The Great Gatsby is a famous classic American novel written by Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald in the year 1925. Scott Fitzgerald is an American short-story writer and novelist, whose first career breakthrough was the novel This Side of Paradise made him one of the most promising young writers almost overnight (Biography.com).
The Great Gatsby’s story is told from the point of view of Nick Carraway, a Midwesterner who moves to a little house in West Egg, Long Island, across the river from Daisy and right next to Jay Gatsby’s enormous palace (Fitzgerald, 12). Nick tells the story happened around 1922 following the first World War. He came to the big city to find out about the bond business, but discovered the most exciting story and the lesson of his life.
However, the story’s main character is not Nick Carraway, it is his mysterious neighbor and, possibly, friend – Jay Gatsby – whose personality and history remains a secret for other characters and even readers. Even though he is a public person – no one knows a thing about who he is, except for Nick. People around knows only rumors they heard like the fact that Jay killed a man, studied in Oxford, was a soldier in the 1st World War, he is the devil’s cousin and others.
The reason of Gatsby’s actions and his all life for the past five years is simple – he wants to be reunited with the love of his life, married woman Daisy Buchanan. She cannot even imagine that Gatsby did all the crazy things to attract her attention. All the amazing posh parties with numerous entertainments at his wonderful mansion were arranged only for Daisy to look at Jay. Gatsby kept an enormous house that was extremely well maintained by dozens of servants. “It looked like the World’s fair was here I saw the light miles away.” (Fitzgerald, 87).
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Besides the love story, Scott Fitzgerald highlighted some social issues in his novel. Firstly, the reader gets to know how money influences people and puts the consumer’s values above morality. Moreover, the author is pointing out the conflict between different types of wealth, new money versus old money, as well as the hollowness of the upper level of class. In a certain way, Fitzgerald not only critics the higher class of society for being obsessed with money, but also the lower class for forgetting the true American Dream values. Instead of pursuing the idea of being happy, most of the characters are more interested in money and authority (Lehan 10).
While reading the book you will definitely notice the beautiful way the Great Gatsby’s world is illustrated. Using the best possible lyricism author creates the pitch-perfect impression that the Jazz Age happens in the readers’ mind.
The Great Gatsby is a great book to learn from. It shows the power of love, wealth, power, options in our lives and how our decisions influence us and the world around. The result of Gatsby’s decision was his death. The most tragic part of the novel is the fact that Daisy did not show up to his funeral (Fitzgerald, 167). Moreover, is spite of the numerous guests at his parties, there were few mourners at Gatsby’s funeral. It turns out that, except for friends and few more people, no one is interested at Jay Gatsby when there are no benefits from being around him. However, maybe it was Gatsby’s fault, as he kept only few friends in his life. He thought his reputation and authority would be more perfected if no one around really knew him.
Biography.com. (2016). F. Scott Fitzgerald Biography. [online] Available at: http://www.biography.com/people/f-scott-fitzgerald-9296261 [Accessed 23 Jul. 2016].
Lehan, Richard D. The Great Gatsby: The Limits of Wonder. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1990.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2013. Print.
What role do automobiles play in The Great Gatsby?
For many of Fitzgerald’s characters, the automobile represents American progress. Fitzgerald, however, remains unconvinced. Despite its superficial role as an emblem of man’s ingenuity, Fitzgerald suggests that the automobile is actually a tool of destruction. Several other symbols of American progress—wealth, scientific research, the metropolis—turn out to be corrupting forces in The Great Gatsby. By adding automobiles to this large set of false emblems, Fitzgerald reinforces his idea that the Jazz Age represents a tragic perversion of the American dream.
Several of Gatsby’s key players regard automobiles as signs of brilliance and power. Nick marvels at the shiny Rolls Royce that conveys guests to Gatsby’s opulent Saturday night parties. Wilson covets Tom’s car because it would give him the opportunity to expand his business and improve his social position. Speeding over the Queensborough Bridge in Gatsby’s vehicle, Nick feels like an explorer setting eyes on New York for the first time. Again and again, automobiles give Fitzgerald’s characters a sense of excitement and possibility.
But Fitzgerald repeatedly shows that these awe-inspiring cars are dangerous, misleading, and destructive. Soon after his wedding, Tom endangers his life by getting into a heavily publicized car accident. (By noting that there is a young female hotel employee in the passenger seat, Fitzgerald suggests that the accident also endangers Tom’s marriage.) Leaving Gatsby’s party, a drunken buffoon crashes his car and loses a wheel: The man’s status symbol exposes him as a weak fool. Though beautiful, Gatsby’s leather seats heat up and burn him toward the end of the novel. A speeding car is responsible for Myrtle’s death, and Jordan Baker describes her ruined love affair in terms of physical injuries and “bad drivers.” The exhilarating joy ride that takes Nick and Gatsby over the Queensborough Bridge ends when a police officer points out that the men are out of control. Fancy cars lead people astray in almost every chapter.
Like the automobile, many other symbols of American prowess prove deceptive in The Great Gatsby. Gatsby’s parties—celebrated in the papers as pageants of American wealth, style, and genius—turn out to be primitive bacchanals where the guests ignore their host, inebriated men gorge themselves on two dinners, and husbands bicker senselessly with their wives. The scientific report that Tom, the Yale graduate and supposed member of America’s intellectual vanguard, brandishes in front of Nick, Daisy, and Jordan turns out to be a barbarous, fictional screed against the global population of non-whites. Nick’s move from the Midwest to New York—supposedly an act of bravery and forward thinking—ends in bitterness and disillusionment, not to mention a decision to return to the heartland. Gatsby’s self-made wealth comes from racketeering and other shadowy criminal activities. Each emblem of progress and American ingenuity becomes tarnished in this dark novel.
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By including the automobile in his array of false status symbols, Fitzgerald calls into question the idea of a wholesome, attainable American dream. The men and women of Gatsby set out to spend their wealth in ways that enhance their sense of joy and possibility. Instead, they waste their money on destructive toys, such as powerful cars and huge buffet tables. Fitzgerald’s mythic automobile rarely sets his characters on a safe, pleasant path; instead, it injures and kills them.
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The Great Gatsby (SparkNotes Literature Guide Series)