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IMPORTANT NOTE: The quote list below is by no means complete. For an extended list, complete with full in depth analysis [click here]
What to look for in George Wilson quotes. Wilson is a symbol of the lower class, the working man, he is there to show the cost of the lifestyle that rich enjoy. Look at how he is treated to get a better understanding of class relations in the 20′s. Wilson’s character is also the only one who seems to have any relationship with God so remember to add that to your analysis.
Top Ten Quotes
Under Doctor Eckleburg’s persistent stare p27
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Nick goes to see Tom’s girl and finds that she live right next to the billboard of doctor Eckleburg and feels like he is being watched.
Analysis: Doctor Eckleburg is said to represent the eyes to God, faded and surrounded by corruption. However they are close enough to Wilson to be able to see him clearly and this could be the reason for his moral behaviour, he is one of the last characters to feel the presence of God. It could be a more general point though, that only the lower class need or accept religion.
Techniques: Symbolism, Anthropomorphism (giving an inanimate object human like characteristics)
You can use this to show: Wilson might be religious, Wilson is moral because of the presence of God, God power is weakened in this corrupt society. Religion is for the lower classes.
‘Let’s have some gas!’ cried Tom roughly p130
Like that ashen, fantastic figure gliding p172
Crazy enough to kill me p 191
Cars Bought and Sold p28
Saw Wilson’s body p173
Hasn’t got any name. P149
Mingling immediately with the cement color of the walls p29
Wilson was so sick that he looked guilty p132
Picking up Wilson like a doll Tom carried him P151
How Does Wilson Represent The Lower Class?
‘Let’s have some gas!’ cried Tom roughly
Obviously he’s a much lower status than Tom and used to having to take this kid of abuse
'Go to bed' but Wilson refused, saying that he’d miss a lot of business
Despite being sick Wilson still wants to work, either he is poor and needs the money or has a good work ethic, either way very different from the other characters in the book
“living over that garage” and “unprosperous”
Houses are symbols representing the people that living them. Wilson’s house is the same building he works in suggesting he is tied to/ dependant on working. It is also shows he is poor.
Hasn’t got any name.
As before houses represent people, the place where Wilson lives doesn’t have a name representing his unimportance.
Borrowed somebody’s best suit to get married in
Again Wilson is shown to be poor
Mingling immediately with the cement color of the walls
Shows how the working class are invisible to people like Tom, they just merge into the background
Quotes That Show Wilson Is The Only One With Morals
Cars Bought and Sold
One of the only characters with an honest job (also one of the poorest)
Not exactly a police dog
This is the dog sales man admitting that he was lying about the dog he was offering being a police dog, compare this to Wilson’s honest business
Most of these fellas will cheat you every time
A more general example about how it is expected that most people will cheat to try and get ahead
So sick he looked guilty
When he find out his wife is having an affair he feels guilty for not caring for her needs rather that pointing the finger like everyone else
saw Wilson's body
After killing Gatsby he killed himself as well showing he either thought murder was wrong or that he expected to be caught unlike Daisy ho just carried on living her life. Given this, it shows how much he loved his wife that after she died he had nothing to live for except to avenge her.
Wilson And God
In a book largely lacking in references to God, Wilson’s character is the only one who mentions him
Oh, my God!’ uttered over and over
This could either be muttered in shock that his wife died, or in guilt that he cause her to run out into the road.
Under Doctor Eckleburg’s persistent stare
He lives right next to the eyse of Dr Eckleburg which could represent God, this could suggest he is the only one who feels God is watching him and so he shouldn’t lie cheat ans steal as others do. (For more advanced analysis it might be worth noting that Nick isn’t present the night after Myrtles death but is still reported in detail, so who was watching?)
You may fool me but you can’t fool God
This could suggest he believes rich people can use there power to abuse him they aren’t powerful enough to trick God and will face consequences
Like that ashen, fantastic figure gliding
This idea is given more credibility when he is the one who ‘punishes’ Gatsby for his wrong doings. The fact he is an ashen figure rather than Wilson implies he is a symbol for working class seeking retribution rather than him particular. Gliding also suggests a religious symbolism to his crime. The irony is he said you can’t fool God, but he has been fooled because he thinks it was Gatsby who had an affair with Myrtle then killed her but actually it was Tom and Daisy.