Please give a few good quotes related to Myrtle Wilson from The Great Gatsby.  

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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lit24 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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1.  Ch.2 Nick's first meeting with Tom's mistress, Myrtle Wilson: "she was in the middle thirties and faintly stout but she carried her surplus flesh sensuously as some women can....She smiled slowly and walk[ed] through her husband as if he were a ghost."

2. A little later in her sister's apartment, after she has changed into her afternoon dress, "the intense vitality that had been so remarkable in the garage was converted into impressive hauteur...through the smoky air."

3. When Nick remarks "doesn't she like Wilson either? "The answer to this was unexpected. It came from Myrtle who had overheard the question and it was violent and obscene."

4. Myrtle  relating to Nick her first meeting with Tom: " ' you can't live forever, you can't live forever. ' "

5. The last words spoken by Myrtle Wilson:  " Beat me!...Throw me down and beat me, you dirty little coward!" Ch.7.

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studydancergirl | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

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Quotes & Explanation

1. "I told that boy about the ice." Myrtle raised her eyebrows in despair at the shiftlessness of the lower orders. "These people! You have to keep after them all the time." She looked at me and laughed pointlessly... (2.69-70) Myrtle thinks that acting like a snob makes her sound fancy—but it just makes her sound even more like herself: a vulgar, common, cheating woman. You're not fooling anyone, honey.

2. Some time toward midnight Tom Buchanan and Mrs. Wilson stood face to face discussing, in impassioned voices, whether Mrs. Wilson had any right to mention Daisy's name. "Daisy! Daisy! Daisy!" shouted Mrs. Wilson. "I'll say it whenever I want to! Daisy! Dai –– " Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand. (2.125-127) Women have words. Men have fists. Guess who wins? (Hint: sticks and stones can break your bones, and … yeah. It pretty much ends there.)


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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I liked your answer. You call Myrtle Wilson a vulgar, common, cheating woman. It reminds me that Fitzgerald is characterizing Tom Buchanan through his characterization of Myrtle. He is rich, but he is just like her, as shown by the fact that he has chosen a woman like her to be his mistress. They are both cheating her poor husband. Tom is even more reprehensible in this respect because he could have his choice of thousands of single women, whereas Myrtle has hardly any choices of other men, and she is naturally tempted by a man who can buy her so many things. It is interesting to see how an author can characterize A by characterizing B. Fitzgerald characterizes Gatsby partly by characterizing Meyer Wolfsheim, for example. Myrtle's contempt for her husband is partly due to her relationship with a rich, upper-class man like Tom.

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