Literary Analysis

The Great Gatsby is a timeless classic written in 1925 by the author F. Scott
Fitzgerald. The book is set in 1922 during the roaring twenties; a time in which many people defied Prohibition, indulged in new styles of dancing and dressing, and rejected many traditional moral standards. Fitzgerald's characters often find themselves yearning for what they have lost ⏤ this includes Jay Gatsby, George Wilson, and Nick Carraway.

The character of Jay Gatsby, Fitzgerald creates the idea of a man who has reinvented himself through hard work and intense focus. Amassing the wealth and position necessary to pursue his love of Daisy⏤ a girl Gatsby met during the Armistice⏤ and to win her back from her current husband Tom. Gatsby was born "James Gatz," the son of poor farmers, in North Dakota. However, he was deeply ambitious and determined to be successful. He changed his name to "Jay Gatsby" and learned the manners of the rich on the yacht of Dan Cody, a wealthy man who he saved from a destructive storm and ended up being employed by.

Daisy fell in love with Gatsby and promised to wait for him. However, she harbors a deep need to be loved, and when a wealthy, powerful young man named Tom Buchanan asked her to marry him, Daisy decided not to wait for Gatsby after all. The night before the wedding Daisy got drunk and refused to marry Tom. "Take 'em down-stairs and give 'em back to whoever they belong to. Tell 'em all Daisy's change' her mine. Say: 'Daisy's change' her mind!' " (The Great Gatsby, 77). Though, Daisy's mother and brides maid cleaned her up and she married him the next day.

George Wilson is a gas station and garage owner living in the 'valley of ashes' between Eggs and New York City. Wilson's wife, Myrtle, is engaged in an affair with Tom Buchanan. After Tom finds out his wife and his mistress "were slipping precipitately from his control" he confronted Gatsby and Daisy in New York. The confrontation left Daisy extremely nervous and she thought that driving would calm her. Whilst driving Daisy hit Myrtle Wilson and killed her on impact.

Wilson's deep anger over his wife's death left him a mess. He found out the owner of the car by harassing many garage owners and the Buchanans' into telling him. While Gatsby used his pool for the first time that summer, Wilson murdered him and then commited suicide with the same gun. Wilson's great need to avenge what he lost lead him on a destructive path.

The novel's narrator, Nick is a young man from Minnesota who, after being educated at Yale and fighting in World War I, goes to New York City to learn the bond business. Honest, tolerant, and inclined to reserve judgment, Nick often serves as a confidant for those with troubling secrets.