The Great Gatsby

Welcome to, home to what is arguably America’s greatest novel.  Penned by F. Scott Fitzgerald and set in the early 1920’s, this extraordinary and treacherous story of high society decadence interwoven with romance has stood the test of time.  This literary classic is often referred to as the “Great American Novel” and is required reading for many high school students in the United States.

Despite being forced on our youth, the story is so alluring that many return to reread the novel or watch one of several film adaptations that have been made later in their lives with renewed appreciation.  The 2013 release of Warner Brothers and director Baz Luhrmann’s rendition starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Tobey Maguire will no doubt rekindle America’s love affair with this story.

The Story:

The setting of The Great Gatsby is Long Island, New York circa 1922.  Nick Carraway, a Yale graduate and first World War veteran with Mid-West roots move to New York to seek a successful career in the bond markets. He rents a Long Island home which happens to border a mansion belonging to Jay Gatsby, a prominent socialite and Oxford educated multi-millionaire. Nick is intrigued by the massive parties that Gatsby throws and soon gets an invite after a chance encounter with his neighbor.

Nick’s cousin Daisy Buchanan lives across the Long Island sound and introduces him to her friend Jordan Baker one night while dining with her husband Tom at their estate. Nick soon learns from Jordan that Tom is cheating on Daisy with a married woman from a nearby town (Myrtle Wilson). Her husband is George Wilson, a mechanic and owner of the town’s gas station. Myrtle is aware of Daisy and her jealousy incites Tom to slap her.

Nick becomes closer with Gatsby after a several meetings. Gatsby confides in Nick that he is interested in Daisy and asks him to set them up on a date. They had previously been couple but were interrupted by the war. During her long wait for Jay’s return, she lost hope and married Tom Buchanan. Upon Gatsby’s return from Europe he began his strategy to get Daisy back by purchasing a mansion across the water from Daisy. They finally meet after nearly 5 years. Jay makes no attempt at humility in showing off his sprawling digs.

All five of them (Nick, Jay, Daisy, Tom, & Jordan) begin to socialize, however awkwardly with the various agendas going on. George Wilson suspects his wife is cheating on him tells Tom but he is unsure with whom. Tom’s suspicions of Jay’s love for Daisy are soon confirmed on a trip to New York city. Daisy is distraught when Jay professes his love for her and Tom forbids her from seeing him.

As she drives Gatsby’s Rolls Royce back from the city she tragically runs over Myrtle. Gatsby decides to cover for her and take the blame. Tom alerts Myrtle’s husband George that Jay Gatsby was driving which sets him off into a rage. He tracks Gatsby down at his property and shoots him dead in his own pool. His suicide proceeds.

At the funeral Nick meets Gatsby’s father who reveals the truth about Jay’s secrets.  He also learns about what Tom did to incite the murder.  The treachery and opulence of his inner ring of family and friends proves to be too much for Nick who decides it would be best to move back to simpler times in the Mid West.

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