The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

January 27, 2010
By Steven Tan SILVER, Aurora, Illinois
Steven Tan SILVER, Aurora, Illinois
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a novel well known and praised as one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature. It is an exemplary novel, exquisitely crafted, and foretells the tale of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for Daisy Buchanan. The story, however, is told by Nick Carraway, a young man from the Midwest, and moves to New York to learn about the “bond business” (Fitzgerald, page 20). Nick rents a house in the West Egg district of Long Island, right next to wealthy people. In fact, Nick’s next-door neighbor is the mysterious man named Jay Gatsby, who lives in a mansion and throws extravagant parties every weekend. It is later discovered that Gatsby’s real motive was to attract Daisy Buchanan to one of those parties because of their close relationship years past. After the introduction of the characters, the novel’s plot development, character development, and universal appeal are presented to the audience.

As the story unfolds, the title of the tale, The Great Gatsby is questioned because Jay Gatsby is not what you can consider to be “great”. As Nick shares, Mr. Gatsby as a mysterious man who throws long weekend parties where half the guests aren’t sure who their host really is (Fitzgerald, page 50). As the plot becomes clear and Jay Gatsby is characterized, Nick realizes the close relationship he has with Mr. Gatsby. Finally, Nick realizes the true meaning of the weekend parties and starts to respect and help Gatsby with his love affair for Daisy Buchanan. It was later told that Daisy and Jay Gatsby had a close relationship during the beginning of World War I, but Gatsby and Daisy were separated when he left for the war. Promising to wait for him, Daisy grew tired and finally married Tom Buchanan. Ever since the war ended, it has become Gatsby’s dream and goal to retrieve his most loved Daisy.

Jay Gatsby is the main protagonist in this novel. Even though the story is told by Nick Carraway, the story was written for Gatsby. From being the mysterious man next door to the man reporters and news workers hunt down, character development is evident in this story. As the story unravels, Jay Gatsby’s love for Daisy becomes stronger and more evident. It was clearly shown that he would do anything to receive that love back, which includes taking the blame of a murder. During a confession to Nick Carraway, “an old sport” of Gatsby’s, Gatsby tells his true family heritage where he was not part of a royal descendant (Fitzgerald, page 93). The start of his wealth was due to Dan Cody, an old sailor. After receiving his inherited money, Gatsby’s goal was to impress Daisy with his lavish life he lied about. This dream for the love of Daisy is what makes this book universal.

Universal appeal and especially national appeal is expressed in this novel. The “American dream” of becoming successful and rich and the explorers dream of discovering new land in America is shared by Jay Gatsby’s dream of loving Daisy. The “American dream” was supposedly about discovery, individualism, and pursuit of happiness, but easy money soon became priority. Gatsby’s dream was ruined just as the American dream was ruined by money and pleasure. Gatsby longs to recreate his glorious past in Louisville with Daisy, but he is incapable of doing so. All Gatsby could do was to die, while all Nick could do was to move back to Minnesota, and wait for the American values to decay there. The same dreams and goals are shared by people universally and that is why a literature like this is considered to be a classic novel.

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