How does a death scene in The Great Gatsby illustrate the larger themes and issues of the novel?
The themes of this novel are capitalism, identity, heroism, and between reality and what seems to be. The death of Myrtle in The Great Gatsby illustrates that identity and heroism are not parallel. In other words, a person’s status doesn’t determine his or her heroic acts. Fitzgerald shows this by portraying Daisy, from a higher-class family, as far from being a hero when she drives into Myrtle and kills her but fails to take responsibility. On contrast, Fitzgerald includes Michaelis who could be almost considered as not the main character or a man of any valued status, and describes his heroic act when Michaelis sticks up with Mr.Wilson and keeps him company when Myrtle died in the accident, considering that in such case, no one else could possibly be doing the same.
The death scene also contrasts the truth from appearance and illustrates a later issue in the novel. Gatsby takes the blame for Daisy to be the cause of Myrtle’s death out of love but instead, not as it may seem, he ends up losing what he ever wanted the most; Daisy, who the reader can assume loves Gatsby too. Myrtle’s death acts as a turning point in the novel since the novel has been initially portraying capitalism, parties, and celebrations it eventually foreshadows Gatsby’s death in the end. The death scene is also a turning point in a way that in the beginning of the novel, Fitzgerald depicts the bringing together of characters during the parties and reveals the lack of this coming together when each characters goes their own separate ways.
One of the main themes of this novel depicted by the death scene is love. To think back, the fall of Gatsby is partly because of his vulnerability to the power of love, towards Daisy, resulting in his ultimate desire to take the blame for her, and partly because Mr.Wilson who loves his wife sees nothing but to take out vengeance on him. Fitzgerald shows...