Throughout the world, societies can become cruel and unjustified machines. In the novel, The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the morality of a society is clearly revealed through the choices and consequences its characters experience. The two societies within the novel, West Egg and East Egg, create an atmosphere of mixed ideals and morals, so completely opposite of each other. Three examples will be given to support the above thesis. Firstly, Jay Gatsby, arguably the main character, is involved in a number of criminal activities.
Secondly, Tom and Daisy Buchanan, are a true symbol of how the morals of their society are revealed through their actions. Finally Nick Carraway, the narrator, is truly and innocent in a society gone mad. These three points will be elaborated below. Firstly, Jay Gatsby, formerly known as Jay Gatz, is a figure of the the corruption of the American Dream. He is an illegal bootlegger, an acquaintance of gamblers and con artists. His activities are constantly denounced by Tom Buchanan throughout the novel. His criminal activies reveal the morality of yesteryears society.
His lavish and extravagant parties are another symbol of the morality of his society. Early in the evening, people are happy, dancing the night away, and are generally having a good time. But, the facade of the party quickly departs, and the true nature of these events are revealed. People get drunk, douse themselves in the pool to sober up, spouses fight and bicker over nonsequential items. And when all of this is over, the floor is covered with orange rings, spilled cocktails, along with other party nostalgia.
All of this is a setup, so that Gatsby can get Daisy’s attention, the consequences of which reveal the morality of the two societies. The choices that Gatsby makes, create dire consequences for his character. At the end of the novel, no one seems to care enough about Gatsby to go to his funeral. Gatsby throws lavish parties and the “rich and famous” come to him. Yet, when he is murdered for being a collaborator, hardly anybody comes.
Excuses range from “I’m out of town that week” or “I’m sorry but I’m busy”, truly show the morality of the East Egg society. ly four people care enough to come to Gatsby’s funeral: Nick Carraway, C. J. Gatz, “Owl Eyes”, and the postman. The consequences that Gatsby experiences clearly reveal the morality of the society. Secondly, Tom and Daisy Buchanan are the template of the East Egg society. They are the symbol of that society, and their choices and consequences thereof clearly define the morality of their society. Tom Buchanan, a careless brute, shows no remorse or sympathy for Gatsby. An example of his actions are when he and a riding companion, Mr. Sloane, belittle his actions.
He is also a racist bigot, a person who sees only skin deep, and does not judge a person by their personality. He believes that white people are supreme, and his moral beliefs are so low that no one else can compare. He is truly a figure of the East Egg society. His spouse, Daisy Buchanan, shares some common qualities with her husband. She has no respect for life and treats people like objects who should be kept in the “I Am Just a Person” museum. Her daughter, Pammy, is displayed to all as if in a parade. She has midwives and nannies to take care of her only child.
When she mistakingly kills Myrtle Wilson, she continues on, and does not stop to help. Those two examples prove that their actions reveal the morality of their society. Tom and Daisy Buchanan have such a blatent disregard for human life, that they can sit at home, eating fried chicken without a care in the world. She also cares only for money, and how to obtain more money. She uses Gatsby to gain wealth; she exploits him, and even weeps when seeing piles of Gatsby’s numerous shirts. Yet in the end, she and Tom are merely pawns in a game.
Finally, Nick Carraway is one of few people in the West Egg society who actually cares about his choices and consequences. He is the honest one in the novel, and the only one who organizes Gatsby’s funeral, and for that he should be commanded for having such moral standards. His actions of honesty should define a society not obscure the morality from within. He is surrounded by unloyal and dishonest people, such as Jordan Baker and Meyer Wolfsheim. Throughout those ideals, he stands strong, ready to defend his moral beliefs. But in the end he grows tiresome of all the bootlegging and criminal activities and decides to leave the monstrosity.
He leaves Jordan Baker, who then accuses him of being dishonest. He leaves East Egg society altogether, tired of their scheming and cheating. In fact, when he meets Tom and Daisy Buchanan on the street, he does not shake their hands and is unable to conjure up the truth, and quietly leaves them behind “in the dust”. He is also saddened by the coldness of the people who do not care unwillingly to the funeral. Out of all the people who attend the parties, four join the funeral. So, the choices and consequences of Nick’s experience clearly define the morality of the two societies.
To sum things up, the morals of a society are revealed by the actions of its inhabitants. Firstly, Jay Gatsby, is involved in a number of criminal activities, and is the father-figure of the corruption of the American Dream. Secondly, Tom and Daisy Buchanan, are a true symbol of how the morals of the East Egg society are revealed by their actions. Finally, Nick Carraway, is truly an innocent in a myriad of scheming, cheating con artists. Therefore, their unjustified beliefs truly define the morality of a society which is clearly revealed through the choices and consequences of its characters from within.