The Great Gatsby refers to one of the narrator's neighbours. Gatsby lives in the most expensive villa on West Egg and regularly organises huge parties. The parties make Nick believe he is a great man, therefore: the great Gatsby.
Francis Scott Fitzgerald was born in 1896 in St. Paul, Minnesota. He died in Hollywood in 1940. As the son of a small landowner in the South and a rich Irish mother, he studied at the prestigious Princeton University. He was called up for military service in 1917 and stayed in a training camp for two years. In this period he outlines his first novel and meets his future wife, Zelda.
Supported by the success of his novels Francis lead a very extravagant and wasteful life. Together with his wife he threw himself into a life of parties and drinking. The Great Gatsby is considered to be Francis' masterpiece and gives an accurate insight into the world of pleasure and enjoyment in which the Fitzgeralds lived. After the publication of The Great Gatsby the life of the Fitzgeralds deteriorated. His wife had several nervous breakdowns and died in a sanatorium in 1948 and Francis developed a drinking problem. Other works by the author:
This Side of Paradise (1920, novel), Tales of the Jazz Age (1922, collection of novels), The Beautiful and the Damned (1922, novel), Tender is the night (1934, novel)
The narrator, Nick Carraway is about thirty and belongs to a wealthy family from the American Middle West. He works on the New York stock exchange, after deciding to move East and learn about stocks and bonds. He lives nearby on the peninsula of West Egg where he rents a house. One of the neighbouring houses is immensely large and owned by a very rich man who calls himself Gatsby, his real name being Jay Gatz.
One day Nick has dinner with the Buchanans. During the dinner it becomes clear the marriage isn't a happy one. A friend of Daisy's, Jordan Baker, talks about Tom's mistress in New York. When Nick and Tom join each other to go to New York by train, Nick is almost forced off the train at a small station. He decides to follow Tom and witnesses his infidelity with Myrtle. Around midnight Tom and Myrtle start quarrelling about Daisy and get into a fight. During the fight Tom breaks Myrtle's nose.
All throught the summer Nick hears noise and music in his neighbour's garden, caused by numerous parties, visited by hundreds of people, very few of whom are actually invited by Gatsby or even known to him. One night Nick is one of the guests. He can't find his host and feels ill at ease with the other guests, but luckily he runs into Jordan Baker, with whom he keeps company for the rest of the evening. After midnight Nick talks to a stranger, who turns out to be Gatsby. Nick and Jordan start a sort of love affair after a while. The relationship isn't very successful and doesn't last too long.
One morning Gatsby takes Nick to New York in his car. In New York they meet Mr Wolfshiem, a business acquaintance of Gatsby. From Jordan, Nick hears that Gatsby and Daisy had been in love some years ago. When Gatsby stayed overseas too long, Daisy decided to marry Tom. Gatsby bought the house to be as close to Daisy as possible and asks Nick to invite them both over to tea. Nick agrees.
When Daisy expresses her discontent over the parties at Gatsby's house, they soon cease. The staff is replaced with people nobody knows to cover for Daisy's frequent presence at the house. One afternoon Nick, Jordan and Gatsby are invited to tea at the Buchanans. The atmosphere is tense and they decide to go to New York. Tom takes Nick and Jordan and Daisy joins Gatsby. During the trip to New York, Tom confesses he knows about the love- affair between Gatsby and Daisy. When they arrive at Wilson's Garage, Wilson announces that they're moving West. Wilson suspects his wife Myrtle is having an affair, which she is having with Tom.
In New York Tom becomes quarrelsome, accusing Gatsby of earning his money by selling illegal alcohol. Daisy loses her faith in Gatsby and Tom wants Gatsby to drive her home. On the way they run over Myrtle Wilson, who escaped from her husband and expected Tom to be in the yellow car, as he was earlier in the day. They decide to drive on after the accident. When Tom and Nick arrive at Wilson's Garage they learn about the accident caused by a yellow car. They both know it's Gatsby's car.
To Nick, Gatsby reveals that Daisy was driving the car when it hit Myrtle. Nick advises Gatsby to leave New York, but Gatsby wants to remain close to Daisy. The next day Gatsby is found dead in his swimming pool, the body of Wilson, who apparently committed suicide, is lying nearby.Tom had told him that the yellow car that killed his wife belonged to Gatsby, and he came to avenge her death.
Nick arranges Gatsby's funeral and goes to great lengths to find the addresses of all his friends and acquaintances. Only Gatsby's father and one friend appear at the funeral. He is sad, but proud of his son's accomplishments. Daisy has been reconciled with Tom and apparently had no plans to give up her safe life.
The story is set at the beginning of the 20th century, mainly in the 1920's. The story is set in the New York of the 1920's, mainly on the West Coast and East Egg peninsula. It's the roaring twenties after the war, during which the economy and the people's confidence is very strong.
Nick is the main character in the book and functions as the narrator of the story. He is a young and friendly gentleman, who moved to the West Egg in New York to learn about the bond business. He starts a relationship with Jordan Baker, but it doesn't work out very well. He becomes friendly with Gatsby.
Jay changes his last name to Gatsby and is a very rich Nobody knows the where his capital comes from. Tom accuses Gatsby of earning his money with the illegal selling of alcohol. He was a soldier in the First World War and is deeply in love with Daisy Buchanan. Daisy married Tom, while Gatsby was fighting in the First World War. Gatsby has a great number of acquaintences, but few real friends.
Tom and Daisy Buchanan:
Daisy had a short relationship with Gatsby, but married Tom when she had to wait too long for Gatsby's return from Europe. Her marriage isn't very happy and Tom is having an affair with Myrtle Wilson. She starts a relationship with Gatsby, thereby being unfaithful to Tom.
Myrtle Wilson and her husband:
Myrtle is Tom's mistress. When her husband becomes suspicious of her and wants to move West, she tries to run to Tom. She is run over by Daisy and dies instantly (Daisy doesn't know who she is). Wilson avenges her death by killing Gatsby, assuming he was driving the car that killed Myrtle.
Nick has a short relationship with her, but it doesn't work out.
The confrontation between the values of the undeveloped, unsophisticated West and the developed and corrupt East. Gatsby is the tragic hero in the confrontation. He is unable to distinguish between dream and reality, assuming he can win the only girl he's ever loved with his wealth. He doesn't realize that dreams and reality are very different and his naïvité causes his death.
Andere boeken van deze auteur:
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