This is a quick book summary and analysis of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It should be interesting to see how the summer 2013 movie will be different. This channel discusses and reviews books, novels, and short stories through drawing...poorly.
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This is a story about a man named Nick who is living in America in the 1920s. He moves to New York to become a bond trader and finds that he lives next to a large mansion occupied by a mysterious man named Gatsby.
Gatsby has wild parties every night with lots of women and alcohol and when Nick is invited, he learns that Gatsby had also been in the army. However, no one really knows how Gatsby got rich.
Nick reunites with his cousin, Daisy, a flirtatious young woman who is married to Tom, a rich businessman. However, Tom is having an affair with a mechanic's wife, Myrtle.
Nick meets Daisy's friend, Jordan, a young professional golfer, and they form a romantic relationship. Meanwhile, Nick and Gatsby become friends and Gatsby shares how he inherited his wealth from a yacht owner.
It's also revealed that Gatsby had known Daisy when they were younger and he is still in love with her. In fact, Gatsby secretly watches Daisy from across the lake, as Daisy lives there with Tom and her daughter.
Gatsby and Daisy finally meet and a flood of emotions come back. They admit their love for each other.
To escape the heat, they all drive into town. Tom finds out Daisy wants to leave him and gets upset, telling Daisy and Gatsby to drive back home where they will discuss it. However, Daisy, driving Gatsby's yellow car, runs over Myrtle by accident.
Tom then tells the mechanic that it was Gatsby who ran over Myrtle.
As Gatsby is swimming at home, the mechanic shows up and shoots him. Sadly, no one shows up to Gatsby's funeral and Nick, confused and saddened, sells everything and moves back to the Midwest.
First of all, this story presents a historical snapshot of the 1920s, an interesting time in American history. We get the vividness of the time, with the lights and glamour that saturated the people. Drinking, parties, and sex were to be celebrated, not condemned.
And it should be noted that to express this energy and culture through writing is a difficult task. It's simply not just saying that there were bright lights and cocktails, but emerging a reader in this world with subtle reminders of the culture.
Identity is also an important theme, as characters, as with real people, have complex identities that often involve deceit. People are not who they say they are: Tom and Myrtle having an affair and the ambiguous history of Gatsby, as Gatsby's name isn't even his real name.
And we, as readers, are reminded of this when his father shows up and corrects Nick, saying that his name was "James Gatz."
There are several explanations given to us as to how Gatsby became wealthy. Readers learn early on how he had gained his wealth, but are still left wondering how that wealth had been maintained over the years. Ambiguous phone calls seem to be coming to the house, even after Gatsby's death, which hints at illegal gambling as a source of income for Gatsby.
Nick makes an interesting observation about parties that could be still true today. That while they happen every weekend, there is a certain emptiness experienced at parties. This emptiness derives from how fake and replaceable people are. That if you attend enough parties, they all tend to be the same.
Furthermore, Gatsby wishes he could go back to when he had first met Daisy. And any character that wishes the present were the past, that things were the way they used to be, is doomed.
This is a strong literary device and several of the best stories incorporate in their tragic characters. So be forewarned, living in the past is dangerous.
Through Minute Book Reports, hopefully you can get the plot and a few relevant discussion points in just a couple of minutes.
Music by WingoWinston from newgrounds.com.