Great Gatsby Essay, Research Paper
The Great Gatsby was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, published by Charles Scribner?s Sons, and copyrighted in 1925. The book takes place mostly in a small town near New York known as West Egg during the 1920?s.
One of the main characters of the novel is the narrator of the book, Nick Carraway. He relates the events of many summers that affected him deeply. He has a knack for telling the truth, at least according to him, and he comes from a small mid-western town seeking employment as a bond trader. His next door neighbor, Jay Gatsby, is the main character of the novel. He throws magnificent parties during the beginning of the summer, but stops throwing the parties after he realizes that they don?t impress Daisy Buchanan (originally Fay), the significant other that he seeks. Gatsby does not show many redeeming qualities, and his party ?guests? enjoy spreading rumors about the finer points of Gatsby?s life. The aforementioned Daisy Buchanan, Nick?s second cousin once removed, is married to Tom Buchanan, one of Nick?s friends from the Midwest trying to find success in the East. Tom and Daisy are not very faithful towards each other, as Tom has a mistress and Daisy gets quite well acquainted with Gatsby. Tom?s mistress is the wife of George Wilson, Myrtle Wilson. George is the proprietor of a small garage near West and East Egg, and he is not very observant, but he is very devoted to his wife. Myrtle cheats on her husband with Tom, and only hides this from her husband, who would have to be bluntly told to figure the problem out. Jordan Baker is a friend of Daisy, Tom, Nick, and Gatsby, and at the end of the novel she marries an unknown character. She and Tom are attracted towards each other, but become disenchanted with each other after Gatsby?s death.
The story begins as Nick Carraway gives a brief description of himself and his current situation. He is reflecting upon events of summers of the 1920?s, which occur on the East Coast. Nick went to the East to escape the Midwest and to hopefully find a better, faster paced life. He settled in community near New York known as West Egg. It is mainly a quiet little town with a neighbor across a lake of East Egg. When Nick arrived at his home, he had only heard about his neighbor for a couple of weeks. Before he met with Mr. Gatsby, he went to visit Tom Buchanan, an old friend. When he is over at Tom?s house, he also sees his second cousin once removed Daisy, and makes a new acquaintance in Jordan Baker. He visits with them for a while and learns that Tom had a mistress in New York. The whole time, Daisy seems insistent upon getting Tom and Jordan romantically involved with each other. Later, Nick meets Tom?s mistress, Myrtle Wilson, the wife of George Wilson. Tom brings Myrtle and Nick with to a party at a place in New York. Nick socializes with many new people there, becomes inebriated, and does not really learn much, aside from gossip. He later wakes up in a train station, apparently fighting off the effects of his intoxication.
A little later, he makes an appearance at one of his neighbor?s tremendously large parties. He meets Jordan there, by chance, and follows her around. He seems impressed with the scale of the party, and he meets Mr. Gatsby there and arranges to ride his hydroplane with him. He stays until a late hour, and then leaves. Then he takes a break from these stories to tell us that most of his life involved working at an office, even though these events don?t seem to indicate so. Nick lists many of the guests that have come to Gatsby?s parties to again show the magnitude they had. Then Nick goes on a trip with Gatsby for lunch, and meets Mr. Wolfsheim, a business partner of Gastby. After seeing Tom there, Gatsby made a quick exit. (Could it be that he doesn?t want to face the husband of the woman he so desires?) Then Carraway flashes back to a memory of Jordan?s telling of her relationship with Daisy, and the troubled wedding that Daisy had.
Next, Gatsby makes a strange request of Nick. He asks him to ask Daisy over so that he can discreetly meet with her. (Isn?t it surprising that he doesn?t just have a butler pass a note?) Then he fast-forwards to the meeting of Daisy and Gatsby, as they become reacquainted, and Gatsby gives Daisy a tour of his mansion. Then Nick relates to us the story of Gatsby?s beginning as James Gatz and his escapades with Dan Cody. Then Nick describes Gatsby?s party that Tom first came to and the confused emotions associated with it. We next learn that Gatsby has fired his entire staff of waiters, etc., and no more parties are held there. Gatsby, Nick, Daisy, Tom, and Jordan then have lunch at Tom and Daisy?s, and Tom becomes increasingly aware of Gatsby?s intentions. The whole clan goes to New York after a spat about who should drive whose car. After they arrive in New York, they fight in a hotel room over who is the object of Daisy?s affections. Tom seems to win over Gatsby, and they then proceed home. Daisy and Gatsby leave home first and the others follow. George and Myrtle have a fight at nearly the same time the others do, and Myrtle runs out into the street and is hit and killed by a speeding car that does not stop. Tom, Nick, and Jordan see the aftermath on their way home, and Tom becomes mad, and the others are simply confused. When they arrive back at home, it is revealed through Gatsby that Daisy was driving when Gatsby?s car hit Myrtle, and despite his attempts, Daisy sped away.
Gatsby and Carraway then spend a long night together, occasionally exchanging thoughts. The next day Gatsby was killed by George Wilson, who found out that it was Gatsby?s car that his wife, and then Wilson committed suicide. A needless and fruitless investigation was conducted. Nick, who felt responsible for Gatsby, tried desperately to find people that would come to Gatsby?s funeral, but he failed to find anyone but Gatsby?s father, who came after he heard. Nick, Gatsby?s father, and one of Gatsby?s party ?guests? were present at the funeral, despite the many that were acquainted with Gatsby. Nick becomes so distraught after this that Jordan gives up pursuing Nick, and Nick ultimately leaves the East.
The conflict of the book is that Gatsby loves Daisy and wants to marry her, but is not allowed to for various reasons. This conflict is resolved by the death of Gatsby, who, in that state, can no longer pursue Daisy.
The theme of The Great Gatsby is that much of what is done in the world is not what it seems to be, and the truth is eventually revealed over time. This is shown by Gatsby?s apparent love of parties and wealth, when in fact he only used those things to try to impress Daisy, a goal that was revealed after a long time.
Picturesque language is used frequently in the book. One example is ?there was a jauntiness about her movements as if she had first learned to walk upon golf courses on clean, crisp mornings.? It is somewhat satirical that during the whole book all of the people on the fast track are going nowhere, accomplishing virtually nothing. Gatsby symbolizes the rich whose wealth does not bring them happiness or help them accomplish their goals. When Gatsby asks Nick to help him meet Daisy in the absence of Tom, it is foreshadowed that he wants to become romantically involved with her again. The whole story is told in Backflash, some time after the events occurred.