The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sound worl overall. Be careful, however, not to simply reiterate plot.27

The Great Gatsby was written in the 1920’s and is considered a great American classic. The story is about one man’s love for a woman and his willingness to sacrifice anything for her. The Great Gatsby is written from the perspective of Nick Carraway, the narrator. Nick is not very present in the action, but is rather an observer. Gatsby lives in a mansion next to Nick and is an enigma to Nick. Although Gatsby is Nick’s neighbor, Nick does not know much about this mysterious man. Nick’s good friend from college is named Tom Buchanan and is married to Daisy, Nick’s second cousin once removed. They live in a Georgian Colonial mansion overlooking the bay and are consumed by the idea of money. Tom is a strong polo player and is known to have a supercilious manner while Daisy is a cheerful, kindhearted person. In addition to Daisy, Tom has a mistress, Myrtle. Myrtle is married to Wilson, who owns a car garage that Tom goes to. Tom has an apartment that he uses for him and Myrtle when he is with her. There they have parties and spend time together away from their spouses. At one party, Myrtle repeatedly mentioned Daisy’s name and Tom broke her nose – showing Tom’s arrogant behavior. Mr. Gatsby also likes to throw parties with many people who don’t seem to know who he truly is. Some say he killed a man before and others say that he was a German spy during the war. At one of Gatsby’s parties Nick meets a golfer named Jordan Baker, who regularly attend Gatsby’s parties. Nick discovers that Gatsby is in love with Daisy and Gatsby asks Nick to invite Daisy to his so that Gatsby can come and talk to her. Gatsby and Daisy used to date when they were younger but broke up when Gatsby left for the military. The reader then finds out that Gatsby changed his name and worked all of his life to become rich in order to win Daisy’s love. One day Daisy invites Jordan, Nick and Gatsby over to her house for lunch and they later go into town. Tom and Gatsby switch cars and Tom then decides to take Gatsby’s yellow car to Wilson’s garage to purchase gas. At the garage Myrtle sees Jordan in the yellow car with Tom and assumes that she is Tom’s wife. Ironically it is the hottest day of the year - tense shift and the tensions were high between Daisy, Gatsby and Tom when they reached town. In the Plaza Hotel the three of them argue over Daisy’s love and drive home angrily. At this point they have switched cars back and Daisy drove Gatsby’s yellow car. As Tom is driving he notices a car crash. He later finds out that a car – a yellow car, hit Myrtle and killed her instantly. Wilson was furious and was determined to find out who had killed his wife. He found out that the yellow car belonged to Gatsby and went to his house. Wilson killed Gatsby in his pool and then took his own life. At Gatsby’s funeral, there were very few people. Nobody wanted to come to his funeral – not even Daisy.

The American Dream…

Nick: Although we don’t really know what Nick’s American Dream is, we know that he realizes how painful it can be. Throughout the book Nick helped Gatsby with his dream to win back Daisy. When Gatsby asked Nick to invite Daisy over to talk her, Nick did. As Nick was arranging Gatsby’s funeral, he realized that Gatsby didn’t have any true friends. Nick was the only one of his friends who showed up to his funeral. Nick saw that all of Gatsby’s friends only spent time with him for his money. Nick finds out that there are more important things in life than a materialistic world that is most times unattainable.

Tom: Tom had no sympathy for Gatsby’s dream to find true love. Tom’s American Dream was to be wealthy and live how he wanted to. Tom was a rich polo player who was married and had a mistress. Daisy was Tom’s security blanket that he could always fall back on her while he spent time with Myrtle on the side. To Tom a materialistic world was the kind of world he wanted to live in. What more could he ask for? He had someone to fall back on and someone to have fun with. This is more plot oriented.

Wilson: When Wilson found out that it was Gatsby yellow car that had hit Myrtle and killer her, he immediately sought revenge by killing Gatsby. Wilson’s American Dream was to have true love. He thought whoever was the driver of the yellow car must’ve been her lover and Wilson wanted to kill him. Wilson wanted Myrtle more than anything that he wanted to kill whoever it was in the yellow car that he had killed her. Wilson saw his love for his wife as the most important thing in his life and later took his own life. PLOT!!

Daisy: Daisy strived to live in a world that revolved around her. Her American Dream was to be rich and have everything that she wanted. Daisy did not care about anyone other than herself. Daisy didn’t show any compassion for Gatsby when he died and didn’t even go to his funeral. He spent his whole life striving to earn enough money to be accepted by her and she didn’t care about him once he was gone. She only like the idea of Gatsby and did not really care about true love.

Gatsby: Gatsby’s American Dream was to win back Daisy and live in a materialistic world better than he had as a child. To him, His American Dream was worth everything he had, including his family, relationships and his wants. He gave up all of these luxuries in order to reach his dream. Gatsby ruined his relationship with his father when he left home in order to become rich. All of Gatsby’s “friends” that he had in the book were truly not his friends. They didn’t care about him and only spent time with him because of his money. Gatsby was always working to become rich that he never pursued anything else. He did not take notice to his own wants but worried only about Daisy’s want to have a rich husband. Gatsby believed that the American Dream was going to be what made him feel complete, when actually the American Dream made him broken - good observation. He lost all of these luxuries and ultimately lost his life.

I believe this book is considered a great American classic because it is relatable to most American lives. This book deals with the American Dream, the idea that everyone has the opportunity to achieve their goals and become rich if they work hard enough. It shows the issues that Americans face when trying to reach the American Dream. In the process relationships are broken, forgotten and formed. In The Great Gatsby, Gatsby lost his relationship with his father and his relationship with Dasiy was ultimately broken. During his attempy to win Daisy back, his relationships with everyone else were fake, if not non-existent. In addition, The Great Gatsby contains various complex relationships. Most relationships are not easy and aren’t as they seem. In the book, Tom is married to Daisy but also has a mistress, Myrtle. Even though this book was written in the !920’s, it is still relatable to today. Today Tiger Woods is the center of attention in the media because of his issues with his wife and his mistresses. This book represents the struggles that Americans go through in their life trying to reach their ideal world. Many times the strive to reach the American Dream ends in tragedy just like in, The Great Gatsby. The American Dream is such a hard ideal to attain that many people fail in the attempt. In The Great Gatsby, Gatsby tried all of his life to reach the American Dream that he lsot so many things – including his life. So many people can relate to this book and connect with the issues and concepts covered making it a great American classic. Whether it be the complex relationships, strive to reach the American Dream, or the struggles the characters face, Americans can relate.