Essay, Research Paper: Great Gatsby Evaluation

Literature: The Great Gatsby

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Throughout the course of any literary work many of the characters go though some
sort of a change. These changes maybe life lessons which are necessary to obtain
in life. These lessons include undergoing a development of responsibility or
morality. In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nick Carraway is a
character that develops a sense of moral responsibility throughout the novel.
This novel opens in the summer of 1922 in West Egg, Long Island. The main
character, Nick Carraway moves to Long Island to begin his career in the bond
business. It is here where his cousin Daisy Buchanan lives with her husband Tom.
Nick also meets his wealthy neighbor when Jay Gatsby invites Nick to a party.
They become good friends and Nick Carraway learns about Jay’s mysterious past
as well as the past between Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan. It is Jay Gatsby’s
corruption of the “American Dream” which leads toward his inevitable
downfall. Nick Carraway, Jay Gatsby, and Daisy Buchanan make up the three main
characters of this novel. Nick Carraway is the narrator of this novel and the
most important character. Nick is a tolerant person and is also not willing to
judge people. His sympathy for other people in particular Jay Gatsby is shown
through this quote, “If personality is an ubroken series of successful
gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened
sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those
intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away”(6). Jay
Gatsby is wealthy and has everything except his “golden girl”. He will do
anything to fulfill his American dream by winning the heart of Daisy Buchanan.
However, it is his controversial career and his controversial past which is
described as, “I found out what your ‘drug stores’ were. He turned to us
and spoke rapidly. He and this Wolfshiem bought up a lot of side-street drug
stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter. That’s one
of his little stunts. I picked him for a bootlegger the first time I saw him and
I wasn’t far wrong.”(141). Daisy Buchanan is the wife of Tom Buchanan and is
having an affair with Jay Gatsby. In this novel she is the “golden girl”
that every mans desires. However, Daisy as well as her husband were careless and
cold hearted people, “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy-they smashed up
things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast
clearness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean
up the mess they had made…”(188). What makes a novel unique is its style of
writing F. Scott Fitzgerald accomplishes this by the use of voice, tone, and
time. Nick Carraway is the narrator of this novel and includes himself in the
plot. Nick confines the reader only to what he can experience and hear. Also,
Nick Carraway produces many moral judgments of the other characters, which he
relays to the reader. This allows opinions to be made by a person in the action.
Equally important to they style of writing, the author uses tone. In order for
the mood to be set the author uses images with color, sound, and detail. Nick
describes the atmosphere of one of Gatsby’s parties as, “The moon had risen
higher, and floating in the Sound was a triangle of silver scales, trembling a
little to the stiff, tinny drip of the banjoes on the lawn.”(51). Furthermore
the time span in which the story unfolds adds to they style of writing. Nick’s
story develops chronologically in the novel’s present from early summer to
October. On the contrary, the reader needs information to understand Gatsby’s
past, which appears in flashbacks. This allows for the integration of Gatsby and
the development of the plot. Consequently the use of voice, tone, and time
enhances the overall theme and impression of the piece. One of the many themes
the author represents throughout the course of the literary work is the
corruption of the American dream. Jay Gatsby is a man who believes that he can
fulfill his romantic desires with his wealth. Referring to the title The Great
Gatsby, Jay is neither great nor is his real name Gatsby. He is a crook and a
bootlegger, who involves himself with the man who fixes the 1919 World Series.
Besides Jay, Daisy and Tom are characters who represent the corruption of the
American dream. They are both indirectly the cause of Gatsby’s death. Morality
is a life lesson, which should be obtained in a person’s lifetime. Without
these morals a person cannot succeed in life. This is shown through the
character Jay Gatsby. However, Nick Carraway does obtain this life lesson and he
benefits from it.
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