The Great Gatsby

Book Review

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F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald, born Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, was born on September 24, 1896 in St. Paul, Minnesota. F. Scott Fitzgerald married Zelda Sayre and had one child with her, a daughter named Frances Scott Fitzgerald. Although F. Scott Fitzgerald would never see his work achieve an extremely high level of popularity, his works are considered some of the best ever written. If you would like to read more, please follow this link.

Setting

The Great Gatsby takes place in the early 1920s. The story mainly takes place in New York and Long Island, specifically West Egg and East Egg, which are the Great Neck and Port Washington peninsulas. Most of the story takes place in Jay Gatsby's mansion in West Egg, Nick Carraway's house located next to Jay Gatsby's mansion, and Daisy and Tom Buchanan's house in East Egg. To explore West Egg, click here. To explore East Egg, click here.

Main Characters

  • Nick Carraway is the narrator of the story. He befriends his neighbor, Jay Gatsby, and helps Jay Gatsby to win over his long lost love, Nick's cousin, Daisy. Nick becomes Jay's closest friend and plans Jay's funeral after he dies, being the only non-family member to come.
  • Jay Gatsby is a bootlegger who throws wild parties at his mansion in West Egg. Jay lost his chance with Daisy and hoped to attract her attention by throwing the parties. Jay's yellow car would later kill Tom Buchanan's mistress, causing Jay to be shot dead in his swimming pool.
  • Daisy Buchanan is Nick Carraway's cousin, Tom Buchanan's wife, and Jay Gatsby's love interest. The whole novel is based around Gatsby's pursuit for Daisy's love and the events that follow. Daisy lives just across the water from Gatsby in East Egg.
  • Tom Buchanan is Daisy's husband and belonged to Nick Carraway's social group at Yale. Tom has racist and sexist social views, he is also very arrogant and hypocritical. When he suspects that Gatsby and Daisy are having an affair, he forces a conversation.
  • Jordan Baker is Daisy's friend, and Nick Carraway's girlfriend throughout most of the novel. She is a competitive golfer and is supposed to represent the "new women" of the 1920s that are more boyish and self-centered. Jordan often lies and bends the truth.
  • Myrtle Wilson is Tom Buchanan's mistress. Her husband runs a car garage in the valley of ashes. Myrtle is always trying to achieve a better life, but cannot achieve that with Tom, for he sees her as an object of his desire. She runs into the road and gets hit and killed by Daisy who is driving Gatsby's car.
  • George Wilson is Myrtle's husband and Gatsby's killer. He is destroyed by his grief after his wife dies. George and Gatsby are similar because they are both ruined by their unrequited love for women that love Tom, and they are both dreamers.

Problem

When Daisy and Jay Gatsby first met, Gatsby was waiting to be deployed to the war and Daisy was courting a bunch of other men. Daisy and Gatsby fell madly in love, but then Gatsby had to leave for the war. Daisy told Gatsby that she would wait for him, then, needing to feel loved, married Tom Buchanan, a very rich and powerful man. Gatsby lost touch with Daisy, but never stopped loving her. When Nick Carraway moves into the house next to Gatsby's mansion, Gatsby sees a way to win back Daisy, by using her cousin to help him. Nick soon finds himself caught up in the secrets of Tom Buchanan and his mistress, as well as keeping the secrets of Gatsby and Daisy, while trying to keep his own new romance with Jordan Baker alive. The seams start to unravel when Gatsby, Jordan, Nick, Tom, and Daisy take a trip to New York together and Daisy slips up, causing a huge fight between Tom, Daisy, and Gatsby. After this fight, Gatsby and Daisy sped away in his car, hitting and killing Myrtle, Tom's mistress. Myrtle's husband, overcome with grief, will later find out who the owner of the car was and kill Gatsby for the murder of his beloved wife, although Gatsby was not the one driving.


The main problem faced in The Great Gatsby was winning back Daisy's love, although she is devoted to Tom Buchanan and their child. Daisy wants to love both men, but both Gatsby and Tom want to be the only man in her life. Nick Carraway is caught in the middle of caring for Daisy and caring for his friendship with Gatsby, and tells the story with a bias towards Gatsby.

My Responses

I really liked how the story was told. The author did have a weird chronology to the book, but I feel as though the way that the events unfolded in the end made any confusion as to what was happening disappear. The narrator tried to keep peace throughout the whole story and prevent conflict, but he did support what was causing the conflict. I also liked how few characters there were. Some stories can get so overfilled with characters that it is hard to find the plot while maintaining your knowledge of all of the characters and where they go in the story.


I did not like, however, how the book ended. The ending of the book was very sad, compared to the bright outlook of the beginning of the book. The book starts out optimistic about Nick's future and seems to highlight the great times that Nick had with Gatsby, but the ending of the book showed how alone Gatsby was, even though he was surrounded by a large group of people. The ending seemed to show how, even in a crowded room one can be totally alone. The ending, however, showed how loyal Nick truly was to his friend, although he caused a lot of conflicts in his family.

Favorite Part

This is my favorite part of The Great Gatsby because I think it displays Nick and Gatsby's friendship beautifully. Nick and Gatsby did not feel the need to compliment each other, but the moment that Nick decided to compliment Gatsby, it was like their whole friendship had changed. Although Gatsby would not survive long after this page, I feel as though it had given Gatsby some form of closure. Gatsby now knew that Daisy still loved him, and Nick really appreciated Gatsby.

JustAnotherComicFan

Gatsby reading by JustAnotherComicFan

The Bootlegger Speaks

A 1922 article written on bootlegging, published by the New York Times.
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I give this book four out of five stars. The character development was fantastic, and so was the plot. The chronology of the book, however, kept me very confused until near the end of the book. This is still a great book that I recommend everyone to read at least once in their life.