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“The Great Gatsby”, Scott Fitzgerald


The Great Gatsby is often regarded as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s greatest novel. It offers a damning though insightful view of the American nouveau riche during the early twentieth century. Set during Prohibition in the 1920s, the story takes place on Long Island and New York City.

The novel is widely seen by critics and scholars as an indictment of the American dream. It also serves as a coming-of-age story of an idealist who is exposed to uncomfortable truths about the thin line between truth and illusion and between past and present.

The novel’s main protagonist is a man who makes his own fortune only to find that his wealth cannot grant him the privileges enjoyed by those born into the upper classes.

The novel’s narrator Nick Caraway moves to New York City where he rents a house next to the wealthy Jay Gatsby with whom he quickly forms a close friendship. Nick has a distant cousin Daisy who Gatsby reveals he fell in love with years ago but was too poor to marry.

Daisy is married to a brutish, philandering man named Tom who puts forth no effort into hiding his affairs. But Gatsby plans on using his friendship with Nick to win Daisy back. However, his ambitions unleash a series of tragic events that cost him dearly.

The dominant theme in the novel is the juxtaposition of the corrupting influence of wealth to the purity of a dream. Tom, Daisy, Jordan Baker, Meyer Wolfsheim, and Dan Cody are all examples of people who have been corrupted by wealth. Daisy is depicted as viewing her child as a toy or plaything. She also places no value on human life, which is evident when she hits and kills a woman with her car without getting her the proper medical attention.

Tom is aimless, Cody’s life is in shambles, Baker has no morals, and many of the other characters have other damning flaws. The only person who has not been corrupted by wealth is Gatsby. Everything he has from the mansion, the flashy cars, the extravagant parties, to the gaudy clothes is to fulfill to convince Daisy that he is worthy of her.

Analysis of Characters

Nick Carraway Nick Carraway is the novel’s narrator who serves as the moral judge of all the events that take place around him. Raised in the Midwest, he moves to the East Coast to learn the bond trade business while trying to form an identity and a sense of freedom in New York. He rents …

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Biography of Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (1896-1940) was an American Jazz Age novelist who is routinely ranked among the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota to a businessman and a wholesale grocer, Fitzgerald was sent to a prep school where he excelled in debate and athletics. While still in prep school, …

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Plot Summary

During the summer of 1922, Nick Carraway moves from Minnesota to New York to work as a bond salesman in New York. He rents a house on West Egg, Long Island, a suburb inhabited by “new money.” New money is a term used to refer to those who have made their fortunes too recently to …

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Contributors Bio

Contributor photo Lona Glenn
Los Angeles
Lona graduated from Los Angeles City College. While being a lecturer in several high school institutions Lona founded an online educational project Tutorsclass.Read more
Contributor photo Maria Castle
Davis, CA
I studied education and currently work as a tutor for school-age children. I've worked as a volunteer in many different international social projects and as a camp counselor every summer.Read more

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