How does Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby show modernism through the setting, plot, tone, theme, and character?
Fitzgerald exhibits Modernism most prominently through his characters. Gatsby shows the most evidence, as he struggles to obtain the unreachable Daisy alone, and possesses highly unrealistic fantasies of them living together, to the point where even Daisy protested that he wanted an unattainable dream from her. Despite his best efforts, he dies without ever achieving of his lofty goals. Myrtle Wilson stands as another great example.
We see the Wilsons are already quite distant - the fact that Wilson doesn’t comment upon his wife staying away for long nights away in the city implies that Myrtle constantly attempted to escape her miserable life in the valley of ashes. She may not have even been cheating on her husband at the time, showing her desperation to get away.
She continues her affair with Tom for her own ‘survival’, or what she thinks of it. Married to a slow mechanic and doomed to a life in a dreary, ashy place would never satisfy a woman like Myrtle Wilson.
However, her dream to marry and run off with Tom is as unrealistic as Gatsby’s dream; she would have not likely escaped the wrath of her husband and would always be shunned by the old money society, as her status as Tom’s mistress would eventually come to light.