The theme of moral corruption is exhibited throughout the story of the Great Gatsby and is shown in different ways between a variety of characters. Moral corruption is the cause of many conflicts in the book as the characters crooked beliefs lead to problematic situations. Jay Gatsby’s affiliation with bootlegging alcohol and controversy behind his fortune prove that his need to maintain his public image corrupted him. Daisy’s materialistic views and hunger for wealth show how she was corrupted by wealth. Tom and Myrtle’s forbidden sexual relationship show how they were morally corrupt. All these forms of moral corruption and events linked to them intertwine with the main storyline to create conflicts that create the storyline of the Great Gatsby. Jay Gatsby is a character who was corrupt in many ways.
He valued his public image and because of that, he resorted to illegal activities to maintain it. This itself shows how he resorted to corrupt methods in order to create his illusion. His affection for Daisy was also proven to be a fantasy as his obsessive love towards her caused him to be possessive and eventually think of her as a “trophy.” In his attempt to have the perfect life, he lost sight of his love for her and instead became obsessed with the thought of having her.
His quest to live the dream life took away his sense of values and morals which eventually corrupted his being. It was due to Gatsby’s constant need to please others that eventually, he slipped up and his facade had finally caught up to him.Daisy is another example of how corruption based on a bad sense of morals leads to conflict. Daisy was beautiful and sought after by many different prospects but what she was really searching for was someone who could support her financially.
Due to this, she lead many men on switching when a more suitable man came up. When Gatsby suddenly returned from his tour, Daisy recognized the fact that he had become much more wealthier and her lust for materialistic items drew her towards him. She continued to lead Gatsby on, loving the newfound attention that was presented to her.
Throughout the story, who the readers believe to be a pure beauty is revealed to be quite the opposite and her true colours become exposed. When crucial moments where Gatsby expects loyalty from her, she lets him down because she does not truly love him, she only loves what he has to offer. She does not tell Tom she never loved him, she lets Gatsby take the blame for Myrtle’s death, and finally, she does not show up to his funeral as she is already in another city with Tom. Daisy in many ways can be compared to the devil and it was her personality that proves avarice does corrupt.The final example of moral corruption in the story was the relationship between Tom and Myrtle. Their whole relationship was considered to be taboo as both partners had significant others and the fact that they performed sexual interactions with each other is corrupt. Myrtle was corrupt hoping that she would gain social status from this relationship and Tom was solely looking for a fix for his suxual needs.
Their adulterous relationship was due to both respective members wanting more with their lives so they related to cheating on their partners. Their relationship itself was abusive as Tom hit and broke Myrtle’s nose at one point. An abusive relationship such as this one is caused by ignorance and anger as both characters were corrupt in their own way. Overall, both characters corrupted themselves the more they became with their forbidden relationship and eventually, corruption took over.The life of the great Gatsby is a tragic story of a man corrupted by societies many beliefs and his own desire. He, just like many others in that society were taken over by their lack of morals which eventually corrupted their minds and their goals. Many of these characters sins affect others around them and when all put together, had harsh consequences.
Due to their absence of morality, they strove for more than they deserved and when reality hit, they were taught the harsh truth of existence.