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The Great Gatsby Research Report

1372 words - 5 pages

I. Introduction

In 1896 F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota. After growing up in Minnesota he moved to start a career and marry Zelda, the girl he loved. He published his first novel, This Side of Paradise, in 1920; the novel was a success and Fitzgerald quickly became one of the most famous young writers of the time. “F. Scott Fitzgerald eagerly embraced his newly minted celebrity status and embarked on an extravagant lifestyle that earned him a reputation as a playboy and hindered his reputation as a serious literary writer”(F. Scott Fitzgerald Biography 2). The parties thrown by Jay in The Great Gatsby reflect Fitzgerald’s extravagant lifestyle. Excessive amounts of drinking, large crowds, parties lasting long into the night all took place at one point during Fitzgerald’s life. “F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda, were guilty of many things. They were impetuous, they were known to drink too much, and they were prone to bouts of serious depression and self-destructive behavior”(F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Age of Excess).Tom Buchanan and his wife replicate the relationship Fitzgerald had with his wife, and with other women.

II. Characters
Nick Carraway moved from the Midwest to New York to become a bond salesman. Nick lives next to Gatsby in a small, worn bungalow. Nick is more reserved than the other characters in the novel, and states that he has only been drunk twice in his life.
Daisy Buchanan is Nick’s second cousin once removed. She shyly introduces herself when meeting people and has a cheerful attitude. Daisy married Tom Buchanan and they live together in the East Egg.
Tom Buchanan is a rough, serious man. He played polo and became wealthy enough to buy a mansion in New York. Tom occasionally visits his girlfriend, Myrtle, who lives with her husband in the Valley of Ashes.
Myrtle is an arrogant, plump woman that secretly visits with Tom without letting her husband George know.
George Wilson owns a car repair shop in the Valley of Ashes. He is friends with Tom Buchanan and obliviously allows his wife to see Tom when they go into New York City.
Jay Gatsby lives across the bay from the Buchanan’s on the West Egg. Many stories surround his life and past, and the stories are all elaborate and unbelievable. Gatsby is an ambitious but lonely man, living alone in his large mansion.
Jordan Baker is a friend of Gatsby and the Buchanan’s. She golfs professionally and acts much more seriously than her friend Daisy.
III. Themes
The American Dream plays a large role in how characters in The Great Gatsby go about their lives. During the 1920’s, the promise of a wealthy and carefree life in America tempted everyone. Very few actually lived the American Dream, but those living on the West and East Eggs were some of them. “The American dream comes true for just 1%: for the other 99%, only discontent and bitterness await, resentment on a mass...

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