The subliminal collapse of self-morals is evident in The Great Gatsby through several of its characters and is mirrored in the east coast society of the twenties. The characters in The Great Gatsby though spoiled with riches, do not stray far from their self-serving goals to do anything other that to look out for their own self-interests. It seems as if no character in the book, besides Nick, ever give thought to the results of their actions beyond their own initial perceptions of the situation. All discernible characters in this book project a true form of cultural ignorance that prevents them from progressing through their lives constructively. Society, as portrayed in The Great Gatsby, seeming to drift around in a vast ocean of
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‘We can’t move,’ they said together.” (115). This quote symbolizes Daisy and Jordan’s upper class wealth that they have to prop up for everyone to see and recognize. It shows their subliminal social ignorance, as they appear saddened by their contentment when all of their actions cause drastic reproductions. This is a very present theme in the book. No one is fully content with their high life that just leads them to digging themselves deeper and leave an increasingly large wake of destruction behind them. As any addiction goes, more seems to be the answer, but it rarely is.
Though Nick shows no apparent signs of selfishness or social ignorance, he does show intrigue or temptation in these areas. Though knowing of the selfishness and ignorance infecting Jordan, Nick is still tempted by her. “At first I was flattered to go places with her, because she was a golf champion, and everyone knew her name. Then it was something more. I wasn’t actually in love, but I felt a sort of tender curiosity.” (57). At first he just likes the feeling of status when he is with her, and then he becomes more interested in why. Throughout the book he gradually piece by piece realizes the falsities and fakeness in this upper class east coast society, ultimately leading to his departure back to his true self in Minnesota, where everything is true. Many characters in the book shows their deceitful personalities throughout The Great Gatsby and doing so