

What quotes (chapter and page) says that Myrtle regrets marrying  George Wilson?

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The discussion about Myrtle and her marriage to George happens in Chapter 2 during a party organized by Tom. This is also the chapter where we see the full extent of Myrtle's behavior when she is in the presence of Tom. We learn that the mechanic's wife turns into a vain and narcissistic snob when she plays the part of Tom's mistress.

Additionally, she belittles and insults her husband—not to mention the rationale she gives for marrying him when she is questioned by Catherine. She says that she was "crazy" at the time that she married him and that the motivation behind marrying George was based on basic, unimportant reasons. 

"I married him because I thought he was a gentleman." 

This, however, was just the anchor to further insult her husband. She brings up her idea that she is, in some way, better than he is.

"I thought he knew something about breeding, but he wasn't fit to lick my shoe."

She then continues to say negative things about her marriage of 12 years—a marriage where the groom was so poor he had to borrow a suit to wear for his wedding day. Having lived with George on the top of his Queens garage for this many years is also part of the reason why she caves in so quickly to Tom, who is rich and successful. Regardless, Myrtle fits right in with the rest of the Eggers, despite her low economic status. She is ruthless, vain, and has very few redeeming factors.

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The Great Gatsby

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