Moral Corruption at Its Finest How human beings behave in society is dictated by moral standards of conduct that are generally accepted as right or proper. This sense of morality can become perverse such that the lines between right and wrong are blurred. The person becomes depraved and their behavior eschews what is generally considered to be right. In the novel The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald the characters are portrayed in an immoral manner. F. Scott Fitzgerald displays the destruction of morals in society during the era of the “Jazz Age. ” The main characters: Nick
Carraway, Daisy Buchanan, and Jay Gatsby are categorized as morally corrupt; they lose their values in attempt to find their place in the social world. These characters act this way naturally; their immoral actions are common nature to them and feel no guilt for their actions. The Great Gatsby displays moral corruption in the main characters lives, by showing their immoral decisions and actions. Jay Gatsby is one of the main characters that blatantly displays moral corruption. He obsessively pines and pursues a former lover even after she becomes another man’s wife.
At Gatsbys party, Gatsby talks to Jordan Baker in private and asks to rrange a meeting with Daisy. Jordan meets with Nick and says “Daisy’s not to know about it. Gatsby doesn’t want her to know. You’re supposed to invite her to tea” (Fitzgerald 85). Nick calls up Daisy and invites her to tea, he tells her she cannot bring Tom and Daisy playfully agrees. Gatsby relies on Nick to arrange this meeting, he knows it’s wrong because she’s married and he’s involving her own cousin, but he doesn’t care, his desire for Daisy is too powerful.
Daisy’s husband, Tom learns who Gatsby is and attends one of Gatsbys extravagant parties, he says, “l picked him for a ootlegger the first time I saw him and I wasn’t far wrong” (Fitzgerald 141). After Gatsbys young romance with Daisy, he falls in love with her and what she represents; he then dedicates his life to becoming wealthy and superior. He obtains this dream quickly by being in the bootlegging business, illegally transporting alcohol.
In the beginning of Daisy and Gatsbys love as young adults, “He might have despised himself, for he had certainly taken her under false pretenses” (Fitzgerald 156). Loving Daisy made Gatsby the man he was, he became a man of wealth and he aspired to be this powerful for Daisy. In the beginning, he lies to Daisy because he doesn’t want to lose her; rich girls don’t marry poor boys. Gatsby uses his war uniform as a mask to hide his true identity causing her to believe he was of the same social class. Gatsby is immoral under these events in the novel; he alters what’s right to get what he wants.
Daisy Buchanan is a married woman who is completely morally corrupt; she finds it acceptable to cheat and lie to keep herself happy. “In June she married Tom Buchanan of Chicago with more pomp and circumstance than Louisville ever knew before” (Fitzgerald 80), she married Tom for the money, “l never loved im,” (Fitzgerald 39), said Daisy. Daisy marries Tom to earn her status as a socialite ana to ootaln tne power tnat nls wealtn orlngs. Dalsy truly only cares aoout nerselT and will stop at nothing to get what she wants.
One evening, Gatsby is in the Buchanan home and, “As Tom left the room, Daisy got up and went over to Gatsby, and pulled his face down kissing him on the mouth” (Fitzgerald 122). Daisy is in her own home with her husband in the next room and guests around and thinks it is acceptable to kiss Gatsby nonchalantly. She enjoys spending time with Gatsby and he does not care who knows about their relationship because she only cares about her happiness. At the end of the novel, Tom says to Nick, “The fellow had it coming to him.
He threw dust into your eyes Just like he did in Daisy’s, but he was a tough one. He ran over Myrtle like you’d run over a dog and never stopped his car” (Fitzgerald 187). Daisy never owns up and admits that she was the driver that night and she was at fault for killing Myrtle. She is careless, she only cares about the material things in life and the messes she makes are left for others to clean up. Daisy is inconsiderate nd unconcerned with other people, she only cares for herself and will go to any length to get what she desires.
Nick Carraway tries to be the neutral party that remains peaceful with everyone, but trying to do so causes him to be utterly unethical. Early in the novel, Tom says to Nick, “l want you to meet my girl” (Fitzgerald 28). Nick is Daisy’s cousin, but he meets Tom’s mistress anyway without much objection. Although Nick finds himself to be decent, he allows all the cheating and lying to occur. In order for Gatsby to rekindle the love with Daisy, he uses Nick to, “call up Daisy from the office he next morning and invite her for tea” (Fitzgerald 88).
Gatsby goes to Nick for help to see Daisy. Nick knows she is married but arranges their secret meeting anyway; he allows the people around him to cheat on each other. At the end of the novel, Nick runs into Tom and thinks “there was nothing I could say except the one unutterable fact that it wasn’t true” (Fitzgerald 187). Nick knows the truth about Daisy being the driver of the car that kills Myrtle, but he doesn’t tell the truth in order to clear Gatsbys name. Nick allows everyone to do as they please and he does nothing o stop the moral corruption that occurs.
Because of this, Nick is unquestionably morally corrupt, he allows the people he associates himself with to be immoral, but claims he is the most decent; you are the company you keep. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby is filled with morally corrupt characters. The characters are too interested in their selfish lifestyles in the East. Nick Carraway is a middleman of all immoral failures tthroughout The Great Gatsby; he tries to be a nonjudgmental person but instead he is the epitome of a depraved person who continuously blurs the lines between right and wrong.
Gatsby is obsessive, he becomes consumed with his belief that he is driven by love but it is more of a reckless destruction that ruins his moral compass. Daisy is fanciful and impetuous, but savvy and cunning enough to maintain her place in society; she is motivated by impulsive desires and earthly pleasures. The characters in The Great Gatsby clearly illustrate that one’s path to social acceptance can be a precarious step towards moral depravity. In the end, Nick, Daisy, and Gatsbys moral ambiguity leads to the destruction of one and the continuity of immoral lives without consequences for the others.