Carelessness Essay (Great Gatsby)
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F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author of the novel The Great Gatsby, depicts the rich as a fickle, unstructured group of people whose sole purpose in life is to make every waking moment as pleasurable as possible. By existing in this manner, the rich have no concern for the well being of anyone else, often including members of their own families. Although this carelessness is visible in the many characters in the story, it is most evident in that of Tom Buchanan, Daisy Buchanan, and Jordan Baker.
As soon as Tom is introduced to the story, he immediately appears to have a supercilious tone and manner about him. One gets the impression that he has no regard for anything or anybody but himself. This disregard becomes blatantly apparent to the reader as his affair with Myrtle Wilson is revealed. In this situation, his uncaring nature becomes obvious when he slaps Myrtle, without considering Mr. Wilson’s reaction to the discovery of her broken nose. Also, Tom’s carelessness and lack of empathy are reflected in his reaction to finding out that Myrtle was hit by Gatsby’s car. Rather than inquiring about Myrtle’s condition or trying to console Mr. Wilson, it becomes apparent that Tom’s only concern is to clear his name. He also shows his uncaring as he crushes Gatsby’s dreams in the hotel room by revealing Gatsby’s true identity and profession. It is obvious Tom cares only for himself and nobody else.
Daisy is the type of person who will find solace in her money when bad things are happening around her. Her lack of caring is displayed in a slightly more subtle way when she allows all the blame of Myrtle’s death to be thrust upon Gatsby, by departing from town with Tom, leaving her off the hook. Daisy is also unconcerned about her relationship with Tom. She knows that her husband is having an affair, but still, Daisy chooses to do nothing about it, retreating to her money.
Jordan Baker shows complete carelessness in her dealings with almost all of the characters that she interacts with, she show this carelessness through her incessant gossip. However, these minute episodes pale in comparison to the big picture of Ms. Baker. Nick describes Jordan as being “incurably dishonest.” In a conversation with Nick about her driving, Jordan admits to being careless by saying “They’ll keep out of my way…it takes two to make an accident.” By saying this, she is implying that it is the other person’s responsibility to be mindful of her, and that she should have no accountability. In conclusion, Tom, Daisy and Jordan’s careless attitude throughout the novel is displayed in their false perceptions that money can heal any pain or transgression. In the case of Jordan and Daisy, carelessness seems to spawn from the idea that they can buy their way out of any unpleasant situation. Tom’s carelessness emanates from a major lack of empathy. Perhaps money has distorted their ability to see the true American dream