The Mystery that was Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most famous work of literature is unarguably his great American novel, The Great Gatsby. This is plainly evidenced by its frequent and familiar appearance in the American classroom. The protagonist of the novel is the character
mentioned in the title, Jay Gatsby. Though Gatsby’s mysterious life is the focus of the novel, the reader always has a vague conception of the details that surround Gatsby’s life and history. This causes Gatsby’s character to seem that much more mysterious. Other characters in the novel, major or minor, are described by Fitzgerald much more deliberately and with much greater ...view middle of the document...
Daisy was the rich girl that he fell in love with before he joined the service. But just what it was that made him fall so head over heels for her isn’t so clear. Why would someone with the ambition of Gatsby devote five years of his life in pursuit of a woman as superficial as Daisy? Unfortunately he just didn't have enough money to keep her while he was overseas. When Gatsby got back from the war, she was married to someone else but
that didn't dissuade him in the least. Gatsby's whole efforts in this book are focused on trying to bring him and Daisy back to the point of time before he joined the army except this time he has enough money for her. Gatsby says it himself on [page 111], ‘“Can't repeat the past? Why of course you can!”’ The description of Gatsby’s visual appearance doesn’t come until well after he has been introduced into the story. This serves to allow the reader to form their own image of him, which can be of a slightly older man than Gatsby proves to be later in the story. Information about his past history is important to the story, yet given sporadically by the narrator and often when it could have been useful sooner in the book. This presents Gatsby early in the story as a mystery and sparks the readers curiosity about him. All details about Gatsby, however sketchy, are given through the eyes of Nick Carraway, a character whose opinion of Gatsby changes as the story progresses and therefore the reader’s impression of him is confused even more.
Nick Carraway is the narrator of this story. As you can see on the first page Nick holds himself in higher esteem than the other characters in the novel. Even though Nick is the narrator he should not be completely trusted. On the first page he boasts about how he
doesn't judge people yet throughout the story he does just that. The only person who he envies though is Gatsby. On page 2, Nick says about Gatsby, “He has an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it
is not likely I shall ever find again.” Also, for someone with such high moral values he doesn't handle commitment very well. That's probably a main reason why he left the Mid West and it's part of why he ended up going back. Nick left the Mid West to be a stock broker in New York but didn't get rich, yet everywhere he looks, these amoral people are rolling in the wealth. Nick resents that. He even resents it in Gatsby up until he realizes that Gatsby was moral after all. Gatsby efforts to buy Daisy’s love are forgiven by Nick once Nick understands that Daisy was in fact for sale. Nick is always very frank about the details of his own life believes that his honesty about himself is evidence of his high moral fiber.
Daisy is the woman Gatsby is trying to win back and coincidentally she is also Nick's second cousin. Daisy doesn't have a strong will and she cracks under...