Summary of The Great Gatsby
While The Great Gatsby is a highly specific portrait of American society during the Roaring Twenties, its story is also one that has been told hundreds of times, and is perhaps as old as America itself: a man claws his way from rags to riches, only to find that his wealth cannot afford him the privileges enjoyed by those born into the upper class. The central character is Jay Gatsby, a wealthy New Yorker of indeterminate occupation. Gatsby is primarily known for the lavish parties he throws each weekend at his ostentatious Gothic mansion in West Egg. He is suspected of being involved in illegal bootlegging and other underworld activities.
Several of Gatsby’s key players regard automobiles as signs of brilliance and power. Nick marvels at the shiny Rolls Royce that conveys guests to Gatsby’s opulent Saturday night parties. Wilson covets Tom’s car because it would give him the opportunity to expand his business and improve his social position. Speeding over the Queensborough Bridge in Gatsby’s vehicle, Nick feels like an explorer setting eyes on New York for the first time. Again and again, automobiles give Fitzgerald’s characters a sense of excitement and possibility. But Fitzgerald repeatedly shows that these awe-inspiring cars are dangerous, misleading, and destructive. Soon after his wedding, Tom endangers his life by getting into a heavily publicized car accident. (By noting that there is a young female hotel employee in the passenger seat, Fitzgerald suggests that the accident also endangers Tom’s marriage.) Leaving Gatsby’s party, a drunken buffoon crashes his car and loses a wheel: The man’s status symbol exposes him as a weak fool. Though beautiful, Gatsby’s leather seats heat up and burn him toward the end of the novel. A speeding car is responsible for Myrtle’s death, and Jordan Baker describes her ruined love affair in terms of physical injuries and “bad drivers.” The exhilarating joy ride that takes Nick and Gatsby over the Queensborough Bridge ends when a police officer points out that the men are out of control. Fancy cars lead people astray in almost every chapter. Like the automobile, many other symbols of American prowess prove deceptive in The Great Gatsby. Gatsby’s parties—celebrated in the papers as pageants of American wealth, style, and genius—turn out to be primitive bacchanals where the guests ignore their host, inebriated men gorge themselves on two dinners, and husbands bicker senselessly with their wives. The scientific report that Tom, the Yale graduate and supposed member of America’s intellectual vanguard, brandishes in front of Nick, Daisy, and Jordan turns out to be a barbarous, fictional screed against the global population of non-whites. Nick’s move from the Midwest to New York—supposedly an act of bravery and forward thinking—ends in bitterness and disillusionment, not to mention a decision to return to the heartland. Gatsby’s self-made wealth comes from racketeering and other shadowy criminal activities. Each emblem of progress and American ingenuity becomes tarnished in this dark novel.
The fact that Nick transformed throughout the novel made me like this skilful piece of art that was logically and artistically developed. The flow of sequence of events will always keep one at the edge of the seat trying to unravel what is the next chapter. Concerning Nick transformation he initially seen as a man who hold high level of morals such integrity, honesty, trustworthy to mention but a few. However, when he tried fitting to his new friends’ lifestyle, for instance Tom and Jordan he losses his moral. For instance he accepted Jordan dishonesty “it made no difference to me. Dishonesty in a woman is a thing you never blame deeply-I was casually sorry, and then I forgot” (Fitzgerald, 125). The deeper Nick is drawn closely relating to his friends the less honest he turns out to be. At the end he is rebuked by Jordan for being just as dishonest and careless as the rest of group.Its is worth noting that Nick perception towards people has changed because he encounter individual who engage in adultery, hypocrisy, lying although he tried to fit with them but later sought to distance himself, this is depicted by this statement, “He [Gatsby] was clutching at some last hope and I couldn’t bare to shake him free.” (Fitzgerald, 195). This is probably an indication of Nick being tired of and ready to give up on friends who are not morally upright in the society.
In the end, a lot of people decided to immigrate here in pursuit of this dream. Many of them were disappointed when it ended in failure although they worked hard. The American dream was simply out of their reach like with Mary Antin’s father. Therefore, the American Dream has a negative impact on our society because of its false promises that cannot be achieved by the overwhelming majority. So until you can guarantee equal opportunity, limited house work, and no home conflict the American dream will cease to exist.
Fitzgerald, Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribners, 1925. Print