Who is Catherine in Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby?

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Catherine makes her first appearance in Chapter II of The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald) and a brief appearance near the end of the novel.  She is the sister of Myrtle Wilson, Tom Buchanan's mistress. Even before Nick meets her at Myrtle and Tom's apartment, Myrtle is offering her as...

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Catherine makes her first appearance in Chapter II of The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald) and a brief appearance near the end of the novel.  She is the sister of Myrtle Wilson, Tom Buchanan's mistress. Even before Nick meets her at Myrtle and Tom's apartment, Myrtle is offering her as an attraction to Nick, saying "'She's said to be very beautiful by people who ought to know'" (32). Nick describes her as "a slender, worldly girl of about thirty" (34). She is a redhead, and her face is powdered to whiteness.  Her eyebrows have been completely plucked out and redrawn with a "rakish angle" (34). She wears a variety of ceramic bracelets that make her every movement noisy.  Catherine shares that Myrtle and Tom cannot get married because Daisy's Catholic faith makes divorce an impossibility for Tom, which is not true, of course, but which apparently both Myrtle and Catherine find credible.  As worldly as Catherine would like to be seen, her sole European travel to Monte Carlo found her fleeced at one of its casinos, and it is clear that this young woman, who lives in a hotel with another young woman, is hardly of interest to Nick except as a character in the drama he is observing.  Catherine also testifies at the inquest into Wilson's death, denying that her sister Myrtle was anything but a completely faithful and happy wife, showing, Nick says, "a surprising amount of character..." (171). It is interesting to note that Nick, who prides himself on his honesty, takes this moment to praise Catherine's perjury.  But these lies serve to not only protect the memory of Myrtle and George, but also to protect the Buchanans and Gatsby, who are Nick's people.

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