“One of the best novels to have come out of America”
The novel written is no doubt very expressive and high in imagination. You can’t help but start seeing the story in the space as if you’re not reading anymore but witnessing the story yourself. I think that’s the magic of The Great Gatsby not just as a novel but a character as well 😍
I’ve read around and heard from a few people that they find Gatsby difficult to understand. I think that’s because even the smallest things are described with a deep imagination and great details and you’ll find this throughout the novel. The way Fitzgerald had described Jordan Baker’s first (subtle) reaction when she and Nick Carraway (the narrator of the story) meet to the ticket master on the train station and even eyes of Dr T J Eckleburg 👀 (which are mentioned often in the story) are simply tremendous.
The author’s imagination and the narrator’s habit (or maybe a personality threat) of keen observation force you to imagine the same things as well. Although it might be difficult at a time, that’s the way of the author to show (and not tell) the story.
Oh well, I forgot to ask you first did you know the story of James Gatz or Jay Gatsby as we remember him? If not I’ll summarize it for you here. Before that let me tell you though Jay Gatsby is one of the centre characters of the novel (the high-class American society obsessed with status and wealth being the other) we see the story from Nick Carraway’s eyes who’s just moved to West Egg village and is Jay Gatsby’s neighbour.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Book Summary
The story starts with Nick Carraway a bond-trader at Wall Street moves into a small house in West Egg. Since his first day in West Egg, he has been witnessing the flood of the crowd in classy dresses visit his neighbour’s house to party every week. Later at night, Nick sees his neighbour Mr Gatsby standing at the dock nearby his house and extends his hand to touch the green light coming from the big mansion recited on East Egg across The Long Sound.
Nick Carraway and Upstate Life of High-class Society
Nick Carraway visits his second cousin Daisy and her husband Tom Buchanan a famous polo player at their home or a lavish mansion in East Egg where he meets Jorden Baker a sportswoman and Daisy’s friend. The way the author has described or Nick sees everything about Daisy is truly impressional. Her charming laugh, her first reaction when her eyes landed on Nick as if she wouldn’t want anyone to meet in the world, anyone other than Nick. Her voice was the rare musical notes that the ears will want to follow to grasp everything in a fear that the notes will never repeat again. Her beautiful face, her innocent eyes that will make you believe of her pure and lovely soul. This would make anyone fall in love with Daisy.
However, Tom Buchanan had a different opinion at the time as he was sighted with another woman so many times. During the dinner, Miss Baker told Nick that Tom has found a mistress and the poor Daisy’s reaction when Tom received a call from a certain woman during their dinner told Nick that she knew about the affair too.
Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway in the movie The Great Gatsby
Nick travels with Tom in his car to New York on Tom’s not so humble request ‘I want you to meet my girl.’ And that’s when we first read about Dr T J Eckleburg’s giant eyes during their journey to George Wilson‘s garage. George is a mechanic working hard in his small garage and always trying to please his wife who is only happier with money. Poor George is clueless and doesn’t know that his wife Myrtle frequently visits Tom Buchanan and not her sister Catherine as she keeps saying.
That night in town at Tom’s small apartment full with big furniture, fake people and a month old puppy Nick saw and experienced the substantial difference of the people constantly arguing over something in the apartment and the lives walking on the streets in dark night and wondering about the secrets behind the yellow windows. According to Nick, this vast variety of life both repelled and enchanted him. He also learned that night that George was desperate to do business with tom Buchanan so he could get some money and make his wife happy. On the other hand, Myrtle was ready to leave her husband who now wasn’t fit to lick her shoe!
‘I’m Gatsby’: Nick Finally Meets his Mysterious Neighbour
A few days after Nick’s moved in, he receives an invitation to the party by none other than Mr Gatsby and he went to attend one of Mr Gatsby‘s famous Friday summer parties where the gardens were filled with men and girls, the champaign and the stars.
During the party, Nick learns that very few of the guests were actually invited by Mr Gatsby and he was one of them. Others came on their own just to dance, enjoy, and party. The party and the guests both mesmerized Nick as for one no one knew why Mr Gatsby throws such big parties every Friday and second no one knew a thing about Gatsby but everyone talked like they knew him for years.
To Nick’s relief, he found a familiar face in a sea of weird strangers: Jordan Baker who along with some other people gave him a company and did not hesitate to enlighten Nick about his new and mysterious neighbour Jay Gatsby feeding him with rumours like, he killed a man once. No no, he’s not that bad according to one of the guests, Gatsby was a German spy during the war.”
“You look at him sometimes when he thinks nobody’s looking at him. I bet he killed a man.”
This thrilled Nick way too much and the thought never left his mind until he met Mr Gatsby himself. Yes, he did meet Jay Gatsby at the party as Gatsby briefly recognised him from one of the divisions during the war. However, Nick didn’t and asked the man about the host of the party. And Gatsby in his very famous style replied,
“I’m Gatsby. I thought you knew, old sport. I’m afraid I’m not a very good host.”
Jay Gatsby and Daisy Finally Reunite after 5 Years
Nick Carraway spends more time with Gatsby attending his yet another summer party and going out on lunch with him. During the time, Gatsby himself tells him about his family and where all his wealth came from. Although Nick has a hard time believing him. And to add to his confusion and annoyance, Jordan Baker informs him more about Gatsby. She remembers him as a soldier wandering around New York City with Daisy in her white car. Nick as Jordan told him learns that Gatsby and Daisy were in love with each other once or so it seemed. And that was the reason Nick thought Gatsby bought a house right across the bay so he could be close to Daisy.
Upon Gatsby’s request through Jordan Nick invites Daisy over a tea one afternoon. And the emotions and the nervous state of Gatsby was enough to convince readers how much he still wanted to be with Daisy. On their first meet, Gatsby takes Daisy to his house to show her around. And she, of course, is ecstatic watching the spacious rooms, precious art and artefacts. She even cries in ecstasy claiming she never saw such beautiful shirts when Jay Gatsby throws his linen shirts one by one at her.
Later Daisy and Jay Gatsby start meeting almost every afternoon, which leaves Nick a bit on the side and also makes Tom Buchanan nervous about Daisy’s little rendezvous. The situation becomes tense when Daisy and Gatsby decide something, which Nick has no idea about. He gets a bad feeling when he and Gatsby visit Daisy and Tom Buchanan one afternoon where Daisy kisses Gatsby on lips and says that she loves him still after Tom leaves the room. Everyone decides to go to town aka New York City.
During their stay in town, Gatsby and Tom have an argument when Gatsby informs that Daisy wants to leave him and she never loved Tom but she’s been in love with Gatsby for the past five years. Daisy being asked cries and claims that she did love Gatsby but she loved tom too. Tom hurt and angry by the circumstances reveal that Gatsby gained all his wealth by doing illegal business with Mr Wolfeishm like drug dealing and he didn’t go to Oxford as he claims to be.
The Great Gatsby: Reality Kills the Illusion
During the trip back from town a woman is hit by Gatsby’s car and die right on the spot in an accident, a woman none other than Myrtle Wilson Tom Buchanan’s mistress. The eye witness later confirms that it was a yellow car and Tom recognises it to be Gatsby’s car. His hate towards Gatsby increases even more and he upon threatened by George Wilson Myrtle’s husband informs that Gatsby killed Myrtle not knowing the truth that Daisy was, in fact, driving the car and not Jay Gatsby. And take his wife’s revenge Wilson shoot Gatsby right at his heart at his house and later shoot himself too.
After hearing the dreadful news Nick is heartbroken and devastated at Daisy and Tom. He gets furious at Tom for feeding lies to George Wilson and at Daisy for hiding the truth. What broke Nick’s heart (and mine too) was nobody comes to Gatsby’s funeral, not one guest from his so many parties, neither any of his friends or business acquaintances including Mayer Wolfieshm who claimed that he made Gatsby. Not even the girl who confessed in front of her husband that she loved Gatsby, a girl for and because of whom Gatsby was lying under the ground forever.
Noone came but Nick Carraway, an owl-eyed man who Nick once met at one of Gatsby’s parties, and Henry Gatz, Jay Gatsby or James Gatz‘s father whom a 17-year-old boy abandoned once and left his family and his name behind to make his chase his dreams, to make his identity and to end the distance between illusion and reality.
So that was a book summary (or more than a summary) of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Though no doubt The Great Gatsby is taken as a tragic love story, it shows the post-war American society built simply on wealth and status and had a serious lack of morals. Also, I would like to comment here that Nick Carraway seems to be an unreliable narrator as he is a little biased towards Gatsby without knowing anything about him or his past. We also see the story moving forward through Nick’s experiences and his opinions about the situations and people he’s been with.
Biased or not I really love The Great Gatsby and I can’t get it out of my head even after days of finishing the story and that’s why I decided to take it out here😉
So how did you like the blog post? Have you read The Great Gatsby or seen the movie? Do you like to read and talk about the books you love (just like me 😇)? I would like to know. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. Until the next blog post, have a nice week ahead!