The Great Gatsby is a thrilling tale about a very wealthy man named Gatsby. The story is told through the eyes of the narrator, Nick Carraway.
In the beginning Nick is showed as someone for all people to tell their problems. They vent their anger and frustration to him. Nick meets Tom and Daisy Buchanan. Nick is not very fond of Tom. Nick then becomes acquainted with Jordan Baker, whom happens to be a golf champion. Baker is portrayed as snotty and stuck up. Hints then begin to arise that there are problems between Daisy and Tom. Jordan Baker then implies that Tom is having an affair. Gatsby is mentioned a couple of times in conversation for his grand parties but not much else is said.
A little later Myrtle and her husband Wilson are introduced. Myrtle is the woman that Tom is having an affair with. Myrtle’s husband, Wilson, is very intimidated by Tom. Tom buys an apartment for him and Myrtle. They call people up for a little gathering. While there Myrtle and Tom have an argument. Tom becomes violent and breaks Myrtle’s nose with his bare hands.
Nick then receives an invitation to one of Gatsby’s huge parties. While Nick is there he sees Jordan Baker. While the two of them walk around and talk, Nick hears more rumors about Gatsby. He himself then begins to look for Gatsby. Nick soon finds out that although Gatsby throws these huge parties, he does not like to stand out or to be very social. He prefers to just observe the festivities rather than to take part in them. Later that night, Nick finally gets to meet Gatsby.
In this next chapter, Nick receives an invitation from Gatsby to join him for lunch. When Nick arrives, him and Gatsby talk. Gatsby tells him how he went to Oxford and how he inherited his fortune through his family fortune. Gatsby then introduces Nick to one of his friends/partners in business. Mr. Wolfshiem is a man that is involved in a shady business. Wolfshiem is used to indicate that Gatsby may be involved in shady deals as well.
Jordan then tells Nick how Daisy and Gatsby were old lovers and how Gatsby wants her back. She also tells Nick that Gatsby wants him to set up a reunion between the old lovers.
Nick reunites Gatsby and Daisy at Gatsby’s request and without Daisy’s knowledge. Gatsby wants to show Daisy his house. He does so to show Daisy what he has become through his possessions. Gatsby becomes confused because his dream is right in front of him and she isn’t as perfect as he imagined her to be. Gatsby expects Daisy to be perfect… she isn’t.
Later on, Tom and Daisy attend one of Gatsby’s parties. Tom does not enjoy himself and begins to suspect something between Gatsby and Daisy. A couple of days later, Tom finds figures out what is going on between Gatsby and Daisy; this infuriates him. Gatsby asks Daisy to tell Tom that she never stopped loving Gatsby and never did love Tom.
Wilson now discovers Myrtle’s unfaithfulness but does not know with whom she is cheating. Wilson locks up Myrtle but she escapes. Upon her escape, Gatsby’s car hits Myrtle and kills her. Daisy was in the driver’s seat of the car, not Gatsby. Wilson now becomes insane. He had no one in his life but Myrtle and she has been taken away from him. Wilson discovers that it was Gatsby’s car that killed Myrtle. He hunts down Gatsby and kills him and then takes his own life.
Well, on a lighter note, lets talk about the “roaring twenties.” They are fitfully named because that is exactly what they were. Most people didn’t have a care in the world. They worked during the day and partied all night long.
The Great Gatsby picturesquely portrays what upper class life mostly consisted of in the twenties. It throws a love story in the mix to spice it up a little bit and to add drama; but this does not significantly add to the historic aspect of the book.
This book did not really have an affect on life in the twenties as, let’s say, The Jungle did have on American society. That book, which uncovered unsanitary conditions in a slaughterhouse, brought the public to take action against this. The Great Gatsby more or less just describes the carefree lifestyle of the times and incorporates it into a story to entertain the reader.
The author of The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote the book almost in a first hand state. At the time when he wrote it he was living on Long Island, where the book takes place. Long Island was a community that was alive with wealthy and riotous parties.1
Fitzgerald very much modeled Gatsby after himself. Gatsby fell in live with Daisy and his dream was to be back together with her again. While Fitzgerald found the woman he wanted to marry, but she refused because he could not financially support her. Fitzgerald’s dream was to become a successful writer, which would enable him to support this woman and marry her.2
If anyone is interested in knowing how the hustle and bustle of the “roaring twenties” really worked, The Great Gatsby is a great book to read since it was written during the time period and paints a pretty accurate picture of how life was lived.