Examples Of Foils In The Great Gatsby

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Fitzgerald expresses his criticism of the materialism of the Jazz Age through his juxtaposition of the idealistic Gatsby with the materialistic foil characters of Tom and Daisy Buchanan. Tom and Daisy are old money. They have no need, unlike Gatsby, to resort to criminal dealings because they have “possessed and enjoyed from a very young age” (O’Keefe. 20 November 2016). In that manner, the Buchanans are foils to Gatsby: they are old money to Gatsby’s nouveau riche, a contrast emphasized by the symbolic geography of East Egg and West Egg. Ultimately, however, Tom and Daisy prove their carelessness and heartlessness in their betrayal of Gatsby after Myrtle Wilson’s death: They “smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their …show more content…
The funeral goes by, and “Daisy hadn’t even sent a message or a flower” (174) for the man who died for her mistake. Although the Buchanans do not owe their wealth or influence to organized crime like Gatsby does, their carelessness for the consequences of their actions betrays them as far more immoral than Gatsby. Gatsby breaks the law to pursue his “incorruptible dream” of Daisy despite the great socioeconomic gaps that separate them, a product of his “extraordinary ability for hope” (2), whereas Tom Buchanan breaks the law by using his wealth to avoid the war draft, whereas Daisy breaks the law in her manslaughter of Myrtle. Through his depiction of Tom and Daisy’s actions and intentions as careless and immoral despite their legal innocence, Fitzgerald critiques the all-consuming materialism of Prohibition-era America. Gatsby, on the other hand, whose actions are legally incorrect but whose reasons for those actions are literally “incorruptible” (154), elicits sympathy from readers not for his criminal actions, but for his noble …show more content…
The themes of Gatsby, a cultural snapshot captured about a century ago, remain relevant today. Gatsby is called ‘great’ for his ability to hope in a time of disillusionment. The Great Gatsby in this sense, chronicles the resilience of the individual despite the challenge of fundamental ideals, a salient issue for any time period, ensuring Fitzgerald’s timelessness for years to

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