Carelessness has many aspects, in particular negligence, purposelessness, and lack of consideration. Do the characters of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald demonstrate these aspects of carelessness? What does Fitzgerald use carelessness to demonstrate? Fitzgerald gives his own characters the quality of emptiness and hopelessness with the exception of Nick Carraway. The failures in these character s lives are all the result of carelessness. Gatsby, Daisy, Tom, Baker, and the Wilsons all did their parts negligence, lack of consideration, and purposelessness.
Negligence is apparent in several characters. Living in his own dream world ultimately to the end, Gatsby was careless with his life. Jay Gatsby neglects the truth of his own life. He denies the fact that Daisy is not a virgin. He alters his own reality and at times buries it e.g. changing his own name. Gatsby ignored the truth and lived the life he dreamt up in his own mind. Gatsby chased a dream not worth chasing this is shown when his home of opulence diminishes when Daisy is present. The wealth that Gatsby built lose value. Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever (98). Gatsby is negligent with placing value. Tom also chases his own
hidden fantasy. His fantasy is about his past glory days of football. This is expressed from Tom through the pursuit of a mistress. Tom finds a mistress in order to satisfy his own feelings of inadequacies. She was his possession he could show off.
Inconsideration is the aspect of carelessness that the rich are the most guilty of. Gatsby devotes his life to fulfill his own dream of one-day possessing Daisy. Gatsby does not consider that Daisy is married and his dream is selfish. He tries to force Daisy into confessing that she has never loved Tom in turn hurting Daisy to satisfy him self. Daisy is probably the most selfish of all. She lacks even a superficial purpose in life. Daisy s moral level is next to none. This is demonstrated whenever Daisy retreats back to her man Tom. Her perception is childlike. Daisy draws Gatsby toward her only to crush him. Daisy might have loved Gatsby but she could not cut off her emotional shelter Tom. Tom directs every possession he has to boost his own self-esteem. Tom shows off his mistress by bring Myrtle to the city. Nick described as Throwing a regal homecoming glance around the neighborhood, Mrs. Wilson gathered up her dog and her other purchases and went haughtily in (32). Tom also shows off his daughter Pam Buchanan, in order to promote himself.
Purposelessness is seen in the rich. What is an accumulation of wealth for? Tom, Daisy, and Gatsby represent the rich in the novel. None of them ever achieved any goal in their life. They were drifters. Tom and Daisy moved from place to place, never able to establish themselves. This was because they could not be satisfied. They were not on any mission and did not identify their own problems. Daisy was always presented as a drifter, from the beginning of the novel when she sat on the couch to very the end. She hesitated. Her eyes fell on Jordan and me with a sort of appeal, as though she realized at last what she was doing-and as though she had never, all along, intended doing anything at all (139). Daisy had no intentions of ever being with Gatsby but she did it anyway. Gatsby is also a drifter. Gatsby could not and did not establish his own culture e.g. change of his name. The parties are also a symbol of drifting. Going from one party to the other, the rich people had no meaning in their life. The most remote sight of meaning was superficial and lacked moral. Nothing had a deep morally sound purpose when it came to the rich.
The Great Gatsby demonstrates as a whole America s carelessness in pursuing the American Dream. The rich all lose their morals and dignity. They have all lost sight of the true happiness and were drunk on achieving insignificant yet poisonous goals. Fitzgerald is trying to criticize the materialistic goals Americans have set for themselves, always chasing a false dream.