Gatsby\'s Minor Characters

In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the minor characters play
an important role in contributing to the plot, theme and give the reader an
overall understanding of the novel as a whole. The three most important minor
characters in the novel are Myrtle Wilson, Tom Buchanan’s secret mistress,

George Wilson, Myrtle’s husband and the owner of a run down garage on the side
of the road leading into the city, and finally Jordan Baker, an attractive young
woman golfer who is a compulsive liar, she also eventually becomes more and more
involved with Nick Carroway, the narrator. All three of these characters
contribute a great deal to the novel as a whole. Though their parts are small,
without them the novel would not be the masterpiece that it is. Jordan Baker is
the minor character with the biggest part. she is seen very often throughout the
novel. Jordan Baker’s most striking quality is her dishonestly. She is tough
and aggressive-a tournament golfer who is so hardened by competition and because
ot that she is willing to do anything to win. At the end of Chapter III, when

Nick is thinking about Jordan, he remembers a story about her first major
tournament. "At her first big golf tournament there was a row that nearly
reached the newspapers-a suggestion that she had moved her ball from a bad lie
in the semi-final round. The thing approached the proportions of the
scandal-then died away. A caddie retracted his statement and the only other
witness admitted that he might have been mistaken. the incident and the name had
remained together in my mind." pg. 63. This incident stays with the reader
throughout the novel, reminding the reader (as it reminds Nick) that Jordan is
the smart but extremely dishonest new woman, the opportunist who will do
whatever she must to be successful in her world. Jordan Baker’s use in the
novel helps Fitzgerald get the story told. Because she is Daisy\'s friend from

Louisville, she can supply Nick with information he would not have otherwise.

She also serves as a link between the major characters, moving back and forth
between the world of East Egg (Tom and Daisy\'s house) and West Egg (Gatsby\'s and

Nick\'s houses). She is rich enough to be comfortable among the East Eggers but
enough of a social hustler to appear at Gatsby\'s parties. Jordan serves still
another purpose, she is actually Nick\'s girlfriend during the summer of 1922.

The Nick-Jordan romance serves as a good sub-plot to the Gatsby-Daisy
relationship, and allows the reader to compare and contrast the romantic-dream
like love of Gatsby for Daisy to a very practical but weak relationship created
through Nick and Jordan. Fitzgerald brilliantly uses Jordan Baker to incorporate

Nick into the novel as more than the narrator but as a real person. Jordan is
also used to show the contrast between two different kinds of relationships,
that of Gatsby and Daisy and Jordan and Nick. Myrtle Wilson is another minor
character that plays a great role in The Great Gatsby. She is the wife of George

Wilson. Myrtle is a very important character, because Fitzgerald uses her to
help expose Tom’s brutality and to show how Tom is a hypocrite. Fitzgerald
uses Myrtle because it shows how Tom thinks of her as one of his possessions,
she is displayed openly to all of Tom’s friends and acquaintances and they all
freely accept her. Tom uses Myrtle for the fueling of his own ego because it
makes him feel powerful and superior. The novel is propelled into excellence
because of Fitzgerald’s ability to use Myrtle to help portray Tom as an evil,
brutal and hypocritical man. By incorporating Myrtle into the novel Tom becomes
hated more by the reader because he disapproves Daisy’s relationship with

Gatsby but he feels that his relationship with Myrtle is appropriate because

Myrtle is nothing more than a possession to him. Myrtle is basically confined to
chapter II, except for when she is killed in the end of the novel. During
chapter II the reader finds that Myrtle’s one wish is to leave her class and
to become on of the elite rich. Myrtle obviously has the logic and morals to
become one of the elite because she is obsessed with appearances and unaware of
the realities of life. Myrtle says that she married George "because I thought
he was a gentleman...I thought he knew something about breeding but he wasn’t
fit to lick my shoe." (pg. 39). Myrtle honestly thinks that she is above

George and