The Great Gatsby
The background of the story
Written by American novelist F.Scott Fitzgerald and first published in 1925, the setting of the Great Gatsby is at both Long Island‟s North Shore and New York City,
during the period immediately after the First World War.
The Great Gatsby was republished in both 1945 and 1953 and increased its already –wide readership. Even to the present day, the Great Gatsby is deemed a literary class and regarded as a peak at American Novel. The modern library named it
ththe best novel of the 20 century. The novel is a distinct reflection of the flourish and damage of the “American dream”. Our leading character in the novel, Gatsby, is the
typical case among those who are longed for realizing the great dream. He hopes to achieve the final success of love and social status based on the material success. His dream is on the base of fantasy, which surely leads to the destruction of it. In some deeper sense, that also means the total evaporation of the “America dream”.
When I first read the title The Great Gatsby, a question comes into my mind: Why is
Gatsby is so great? Is he noble? Filled with this question, I began my exploration of this great man.
Finishing reading this story, I divided it into three parts.
The outline of the story
Part one: the friendship between Nick and Gatsby
The story is narrated in the person of Nick, a neighbor and close friend of Gatsby. In his day, Gatsby enjoys a high level of reputation among rich and poor alike. People always go into raptures at the mere mention of Gatsby, for they consider it a great honor of being a friend of Gatsby. Gatsby holds parties constantly, which is supposed to be a golden chance to get to know social celebrities. Although people pour into the party with such frequency, yet most of them know little about Gatsby.
Gatsby remains a mysterious person to people, thus a series of rumors about how he earns himself great wealth have spread in the town. It is true that Gatsby seems to conceal a mysterious history behind him. Being a neighbor of Gatsby, Nick is also curious about this noble man. One day, he is invited to attend Gatsby‟s party, which he
has dreams of for a long time. He used to think of Gatsby as a person of being difficult to get along with. As is reversed with the fact, Gatsby is friendly and easy-going, which enables him to have a considerable circle of friends. Nick becomes a quite close friend of Gatsby, whereas those rumors about Gatsby‟s past gradually arouse his interest.
Realized Nick‟s doubt, Gatsby unveils the mask of the truth and tells something about him.
His real name isn‟t Mr. Jay Gatsby. His real name is James Gatz. His family was
poor farmers and had never been successful. In his mind, he wanted to be a person completely belonging to the upper class of the society. When he was only seventeen, he invented Jay Gatsby, and this Jay Gatsby was the kind of person that he wanted to be. Gatsby‟s new life began when he saw a huge boat out on Lake Superior. The boat
belonged to a then quite well-known sailor named Dan Cody. Accidentally, Gatsby saved Mr. Cody some trouble by informing him a coming wind. Cody thanked Gatz and offered him a piece of job on the colossal liner. To take the great chance of changing his fate, Gatsby worked diligently and earned himself a good impression in Dan‟s heart.
Being aged and alone, Dan leaves all his money to Gatsby in the hope that Gatsby can lead a happy life.
Part two: the secret between Daisy and Gatsby
Daisy is Nick‟s cousin, but not a close one. She married Tom for a long time, whose family is pretty rich. They have traveled many places, enjoying the masterpiece of the nature. Daisy seems to be a happy woman leading a lavish life which arouses admiration among other women. However, that is just a seemingly phenomenon. Tom has yet another secret woman outside his home. Actually, Daisy has already known about that but pretends to know nothing. Still, Daisy thinks Tom has affection about her.
Tom‟s another woman, Mr. Wilson, who looks like forty years old and rather fat. She and her husband, Mr. Wilson ran a garage. Going out for business, Tom frequently takes Mrs. Wilson along with him secretly. Nick becomes extremely angry about Tom‟s
behavior as long as he thinks Daisy must bear untold suffering in her heart. Part three: the great Gatsby
There is a time when Nick happens to learn that Daisy is Gatsby‟s former girlfriend.
In fact, he is very surprised and joyful about that, for that will be a golden chance for Daisy to get rid of Tom and lead a happy life. To reconnect the two, Nick arranges a tea party between them. The love fire between is lit the moment the see each other. Later, they meet each other secretly. Gradually, Tom realizes the secret bond between Gatsby and Daisy. To make things clear, Tom advises them to have a holiday hoping to find the truth. However, an unexpected quarrel occurred between Tom and Daisy. Being extraordinarily upset by Tom‟s words, Daisy sets out to go home with Gatsby. To erase
the unpleasurable memory from her mind, she drives the car to distract her attention. When the car roars close to Mr. Wilson garage, a woman is standing in the middle of the road. Daisy turns sharply to avoid the crazy woman, but she failed. Gatsby orders her to stop the car, but she continues to drive the car, in the hope that nobody has noticed that. As this is going on, Tom and Nick chase after the car. When they attempt to drive at fantastic speed, they are blocked by a crowd of people near the garage. Tom gets off to see what has happened, but the scene is beyond his belief. Mr. Wilson is lying in a big pile of blood with parts of her body‟s frame have been twisted. Someone
whispers that it is a yellow car commits the terrible crime. Tom thinks it must be Gatsby does this. When Nick gets home, Gatsby tells the truth to him that Daisy bumps into a woman without stopping the car. The next following days, Nick doesn‟t meet
Gatsby anymore. One day, he hears two gunshots from Gatsby‟s house and he deduces
that something terrible must have occurred. What comes into his sight is Gatsby‟
floating body in the water, and Mr. Wilson „body is also found in the grassland nearby.
Nick deduces that it must be Tom who tells Mr. Wilson that Gatsby is the owner of the yellow car. When he darts to Tom‟s house, he is informed that Tom and Daisy have
already left the town. Later, Nick arranges a funeral for Gatsby and he goes to invite people who were then Gatsby‟s regular visitors. However, all of them declined the
invitation. The humble ends along with the end of the story.
The analysis of the characters
Gatsby dreams of marrying Daisy and leading a life with her to the end of his life. However, what he fails to realize is that Daisy is no longer the girl he met five years ago. He is obsessed with the love between them, which even touches us a lot. However, he is wrong with his lover. Actually, he doesn‟t realize that when we move towards our
dreams, they move further and further away from us. We move forward like boats sailing against the wind and waves, but all the time we are carried back into our past. I think Gatsby is played by his destiny. He applies himself assiduously to the task of being rich and famous, whereas he achieves nothing in the end. He makes unrelenting efforts to pursue his dreams but pays the highest price-his life. Although Gatsby fails in the end, yet I think he is still great as the title indicates. He makes fortune flatly by his bear hands.
Why is Gatsby so great? First, I want to mention his persistence in pursing his dreams. When people admire his fame and fortune, they fail to notice the difficulties he has ever suffered. At that time in America, people coming from lower class are under severe contempt. Therefore, Gatsby lives under the pressure not only from the arduous physical work but even from mental suffering. Being determined and persisted, he eventually makes a name for himself and becomes the kind of people longs for. Unlike some of us, he is never afraid of the block stones towards the path of life. Second, his ever-lasting love for Daisy makes him a great man. Five years is not a short time, during which many things have happened. So deeply does he love Daisy that he even tolerates her deeds beyond principles.
After reading the story, I also feel the ugliness of human nature. Gatsby shows and hospitality to everyone coming to attend his party, but these vicious fellows even don‟t
attend his funeral. On top of that, they are constantly complaining about how shameful to know Gatsby. They definitely don‟t know what the word gratitude means. This
reminds me some of the people in our daily life. With the rapid development if our society, the competitions between people are becoming more fierce than ever before. The human nature is not as pure as it was. Some people may betray their friends for fame and fortune. Faced with benefits, human nature is easier to get rust or corrode.
As an old saying goes “A friend in need is a friend indeed”, it is difficult to make
friends, but finding a close friend proves to be particularly hard. I think a true friend should always accompany you however you are rich or poor. College is a miniature society, at which live all manner of people. Thus, making a true friend must be very hard.
I feel extremely luckily for meeting a truth friend here. She is the principal of our dormitory, who shows kindness to everyone around her. She exerts a tremendous influence on me not only by bringing about pleasure to my life, but also pointing a right way to my future. I remembered that on one occasion when everyone was busy the Tem-4, which is very important to our English majors, but I got a severe cold. She took me to hospital and accompanied me for three days. Time then was very precious. I asked her to take the time and go to study, but she insisted on helping me. Several tears
tracked down my cheek, and I felt genuinely touched by her. We smiled together and sometimes even quarreled with each other. I show my real aspect to her and never feel any restriction along with her.
As for my part, friendship needs time. Perhaps people can make a friend in a moment, but the true friendship is like a tree, moving slowly from the seed in the ground to the sheltering splendor of its prime. People need time to deepen their friendship, to appreciate one another‟s differences, to share one another‟s joys and grief.
Sometimes we complain about our friends‟ weakness and disadvantages, but it‟s
foolish to expect perfection. Actually, there isn‟t perfection in this world. It is very to
find a people in common with you. I think the other people are a mirror to us. We can acquire our advantages and disadvantages from their reflection.
Another invaluable character I learn from Gatsby is his faith in pursuing his life goals. We can‟t stir the direction of our life, as many unexpected factors block our path towards success. In tackling this kind of situation, nothing is more helpful than our faith. In this much-developed world, we are faced with more and more stress, ranging from house price and job security to marriage affairs and education tuition. Not wanting to be excluded from the arena of the life, we must make an unrelenting effort to realize our dreams and take hold of the direction of our destiny. In stead of being the slave of the life, we should attempt to be the master of life!