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"The Great Gatsby" Essay

1495 words - 6 pages

F .Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" is a story of a group of "friends" who live on two separate islands in Long Island, New York. The main characters are, Nick Carraway who is also the narrator, Jay Gatsby, Tom Buchanan, Daisy Buchanan, Jordan Baker, and Myrtle Wilson. The story takes place in the 1920's in Long Island, New York as well as New York City. It is said to be "an exclusive literary group of fictional masterworks forming the American literary collection, which define... the American myth of identity and experience." It is also said by Professor Daniel S .Burt that this is a novel that is based on a "series of lies." The Great Gatsby is both a great American piece of literature and a series of detailed lies. The American experience is about the "American Dream." Which is how you are perceived by your peers, therefore you can achieve the American experience while stringing together a group of lies. F Scott Fitzgerald does this while telling a story of a group of people whose live were so involved with one another that it put them all against each other driving them to do some very outrageous things.Jay Gatsby or James Gatz as he used to be known is a prime example of someone in the novel who is "living the American dream" although he is living a lie. On page 69 he says to Nick "I am the son of some wealthy people in the mid-west-all dead now.....educated at Oxford because all of my ancestors have been educated there. It is a family tradition." Although when Gatsby was asked later by Nick on page 70 where in the mid-west he was from Gatsby replied "San Francisco." This is one instance in the novel where Gatsby, who was originally named James Gatz, had changed his name to give the illusion the he was not an immigrant and that his families' roots were American. Also he told Nick that he had inherited his money from his family who were in reality farmers in Minnesota. Gatsby actually left his parents in Minnesota when he was a teenager, he them met Dan Cody who let Gatsby be his apprentice. When Dan Cody died he left 25,000 dollars to Gatsby who had been taught high class American culture from Cody. Therefore when he arrived to West Egg he had all of the tools to fit in with the people there as well as in East Egg. He got very close with Nick Carraway and used him to regain touch with Daisy and try to get her to fall for him.Myrtle Wilson is married to George Wilson who is a mechanic just out of New York City. She is also Tom Buchanan's mistress on the side, whenever she and Tom go out she gets herself all dressed up and acts like she is a high class lady when is reality she is married to a mechanic. This is evident on page 35 when her, Tom and Nick are out at a party in New York City and somebody compliments the dress she is wearing. She replies by saying, "It is just a crazy old thing... I just slip it on sometimes when I don't care what I look like." This gives the impression that she can afford many different nice expensive outfits...

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