What reason did Myrtle give for marrying George Wilson? 

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Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Myrtle Wilson, one drunken evening, in her love nest with Tom Buchanan, tells her sister and the rest of her guests that she married George Wilson because she thought "'he was a gentleman'" (Fitzgerald 39). She says she believed "'he knew something about breeding, but he wasn't fit to lick my shoe'" (39).  In other words, she believed him to be an upper-class person, but as it turned out, he was not, and she says she didn't realize this until after the wedding, when she learned that he had borrowed the suit he got married in.  Myrtle's sister, Catherine, tells a different story. She says that this was the first boyfriend Myrtle had ever had and that Myrtle had been "'crazy about him...'"(39). Certainly, it is possible that Myrtle was crazy about him and that she also thought he was an upper-class person. But living over the garage their whole married life has certainly eroded whatever affection she might have had and has allowed her to rationalize her relationship with Tom, who is at least wealthy, if by no means a true gentleman.  

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The Great Gatsby

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