The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

Considered the voice of the Roaring 1920’s F. Scott Fitzgerald captures the era—its extravagance, its arrogance, its notoriety, its sordidness.

Nick Carraway, a transplant from Minnesota, rents a cottage in a wealthy community of West Egg in Long Island, New York—it is the less fashionable neighborhood populated by the nouveau riche (newly rich) and looked down upon by its neighboring East Egg—a pretentious area of old money and fancy bloodlines. Nick has recently graduated from Yale University and is studying the bond business. He lives next door to an ostentatious mansion where wild parties begin each Saturday and continue sometimes until the following Monday. The neighbor, Jay Gatsby, is an enigma to Nick. Gatsby is a self-made millionaire who affects an English accent and tells little about his past. He is blindly in love with Daisy Buchanon, a girl he met in Lexington before he shipped off to Europe for the war (World War I). Daisy happens to be Nick’s cousin, and Gatsby convinces Nick to invite Daisy to tea so that Gatsby can rekindle their old relationship.

All he wants is Daisy—the girl who got away. Many nights he sits and watches the green light on the end of her dock across the bay from his mansion. That green light is symbolic to Gatsby and important in the book. Everything Gatsby has achieved, he has done to impress Daisy. The mansion, the parties, the fancy clothes, the automobiles, the wild parties—all are aatemps to be noticed by Daisy.

She, however, comes from an entirely different world. Daisy is the happy-go-lucky old money blue-blooded princess who has never had a worry in her life. She has married Tom Buchanon—a rich man with a mean streak.

The plot thickens when Nick learns that Tom has a mistress and Jay Gatsby and Daisy begin their own affair.

Nothing good can come from this, and events take a disastrous turn. In the end, Nick moves back to the Midwest, disgusted by the corruption and dishonesty of the moneyed class. He feels the American dream is forever soiled—that Gatsby’s dream, like the American dream, can never be attained.

Recommended grades 9-up. Mature themes.Recommened by Pamela Thompson, Librarian

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