Title: The Great Gatsby Publication Date: 1925
Author: F. Scott Fitzergerald Nationality: American
Author's Birth/Death Date: September 24, 1896, December 21, 1940
Distinguishing Traits of Author:
F. Scott Fitzergerald was an American author who wrote novels and short stories whose writings were the epitome of the Jazz Age, a term he invented. His life is parallel to that of Jay Gatsby in the way that both met someone who encouraged them to strive for personal achievement and success. This someone for Fitzgerald was Father Sigourney Fay who he met while attending the Newman School, a Catholic prep school in New Jersey. All of Fitzgerald's novels are set in places where he lived for a while. He rented a house in Great Neck, Long Island with his wife and baby daughter. This would soon be the place where Gatsby would host his famous parties.As a writer during the Flapper Age when the economy was growing, social manners were changing, and confidence was booming, Fitzgerald managed to depict all this in his novels, especially in The Great Gatsby. He is now known as one of the most famous American novelists of the 20th century.
In the beginning of the novel, The Great Gatsby, the story takes place in the early 19th century in West Egg, a part of Long Island, where those who have recently made their fortunes live. Neighboring West Egg is East Egg, where the more conservative upper-class live. Nick Carraway had just arrived to live there from Minnesota and has found his neighboring house to be a extravagant Gothic mansion making his modest house look small comparison. It is at Gatsby's house where weekly parties are held every Saturday night that Carraway realizes the lifestyle of the East Coast can be both fast-paced while being damaging. Unlike his West Egg neighbors, Carraway has social connections to East Egg.From time to time, he visits his second cousin, Daisy Buchanan and her husband Tom who live in East Egg. "A cheerful red-and-white Georgian Colonial mansion, overlooking the bay" with a lawn that "started at the beach and ran toward the front door for a quarter of a mile" (6), the Buchanan's house is grandiose in comparison to Carraway's own small humble house.
Brief Plot Synopsis:
The story begins with Nick Carraway, the narrator, telling the reader how he is tolerant, open-minded, a good listener, and non-judgmental. He is a young man from Minnesota who after going to Yale and fighting in World War I, moves to New York to learn about the bond business. He rents a modest house in West Egg of Long Island, the "less fashionable of the two" (5). West Egg is filled with those who have made their wealth recently while East Egg is filled wight hose who have their fortunes for a while now and have many social connections. When Nick first arrives as West Egg, he notices a humongous Gothic mansion which belongs to Jay Gatsby. Nick is different from the rest of West Egg because he has social connections in East Egg; his cousin Daisy lives there with her husband Tom Buchanan, who was a classmate of Nick's at Yale. One night Nick drives out to their house where he is introduced to Jordan Baker, a competitive golfer. During dinner, Nick finds out that Tom has a lover in New York. One day, Nick and Tom ride the train into the city and get out at a random stop. Tom takes Nick to George Wilson's garage whose wife, Myrtle, is Tom's lover. They all go to New York together to Myrtle's sister's apartment where Myrtle begins to taunt Tom by repeating Daisy's name. Angered and annoyed, Tom breaks her nose. Every Saturday night, Gatsby has a party complete with an orchestra and a bar. One day, Nick receives an invitation to one of Gatsby's famous parties where he runs into Jordan Baker. Throughout this party, Nick hears numerous rumors about Gatsby including one that says Gatsby was a graduate of Oxford and that he once killed a man. On