Ethics in "The Great Gatsby" Analytical Essay by JPWrite

Ethics in "The Great Gatsby"
Examines questions of ethics relating to love and money in "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
# 67283 | 2,219 words | 1 source | MLA | 2005 | US
Published on Jul 04, 2006 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis) , Ethics (General)

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Perhaps the most straightforward ethical dilemmas dealt with in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" are those concerning the dealings of money and those regarding love. The paper shows, however, that the underlying code of ethics in question is the interaction between the two and how inextricably and wholly overlapping and connected money and love are in governing American relationships. Also, the characters may be emotionally unable to make ethically sound decisions, as a world without conscience has rendered them devoid of truth. The paper shows that these characters face a series of ethical dilemmas for which they are not held accountable within the narrative, partly because they seem incapable of acting otherwise.

From the Paper:

"Tom subscribes to morals without possessing ideals to which he can adhere. After being confronted with Daisy's affair with Gatsby, he admits, "what's more, I love Daisy too. Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, and in my heart I love her all the time" (138). This appears to be quite a statement, considering that throughout the rest of the novel Tom is very nearly without the capacity to verbalize feelings or ideas unless appropriated (poorly, at that) from other sources. The fact that he believes he loves her all the time, even as he goes off on "sprees," is suggestive of the same kind of innocence Nick allows Jordan; the language makes it sound as though he is almost incapable of choosing well in the midst of an ethical question, and so it perhaps shouldn't even be expected of him."

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