"Whenever you feel like criticizing any one...just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had." - Nick Carraway's father - The Great Gatsby.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Jealousy is often referred to as resentment or a feeling of rivalry towards another person. In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, this feeling of resentment and rivalry is exactly what many of the characters feel towards each other. The main rivalry in The Great Gatsby is seen through Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan. Both of the men are jealous of each other on account of Daisy, Tom's wife and Jay's only true love besides money. Tom Buchanan has pushed Daisy away with his coldness of being and his alleged mistresses which Daisy knows about; because Tom is not kind of loving to Daisy, she retracts herself from him, making her all the more accessible for Jay Gatsby. When Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan are finally reunited after five years, they begin to see each other and fall in love all over again. Jay Gatsby envies Tom because he is married to Daisy at this point in the novel. Although Gatsby loves her and believes he would be a better man to her than Tom is, she is married to Tom, thus he is jealous of Tom. He also becomes more jealous of Tom in Chapter 7 of the novel when Daisy Buchanan admits that she "can't say that [she] never loved Tom." (The Great Gatsby). Gatsby is heartbroken because his delusion that Daisy has always only loved him has been shattered; he also grows increasingly jealous after Daisy admits this because he wanted to be her only love, but after hearing Daisy's proclamation, he felt as if he had to compete for her love. Although Jay Gatsby is envious of Tom Buchanan for his importance in Daisy's life, Tom is jealous of Gatsby, as well. If Tom is already married to Daisy, then why is he jealous of Gatsby? Well, Tom Buchanan is jealous of Gatsby simply because his wife is in love with him. Tom is hypocritical in this way; he is in love with Myrtle Wilson, but he is angered when he find out that his wife is in love with Jay Gatsby. Is it not the same principle? Tom is envious that Daisy and Gatsby have known each other for five years, as well; this leads him to believe that they had more of a romantic past than Daisy and Gatsby actually did have. Tom and Gatsby show their envy for each other in Chapter 7 of The Great Gatsby when they argue over who Daisy really loves. Thus, Jay Gatsby is jealous of Tom Buchanan, while Tom Buchanan is jealous of Jay Gatsby.

In the novel, it seems that Tom and Gatsby's envy toward each other overshadows any of the other jealousies that present themselves. Although their jealousy is portrayed the most throughout the book, Daisy Buchanan's jealousy of Myrtle Wilson (Tom's mistress) is shown in The Great Gatsby, as well. In Chapter 2 of the novel, Daisy shows that she is jealous of Myrtle after Tom arrives back at the dinner table after receiving a phone call from his mistress. Daisy tries to make Tom feel guilty about cheating on her by saying that their backyard is romantic. The logic behind this tactic of Daisy's is to remind Tom of everything that they have together that he and Myrtle do not have. She is showing her jealously by doing this because she hints at the fact that she is hurt by Tom cheating on her with another woman, so she is trying to win him back by making him realize what he and Daisy have together. Just as Tom and Gatsby's jealousy mirrors each other's, Daisy and Myrtle's does, as well. Myrtle is jealous of Daisy Buchanan because she is married to Tom. She shows that she is jealous of Daisy in Chapter 3 of the novel when she is fighting with Tom about Daisy in their apartment, and in Chapter 7 when she is seen through the Mr. Wilson's garage window looking at Jordan Baker in pure envy; while it seems odd that Myrtle was looking at Jordan Baker with jealousy, it is not, because Myrtle was under the impression that Jordan Baker was Daisy. Thus, this proves that Daisy Buchanan was jealous of Myrtle Wilson, while Myrtle Wilson was jealous of Daisy Buchanan.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. "Chapter 2." The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2004. Print. "Great Gatsby Website - 1999." FCPS Home Page Redirect Page. Web. 18 May 2010.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. "Chapter 3." The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2004. Print. "Great Gatsby Website - 1999." FCPS Home Page Redirect Page. Web. 18 May 2010.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. "Chapter 7." The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2004. Print. "Great Gatsby Website - 1999." FCPS Home Page Redirect Page. Web. 18 May 2010.