The Importance of George Wilson in The Great Gatsby

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The Importance of George Wilson in The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is a superbly written and an intrinsically captivating novel that deals with the decline of the American Dream and how vapid the upper class is. To illustrate and capture the essence of these themes, Fitzgerald uses characters Gatsby, who epitomizes the actual American Dream, and Daisy, who is based on the ideal girl. Yet, as these characters grasp the topics Fitzgerald wants to convey, there is something inherently like missing from the story as a whole. To fill this void, Fitzgerald utilizes minor characters as a means to move the plot along, develop characters further, and build upon the themes present in the novel. One such character is George Wilson.

George Wilson is the naïve husband to Myrtle Wilson, the woman having an affair with Tom Buchanan, who is the "brute of a man, a great, big, hulking physical specimen"(Fitzgerald 16) husband to Daisy Buchanan, the woman whom Jay Gatsby, the main character, is in love with: a very removed yet significant role in the story. Evidently playing the role of the common man, in a story revolving around wealth and possessions, George Wilson is the owner of an auto body shop and is described as a "spiritless man, anemic and faintly handsome"(29). Wilson's common man image helps to further develop the theme of Wilson is deeply in love with Myrtle to a point where he is paranoid of losing her. "`I've got my wife locked in up there,' explained Wilson calmly. `She's going to stay there till the day after tomorrow and then we're going to move away"(143).

Truly a character that centers on irony, Wilson's wife is indeed having an affair with Tom Buchanan. ...

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...murder of Myrtle, neither of which he committed. After fulfilling his vengeance, George sees no need to continue his life and kills himself, as his only reason for living was his love for the late Myrtle. As well as being a climatic point in the plot, the murder of Gatsby concludes the prevalent theme of the decline of the American Dream.

George Wilson's role, however small it may be, in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is nonetheless clearly one of consequence and importance. Through Fitzgerald's use of Wilson, major characters, prevalent themes, and points in the plot are developed further. And, ultimately, through these characters that at first seem superficial to the story, Fitzgerald is able to weave a complex and charismatic novel.

Work Cited

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. London: Penguin Books, 1990.

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