The Great Gatsby
The story unfolds when Nick, a poor worker, accidentally stumbles into the life of lavish millionaire Gatsby. Nick’s distant cousin, Daisy, was the young Gatsby’s sweetheart. Now she is married to someone else. Gatsby life is decadent. Nick discovers Gatsby is still in love with Daisy. Gatsby spends money recklessly to impress her and rekindles their affair. It is an immoral and deceitful liaison, taking place behind Gatsby’s glamorous veneer. Later, Gatsby realizes the relationship cannot simply reset to the way it was. The story ends with a string of tragedies, someone is run over by a car, and the young Gatsby is found dead in his private pool.
Author : Francis Scott Fitzgerald
Francis Scott Fitzgerald was one of the most outstanding writers of the twentieth century. A representative of the Lost Generation, he chronicled the “Jazz Age, ” indeed, he was the period’s poet laureate, popularizing the term in his works. His career encompasses over one hundred novels and short stories, including This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and the Damned, and Tender Is the Night. His best-known work is The Great Gatsby. It has received widespread acclaim, ranking among the “Top 100” in lists compiled by The Guardian, the BBC, and Time magazine, cementing Fitzgerald’s preeminent status in modern American literature.
Overview | Chapter 1
Hi, welcome to Bookey. Today we will unlock F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby. The book tells the story of the millionaire Jay Gatsby’s tragic attempts to rekindle a lost romance.
In 1998, the U.S. Publisher Modern Library invited several critics to nominate the top 100 English novels of the century. The Great Gatsby came in second after James Joyce’s Ulysses. The American poet and critic T. S. Eliot called it “the first step that American fiction has taken since Henry James,” while the renowned director and choreographer Tony Tanner crowned it “the supreme American novel.” The novel is a staple in the U.S. middle school curriculum and beloved across the country.
However, when it was first published, this seminal work of literature met with a lukewarm reception. At the time, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s earlier novels, This Side of Paradise and The Beautiful and the Damned, had already won him acclaim as a writer. Compared to those two works, The Great Gatsby was a commercial failure, selling fewer than 20,000 copies. It wasn’t until decades later, after the Second World War, that the novel started to gain popularity. It would later become a best seller, continuing to sell millions of copies through the twenty-first century.
The Great Gatsby describes American society during the 1920s. After the First World War, the US economy was booming. Evidence of lavish entertainment and celebration could be seen everywhere. And many people indulged their hedonistic, decadent lifestyles, straying from traditional moral and ethical constraints. Fitzgerald christened this era the “Jazz Age.” His writing presents an objective view of the pleasure-seeking conditions he witnessed. That’s why he became known as the chronicler and poet laureate of the period.
The novel identifies and defines the vibrant spirit of the Jazz Age. The book contrasts the luxury of the living conditions with the tragic story of a failed love. Going far beyond the romance itself, The novel delves into the inevitable destruction caused by the relentless pursuit of the “American dream.” In this bookey, we will introduce The Great Gatsby in three parts:
Part One summarizes the main plot and introduces the tragic and elusive Gatsby;
In Part Two, we analyze the character of Gatsby, and why he is described as “great”;
Finally, Part three talks about the historical background of the novel and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s life experiences. These help us understand the back-story of the book’s conception.