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The Great Gatsby

A novel by the American author F. Scott Fitzgerald

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The Great Gatsby is a Classic as it Can be Read Time and Again

  • Jul 13, 2010

Even though it has an unhappy ending, The Great Gatsby (published in 1925) is an insightful read. It certainly leaves a mark on one’s impression about the opulent past.Therefore, without a doubt, The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite literary novels. It’s one of those books that’s required reading in high school; however, it's also a book that can be savored anytime in life. Whether you're a high school senior or a grandmother, you'll enjoy the book.

The narrator of the story is a bond salesman by the name of Nick Carraway, who is the “Great Gatsby’s” (Jay Gatsby’s) neighbor and who becomes his best friend. Nick’s small bungalow is nestled between two mansions (one of which is Gatsby’s) in West Egg, Long Island. The story takes place in 1922, a time when America was enjoying a great deal of prosperity. Although Carraway idolizes the rich lifestyle of Gatsby, he shuns the limelight that goes along with it. Nick, who was in the First World War and is a Yale graduate, is the second cousin, once removed, of Daisy Buchanan, who lives in East Egg, Long Island with her husband Tom. Tom, a former football player, went to school with Nick. One day, Nick travels across the sound to visit the couple in their palatial estate.There, he is introduced to a professional golfer by the name of Jordan Baker.
After the visit, Nick’s neighbor, Gatsby, invites him to one of his weekly parties where people come uninvited as they can always gain admittance to the events. At the party, Nick again runs into Jordan. From that point, he sees more of the golfer while, at the same time, cultivating a friendship with Jay Gatsby. Nick discovers that the idyllic lifestyle that Gatsby lives is funded by organized crime. He learns of this fact when he journeys with Gatsby into the city and meets one of Gatsby’s associates, Meyer Wolfsheim,  an organized crime figure. Nick also discovers that Gatsby is in love with his cousin, Daisy, having met her when she was just 17 and he was in the army. He hosts his gala parties in hopes of running into her at one of them.

Shortly thereafter, Daisy and Gatsby begin a love affair. Nick and Jordan also see each other, although Nick feels, and correctly so, that their relationship will be short-lived.. Unfortunately, Daisy’s husband, Tom, eventually learns that Gatsby loves Daisy and a series of events transpire to bring the novel to a conclusive and tragic ending. Gatsby is shot by the husband of Tom’s mistress, Myrtle, when it’s discovered that she was killed by a hit-and-run vehicle - Gatsby’s yellow roadster.
However, Gatsby tells Nick that Daisy was driving the car and that’s why they took off at the time of the accident. He didn’t want her to be held responsible for the mishap. Unfortunately, Myrtle Wilson’s husband, George (a mechanic and gas station attendant), believes Gatsby is to blame. It's later revealed that Tom Buchanan tells George that the yellow roadster is Gatsby's vehicle. In response, George obtains a firearm and shoots and kills Gatsby in his pool while he is awaiting a call from Daisy. The gunman then shoots and kills himself. The story ends with Nick leaving this idealized place and reflecting on it in retrospect with a certain amount of regret and sadness.

The theme for the book is one of a limited point of view, represented by the telling of the story by Nick Carraway. With respect to comparison, you can see similarities of this story in the book, The Heart of Darkness, both with respect to the symbolism. At the end of Chapter one, in The Great Gatsby, a green light flashes on Daisy Buchanan's pier seemingly giving Gatsby the hope and encouragement he needs to pursue his one and true love. Adaptations of movies have been made from the book, including an older film starring Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby and Mia Farrow as Daisy Buchanan.

When he wrote the book, F. Scott Fitzgerald, based many of the characters on people he knew. He obtained his characterization of  Daisy from a woman he had fallen in love with but had never married and Jordan's character from one of her friends. He felt he had failed in the telling of his story at the time although his literary friends hailed the piece of writing. The book never achieved commercial fame until after World War II and after F. Scott Fitzgerald's death in 1940.

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More The Great Gatsby reviews
review by . June 29, 2010
Daisy Buchannan tells Nick and Jordan that she hopes for her daughter to turn out unintelligent and pretty:  “'I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.'”  Daisy realizes that in “this world" — the society of the upper class in the 1920s — intelligence in women carries little value and a pleasant appearance provides the best chance of social distinction.  Daisy’s …
review by . June 29, 2010
I love The Great Gatsby (although I always was one of those kids who loved the books we had to read in high school.) I felt for Gatsby, and got caught up with Nick and the rest of the characters. It was very easy to relate to Gatsby's desire to belong in a higher standing than his own, and the overly easy way that Daisy had of being too rich for her own good.      The Great Gatsby is set in the 1920's, just before The Great Depression, when everything was a little bit …
Quick Tip by . April 12, 2011
I know this book gets quite a bit of praise but for me the novel just does not hold up to the test of time.  In some ways it reads like a modern love triangle or a look into the dysfunctional lives of a the wealthy.  It is an solid and entertaining novel, just not one that I would put in the pantheon of all time greats.
review by . July 27, 2010
It is quite astounding how the story flowed from the beginning ‘til end. I am dumb-founded how tragic the story is. Nevertheless, I am convinced that F. Scott Fitzgerald has moved the readers with this masterpiece. I wish to imply that the title itself is a bit ironic because “great” entails loneliness so long as the story is concerned. The thing is, even though Gatsby is a wealthy man he is actually sad despite of the parties he throws. Despite of its tragic end, the story is …
review by . July 09, 2010
Although this novel is over 80 years old, its themes and issues remain relevant to contemporary society. I have read this book at least once a year for the past eight years. Fitzgerald's characters may not be immediately empathetic, but they all are figures that are believable. The decadence of the Roaring Twenties is the setting for a drama that on one level is about failed romance, but that failed romance is much more. Our narrator, Nick, is not perfect himself, and his lens of the events …
Quick Tip by . October 31, 2010
In an era of school-board mandated this and multicult-approved that, this classic gets overlooked. But, in its lessons on American dreams, capitalist realities, and intimate betrayals, it sums up for me our national obsessions, and our fantasies of reinvention and flight from the past, splendidly. I wish every student would read it, learn from it, and recommend it. It endures beyond this year's bestseller titles...
review by . June 30, 2010
I know this book is a classic, but it is so awful! Maybe I was too young when I read it (I was in high school) to appreciate the point of the book. I just remember it being full of rich people and their decadent lives. Which sounds like it should be fun, but it was oddly depressing. Honestly, I couldn’t even finish reading it. I just remember this mess of people with hints of infidelity, suppressed love, there was some sort of car accident I think, a big party, and a good representation of …
review by . July 02, 2010
I read this book because it was assigned to me. I honestly loved the book. The author chose to tell Gatsby's story through Nick, a neighbor. At the beginning the book is a bit slow but after a while is one of those you can not put down. I would recommend anyone to read the book because it teaches you about humanity and social classes. The book takes place in the 1920s when women were beginning to come out of there shell. Jordan, Nick's girlfriend, is a good example of how women progresses. …
review by . December 30, 2009
"The Great Gatsby" is a sad book. But perhaps the saddest thing of all is that F Scott Fitzgerald's tragic, moving portrayal of the American Dream demonstrates that the typical American's pre-occupation with the yearning for wealth, class and an easier life can ultimately be so empty, so meaningless and so utterly unfulfilling.       When Nick Carraway left what he saw as a comfortable but mundane existence in the Midwest, he moved East to a magnetic New York City to …
Quick Tip by . August 26, 2010
Glitter age classic. This is to American Literature what 'Citizen Cane' is to movies.
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In 1925, The Great Gatsby was published and hailed as an artistic and material success for its young author, F. Scott Fitzgerald. It is considered a vastly more mature and artistically masterful treatment of Fitzgerald's themes than his earlier fiction. These works examine the results of the Jazz Age generation's adherence to false material values.

In The Great Gatsby's nine chapters, Fitzgerald presents the rise and fall of Jay Gatsby, as related in a first-person narrative by Nick Carraway. Carraway reveals the story of a farmer's son-turned racketeer, named Jay Gatz. His ill-gotten wealth is acquired solely to gain acceptance into the sophisticated, moneyed world of the woman he loves, Daisy Fay Buchanan. His romantic illusions about the power of money to buy respectability and the love of Daisy—the “golden girl” of his dreams—are skillfully and ironically interwoven with episodes that depict what Fitzgerald viewed as the callousness and moral irresponsibility of the affluent American society of the 1920s.

America at this time experienced a cultural and lifestyle revolution. In the economic arena, the stock market boomed, the rich spent money on fabulous parties and expensive acquisitions, the automobile became a symbol of glamour and wealth, and profits were made, both legally and illegally. The whirlwind pace of this post-World War I era is captured in Fitzgerald's Gatsby, whose tragic quest and violent death foretell the ...

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ISBN-10: 0684801523
ISBN-13: 978-0684801520
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Publisher: Scribner
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