Friday, July 22, 2011

Welcome to the 1920's!

"The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald's third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted "gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession," it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.  The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature."  --From the back cover of A Cornell Edition of The Great Gatsby.

Nick Carraway, a young man from Minnesota, moves to New York to start work as a bondsman in the summer of 1922.  While he does not come from money and moves into a modest bungalow in the West Egg, he is neighbors to a huge Gothic mansion owned by none other than the infamous Jay Gatsby.  Gatsby's past is that of gossip and speculation among the West Egg, however, no one ever turns down an invitation to his reoccurring parties every Saturday night.  Nick's cousin Daisy resides in the fashionable East Egg and he becomes acquainted with her husband Tom Buchanan and their friend Jordan Baker, who is also familiar with name Gatsby.  One night Nick sees Gatsby staring across the lake towards East Egg, seemingly transfixed at the green light illuminating from the edge of the dock.  Eventually Nick is invited to a party of Gatsby's and they form somewhat of a close friendship.  Nick soon learns that Gatsby had an ulterior motive for moving in to his mansion and he learns Gatsby's true past.  Before Gatsby served as a lieutenant in the War he dated Daisy Fay, a wealthy, upperclass girl with which he was infatuated.  While he wanted to propose, he could not afford it.  Away at war, he learned of her marriage to Tom Buchanan, a wealthy man who is currently having an open affair.  During those five years his feelings for her never waned and he did business with some unsavory people that allowed him to gain such great wealth.  He then moved across the lake from Daisy, constantly longing to see her and hoping she would somehow show up to one of his lavishing parties.  When they are finally reunited, he professes his love to her and she seems to share the sentiment.  But when a terrible accident takes place at the hands of Daisy, her true nature takes over and Gatsby is left to take the blame, leaving him more alone than ever.

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