The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Length: 1571 words (4.5 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
A. Time: Sometime during 1922, but the story is being told sometime after the events that happen in 1922.
B. Place: First from the Midwest to West Egg, Long Island, then to East Egg sometimes.
A. Main Characters: Nick Carraway, who was once Gatsby’s neighbor and is the narrator of this story who over the course of events helps Gatsby get back together with Daisy, Jay Gatsby, who is the protagonist and who recently becomes a wealthy entrepreneur who hosts many parties for rich and fashionable people and whose life centers around the desire to be reunited with his lost love Daisy and also who this story centers around, Daisy Buchanan, who is the main romantic role seeing as Gatsby is mesmerized by her and she’s his “lost love” from five years ago but she bewitches men, especially Gatsby, with her sultry voice and delicate nature, Tom Buchanan, who is Daisy’s wealthy husband who is also cheating on her and is a very hulking and brutish man that Nick knew in college, Jordan Baker, who's a professional golfer with questionable morals and a friend of Daisy's who dates Nick rather casually but acts offended when he is the first man not to fall for her charms, Myrtle Wilson, who’s the married lover of Tom Buchanan who acts as a example of the lower class and also who eventually dies at the hands of her lover's wife, and lastly there’s George Wilson, who is Myrtle's husband who eventually finds out about his wife's double life and his response to it helps drive her to her death and also through his sadness of his wife’s death, kills Gatsby thinking that it was his fault.
B. Antagonist: None really, but Tom Buchanan can possibly be considered one to me since he acts as a barrier to Gatsby to get what he longs for.
C. Supporting Characters: Meyer Wolfshiem, who is Gatsby's business partner and link to organized crime and who helped build Gatsby's fortune, Michaelis, who is George Wilson's neighbor who comforts Wilson after Myrtle dies and is one of the only charitable people in the story, Ewing Klipspringer, who is a pretty much a complete leech and a representative of the people who went to Gatsby's parties, Dan Cody, who’s
the mentor of Gatsby and taught him a lot about being adventurous and following his dreams, Henry Gatz, who is Gatsby’s father and comes to bury his son after his death and who also serves as a reminder of Gatsby's lower class past, and lastly, Pammy Buchanan, who is the very young child of Daisy and Tom.
A. Introduction: This is a story narrated by Nick Carraway, who was once Gatsby's next door neighbor, sometime after 1922, when the events that fill the book take place. As the book begins, Nick has just moved from the midwest to West Egg, Long Island, seeking fortune. Soon after his arrival, Nick travels to East Egg to visit his cousin Daisy Buchanan and her husband, Tom Buchanan, who Nick had known in college. There he also meets the professional golfer Jordan Baker. Tom, Daisy and Jordan live very privileged lives, which contrasts with Nick's rather poor life. When Nick goes home that night, he sees his neighbor, Gatsby, standing in the dark and stretching his arms toward the water. One day, Nick is invited to go with Tom to meet the woman he’s having an affair with, Myrtle Wilson, a person of the middle-class whose husband, George Wilson, runs a garage and gas station. After they meet and go to the city, Myrtle calls her friends to come over and they all spend the day drinking at an apartment. The afternoon is then filled with drunken actions and ends badly with Myrtle and Tom fighting over Daisy. In a drunken rage, Tom breaks Myrtle's nose. After that, Nick focuses on his mysterious neighbor, who has parties weekly for the fashionable and rich. Gatsby invites Nick (which is weird because it’s rare for anyone to be invited to Gatsby's parties, since people usually just show up) to one of the extravagant parties. There he bumps into Jordan Baker. As the party slows down, Gatsby takes Jordan aside to speak to her in private. Although you’re not actually told what they say, Jordan is really surprised by what she's learned.
B. Rising Action: As the summer passes, Nick and Gatsby become good friends, and Nick and Jordan begin to date each other sort of casually, despite that she is rather dishonest. Nick and Gatsby go into the city one day and Nick meets Meyer Wolfshiem, one of Gatsby's friends and his link to organized crime. That same day, with Jordan Baker, Nick learns the story that Gatsby told her the night of his party. Gatsby is in love with Daisy Buchanan. They met a few years before when he was in the army but they couldn’t be together because he wasn’t able to support her. Gatsby then made his fortune, all with the goal of getting Daisy back. He bought his house so that he would be near her and hosted the parties in the hopes that she would notice. It came time for Gatsby to meet Daisy again face-to-face, and so Gatsby asks Nick to invite Daisy to his little house where Gatsby will show up unannounced. Nick's house is perfectly prepared because Gatsby wants every detail to be perfect for their reunion. When they meet, they’re nervous, but soon they’re once again comfortable with each other. As the afternoon passes, the three move the party from Nick's house to Gatsby's, where he’s excited to show Daisy his fancy house, as if showing her in a very obvious way just how far out of poverty he is. Then, Nick learns the story of Jay Gatsby who was born James Gatz to unsuccessful farm people. Gatsby changed his name at 17, about the time he met Dan Cody. Cody would become Gatsby's mentor, and by the time of Cody's death, Gatsby had grown into manhood and had defined the man he would become. Moving back to the present, we discover that Daisy and Tom will attend one of Gatsby's parties. Tom, of course, spends his time chasing women, while Daisy and Gatsby sneak over to Nick's yard for some privacy while Nick keeps guard.
C. Climax: As the summer passes, Gatsby and Daisy's affair begins to grow and they see each other regularly. Then one really hot day, Gatsby and Nick go to East Egg to have lunch with the Buchanans and Jordan. No longer hiding her love for Gatsby, Daisy pays him special attention and Tom picks up on what's going on. Tom, Nick, and Jordan drive in Gatsby's car, while Gatsby and Daisy drive Tom's. Low on gas, Tom stops Gatsby's car at Wilson's gas station, where he sees that Wilson isn’t well. Like Tom, who has just learned of Daisy's affair, Wilson has just learned of Myrtle's affair, but he does not know who the man is, and it has made him physically sick. Wilson talks about his plans to take Myrtle out west, much to Tom's dismay. Tom has lost a wife and a mistress all in a matter of an hour. They all end up at the Plaza hotel, where they continue drinking, with the day getting closer and closer to its tragic end. Tom, who is always a hot-head, begins to bother Gatsby, questioning him about Daisy. Tom keeps questioning Gatsby until the truth comes out, that Gatsby wants Daisy to admit she's never loved Tom but that she has always loved him. When Daisy can’t do this, Gatsby declares that Daisy is going to leave Tom. Tom understands Daisy far better than Gatsby does and knows she won't leave him: His wealth and power that have been around for generations, will win over Gatsby's newly found wealth. To show his authority, Tom orders Gatsby and Daisy to head home in Gatsby's car. Tom, Jordan, and Nick follow them.
As they get near Wilson's garage, they can all see that some sort of accident has occurred. Pulling over to investigate, they learn that Myrtle Wilson, Tom's mistress, has been hit and killed by a passing car that didn’t bother to stop, and it appears to have been Gatsby's car. Tom, Jordan, and Nick then continue home to East Egg. Nick, who’s now disgusted by the behavior of the people who he has been on friendly terms, meets Gatsby outside of the Buchanans' house. After asking a few good questions, Nick learns that Daisy was driving the car, , not Gatsby, but then Gatsby says he will take all of the blame.
The next morning, Nick goes to Gatsby's house and while the two men are looking for cigarettes, Gatsby tells Nick more about how he became the man he is and how Daisy became a part of his life. Later, while at work, Nick can’t concentrate. He gets a phone call from Jordan, but he quickly ends the talk, and their friendship. He decides to take an early train home and check on Gatsby. But then the action switches back to Wilson, who is very distraught over his wife's death, and who sneaks out and goes looking for who killed Myrtle. Nick retraces Wilson's steps, which places him at Gatsby's house. In a surprising turn of events, Wilson murders Gatsby and then kills himself. Then after Gatsby's death, Nick helps make arrangements for his burial.
D. Falling Action: The worst thing is that no one seems really concerned with Gatsby's death. Tom and Daisy decide to mysteriously leave on a trip and all the people who used to attended his parties now won’t get involved. A telegram Gatsby's father says he will be coming from Minnesota to then bury his son. Sadly, at Gatsby's funeral, there’s only Nick, Henry Gatz (Gatsby’s dad), the postman, and the priest at the graveside. So even though he was popular during his lifetime, when he died he is completely forgotten. Nick decides to head back to the Midwest. Before he leaves he sees Tom Buchanan one last time. When they talk, it gets revealed that Tom was the cause behind Gatsby's death, because when Wilson went to his house, he told him that Gatsby owned the car that killed Myrtle. Nick who is now terrified and disgusted by the cruel nature of Tom, Daisy, and all those like them, leaves. On the last night before leaving, Nick goes to Gatsby's mansion. He then goes to the sea shore where Gatsby once stood, arms outstretched toward the green light. The book ends with Nick noting how we are all a little like Gatsby, boats moving up a river, going forward but continually feeling the pull of the past.
A. Character Conflict Theme: I believe this story is character vs character with Gatsby and Tom. Gatsby obsesses over Tom’s wife, and Tom, after his mistress gets killed, tells the hysterical Wilson that Gatsby killed his wife, whichs results in Wilson killing Gatsby.
B. Story Theme: I believe that this story deals with people’s need to start over again, social politics, and also betrayal, both of people and of one's own ideals. The story uses elements of irony and tragic ending, and it also goes into themes of the recklessness of youth, and overindulgence of the rich.
I really enjoyed this book, and I believe that other people who haven’t read it should because it is a good read. Although it is kind of sad, it has a really good message and I think other people would enjoy it too.