Tuesday, September 21, 2010

THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Nick Carraway grew up in the Midwestern United States and went to school at Yale University. After this, he was stationed in France during World War I. Returning home after travelling a great deal, he is discontent and decides to move to the East at the beginning of the Summer of 1922, renting a ramshackle house in Long Island's West Egg section. He begins working in nearby New York City as a bondsman and it is here that his story begins.

Jay Gatsby is a wealthy neighbor living next door in a lavish mansion where he holds many extravagant weekend parties. His name is mentioned while Nick is visiting a relative, Daisy, living in the East Egg section on the other side of Long Island with her millionaire husband, Tom Buchanan. As it turns out, Jay Gatsby had met Daisy five years before while in the military and was rejected by her due to his lack of wealth and because he had been sent so far away in Europe for the war. Daisy was attracted by Tom's riches and his distinguished family background and married him. Meanwhile Gatsby spent all of his effort after the war to buy his mansion through shady business dealings in order to be nearer to Daisy in the hope that she would leave Tom for him. Nick is chosen to be the "matchmaker" and arranges a reunion for the two at his home. Daisy is impressed by Gatsby's wealth and the two begin spending much time together, raising the suspicions of Tom who had also upset Daisy by carrying on an affair with a gas station owner's wife, Myrtle Wilson. Jay no longer holds his weekend parties since Daisy hadn't liked them and he allows her desires to control his actions. Nick distances himself from this mess by becoming close to Jordan Baker, a long time friend of Daisy.

While in a New York City hotel room one evening late in the summer with Jordan, Nick, Daisy, Tom, and Gatsby, there is a massive confrontation during which Tom exposes Gatsby's corrupt business dealings. Jay and Daisy leave to drive back to Long Island together with her driving Gatsby's car "to calm her down" until she accidentally hits and kills Tom's mistress running out in front of the gas station after her own jealous husband had locked her inside. The car doesn't stop after the accident and speeds on towards Long Island. Gatsby's charm has faded with his exposed corruption while Tom refocuses on Daisy since his mistress has been killed, assuming Gatsby to have been the car's driver. Nick is disgusted by this entire mess of love affairs and even ignores Jordan, worried about Gatsby since he continues to yearn for Daisy even though it is clear that he has failed. While Nick goes off to work in New York City the next day, the dead woman's vengeful husband, assuming Gatsby to have been driving his car that night and told that it had been Gatsby's car by a vengeful Tom Buchanan, shoots Gatsby to death in his own swimming pool and then kills himself.
Gatsby's funeral has few in attendance aside from Carraway and Jay's father who has come all the way from the Midwest where Jay grew up. Disgusted that so few had come, including Tom and Daisy who had abruptly moved away, and the hundreds who had attended Gatsby's parties, Nick distances himself from Jordan for good. Finally, tired of this gross scene of wealth and pettiness , he moves back home to the Midwest. His fond memories of the East remain only of Gatsby, and it is for him that this story is told.  *Plot Summary taken from BookRags.com*

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