The Great Gatsby Character Analysis: George Wilson“Wilson was so sick that he looked guilty” (Fitzgerald 138 ). After a car strikes his wife Myrtle, George Wilson passes the blame to himself out of longing and guilt. Instead of pointing a finger, Wilson diligently accepts the circumstances in the novel The Great Gatsby. Focusing on the prosperity and grandeur of the 1920s, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book depicts the affairs and personalities of the era’s lavishly rich. A minor character in the novel, George Wilson, contrasts sharply with the other characters. A poor man of strong moral and religious beliefs, his naivety is often mistaken for ignorance.
Despite the liquor, drama, and affairs that his numerous colleagues, such as Jay Gatsby, Nick Carraway, and Jordan Baker, seem to be synonymous with, Wilson retains a semblance of innocence and purity. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s the Great Gatsby, George Wilson retains a moral compass throughout the book, resistant to the grandeur and scandal the 1920s offered.A man deeply rooted in religion, George maintains the belief that one is incapable of hiding information from God. Straying from her husband, Myrtle engages in a drawn out affair with a wealthy businessman, Tom Buchanan. A foil character to her husband, Buchanan’s wealth, riches, and handsomeness provide Myrtle with what her husband’s poverty and stature fail to do.
After finding a dog collar in a drawer of Myrtle’s, Wilson suspicion of the affair is sparked.After numerous attempts to demand the truth from Myrtle; George screams, “You can fool me, but you can’t fool God! ” (Fitzgerald 159 ). With this, Wilson suggests those who possesses money, and thus influence, have the ability to abuse him, but they are not powerful enough to trick God, and will ultimately face necessary consequences. Wilson’s morals prevent him from immediately taking revenge, as he is assured God will carry out the deed for him.In the novel, Wilson himself represents the motif of the oppression of the lower class. While stopping at his gas station, the hulking Tom Buchanan commands “Let’s have some gas!” (Fitzgerald 123). The world Tom lives in, with fine liquor, elegant parties, and a high status, is the antithesis of Wilson’s working class life. George is so accustomed to the routine abuse that he takes the command without hesitation, because in a society dictated by a class hierarchy he has little choice.
Further representing Wilson’s position in society is how he is described as “. . .
mingling immediately with the cement color of the walls” (26). Through the comparison of Wilson to the disregarded mute, cement, boring walls of any ordinary garage, it is illustrated that George is not noticed because he is not of any apparent value to those of the upper class, such as Buchanan. George has always been treated inferior, and he will be for the rest of his life, simply due to his class.The fact that Wilson is unashamed by this encourages the reader to examine Wilson’s set of morals. What separates Wilson from Buchanan is his tendency to hold the the people he loves above material possessions. He is more ashamed of the fact that does not have a lot of money to treat his wife right than the way he is treated by others.
Despite being treated neglectfully, time and time again George proves to be the sole character in the novel with identifiable morals. Possessing an honest job, Wilson is one of the poorest men in the book, with little money to spend on frivolous items like dresses or expensive liquor. Wilson identifies the corruption present in a world of riches when he exclaims “Most of these fellas will cheat you every time “(Fitzgerald 33). George claims that prosperous businessmen earn their living by scamming civilians into handing over their hard earned money. This is how Wilson resigns himself to being in a lower class – by reasoning that those from the upper class did not honestly earn their money in the first place. George, in contrast, runs a legitimate business and remains true to his word.
After Myrtle is killed, he marches over to the assumed murder’s house and kills him, and proceeds to take his own life. He commits suicide because he realizes that he has unjustly, and against god’s laws, taken the life of another man, even though this main lacked morals. This incident demonstrates George’s dedication and commitment to his own set of morals. In George’s mind, he has sinned, so he must pay the price, no matter how large or permanent.Despite being treated as an inferior by those who surround him, George Wilson plays a prominent role as a minor character in F.Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. His ultimate betrayal of his deeply rooted religious and moral beliefs makes him far from perfect, but these moral convictions are admirable nonetheless.
In Fitzgerald’s decadent world of lawlessness and sin, George morals serve to guide him and his decisions. These morals ultimately backfire after he is tempted by the sin around him. Therefore, in the end, he acts as a version of the God he strongly believed in, providing consequences to those whom he believed deserved them.Works CitedFitzgerald, F.Scott. The Great Gatsby.
New York: Scribner, 2004. Print. eHeHeH