You must have seen the memes of Leonardo DiCaprio ‘Cheers, Old Sport’. Ever wondered where that came from? Today, we will be taking you on a journey to explore one of the highest-grossing novels: The Great Gatsby. An unattainable love story, it is one of the finest works of F. Scott Fitzgerald. With a blend of drama, love and tragedy, it has everything you need.
About the Author:
An American novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and short-story writer. Influence of Modern Writing guided him towards writing. His first writing appeared in School magazine when he was thirteen. Later, he was encouraged by Father Fey and pursued literary writing. His journey from Princeton to Army to Writing is an interesting one. Convinced that he would die in the war, he wrote his first novel. Thus began his journey.
In order- ‘to write something new – something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned’- he moved to France. It took him a year to write and revise ‘The Great Gatsby’. His novel’s characters like Daisy, Isabelle Borge were inspired from real-life love Ginevra King. However, Zelda, his wife, became her literary inspiration. Unfortunately, his works were not recognized, unlike today. He died believing that he was a failure.
Nick Carraway, narrates his life in West Egg on Long Island. The narration often back and forths between his present and past life. He notices his neighbour who throws lavish parties every Saturday. Across the river, Daisy( his cousin) and her husband Tom Buchanan live in East Egg. Soon, Nick gets romantically involved with Jordan Baker. She tells him about Tom’s affair with Myrtle. Meanwhile, Jay Gatsby( his neighbour) visits him to get acquainted. Jordan reveals to Nick about Gatsby’s secret love for Daisy.
After Gatsby’s request, Nick invites Daisy to his house. Daisy recognizes Gatsby and begins an affair. But Tom soon realizes this affair. He then borrows Gatsby’s yellow car and drives towards town with Nick. In between, he meets Myrtle’s husband. He suspects Myrtle’s secret affair. Tom doesn’t love Myrtle and leaves the place. Myrtle decides to confront Tom on his way back. Reaching the town, Tom confronts Daisy about Gatsby. This leads to a fight in the Plaza Hotel.
However, after a fight, Daisy and Gatsby leave in the yellow car. While Myrtle assumes Daisy is the cause of her problem. She tries to confront her. Unfortunately, Daisy hits Myrtle with Gatsby’s car and Myrtle dies. Myrtle’s husband shoots Gatsby after Tom’s false accusation. In the end, only two people, Nick and Gatsby’s father attend his funeral. Nick ends his relationship with Jordan and moves back to the Midwest.
There have been five movie adaptations of this book. Famous ones are 1974’s starring Robert Redford and 2013’s starring Leonardo DiCaprio. These movies give us a vision of Gatsby and his life. Dialogues are well written and capture our attention. With great performance and stunning sets, we understand scenes very well. It is also very refreshing for readers to look at the novel with new insights and details.
East v/s West
The novel was written in the time of war and the Great depression. Excessive wealth, fame and luxurious lifestyle of Gatsby is a dream. East Egg represents established wealthy society whereas West Egg represents self-made rich. Both locations have different sets of people. The author defines each with similar characteristics.
East Egg represents cold, heartless rich people. They have the dual face of ‘acting good’ and being insensitive. At the end of the novel, we see Daisy and Tom move on with their lives without acknowledging Gatsby. This disgust Nick, who considered Gatsby as Great. Jordan, who is beautiful and classy, is actually inconsiderate and dishonest.
West Egg had people like Gatsby, Nick who believed in human values and emotions. Gatsby was sensitive and caring, unlike Tom, and always helped others. He is hopeful and believes in his love for Daisy. Nick is quiet, open-mind and tolerant. He also supports Daisy and Gatsby as he sees them happy with each other.
The Green Light
Gatsby always watches a green light across the water. He believed that if he acquired wealth, he could get Daisy back. Greenlight hangs at the end of Daisy’s dock. For him, this light represents his love for her. Colour green can also symbolise money. An asset that he believed will help him get Daisy back. Interestingly, in the story, Daisy was described as “the golden girl”.
“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.”
This light also represents the American Dream. A man works hard and achieves enormous wealth. However, Fitzgerald shows the reality of this dream. Despite everything, Gatsby couldn’t win back Daisy and died. A story of how a dream was unfulfilling and an illusion.
Why an American Dream Novel?
This book represents the reality of dreams. “Americans pay a great price for that dream,” Nilsson explores the truth of the dream. Unlike other books, the book remains relatable with its concept. We still are keen to understand the social structure and dynamics. The dose of unrequited love is something we know. It isn’t a usual love story. The act of doing everything right and yet failing to achieve our goals is something we relate to. The betrayal and heartless behaviour of Tom and Daisy, the sorrow of Nick and failure of Gatsby make it a very real yet fictional tale. We recommend you to read the book.