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The Great Gatsby - Book Review

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Book Review

F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby. Reviewed by Michael Collins.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author of The Great Gatsby was an American author born in 1896, in St. Paul Minnesota. Fitzgerald later attended Princeton University in 1913, where "he wrote several scripts for the Princeton Triangle Club's musicals including Fie! Fie! Fi-Fi!" (Merriman, par. 4). He subsequently left Princeton in 1917, and joined the army. While in Alabama in 1918, he met Zelda Sayre, who he later married in 1920, and the two eventually settled in Westport, Connecticut (Merriman). During his lifetime, Fitzgerald wrote several short stories, and four novels. He later died as a result of a heart attack in 1940, at the age of forty-four.

Fitzgerald attained immense success when he wrote the American classic, The Great Gatsby in 1925--a tragic love story centered on the hope of one man, Jay Gatsby, that he will one day rekindle his relationship with Daisy Buchanan. The story takes place in New York's, Long Island area, during the Jazz Age in the 1920s; and tells the a tale of Jay Gatsby, a mysterious man of wealth, "who has spent his whole life longing for something better--money, success, acceptance, and Daisy" ("Homework," sec. The Green Light). The novel is narrated by Nick Carraway, the neighbor of Jay Gatsby, and the cousin of Daisy Buchanan. The novel begins with Nick Carraway reuniting with his cousin, Daisy Buchanan, and her husband Tom Buchanan, both of whom are of the social elite, and "old money". During the reunion, Nick quickly learns that Daisy is unhappy in her marriage with Tom, who is having an affair with Myrtle Wilson, the wife of garage owner George Wilson. Nick is befriended by his next door neighbor, Jay Gatsby, and the two develop a great friendship. Nick learns of Gatsby's prior romantic relationship with Daisy that took place nearly five years earlier when Gatsby was an officer in the army, and the two were in love. Gatsby, unfortunately, had to leave to fight in World War One, and Daisy promised she would wait for his return; however, she dismissed her promise to Gatsby, and married Tom Buchanan from Chicago's "old money".

Five years later, Gatsby, remaining hopeful to be together with Daisy again, attains wealth (through illicit means), and moves to West Egg, across the bay from Daisy, who resides in East Egg with the other social elite from "old money". While there, Gatsby elicits Nick's help with scheduling a reunion between he and Daisy, which is successful, and the two rekindle their love and begin an affair. Tom learns of Daisy's affair with Gatsby and is furious--not because Daisy is having the affair, but because she is having an affair with Gatsby who is outside of their social circle. In the end, Tom's mistress, Myrtle is killed when she is struck by Gatsby's vehicle, driven by Daisy. In-turn, George discovers, through Tom, that the vehicle which killed Myrtle belonged to Gatsby, and believed he was the driver. As a result, George murders Gatsby, then commits suicide. Tom and Daisy quickly



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