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Essay: The Great Gatsby

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  • The Great Gatsby
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Nick is a middle class citizen, who is the narrator of the novel. He is described as a very observant character, who hears the secrets of others. For example, at the beginning of the novel as Nick’s father talked to him, he stated “reverse all judgement”(1). Fitzgerald reveals that Nick holds back judgement and is a good listener towards others opinions. To the reader it elaborates how Nick would be a reliable narrator, about Gatsby’s life. In addition, as Nick was describing his background he states “When I came back from the East last autumn I felt that I wanted the world to be uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever”(2).Nick demonstrates his disappointment of the world and strives to correct the things around him.Since Nick graduated from Yale, he deepens the sense of appearance v.s authenticity to find the truth.Overall, this novel depicts the development of a young man who is heavily influenced by one person.

Jordan is introduced alongside Daisy as Nick watched them arrive.For example, t first Jordan is described as a “slender,small breasted girl,with an erect carriage,which she accentuated by throwing her body…like a young cadet”(11).Fitzgerald illustrates Jordan with a masculine name, revealing that she is an independent women who does not allow other people to control her. Jordan is foil to Daisy, by representing different ideologies.In addition, Nick continues describing Jordan by stating “Her gray sun-strained looked back…with polite reciprocal curiosity”(11).Jordan is presented as a character who questions many things. With a sense of strength and maturity reflecting herself.

Daisy was introduced alongside Jordan at ther small party. For example, as Nick was describing the area around him he states “two young women were buoyed upas though upon an anchored balloon…both in white…as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight”(8). Through Nick’s words, Fitzgerald illustrates ow Daisy is angelic with an appearance of purity an innocence. Since Daisy comes from old money, she is depicted as a goddess from another world, who is above of everyone. In addition, to build up the presence of how Daisy is from another world, Fitzgerald states that she is “charming”contains a “thrilling voice” and is “sad but lovely”(9). Daisy is shown as a character who is captivating and unforgettable when anyone sees her beauty. She also acts as a paradox since even though she is a lovely person, she presents the aspect of depression in a time where females had very little power. Overall, Daisy is a melodic character who receives all of Gatsby’s attention later on.

Tom who is Daisy’s husband attended Yale with Nick in their early days. For example, Nick describes Tom as a “football figure” who achieved “excellence at twenty-one” and is “enormously wealthy”(6).Tom is shown as a character who seeks adrenaline to be satisfied. But since his peak of his life was at twenty-one it left him with a search of power.This is why Tom cheats with Myrtle behind Daisy’s back in order to be satisfied. In addition, Nick continues to say that Tom is “hardmouth”, “aggressively”, “supercilious”, “dominance”, “fractiousness”, “pack of muscle”(7). Through diction, Fitzgerald reveals how Tom wants control over everything being the dominant male. Tom is characterized negatively by Nick, how he is extremely competitive because he has always been guarded by power. Overall, Tom is an abusive person who will impede against Gatsby in order to keep Daisy’s heart.

2. The valley of ashes is introduced at the beginning of chapter two. It is located halfway between West Egg and New York and is described as a negative environment.For example, Fitzgerald explains how the valley of ashes is “grotesque”, “crumbling” location filled with “ash grey men “, “leaden spades”, and “impenetrable cloud”.The valley of ashes is shown as a hopeless spiritual wasteland. This where Myrtle and George Wilson live, and their relation is symbolized by the aspects of the valley. In addition, Fitzgerald continues to elaborate how the “ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke”(23).Fitzgerald reveals how the ashes consume the valley and people’s emotions, to think negatively. It shows how the ashes act as imposters, since they are able to take shape of any object and or being. Overall, the valley of ashes is a place where lives crumble to their death.

3. Wilson is introduced alongside the valley of ashes, as a resident with his wife Myrtle. For instance, Wilson is described as a “piece of waste”,”blond”, “spiritless”, “anemic”, “ghost”, “cement”, “alive”(25).Wilson lives in poverty which makes him blind to his surroundings. Wilson is a foil to Gatsby since Gatsby represents the American Dream on how anyone can become rich and happy. Wilson represents the hopeless of a person who did not achieve the American Dream, and gave up. Also, to elaborate how hopeless Wilson is; in his wedding he used hi friend’s tuxedo and Myrtle was ashamed of his poverty(35). Through this scene Fitzgerald contributes on how Wilson lives in poverty and has completely gave up on the American Dream. Overall, through Wilson Fitzgerald reveals the class of people who gives up on life and is used by the upper class for their own benefits.

4. Even before his wedding with Daisy, Tom has been always unlocalized to her by sleeping with other women, in this case is secret relation with Myrtle. Both of Tom’s relations are exact opposites of each other. For instance, at dinner Daisy repeated the word “hulking”(12) even though Tom stated that he hates that word. Fitzgerald reveals how Daisy contains some power in their relation, making Tom seem less like a strong figure. Since she casually mocks him, when she has a chance. While in the other hand, Tom’s and Myrtle’s reaction is described as “couldn’t keep my eyes off”, “patent leather”, “can’t live forever”(35-36).Their relationship is primarily based on the physical excitement of coidus. In addition, since with Daisy Tom feels less of a man; when he got in an argument with Myrtle he “broke her nose with his opened hand”(37).Tom establishes his dominance of Myrtle’s submission, that he can not complete around Daisy. With Myrtle, Tom reveals the aspect on how the upper class exploits the lower classes for their own benefits. Overall, both relationships are mirrors of each other.

5. Gatsby’s library is introduced in chapter three, when Nick explores Gatsby’s house. As he enters in the library, he meets a man named owl eyes, who explains in an energetic tone that all of the book are “real”(45).Owl eyes recognizes Gatsby’s commitment to the American Dream and his dream to win Daisy. Gatsby has left no detail out, in order to impress Daisy that he is never going back and is all in. Fitzgerald alludes to David Belasco, who was a famous play write, director, and producer who spared no expense in creating elaborate stage sets. As a way Gatsby is shown as Belasco, because Gatsby did not care how much money he wasted on books since his only focus was Daisy’s opinion. Overall, through the library Gatsby demonstrates that his only attention is focused on her.

6. Meyer Wolfsheim is introduce as Gatsby’s business partner. He is described as “A small, flat nosed Jew… I discovered his tiny eyes in the half darkness”(69).Wolfsheim is shown to shade himself from other people’s sights as his personality fits perfectly. In addition, Wolfsheim describes about how him and Gatsby are about “human morals”(72). Through Wolfsheim Gatsby is shown to be connected with shady dealings, in this case having drug stores planted around empty streets. It reveals how they are both mobsters who have gained their earnings through dirty money. Overall Gatsby does not want Daisy to ever find out how he gained his fortune and is a man of innocence.

7. Gatsby met Daisy on 1917 when he was stationed at Louisville Kentucky. Ever since thei first encounter Daisy was fascinated by Gatsby; in such case the day before her wedding with Tom, “she began to cry-she cried and cried”(76). Daisy Reveals how she was unsure of marrying Tom, but was trapped in doing so. But in reality Tom only wanted Daisy for financial security since she was born out of old money with enlisted that she would always be wealthy. Through this, the reader learns that Daisy always had Gatsby in her mind and never forgot about him, ensuring that she did not like Tom at first.

8. Through Jordan, Nick and the reader find details of Tom’s behavior after his honeymoon at Santa Barbara.Jordan reveals how “Tom ran into a wagon on the Ventura road one night, and ripped a front wheel off his car”(77), which made it onto the newspapers. But it s shown that he was with a maid from the Santa Barbara Hotel, who broke her arm in the acident. The reader learns that Tom started cheating on Daisy since the beginning of their marriage and still continues. But the worse thing was that Daisy knew about it, but she did nothing about it since she did not wanted to be seen as the antagonist of the relationship. Causing her to stay with Tom and giving birth to their daughter a few months later.

9. When Daisy enters into Gatsby’s room she is fascinated of everything she sees. For example, when Gatsby takes out his shirts and throws them into the air; Daisy expresses how they are “beautiful shirts” and begins to cry. Daisy cries because all of the unfolded shirts represent freedom,spontaneity, and variety. Since Daisy has always worn white, she has never been introduced to freedom in which she can have for herself. This is also Daisy’s epiphany of Gatsby’s love, in which she realizes that Gatsby has done everything only to win her over. Overall, Daisy was surprised on the wealth Gatsby has received, that she can no longer contain her emotions about materialistic items around his mansion.

10. In chapter six Gatsby talks to Nick about his past, from being a child of two unsuccessful farmers to a rich person and how his real name s Jay Gatsby. In response Nick states about Gatsby that “He was a son of God… and he must be about his father’s business”(98)./ Nick alludes to the Bible because he sees Gatsby as a deity who has powers to create his own world. Gatsby is called “son of God” because he believes that he was destined to become successful instead of being a poor farmer like his parents from North Dakota. Overall, Gatsby has gained his fortune with a religious zeal that can not be tampered with.

11. One of the reasons why Daisy dislikes West Egg is because Tom went with her to Gatsby’s party. For example, Nick stated during the party “Perhaps his presence gave the evening its particular quality of oppressiveness”(104). Tom believed that there was something between her with Gatsby, in which he was not aware of. Later on Nick claims that “it is saddening to look through new eyes at things upon which you could have expended your powers of adjustment”(104). Nick accepted the way West Egg is, but Daisy does not. As a way Nick wanted Daisy to love Gatsby and West Egg since they both represent new money, but since Daisy is materialistic she believes that East Egg alongside with Tom is more superior than the people of West Egg.

12. The word “incarnation” means when a spiritual figure such as a deity or a God becomes into a human being. Fitzgerald metaphorically depicts how Gatsby has become into a human from a spiritual entity. Through Daisy, Gatsby finds a vehicle in which he can achieve his goals. Describing how his only goal is to win Daisy for himself. Through his kiss with Daisy, all of Gatsby’s goals have become true and to him it is only a matter of time until he accomplishes his goals.

13. The kitchen scene indicates that Daisy and Tom are repairing their relationship; after the hit and run incident with Myrtle as she can not stand to see Gatsby at the moment. Tom may have been using the crash as a sign to demonstrate to Daisy that Gatsby would lead to her downfall. Since they have been married for a long time, Tom would usually start everything and Daisy would follow and support him. Overall, their conversation in the kitchen would lead them to completely leave and never speak to Gatsby again.

14. The paragraph that begins with “no telephone messages”(161) illustrates the time that Gatsby has wanted Daisy to call him or give him a sign that she’s still there for him. For example, as times passed on Nick stated “Gatsby himself didn’t believe it would come, and perhaps he no longer cared”(161). This acts as Gatsby’s epiphany that Daisy would never talk to him anymore. Gatsby must begin to forget about her and continue with his life, but Gatsby struggles to do so. In addition, Nick continues to state that “He must have felt that he had lost the old worm world, paid a high price for living too long it’s a single dream”(161). Nick elaborates that since Gatsby only had one thing in mind for an eternity, he does not know what to do anymore. As a way Gatsby did this to himself, since he was narrow minded and did not think about anything else instead of Daisy. Overall, in this paragraph Gatsby never receives a call from Daisy leaving hm to become dead spiritually.

15. When Tom figures about Myrtle’s death he starts to cry. Tom throughout the novel was shown as a egomaniac, but for many years since their relationship has started; she has become part of Tom’s personality. To the audience it is shown that Tom’s tears were genuine, that he maybe did really care about Myrtle. By showing Tom crying, Fitzgerald reveals how Tom did care about the females in his life. Also how he wants the person who killed her to suffer. Lastly, after he stopped crying his casual attitude returned and told Daisy how he can put the blame on Gatsby for she can not get arrested. Overall, through Tom it is shown how the upper class only cares about themselves and makes innocent people suffer.

16. Fitzgerald mentions “the Dutch sailor eyes”(180) to present how the new world was a beautiful piece of land full of opportunities. But, those aspects has been diminished since the ideology of materialism has made people from East Egg to tear apart the land for their personal use. For instance, Nick states at the end of the novel “the fresh, green world”(180). This is an analogy to the American Dream on how during the 1920s immigrants believed that the United States was a place of optimism and possibilities. But then Nick explains how people (especially the upper classes) have taken advantage of a once beautiful land for their personal gain and destroy its purpose related to the land of opportunities. Overall, nick decides to leave back to the Midwest in order to escape from people’s greed.

17. The cover was painted by Francis Cugat, after reading the entire novel and thinking of the best way to depict it. The cove shows an enlarged picture of Daisy’s face showing that she is larger than life; since Tom and Gatsby worship her. In Daisy’s eyes the reader can see two naked women presenting the idea of seeing all of Tom’s affairs. Daisy is also shown with a closed mouth presenting on how she does not speak up for herself and does not want anyone to find out that she killed Myrtle. Along her face a green tear is shown representing on how the American Dream dies alongside with Gatsby. Lastly, at the bottom of her face many circles, and lights are shown to depict the theme of how Gatsby believed that time could be repeated, and how is mansion was depicted as a fair in which any person could be a part of. Overall, the cover presents the main aspects of what the novel is about.

18. Through Nick the reader listens to all the secrets that a character had and mentioned. He is seen as a reliable character since in the novel it was stated that he reserves all of his judgements that he has towards a person. This leads the reader to believe in everything Nick says in a 3rd person perspective. Also, since nick is part of the middle class he contains no ambition towards the upper and owner classes. Furthermore he serves as a good companion in which people in this case Gatsby could talk honestly to. Overall, through Nick the novel is shown to be a truthful story of his time at West Egg until he returns to the Midwest.

19. Daisy is responsible for Myrtle’s death, since she was the person who was driving Gatsby’s car and did not stop when she hit her even though Gatsby told her to. As well, through Daisy’s accident Gatsby takes the blame leading to his death as well. In addition, almost at the end of the novel when Tom figures about Myrtle’s death he places the blame on Gatsby and makes Daisy seen like the innocent being who would do nothing wrong. Also, she betrays Gatsby by leaving him alone against Tom’s and Wilson’s anger. Lastly, even at Gatsby’s funeral Daisy does not show up since she says that she went on a trip with Tom. Overall, Daisy is responsible for two deaths that should have not happened.

20. Daisy was never worthy of Gatsby. For instance, before Gatsby’s death Daisy never messaged back leaving Gatsby hopelessly alone. Even after his death she did not attend the funeral, since she left on a trip with Tom; ensuring that she didn’t really care about Gatsby. In addition by not attending his funeral Daisy’s shows how she is a selfish person that only cares on the power of a person instead of what they re truly made of. Also, she only cared of being financially stable since Tom always had money and Gatsby did not when they first met. Overall, Daisy is not worthy of Gatsby since she only cares about herself, and allows Gatsby to be blamed for Myrtle’s death even though she committed the deed.

21. Gatsby was never romantic with Daisy, but rather he was obsessed with her. For example, Gatsby purposely bought his mansion across the lake from Daisy’s house, in order to be close to her. This is a prime example of why he was obsessed with her because instead of informing her that he got a house in which she could visit, he puts his mansions across of her’s in order to see any of her movements. In addition, Gatsby every night threw parties inviting everyone in order to get Daisy to arrive to one. Gatsby reveals how desperate he was in order to get her attention. Instead of just inviting her to a small party, he purposely threw huge parties to grasp her attention on how rich he has become. Overall, Gatsby was never romantic with her since his only goal was to win her over from Tom.

22. Gatsby is admired in American literature since he is a figure/incarnation of optimism. Gatsby created his lie filled with everything a person could desire, but stayed humble by not necessarily showing off what he had to people he knew. This is why Nick started to admire him because he believed that anything could be possible, and was not discouraged by reality and peoples’ opinion through the 1920s. Overall, since Gatsby is optimistic readers could easily connect and admire him, which leaded this character to become extremely popular in literature.

23. The Great Gatsby is described as a novel about the American Dream because of the main character Jay Gatsby and George Wilson. For example, through Gatsby the reader sees the story of a man born of unsuccessful farmers who through optimism he becomes a millionaire in which he buys his mansion and his yellow car. But his secret was that he received his wealth, through dirty methods but that did not stop him. In the other hand, threw Wilson the reader sees the life of a person who has oven up on the American Dream. He has been engulfed by no motivation and self desire for becoming successful.Overall, through both of these characters, the theme of the American Dream is built upon.

24. The colors shown throughout the novel relate with a specific feeling and or a character. For example, the green light symbolizes the American Dream on how Gatsby becomes rich. In addition, the color white is connected to Daisy on ow she represents beauty and purity at first when she is introduced. The color red is connected with blood presenting the idea of violence and blind rage; in which Tom mostly relates to when he gets into conflicts with Gatsby. The color yellow is yeast again connected to Gatsby but also the upper class by symbolizing materialistic items. Furthermore, the color blue reveals the idea of being lonely , in tranquility, and or being in a fantasy on how Gatsby acted throughout the novel. Lastly, the color grey represents the valley of ashes as being corrupted and dead y the high social classes. This relates to Myrtle’s and Gatsby’s life as they are betrayed by Tom and Daisy eventually leading to their deaths.

25. Daisy does not love Gatsby. Daisy only over the money that he had since, she was materialistic and only thought of what she could receive. In addition, Daisy only cared about her financial security with Tom because when she married him; Gatsby was not wealthy yet. Furthermore, even when she ran over Myrtle she still placed the blame on Gatsby; presenting that she did love him because if he did she would have not allowed that to happen. Overall, Daisy was never in love with Gatsby instead she only thought about her personal gain and security.

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