Lies and Deceit in The Great Gatsby

Essay by speeder439High School, 12th gradeA+, October 2014

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Lying has deadly effects on both the individual who lies and those around them. This concept is

demonstrated in The Great Gatsby. Although Gatsby, Tom and Myrtle have different motives for being

deceitful, they all lie in order to fulfill their desires and personal needs. Myrtle's desire to be wealthy is

illustrated when she first meets Tom, dressed in his expensive clothing, as her attitude changes when

she puts on the luxurious dress and when she encourages Tom to buy her a dog. Tom's deception is

clear when he hides his affair with Myrtle by placing Myrtle in a different train, withholding the truth

from Mr. Wilson of the affair and convincing Myrtle and Catherine that he will one day marry Myrtle.

Gatsby tries to convince himself and others that he is the son of wealthy people, he creates an

appearance that he is a successful, educated man through the books in his library and assures himself

that Daisy loves him. Tom's dishonesty reveals that he is selfish, while Gatsby's distortions expose his

insecurities, and Myrtle's misrepresentations show that her sole focus in life is to achieve materialistic

success. Gatsby and Myrtle both lie in order to obtain the "American dream." However, Tom, who

appears to already have achieved the "American dream", deceives others out of boredom and because

he takes his wealthy lifestyle for granted. F. Scott Fitzgerald demonstrates the human flaw of

dishonesty for personal gain and how lies have inevitably tragic consequences in his characterization of

Gatsby, Myrtle, and Tom.

Jay Gatsby is dishonest to himself to and those around him which ultimately leads to his failure.

He lies about his past, his family, and his accomplishments in order to achieve his version of the

American dream, which is to win over Daisy. Nick informs the readers...