Great Gatsby. The writer discusses the story and the plot line, the writer's life and motivation for writing it, what the critics said about the story and the writer's opinion.
When authors write their stories, it is with the hope that someone will find them interesting and want to read them. Every once in awhile, they produce a work that is so well crafted that it becomes an American classic. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald is such a story. It has been studied, read and analyzed in class rooms and lecture halls throughout the world. It is considered one of the all time classics and continues to be used as an example of classic literature. On the surface, the story seems simple enough, but when one peels off the top layer and examines the underlying aspects of the story one will begin to understand how it came to be a classic.
The storyline is classic, in and of itself. Poor boy meets rich girl and spends his life trying to prove he is good enough for her. This story revolves around Gatsby falling in love with Daisy, then joining the service. When he gets back the girl has married another man and had a daughter but Gatsby is determined to lead the type of life that will attract her once again. The book actually begins once he is back and the reader is given the background information through dialogue and narrative.
Gatsby works hard to develop the lifestyle this woman is used to, though he does it through means that are often questionable. He parties with the best of them and turns to socialites to build not only his name but his self-esteem.
In the meantime Daisy discovers her husband is having an affair with the wife of a local mechanic and she becomes angry and distraught. Her answer to it is to lead Gatsby along by having lunch with him and several other encounters which only serve to fuel his obsession with her.
As the story unfolds it becomes evident that Daisy is extremely self absorbed and will stop at nothing to make herself feel loved and desirable. She uses people for her own end with little regard as to how she is affecting their lives and emotions.
In a fit of rage she ends up killing the woman her husband is having the affair with by hitting her with a car. She lets Gatsby take the fall for it because it was his car that she was driving.
The dead woman's husband comes to Gatsby's home and kills him while he is out by the pool because he believes Gatsby killed his wife.
At the funeral it is apparent that he spent his life trying to impress one woman instead of building lifelong friendships. None of the socialites that he was around during life showed up to send him off. Daisy does not step forward, and confess. Instead, she and her husband make up, move far away and begin life as if nothing had happened and that they were not ultimately responsible for one man's death.
Nick, who narrates the story sees the truth about how self absorbed people can be and how sad it was that Gatsby's life turned out the way it did.
The author was a man who played hard and worked hard. He and his wife traveled from Europe to America several times in search of a happy life. Fitzgerald is said to have developed a drinking problem, however, it was not so out of hand that it prevented him from turning out great works of literature.
He also became friends with famed author Ernest Hemingway long before Hemingway became published
. He gave everything he had to help Hemingway find fame, but in the end Hemingway turned on him and denounced him both publicly and privately.
Fitzgerald and his wife spent every penny he made. They threw lavish parties and affairs and lived in the best areas. Because of their spending habits Fitzgerald was sometimes forced to write stories for publications and put his novel works on the back shelf until he had time to write them
. At one point it was reported that Fitzgerald was paid four thousand dollars a story for the Saturday Evening Post publications that he provided
In the study of why he wrote Great Gatsby one only has to study the history of the author's life. Those who knew the author were aware of a love gone bad before Fitzgerald met his wife, Zelda. This girl was someone he was crazy in love with. She was extremely well off financially and he was dirt poor. He loved her with all of his heart and found out the hard way that the two classes do not always mix.
It is said in stories of his life that her father finally told Fitzgerald that he was too poor to mingle with his daughter and he would never be able to marry a girl like her and that he should stick to his own kind. This conversation and the fact that he in the end lost the girl spurred an anger in him that carried over to his writing. He was already well-known for using his life experiences to base his fiction in and after this encounter he wrote several stories about rich girls and poor boys trying to get together to no avail
The Great Gatsby may have been a vision of what the author could see himself doing had he been given the chance to do so. He wrote the story as fiction, but it had in it a rich girl, a rejected poor boy and a rich man that the rich girl ultimately married.
It was a combination of autobiographical material and imagination for the author of the classic work of art. He wrote it to fund his life, as he and his wife had lavish spending habits and his wife went into a mental institution for a year which was not inexpensive
One can only guess at the main theme or point that the author was trying to get across because no one knows for sure but the author himself, however, one can take clues from the story and is life and piece together a viable possibility. It appears that the main theme or point of the book was that living one's life to try and impress or catch another only ends in trouble.
There are several sub-themes including the one that dominated his real life. It was the theme of rich girls who go "slumming" with poor boys end up going home to the rich boys to marry.
Another sub-theme is that true love never dies and one will do anything, anytime, anywhere to save the one true love of his life, but the main theme is that devoting one's life to the love and desires of someone who does not return the feelings is always a mistake.
This is evidenced in the background the reader receives from the narrator, it is shown in the way Daisy treats Gatsby, who keeps coming back for more and most importantly it is shown in the anger and disgust that the narrator begins to develop for Daisy, Gatsby and the entire sick situation as the story continues to unfold.
The narrator makes clear the unhealthy attitudes of the characters involved. He drives home the point that loving Daisy, who only uses Gatsby is a mistake and one that can only end in hurt feelings, or ultimate tragedy, which is exactly what happened.
It is interesting to note that Fitzgerald changed the style of writing that he usually used. He penned the Great Gatsby story in a style that was completely new for him
He had not previously used the narrative form of writing and chose to do so in Great Gatsby
The narrative style of writing is most often used when the author wants to present several different view points. It is done from the voice and thoughts of someone who is either not involved in the story or so under involved that they can effectively stay out of the way and inform the reader of the events that occur. In this case Fitzgerald used a narrative voice of someone who was involved enough to be in many places, and know the characters well, but not so involved that it only came from his standpoint.
He used the voice of Nick because Nick was related to Daisy but admired and hung around with Gatsby. This allowed the reader to look into the life and actions and feelings of both characters without having to actually become those characters which so often happens when third person is used to tell a story.
Another plus for using a narrator in this story was that Nick could fill in background information on what happened with Daisy while Gatsby was gone and before he returned. This was essential for…