The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

The book that I read was the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was published in 1925 by Charles Scribner’s and sons. In its first year The Great Gatsby was not on the best seller list or in the New York Times. It received mixed reviews and sold poorly. In the first year of its publishing only 20,000 copies were sold. In 1940 Fitzgerald died. Feeling that his work was a failure and would go on to be forgotten. It would later be brought back to America’s attention during World War II, and soon became a part of the high school curriculum throughout decades. The Great Gatsby is now considered to be an American classic, and is now ranked one of the greatest pieces of literature in American History. 

The book The Great Gatsby is a love story filled with party’s and affairs. It follows some of the most wealthy type of people in the 1920’s. It was Fitzgerald’siration from the party’s that he had attended in long island. The book takes place in the fictional  town of West Egg and is narrated by Nick Carraway who is the cousin of another major character Daisy Buchanan. Along with Daisy’s friend that Nick is fond of Jordan Baker. A championship golf player. Nick is a veteran of the war and decides to take up the bond business and move away from his home to be in New York. Nick is not apart of the wealthier West Egg he lives “In the less fashionable part” as he puts it. His neighbor however is the handsome and rich Jay Gatsby who befriends Nick to reunite with his great love Daisy. Daisy however is married to Tom Buchanan. A millionaire brute of a man who was a acquainted with Nick in college and is cheating on Daisy  with a woman in New York Myrtle Wilson who is the wife of a struggling mechanic and owner of his own garage George B. Wilson. During this summer of 1922 Nick receives and invitation from Gatsby to attend one of his parties. After Nick had become acquainted with Jay Gatsby, Gatsby asks nick to invite daisy over to his house for tea. When Daisy arrives it is discovered that her and Gatsby have history together and were once in love. They began to have an affair, and over time Tom the husband of Daisy becomes increasingly suspicious of her whereabouts and relationship with this “Gatsby”. This leads to a series of events and chaos that impacts the lives of all of the characters drastically, but Daisy. She selfish and glib moves on with no regrets. 

My favorite character in the book is Nick Carraway. Nick Carraway is incredibly selfless and does not even touch being superficial. He helps others and follows what he believes is best. Even at times you may see moments of doubt he very seldomly feels that what he has contributed he should regret ever. While going through the book I saw much growth in Nick and him being the sort of wall flower of the group while still in the mix of this rich superficial society. It became clear to me that Nick was the only rational person between Gatsby and Daisy. I say this because Tom is trying to releive his suspicions while Gatsby is blinded by love and Jordan is the long time friend of Daisy who would never betray the wishes of one of her comrades. Nick being poor made him more humble and empathetic to the situations of others. Which was why he was such a joy to be around for these rich people. When everything had unfolded and was said and done he realized that the only thing he could do to benefit himself was leave, and so he did. 

What people should take away from this book is many things. The Great Gatsby is complex and has many ideas using symbolism. What I think people should take away is whatever they find. The book has an amazing take on materialism and love. How people appreciate one another and what others mean to them. They should take away the idea that people should not consume who you are and your takes on life no matter what your feelings are for them. You should be true to yourself and if someone comes into your life and uses you to accommodate those needs and tries to take who you are away from you do not let them. Another reason why Nick Carraway is my favorite character is because I can relate to some of his experiences throughout the book. Even though Nick proceeds to have connections and relations with all of the people that he is around he is still a wall flower in many ways. He lives in different conditions that in some ways allow him to be the most observant character in the book. Aside from being the narrator you get a sense of how Nick feels misplaced sometimes in these rich higher class environments. I can relate with that because I find myself in the position of a wall flower apart of the action many times. Watching the actions and reactions of others and how they interact. A lot of times I can see these things because I have different experiences than they have. I used to be the only person of color in my old group of friends, and while I enjoyed being around them there were many times that I had felt uncomfortable because of certain customs and normalities that I partake in my everyday life that they do not. 

I loved The Great Gatsby for many reasons. The writing is absolutely gorgeous and gives you amazing visuals of where you are and how people are acting you legitimately feel as if you are in 1922 with these characters and high class people. I also enjoyed the story and plot of it. So many things are so far below the surface that one has to think and ponder much of what is going on. The issues and conflicts that come up are not those of normal people but non the less they are interesting. I would recommend this book to someone who enjoys love stories and appreciates literature and creative writing very much. Also to people who would be interested in the times of the 1920’s. This book having been written in that time frame gives you a vivid perspective of what is was like back then, how the people thought, dressed, interacted with one another. Whether interaction took place at parties or a golf game or a small dinner how these wealthy privileged people used their time.

For the creative portion of my project I had decided to create a portrait of The Great Gatsby cover. With the night sky and at the bottom the lights of Gatsby’s parties. The face in the sky I decided to interpret as that of Daisy’s, and instead of having her hover over the night sky I decided to have it look like her face had ripped the sky apart with her face to represent Gatsby’s desperation to find Daisy. 
Photo on 6-6-13 at 10.08 PM
Photo on 6-6-13 at 10.08 PM