Muhteşem Gatsby - The Great Gatsby - Francis Scott Fitzgerald

03/15/2010 18:24:41

The Great Gatsby

Muhteşem Gatsby

Nick Carraway, a young man from Minnesota, moves to New York in the summer of 1922 to learn about the bond business. He rents a house in the West Eggdistrictof Long Island, awealthybut unfashionable area populated by the new rich, a group who have made their fortunes toorecentlyto haveestablishedsocial connections and who arepronetogarishdisplays of wealth. Nick's next-door neighbor in West Egg is amysteriousman named Jay Gatsby, who lives in agiganticGothicmansionandthrowsextravagantparties every Saturday night.

Nick is unlike the otherinhabitantsof West Egg—he was educated at Yale and has social connections in East Egg, a fashionable area of Long Island home to the established upper class. Nick drives out to East Egg one evening for dinner with his cousin, Daisy Buchanan, and her husband, Tom, anerstwhileclassmate of Nick's at Yale. Daisy and Tom introduce Nick to Jordan Baker, a beautiful,cynicalyoung woman with whom Nick begins a romantic relationship. Nick also learns a bit about Daisy and Tom's marriage: Jordan tells him that Tom has a lover, Myrtle Wilson, who lives in the valley of ashes, a gray industrialdumpingground between West Egg and New York City. Not long after thisrevelation, Nick travels to New York City with Tom and Myrtle. At avulgar,gaudyparty in the apartment that Tom keeps for the affair, Myrtle begins totauntTom about Daisy, and Tom responds by breaking her nose.

As the summer progresses, Nick eventuallygarneran invitation to one of Gatsby's legendary parties. He encounters Jordan Baker at the party, and they meet Gatsby himself, a surprisingly young man who affects an English accent, has a remarkable smile, and calls everyone "old sport.' Gatsby asks to speak to Jordan alone, and, through Jordan, Nick later learns more about his mysterious neighbor. Gatsby tells Jordan that he knew Daisy in Louisville in 1917 and is deeply in love with her. He spends many nights staring at the green light at the end of herdock, across thebayfrom his mansion. Gatsby's extravagant lifestyle and wild parties are simply an attempt to impress Daisy. Gatsby now wants Nick to arrange a reunion between himself and Daisy, but he is afraid that Daisy will refuse to see him if she knows that he still loves her. Nick invites Daisy to have tea at his house, without telling her that Gatsby will also be there. After aninitiallyawkwardreunion, Gatsby and Daisy reestablish their connection. Their loverekindled, they begin anaffair.

After a short time, Tom grows increasingly suspicious of his wife's relationship with Gatsby. At aluncheonat the Buchanans' house, Gatsby stares at Daisy with suchundisguisedpassion that Tom realizes Gatsby is in love with her. Though Tom is himself involved in anextramaritalaffair, he is deeplyoutrageby the thought that his wife could beunfaithfulto him. He forces the group to drive into New York City, where heconfrontsGatsby in a suite at the Plaza Hotel. Tomassertsthat he and Daisy have a history that Gatsby could never understand, and he announces to his wife that Gatsby is a criminal—his fortune comes frombootleggingalcohol and other illegal activities. Daisy realizes that herallegianceis to Tom, and Tomcontemptuouslysends her back to East Egg with Gatsby, attempting to prove that Gatsby cannot hurt him.

When Nick, Jordan, and Tom drive through thevalleyof ashes, however, they discover that Gatsby's car hasstruckand killed Myrtle, Tom's lover. Theyrushback to Long Island, where Nick learns from Gatsby that Daisy was driving the car when it struck Myrtle, but that Gatsbyintendsto take theblame. The next day, Tom tells Myrtle's husband, George, that Gatsby was the driver of the car. George, who hasleaptto the conclusion that the driver of the car that killed Myrtle must have been her lover, finds Gatsby in the pool at his mansion and shoots him dead. He thenfatallyshoots himself.

Nick stages a small funeral for Gatsby, ends his relationship with Jordan, and moves back to the Midwest to escape thedisgusthe feels for the people surrounding Gatsby's life and for the emptiness and moraldecayof life among the wealthy on the East Coast. Nick reflects that just as Gatsby's dream of Daisy wascorruptedby money and dishonesty, the American dream of happiness and individualism hasdisintegratedinto themerepursuitof wealth. Though Gatsby's power to transform his dreams into reality is what makes him "great,' Nick reflects that the era of dreaming—both Gatsby's dream and the American dream—is over.

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