The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald
by Jesse Shuter
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald was an extremely well written book with a plot that has many interesting twists and turns. The Great Gatsby is one of America’s most popular books, it is assigned to be read in school all across the United States. The Great Gatsby was also turned into a movie four times (1926; 1949; 1974; and 2013) and was even briefly a television program (2000). The Great Gatsby is a timeless classic, on USA today’s website The Great Gatsby is currently number three on the best seller list, and it has been on the best seller list as one of America’s top ten books for 407 weeks. It is clear that The Great Gatsby will be one of America’s favorite books for a very long time.
In The Great Gatsby the narrator is Nick Carraway. Nick moves from his home in Minnesota to New York to learn about and get a job in the bond business. He moves to West Egg, New York right next door to Jay Gatsby. Nick introduces the reader to Gatsby and the reader meets Gatsby through the eyes of Nick. Nick is also cousins with Daisy Buchanan and her husband Tom Buchanan attended Yale with Nick. Jay Gatsby was an extremely young wealthy man who lives in an extravagent mansion where he throws outrageous, huge parties every saturday night. The interesting thing about Gatsby is that no one seems to know about his past. Through getting to know Gatsby, Nick discovers that born James Gatz on a small farm in North Dakota. He then went to train to be in the army, and while training to be an officer he met Daisy Buchanan, Nick’s cousin. Gatsby fell in love with Daisy and wanted to gain wealth in order to impress her. He became wealthy by participating in the illegal act of bootlegging alcohol. After being in a relationship with Daisy for a while, Gatsby had to leave to be in the army. Meanwhile after Gatsby left Daisy met Tom Buchanan, whom she married and started a life with. Tom is your average arrogant jerk. His is rascist, sexist and even a hypocrite. Tom also has a mistress, her name is Myrtle Wilson. Daisy had a close friend named Jordan Baker who is a professional golfer, she begins a relationship with Nick in the story. In the story Gatsby befriends Nick and then uses him to reunite with Daisy. It is then that they begin an affair. When Tom finds out he is outraged, which is interesting because he is having an affair of his own. Gatsby and Tom start to get in a fight with each other over Daisy. Later in the book Tom discovers that Gatsby kills Myrtle Wilson while driving in his car with Daisy, what he did not know was that Daisy was the one driving the car. Tom immediately tells Myrtle’s husband, George Wilson, and because of this George begins to believe that Gatsby was the one having an affair with Myrtle. George goes mentally unstable because of the anger and kills Gatsby and then himself. Even though all that Jay Gatsby wanted was love, all he got was betrayl and death.
In the book I would say that there are two kinds of conflict. The first is person vs. person. This is because throughout the book there is a tremendous amount of tension and fighting between Tom, Gatsby, and Daisy. Gatsby is even murdered because of this anger and tension. The type of conflict is person vs. self. This is throughout the entire book, especially in Jay Gatsby. Ever since Gatsby met Daisy all he wanted was her apporoval and her addoration. He did things that he did not necessarilly want to do in order to earn her love. He throws all of these parties not because he loves to party, but because he needs this kind of excitement, approval, and even support to replace the emptiness he feels from letting the girl he loves get away. The life of Jay Gatsby is sad and that is why he deserves sympathy. That is also why Jay Gatsby is my favorite character in The Great Gatsby. He is such an interesting character, who is viewed by some as a celebrity, yet all he wants is for the woman he loves but can’t have to love him.
I can relate to Jay Gatsby. I have never done anything illegal to gain money, but the aspect of Gatsby of which I identify with is the aspect where he is willing to do whatever it takes to reach a goal. He is admirable for his perseverance because he always succesful in his endeavors.
I liked the book but I did not love it. I found that throughout most of the book there are rising actions which are boring after a while. I found myself waiting and waiting and waiting for the climax of the book which I personally felt did not appear until late in the book when Tom discovered the relationship between Daisy and Gatsby. By this point the author had left himself very little time for the plor to resolve so I felt that the final big things were rushed at the end of the book. If I could change something in this book it would most likely be that the climax begins closer to the middle of the book, and this way there is more time for the falling actions from after the climax to pace themselves and occur in a way that does not feel quite as rushed. I would not recommend this book. It takes a very high vocabulary to truly understand the plot of this book, and also the book was tedious in many parts.
“‘Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had all the advantages that you’ve had’”. (Page 1, Paragraph 2, Chapter 1, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald). This quote happens almost immediately in the book and yet it is my favorite quote in the whole book. This quote sets the tone for the entire story. It does multiple things at once to help the reader. First of all it introduces the reader to Nick Carraway who will be the narrator throughout the story. Secondly, it explains Nick’s views on life and his back story. Finally, It foreshadows the rest of the book it lets you know that later in the book there is going to be a time where the reader needs to set aside the views and understand that a person may have done their actions for a reason that the reader does not understand because they have never needed this thing. I personally believe that the moment this quote is leading to is the point in the book when we learn that Jay Gatsby illegally shipped and distributed alcohol which is also known as bootlegging. What the reader needs to understand is that Gatsby felt the desperate need for wealth because first of all he was raised in a poor household and he wanted to have a better life than his parents, and second of all, he wasdesperately in love and he wanted to earn the girl he loved’s heart by becoming wealthy.
Vocab (Difficult words throughout the book):
Commensurate- Adj, corresponding in size or degree.
Hauteur- Noun, disdainful pride
Convivial- Adj, friendly or lively (of an atmosphere or event)
Corrugate- Verb, contract or contract into wrinkles or folds
Apathetic- Adj, showing ot feeling no interest, or entusiasm
Privy- Adj, sharing in the knowledge of something secret ot private
Sauntered- Verb, to walk in a slow, relaxed manner
For my creative piece I made a combined commercial for both the movie and book (below)