Monday, April 6, 2015

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Close your eyes and imagine it is the 1920s. Good. Now picture a huge mansion with loud Jazz music playing, fancy and colorful dresses, expensive and classy suits and lots of drinking. Welcome to the house of Jay Gatsby. He is the owner of the super expensive mansion and lavish party you just pictured. But who is Jay Gatsby? Truth is, many have no idea. He is a mysterious man to everyone around him. Every weekend he throws crazy parties in his  Long Island mansion. People come far and wide, invited or not, to experience a Jay Gatsby party. 

I am about to tell you the crazy story  of the summer of 1922.  It was a summer of romance, friendship, and death. No, I am not going to tell you who dies, but I will tell you about the love stories of Jay Gatsby, Daisy and Tom Buchanan and Myrtle Wilson. 

A little background before I being. 
Nick Carraway lived in the small house next door to the magnificent Gatsby mansion. He lived across the Sound from his rich cousin Daisy and Tom Buchanan, a college friend. He worked in New York City in the bond business and was a "could-be" writer. Nick was one of the few who got a personal invitation from Mr. Gatsby to attend his spectacular party. After they finally encounter at the party, Gatsby and Nick become instant friends. 

Daisy Buchanan was the wife of Tom Buchanan. They lived across the Sound from the Gatsby mansion and their friend Nick. Tom worked in New York City as a businessman. Daisy and Tom had a complicated marriage. Tom would get calls at in the middle of dinner from "work", but Daisy knew there was another woman. In fact, there was and her name was  Myrtle Wilson.

And now to begin the story.
In the summer of 1922, Nick moved to Long Island. He was close with his cousin Daisy and her husband Tom and was neighbors with THE Jay Gatsby. Nick was not rich man; however his neighbors and family were. After receiving a personal invitation to a Gatsby party, Nick began experiencing the life of the wealthy. He attended the party, even though he had never met Mr. Gatsby before. He only heard rumors of what the man was like. Turns out, he recognized Mr. Gatsby from serving in the army together. Nick and Gatsby instantly become friends. After an evening at Daisy's house, and an odd exchange at Gatsby's party, Nick learns that Gatsby and Daisy knew each other. Not only did they know each other, but they were once in love. Though in love with Gatsby, Daisy married Tom after Jay went to war and she never heard from him again. When Gatsby found out that Nick was Daisy's cousin, he asked Nick to reintroduce them. 

Side note: Jay Gatsby has been in love with Daisy since the day they met. Even after he found out she was married, he still loved her. He was "stuck in the past" and hoped to get rid of Tom so that he could have Daisy back. He never truly stopped loving Daisy. 

Truth is, Daisy still loved Jay Gatsby. But as it seemed, she could never be with him because she was a married woman. However, being married never stopped her. Just as there was another woman in Tom's life (however, Daisy never met Myrtle), Jay and Daisy became lovers. 

But just as any secret can be kept, they can also be found out. Soon enough, Tom found out about the secret love of Gatsby and Daisy; and everything went downhill from there.

Open your eyes. The lavish parties are over, the Jazz music has stopped playing, and people stopped showing up to Jay Gatsby's mansion. As the book ends, so does the luxurious lives of Jay Gatsby and friends. 

The story is told as a flashback with the narration by Nick Carraway. Its a story of lost lovers who reunite, the tragic death of the wealthy, the true understanding of a person and the meaning friendship. The Great Gatsby is worth the read. 

I saw the movie before I read the book; I didn't love the movie. It could have been because I didn't fully understand what it was about or simply because it wasn't my kind of movie. However, The Great Gatsby was definitely my kind of book. It gives you insite into the world of the wealthy, tells about magnificent mansions and lavishing parties. It is mysterious and intriguing. As cliche as it sounds, my favorite part was the revealing of all the answers to every possible question you could have had throughout the book. I know what you're think, the revealing. Really?! Yes really. There are so many unanswered questions for the first couple of chapters. As soon as the explanations are given, you get a full appreciation for the book. 

Favorite quote: "Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."

Foreshadow: "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but thats' no matter- tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms father.. And one fine morning- So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past" 

I know it is easier to just go see the movie, however I really recommend reading the well-written, fun, romantic-tragedy and lavishing book. 

Hope you enjoyed Old Sport,