English literature essay based on Great Gatsby
The Author of the novel, Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born in St. PaulMinnesota on 24th September 1896. He was brought up by a single parent, his father after his had passed on. He attended a private school, which was a fulfillment of his dream in 1911 before proceeding to Princeton University in 1913. Nick Carraway, one of the major characters in the novel had come to the East just like Jay Gatsby from the Midwest. Although Francis Scott was not good in his academic work, he diverted his focus to writing and while at the university he started drafting portions of his novel, The Romantic Egoist. He left PrincetonUniversity in 1917 to join the military after being discontinued. However, Scott did give up his writing dream. He continued drafting his novel especially during weekend. F. Scott Fitzgerald met Zelda Sayre in Alabama and fell in love with her during a locally organized dance. Since Zelda hailed from a wealthy family and being a daughter to a rich and influential judge, the two were not allowed to get married until F. Scott Fitzgerald could prove that he was capable of supporting Zelda. F. Scott Fitzgerald was discouraged and left the military for New York City where he begun a skimpy advertising job which never helped him save enough money to win Zelda. As a result, Zelda broke the engagement.
F. Scott Fitzgerald led a drunken life being depressed by failure but returned home and launched his novel, The Side of Paradise which was tremendously successful. F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda reunited and got married in 1920; this analogy was similar to Daisy, saving money to marry a woman. The Great Gatsby was released in 1925 after their arrival in Europe. This launch was not as successful as Scott had anticipated, marking career fall that was not easy to be recovered. Zelda was quite instrumental in the Scott’s life having served as his literature advisor before she was diagnosed to have schizophrenia in early 1930s (Fitzgerald, 2001). Due to lack of enough money to sustain the family, Scott moved to their estate in Maryland during stock crash in 1930. Zelda’s health deteriorated leading to her permanent hospitalization. Like many other characters in the novel, Scott indulged in heavy drinking leading to his mental breakdown in 1935.
In The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway was brought up in Midwestern in U.S and studied at YaleUniversity. He was later based in France during the First World War. He returned to his hometown after traveling in various places. He is not happy with a number of issues and decides to rent a dilapidated house in Long Island in the Western Section and works as a bondsman in New York City. Nick’s living standards are not similar to his neighbor’s, Jay Gatsby who is rich and lives in a mansion next door. Nick first hears of Jay when he is visiting a long time friend, Daisy in east Egg section, married to a wealthy man Tom Buchanan. Jay had met Daisy while in the military and was rejected for having been sent in Europe, far away from her and because of his poor living standards. On the other hand, Daisy accepted Tom because of his millionaire status and his stable background which was a direct contrast to Jay’s conditions. Gatsby tried all he could to keep Daisy with the hope that Daisy would consider separation and join hands with him in vain.
key character in the novel, Nick was mandated to mediate the two parties for the purpose of reunion a task which he did with a lot of fear. Daisy gets attracted to the wealthy status of Gatsby. The two find themselves spending a lot of isolated time together leading to suspicion from Tom who had also caused frustration to Daisy by having an affair with Myrtle Wilson, the wife of a gas station owner. Jay cuts off his weekend parties having realized that Daisy was not impressed with them (Fitzgerald, 2001). On the other hand, Daisy becomes emotional and gives room for her emotions to rule his actions. Having been considered as the chief matchmaker, Nick notices danger and decides to distance himself from his friends’ mess by reuniting with Baker, a long time friend to Daisy. However, the mess does not instantly die but boils in the hearts of all those involved pulling a few who were far to be in the mess.
This group of friends gets involved in confrontations but while they are meeting in New York City, bitter emotions and revenge fill the atmosphere allowing Tom to expose Gatsby as a corrupt business person. Because of these high temperatures, Daisy and Jay decide to go back home. However, their drive is never safe. They run over Tom’s mistress who dies on the spot. The two however are not touched by the accident and drive home ignoring everything that had happened. Gatsby gets embarrassed after being exposed before his friends a corrupt person. On the other hand, tom considers this as the best time to reconnect with Daisy after the death of his mistress. Mistakenly, Tom assumes that Gatsby was the one who killed his mistress leading to a game of revenge. Nick finds himself at the center stage of the love affair and decides to ignore people like Jordan Baker, Daisy friend. He is also afraid by the fact that Gatsby continues to pursue Daisy even though he had plainly lost the battle.
It becomes hard for many to understand the truth behind the death of Wilson. Her wife believes that Gatsby was the one responsible for the death of his wife and considers revenge as the best option. Out of the vengeful wind, Tom kills Gatsby by shooting him. He however does not see the need of living again after these emotional events and decides to shoot himself. The attendance of funeral services leaves many with answered questions. However, Carraway and Jay’s father attend Gatsby’s funeral after traveling all the way from their homeland. This attendance affects Nick’s next course of action by completing distancing himself from Jordan. He does understand how Gatsby’s friends boycott his funeral despite the fact that they had attended several of his parties before his fate. He finally decides to move back home after a messy scene full of love, wealth, pettiness and discontent. He’s left with fond memories of Gatsby which becomes the foundation of the Novel.
The relationship between Gatsby and Nick plays a fundamental role in development of themes covered by the author in the novel. The author portrays love in a less romantic way between men and women. Although the events of the novel take a very short period of time, The Great Gatsby symbolizes America in general during the 1920s era. To be specific, the unexpected dream of prosperity and wealth is the main basis of the novel. The author of the book, Fitzgerald focuses on moral degradation in the society characterized by immorality, greed and the passions of pursuing personal dreams and pleasures (Fitzgerald, 2001). The effect Jazz music is seen through weekend parties which are attended by fiends who spearhead unacceptable personal greedy dreams. Although Jazz music manages to bring fiends together, it greatly contributes to their fall and ultimate death. It is notable that Daisy, Tom and friends were drinking late at night when they had a heated confrontation that led to the death Tom, his mistress and Gatsby.
Many young Americans felt disillusioned especially after the end of the First World War. They thought that life was going to offer to sustain their being in vain. However, the rise in stock market enabled people to improve their social status by offering opportunities gaining wealth. Consequently, social class became a major identity factor with the rich undermining those from humble backgrounds. Many laws and amendments of the constitution favored the majority of the rich who were aimed in pursuing personal dreams. For instance, the ban imposed on the sale of alcohol in 1919 was aimed to favor the rich who could afford bottled beer.
The characters in The Great Gatsby are positioned as symbols of various social tends witnessed during early years of American transformation. Nick and Gatsby portray the birth of multicultural life approach which resulted from the war after having fought in the First World War. Most of the friends who attend Gatsby’s weekend parties signify the struggle and scramble for material wealth. Nick notes that the original American dream was based on discovery, pursuit of happiness and individualism. However, as depicted in the novel, the dream was corrupted by a number of factors like easy money and eroded social life style. For example, Gatsby’s dream of marrying Daisy is lost after being hindered by the fact they did not belong to the same social classes despite the fact the fact they were all Americans. He uses every idea at his disposal to ensure that he wins Daisy without considering the acceptability of the means. Crime and drinking take control of his with a sole target of winning Daisy (Fitzgerald, 2001). Nick believes that early people invented America through values and ideals that were based in their mind.
As covered in the book, sociology of wealth defines how people live and handle day to day challenges. The difference between old rich people living in the West Egg and young wealthy Americans from the East Egg section is brought out in the manner in which the two sides view life. This is portrayed in the manner people from the two regions dress and their preference in terms of what to own. Those from the East Egg section believe that the only way of relieving yourself from social struggles and pain is by use of money regardless of the manner in which the money is obtained.
Gatsby dies with his passion of pursuing Daisy as a result of jealousy. The novel depicts behavior a number of factors which affected the lives of Americans after the war. It is clear that what redeems Nick is his faithfulness to his friend Gatsby. Despite the fact that many of Gatsby’s friends do not attend his funeral, he remains faithful and attends the service. Gatsby’s relationship with Nick is quite significant in the novel. He however, he dies with the target of winning Daisy after his dream is shuttered by Tom.
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