Book Review: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott. Fitzgerald, published in 1925, is a book full of drama, 1920s culture and amazing parties.

Book Review: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

What was it like to live during the 1920s? The country was on fire with the stock market and business was flourishing.

The book begins in the 1920s with the narrator, Nick Carraway, speaking about his childhood in the mid-west with his rich family. He states that they “have been prominent, well-to-do people in this middle western city for three generations.” Heading east to learn about the bond business, he moved into West Egg village in New York City. His home is a modest, small place positioned between two huge mansions, all for eighty meager dollars a month. One of the mansions is an imitation of a posh hotel in Normandy with a marble swimming pool and more than forty acres of land. This palace belongs to Jay Gatsby, Nick’s young, mysterious neighbor.

One evening Nick visited his cousin Daisy for dinner. She is a beautiful woman with a mesmerizing voice, “that the ear follows up and down.” Her husband, Tom Buchanan, Nick knew from his time at New Haven College. Tom is a brute and arrogant man. Also at the dinner is Daisy’s childhood friend, Jordan Baker, a famous golf player whose, “chin is raised a little, as if she were balancing something on it.” Nick is intrigued by Jordan and later forms a relationship with her. Oddly enough, Daisy and Tom’s home is in East Egg, right across the bay from the mysterious Jay Gatsby.

Throughout the book comes drama and excitement. On the side, Tom has a mistress, Myrtle Wilson. This is predictable from the way the author describes Tom. She lives in the valley of ashes where Dr. T.J. Eckleburg’s billboard eyes watch over the city of New York like a hawk.  On the other hand, Daisy and Gatsby were closer than it appears. When Daisy lived in Louisville and Gatsby was a soldier, they fell in love. When he left, they didn’t see each other for years.

It was no coincidence that Jay Gatsby lives across the bay from the Buchanans. He purposely bought a mansion in West Egg across from Daisy. For the longest time, the only thing he had of Daisy was the green light luminating on her dock. When Nick saw Gatsby on his dock reaching into the night he “glanced seaward-and distinguished nothing except a single green light.” This was Gatsby’s constant reminder that what he couldn’t have was so close to him.  Finally, Nick secretly brought Daisy and Gatsby together for tea at Gatsby’s hopeful request.

After multiple secretive visits between Jay and Daisy, Gatsby invites everyone to his home for lunch. Nick, Jordan, Tom, Daisy and Gatsby are all there. Ending very bad, tempers and personalities clash between Tom and Gatsby. This leaves Daisy confused and scared. The next series of events are surprising and horrible. Myrtle Wilson is killed by a drive by. The person was driving a huge, lavish, yellow Rolls Royce. The owner of the vehicle is Jay Gatsby.

The unpredictable ending will leave you paralyzed as it did to me. This book shows you that you can’t always get what you want. Even if you are the richest person in the world, the world will always hold surprises for you. Wrapped up with a good lesson, “The Great Gatsby” will never leave your mind. It will always be there like the green light on the Buchanan’s dock, flashing; signaling something more. As Nick says, “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”