A Marxist Look on The Great Gatsby
Throughout “The Great Gatsby,” F. Scott Fitzgerald characterizes the citizens of East Egg as careless in some form. This relates to the prominent class issue seen all through “Gatsby.” It seems as though Daisy and Tom almost look down upon others. At one point in the book, Nick says “in a moment she looked at me with an absolute smirk on her lovely face as if she had asserted her membership in a rather distinguished secret society to which she and Tom belonged.” It is because of their belief of superiority that they deem themselves better than other and allows them to live so carelessly.
The passage in which Myrtle Wilson is killed exemplifies the recklessness of Daisy and Tom. Daisy sees Myrtle running out into the road and at first swerves toward the other car and seems to change her mind and just collide with Myrtle and continue on. Afterwards, Tom and Daisy just pack up and leave, without even attending Gatsby’s funeral. Nick seems to think they used their position in society to escape any mess they had gotten themselves into. Later on in the book, Nick says, “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness.” That quote supports the way Daisy and Tom acted with the Myrtle incident. In this passage they retreat back into both their money and carelessness by running away.
The way Tom and Daisy treat each other also reveals the lack of care in their relationship. Tom sees himself as superior to everyone, especially Daisy, which allows
him to parade around, almost showing off his relationship with Myrtle. Daisy sees this as does almost the exact same thing, only with Gatsby. By expressing this carelessness for each other, one can only begin to imagine the carelessness they have for other human beings. Tom treats Myrtle even worse than he treats Daisy, but Myrtle doesn’t seem to care, because she is mainly interested in his money. Tom doesn’t seem to worry about anyone but himself. In his own spite he ruins his life, as well as Daisy’s, Gatsby’s, and Myrtle’s. Daisy shows her carelessness during the time where Jordan, Tom, Daisy, Nick and Gatsby go to town. Her and Gatsby act like they are in love and make Tom incredibly jealous even though he is having his own affair. Tom accuses Gatsby of trying to start trouble in the Buchanan house, and they begin to fight. Daisy yells at Tom and tells him that she no longer loves him and is in love with Gatsby. Tom proceeds to tell everyone how Gatsby came across his money, and once Daisy finds out it was by illegal gambling and crime, she seems much less interested in him. Daisy appears to be more interested on what is on the outside of people, rather than the inside.
When looking at ” The Great Gatsby,” with a Marxist point of view, one will find that the carelessness of the novel is prominent through the actions of Daisy and Tom alone. The way they run away after Myrtle’s death and the way they treat others with their feeling of superiority, all prove their carelessness throughout the book, and seem to prove the overall feeling of authority in East Egg.
“Character Descriptions.” The Great Gatsby Website. 26 May 2001. 10 Apr. 2005