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Steven Jeremia Lumaksana


English Language Education – B

The Great Gatsby

Author: Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald

Country: United States

Published: April 10, 1925 (Charles Scribner’s Son)

Genre: Fiction-History

Characters: Jay Gatsby, Nick Carraway, Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan, Jordan
Baker, Myrtle Wilson
Background Information

The Great Gatsby is one of the popular classic in modern American fiction
that was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925. This novel became popular since
1945. This novel tells us about a mystery, story of love struggle and change of
social life in America. The story is conveyed using the point of view of the
character named Nick Carraway that tells the story of Jay Gatsby’s life and the
other wealthy characters.

This story portrays the life in American after the First World War in 1920s.
Many people had sacrificed in the war including the young people. They lost
everything and made them involved in disappointment, skepticism, hedonism and
experienced different cultures. The change of life in the era 1920s grew their
aspiration and optimism sides their sufferings of loss to be free. That idea is
expressed in terms of American Dream. This American Dream triggered many
immigrants moved to America to be prosperous. They believed in this American
Dream that would set them free of suppression in politic and economic.

The decade in 1920s is reffered to Jazz Age. The Jazz Age is portrayed as a
golden twenties that shows the increasing of wealth in societies’ life. It portrays
their life that seemed to have much money, party among the rich people and the
lost of loyalty in love. The explosion of economic in this era changed everything.
Wealth as if made them blind because of the circumstance in get rich quickly.
Everything that was developed had changed fast 1929. The collapse of stock
market in 1929 made them drowned into big sufferings that was started in 1930.
They needed to suffer from poor because of loss of wealth. They started to learn to
discipline theirselves and considered American Dream as a myth.

Nick Carraway, is a young Yale graduate who moves from the Midwest of
the United States to a fictional village called West Egg on Long Island, New York.
His aim is to become a bond salesman after served in the army in WWI. He then
works as a bond broker in Manhattan. He rents a small and cheap house from his
cousin, Daisy, next to a huge mansion owned by a man named Mr. Gatsby. He
grew up in a wealthy family. He is what is considered "old rich," and feels he is
superior to those who have recently earned great fortunes, the "new rich." In East
Egg, the next town over, wherever “old rich” individuals live, Nick reconnects
with his cousin Daisy Buchanan, her husband Tom, and meets their friend
Jordan Baker.

Tom and Daisy invited Nick for dinner. Nick meets Jordan Baker there,
a professional athlete who is friends with Daisy. While everyone seems to
be enjoying their evening Tom gets a personal call. Jordan tells Nick that the
person on the phone is Tom's different girl. Daisy is additionally aware that
Tom is cheating on her, and Jordan tells Nick that almost everyone knows
about Tom's affair. After the dinner breaks up, Nick arrives home, he sees
Gatsby for the first time, gazing across the water to a green light at the end of
a dock. He intends to travel introduce himself however decides against it
thinking that Gatsby would like to be alone. So he simply watches him for a
second or two however the minute he takes his eyes off of him, Gatsby

One day, Nick is invited to accompany Tom, a blatant adulterer, to meet

his mistress, Myrtle Wilson, a middle-class woman whose husband runs a modest
garage and gas station in the valley of ashes, a desolate and run-down section of
town that marks the convergence of the city and the suburbs. After the group
meets and journeys into the city, Myrtle phones friends to come over and they all
spend the afternoon drinking at Myrtle and Tom's apartment. The afternoon is
filled with drunken behavior and towards the end of the evening Tom and Myrtle
get in a fight about Daisy and he strikes her, breaking her nose.
One summer evening Nick goes to Gatsby's house for the first time. He is
invited by Gatsby's chauffeur and it ends up being a very large and crowded party.
He knows no one at first, but sees Jordan and stays with her for the most of the
evening. While moving through the party Nick finally meets Gatsby, although he
wasn't aware of it at first. They make small talk and find out that they had seen
one another during the war. As the party winds down, Gatsby takes Jordan aside
to speak privately.Later in the evening Gatsby asks to speak to Jordan. When she
is finished Nick is there and she tells him that Gatsby has told her something
amazing that she can't talk about right now. But she asks Nick to look her up

One day, Tom and Daisy come to one of Gatsby’s parties. Daisy is
disgusted by the ostentatiously vulgar display of wealth, and Tom immediately
sees that Gatsby’s money most likely comes from crime. They learn that Gatsby
was born into a poor farming family as James Gatz. He has always been extremely
ambitious, creating the Jay Gatsby persona as a way of transforming himself into
a successful self-made man - the ideal of the American Dream.

Nick, Gatsby, Daisy, Tom, and Jordan get together for lunch. At this lunch,
Daisy and Gatsby are planning to tell Tom that she is leaving him. Gatsby
suddenly feels uncomfortable doing this in Tom’s house, and Daisy suggests going
to Manhattan instead. In Manhattan, the five of them get a suite at the Plaza Hotel
where many secrets come out. Gatsby reveals that Daisy is in love with him. Tom
in turn reveals that Gatsby is a bootlegger, and is probably engaged in other
criminal activities as well. Gatsby demands that Daisy renounce Tom entirely, and
say that she has never loved him. Daisy can’t bring herself to say this because it
isn’t true, crushing Gatsby’s dream and obsession. It’s clear that their relationship
is over and that Daisy has chosen to stay with Tom.

That evening, Daisy and Gatsby drive home in his car, with Daisy behind
the wheel. When they drive by the Wilson gas station, Myrtle runs out to the car
because she thinks it’s Tom driving by. Daisy hits and kills her, driving off without
stopping. Nick, Jordan, and Tom investigate the accident. Tom tells George
Wilson that the car that struck Myrtle belongs to Gatsby, and George decides that
Gatsby must also be Myrtle’s lover.

That night, Gatsby decides to require the blame for the accident. He is still
anticipating flower to vary her mind and are available back to him, however she
and Tom take a powder following day. Nick breaks up with Jordan as a result of
she is totally unconcerned concerning Myrtle’s death. Gatsby tells Nick some
more of his story. As an official within the army, he met and fell in love with
Daisy, but after a month had to ship out to fight in WWI. Two years later, before
he could get home, she married Tom. Gatsby has been enthusiastic about
obtaining flower back since he shipped dead set fight 5 years earlier.

The next day, Gatsby is killed by George Wilsom, then George killed
himself. The police left the Buchanans and Myrtle’s affair out of the report on the
murder-suicide. Nick tries to seek out folks to come back to Gatsby’s ceremony,
but everyone who pretended to be Gatsby’s friend and came to his parties now
refuses to come. Even Gatsby’s partner Wolfshiem doesn’t need to travel to the
ceremony. Wolfshiem explains that he first gave Gatsby employment once WWI
which they need been partners in several illegitimate activities along. Gatsby’s
father comes to the funeral from Minnesota. He shows Nick a improvement
arrange that Gatsby had written for himself as a boy. Disappointed by his time,
Nick decides to return home in the Midwest.


Outline the story, this novel is simply tells how Gatsby tries to get Daisy’s
love back. Other than that, this novel illustrates how people make their money,
what they can and can’t buy with it, and how their ambition of wealth shapes the
decisions they made, the paths they follow and the unique sociality between
societies in America. This novel is also explains at the time when the term of
“new rich” in the event at 1920s changed the the term “old rich”. The same rich
meaning but in the different context. Which is the “new rich” is the term used for
the societies who are get rich in 1920s and involved in the adjustment of moral
life, such as the loyalty in a relationship with couples.

More explanation about the "old rich" and "new rich" within the different
area symbolically showing the class rivalry that the towns literally oppose each
other. Gatsby's mansion portrays the "new rich" class, with the party in his house
which displays of wealth. The "old rich" class considers this as tacky, proof of
their superiority to "new rich”. Another point of view of this difference is from
Tom's hobby that is horseback riding that identify him as a member of the "old
rich" class which is only of the rich who had great country estates. Conversely, the
"new rich" wouldn't ride horses.

The other thing that are shown here such as a speakeasy. It was a liquor
establishment where alcoholic beverages were sold and consumed illegaly during
the prohibition (the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution) in 1920s. Then,
mass production of cars was being introduced in 1920s. This was making cars
more affordable for the average family. By the 1920s cars were the most popular
and effective mode of transportation. Roads that were originally planned for
horse-back traveling at first were being worn down by the using of cars. Women
get their freedom rights. They demanded to vote and to work outside.

The most striking thing of the theme in The Great Gatsby is that the
vulnerability. Many of the characters, for all their wealth and outward self-
confidence, are in fact vulnerable and well aware of that fact. Besides, everyone
seems matter significantly about social class matters significantly. It seems from
people who wants to get ahead. This attitude can be seen towards Gatsby.
Everyone see Gatsby as one who has made it.


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