|Portrayed by||Georgia Hale |
|Residence||Valley of Ashes, Long Island, New York, United States|
George Wilson (husband) Catherine (sister)
Myrtle Wilson was Tom Buchanan’s lover, whose lifeless husband, George Wilson, owns a run-down garage in the Valley of Ashes. Myrtle herself possessed a fierce vitality and desperately looked for a way to improve her situation. Unfortunately for her, she chose Tom, who treated her as a mere object of his desire. When her husband demanded to know who her lover was, she ran out of the room and onto the road. She recognized the yellow car driving by, thinking that Tom was behind the wheel.
Myrtle aspires to a better life. To heighten the tragedy of Myrtle's death, Nick emphasized her hunger for life, frequently using the word 'vitality' to describe her. She had a 'vitality about her as if the nerves of her body were continually smoldering'. Myrtle resented George because he isn't rich - he even had to borrow 'somebody's best suit to get married in'. Myrtle thkught she married below her class, she said George 'wasn't fit to lick my shoe', but she was actually working class herself. This was clear from the way she spoke - she used non-standard grammar and 'obscene' language.
Nick ridicules Myrtle's attempt to appear upper class - he describes her voice as a 'high mincing shout'. This lack of sympathy encourages the reader to see Myrtle as greedy, rather than ambitious or desperate. She naively though that Tom will leave Daisy and clung to him despite his abuse, because of his wealth and upper class status.