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The Great Gatsby Novel Analysis

4938 words - 20 pages

The Great Gatsby:
Summary:
Nick Carraway, a young man from Minnesota, moves to New York in the summer of 1922 to learn about the bond business. He rents a house in the West Egg, Long Island, a wealthy area populated by the new rich, people who made their fortunes due to the economic upswing of the Roaring Twenties. Nick’s next-door neighbor in West Egg is a mysterious man named Jay Gatsby, who lives in a huge mansion and throws extravagant parties on the weekends.
Nick is unlike the other inhabitants of West Egg—he was educated at Yale and has social connections in East Egg, a fashionable area of Long Island and the home of the upper class. Nick drives out to East Egg one evening to have ...view middle of the document...

He spends many nights staring at the green light at the end of her dock, across the bay from his mansion. Gatsby’s extravagant lifestyle and wild parties are simply an attempt to impress Daisy. Gatsby now wants Nick to arrange a reunion between himself and Daisy, but he is afraid that Daisy will refuse to see him if she knew that he still loves her. As a favor to Gatsby, Nick invites Daisy to have tea at his house, without telling her that Gatsby will also be there. After an initially awkward reunion, Gatsby and Daisy reestablish their connection. Their love rekindles and they begin an affair.
After a short time, Tom grows increasingly suspicious of his wife’s relationship with Gatsby. At a luncheon at the Buchanans’ house, Gatsby stares at Daisy with such passion that Tom realizes Gatsby is in love with her. Though Tom himself is involved in an extramarital affair, he is extremely outraged by the thought that his wife could be unfaithful to him. He forces the group to drive to New York City, where he confronts Gatsby in a suite at the Plaza Hotel. Tom claims that he and Daisy have a history that Gatsby could never understand, and he announces to his wife that Gatsby is a criminal and tells her that his fortune comes from bootlegging alcohol and other illegal activities. Daisy realizes that her allegiance is to Tom, and Tom contemptuously sends her back to East Egg with Gatsby, attempting to prove that Gatsby cannot hurt him.
When Nick, Jordan, and Tom drive through the valley of ashes, however, they discover that Gatsby’s car has hit and killed Myrtle Wilson, Tom’s lover. They rush back to Long Island, where Nick learns from Gatsby that Daisy was driving the car when it struck Myrtle, but that Gatsby intends to take the blame. The next day, Tom tells Myrtle’s husband, George, that Gatsby was the driver of the car that killed his wife. George, who has come to the conclusion that the driver of the car that killed Myrtle must have been her lover, finds Gatsby in the pool at his mansion and shoots him dead. He then commits suicide.
Nick stages a small funeral for Gatsby, ends his relationship with Jordan, and moves back to the Midwest to escape the disgust he feels for the people surrounding Gatsby’s life and for the emptiness and moral decay of life among the wealthy on the East Coast. Nick reflects that just as Gatsby’s dream of Daisy was corrupted by money and dishonesty, the American dream of happiness and individualism has dismantled into the mere pursuit of wealth. Though Gatsby’s power to transform his dreams into reality is what makes him “great,” Nick reflects that the era of dreaming—both Gatsby’s dream and the American dream—is over.
Characters:
Nick Carraway -  The novel’s narrator, Nick Carraway is a young man from Minnesota who, after being educated at Yale and fighting in World War I, goes to New York City to learn the bond business. Honest, tolerant, and inclined to reserve judgment, Nick often serves as a confidant for those...

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