Myrtle Wilson does not have a central role in the narrative of The Great Gatsby. However, she is still an essential part of the novel. It is evident that Myrtle is lively and eccentric, unlike Daisy. However, the readers can sense that she is not much of an intellectual. It becomes clear through Nick’s description of Myrtle’s appearance and interests.
Myrtle Wilson is crucial to the plot of the novel. She is often portrayed as the opposite of Daisy’s character. Their differences are most evident in their relationship with Tom. While describing Daisy, Nick focuses on her mannerisms, quirks, and voice. He mentions posture and athleticism in his observation of Jordan. However, he fails to see anything in Myrtle beside her body. He notes that she “carried her surplus flesh sensuously as some women can.” This quote reflects that Nick does not see much in Myrtle in terms of intellect or character. It seems like nobody does.
Jay Gatsby and Myrtle Wilson are very similar in their desire to climb the social ladder. Myrtle is not seen as very bright. That is because of her attitude towards those below her in the socioeconomic hierarchy. While Gatsby is a tragic hero, Wilson becomes a fool. She assures herself that Tom is going to leave Daisy for her. She justifies her confidence by pointing to all the gifts he has given her, including her symbolic puppy. It is clear to everyone, except Myrtle, that Tom’s gifts do not mean much. Besides, Myrtle’s interest in gossip, tabloids, and clothes does not make her seem bright.