Life, Like The Great Gatsby Essay, Research Paper
Life, like The great GatsbyImagine that you live in the nineteen twenties, and that you are a very wealthy manthat lives by himself in a manchine, on a lake and who throws parties every weekend. Thisis just the beginning of how to explain the way Jay Gatsby lived his life. This novel, by F. Scott, Fitzgerald is one that is very deep in thought. Fitzgerald releases little clues alongthe way of the novel that will be crusual to understand the ending. For instance, hemakes the blue coupe a very important clue, as well as the Dr. T. J. Eckleburg eyes on thebillboard that Mr. Wilson (the gas station attendant ) refers to as the eyes of god. Thereare also other little things that relate to the reason of gatsby s death. The maincharacter s of this novel each have their part to do with the ending, Nick Caraway isprobably the main character of this novel, as he comes down from New Jersey to newYork to visit his cousin Daisy, who is married to Tom Buchannan. These are some of theincidents that are included in the novel as you will read further I will relate some issues ofthe novel, as well as other critics have included their views on The Great Gatsby. F. Scott, Fitsgerald was an American short story writer and novelist famous forhis depictions of the Jazz Age(the 1920 s), his most brilliant novel work being The GreatGatsby(1925). He was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on sept. 24, 1896 and died inHollywood, California on December 21, 1940. His private life, with his wife, Zelda, inboth America and France, became almost as celebrated as his novels. Fitsgerald was theonly son of an aristocrat father, who was the author of the star spangle banner. Fitzgeraldspent most of time with his wife, latter in their relationship they moved to france where hebegan to write his most brilliant novel, The Great Gatsby. All of his divided nature is inthis novel, the native midwestener afir with the possibilities of every Americans dream in OLSON 2it s hero, Jay Gatsby, and the compassionate princeton gentlemen in it s narrator, NickCarraway. The Great Gatsby is the most profoundly American novel of it s time(Houghton). Fitzgerald had an intensely romantic imagination, what he once called aheightened sensitivity to the promises of life, and he rushed into experience determined torealize those promises. Latter on in Fitzgeralds life, he started to drink very heavily andbecame very unhappy. In 1930 his wife had a mental breakdown and in 1932 another,from which she never recovered. With it s failure and his despair over Zelda, Fitzgeraldwas close to becoming an incurable alcoholic. He surpassed becoming an alcoholicthough, and moved out west to become a Hollywood screenwriter were he met his newwife Sheilah Graham, but he never forgot about Zelda and his daughter Scotti. (Johnson, 384). The Great Gatsby is an excellent review on how fitzgerald preceived his life to be,in the same sense that he also was very wealthy. Gatsby, in this novel is the mistirieswealthy man that lives in the big house across the lake from Tom and Daisy Buchanann.There would always be some type of party going on at his house, but for some reason henever attended to them, he would always watch from his window. Nick Caraway isDaisy s cousin who comes to visit, Nick needs a place to stay, so he finds an ad for aguest cottage that Mr. Jay Gatsby owns. After Nick has moved in Jay and Nick becomepretty close friends. Jordan has always wondered who The Great Gatsby was, so sheuses Nick to find out more about him. As the story goes on, there are some odd thingsthat Fitsgerald relates to the story as important things. These important things make youreally think about what it means to the story. The Automobile in The Great Gatsby is avery big topic for the conclution of the story. What we have in The Great Gatsby is acreative manipulation of the automobile as symbol and image to accomplish a variety ofends (O Meara, 74). O Meara goes on to say that when Fitzgerald accentuatesmechanism and minimizes aesthetics, he depersonalizes vehicles and underscores the OLSON 3behavior of their drivers. The existing criticism on automobiles in The Great Gatsbyusually centers on one or the other of these two functions.(O Meara, 75). The result ofthe car is that it ends up killing Myrtle. Kenneth and Irving Saposnik discuss theautomobile imagery from a technological standpoint. Knodt asserts that all of the novelsymbol s of technology – automobiles, trains, and telephones are connected withdestruction and evil (Saposnik, 131). I believe in this theory, that vehicles are a result evilin almost every movie. In this case the evil is the Blue Coupe sedan that ends up killingMyrtle. The other thing that sticks out to me is the billboard that has the two eyes on itwith glasses. This board is referred to Mr. Wilson as the eyes of god, he believes that they
can see everything and when the car ends up killing his wife Myrtle, he tells people thatgod saw what happened. A footnote for the line in Andrew Turnnbull s edition of TheLetters of F. Scott Fitzgerald(1963)describes the dust jacket as showing two huge eyes,intended to be those of Daisy Fay, brooding over New York City, and this had beenFitsgerald s inspiration for the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg (Turnbull, 166). The brief exegesis examines the imagery of cats and dogs in Scott Fitzgerald s jazzage novel, The Great Gatsby. Toward the end of the novel, Nick Caraway refers to thehot summer days on Long Island as dog-days (Kehul, 118). John Kehul goes on tomention that many of the characters in the novel are portrayed in canine terms. Theycynically, in the sense of the Greek root kynikos, meaning dog-like. Their bites, particularly in relationship to the main character, Gatsby, become worse then their barks. In contrast to this canine element, Gatsby has a heightened sensitivity (120). InThe Great Gatsby I did notice a lot of the characters mentioning dogs or phrasing oneanother as you old dog you, . Myrtle mentions to Tom (the man she is having an affairwith) that she would like a dog. I believe that Fitzgerald resembles these dogs as a symbolof affection. Canine imagery first appears in chapter one, when Nick casually tells thereader that he once owned a dog. He lists his possessions: an old dodge, a finish woman OLSON 4who cooks and cleans for him, and his dog. I had a dog–at least I had him a few daysuntil he ran away(124). Almost forty years after the book was written, ErnestHemmingway recalls Fitzgerald giving him a copy of The Great Gatsby: It had a garishdust jacket and I remember being embarrassed by the violence, bad taste and slippery lookof it. It looked like the book jacket for a book of bad science fiction. Scott told me not tobe put of by it, that it had to with a billboard along the highway in Long Island that wasimportant in the story. He said that he liked the jacket, but now how didn t like it. I tookit offto read the book (feast 176). According to Hemmingway, the cover of the bookonly had to do with the billboard and had already fallen out of favor with theauthor(179). I believe that the cover of The Great Gatsby is a unique one, in a way thatpeople really would believe things like that if they never had any type of religionbackground or were just messed up in the head. As I was explaining earlier in the paper about all the characters, I was mentioningthings about Nick Carraway. Nick Carraway is also the narrator of the novel, he isprobably they most sufficient character in the novel, meaning that he is always relayinginformation to others rather than getting involved in the mischief. What I mean is, that,the affairs between Tom and Myrtle, and Daisy and Gatsby. Nick knows just abouteverything about everyone and he is the newest person in town. I think that Fitzgerald putlike this because, Nick had no other meaning to the story if he didn t get involved withthe secrets that were going on. Near the end though, Nick is clueless as to what is goingon with Myrtle and Tom until the night of the accident when Myrtle runs out in front ofthe speeding yellow cadilac. Myrtle had thought that Tom was driving the car, and so she dashed in front of it because she wanted to leave with Tom and get away from herhusband that was not to rich or smart like Tom was. In The Great Gatsby, the fact thatthe billboard is only mentioned once or twice in the film, but it so crucial to how the resultof the ending is. Fitzgerald is trying to point out that this billboard is the point were OLSON 5everything takes place, like, the eyes looking down on the two cars going to party and thatthey are always looking at Mr. Wilson. When Mr. Wilson s wife (Myrtle) dies he is shockand is looking for answers to what happened. As O Meara points out earlier, cars are ameans of destruction and evil. In two cases this is true. One, being that big yellow cadilackilled Myrtle and two, the fact Tom is using his car as a medium of exchange for Mr. Wilson s wife and free gas. Mr. Wilson does not relize the fact that his wife is cheatingon him with Tom, the man he wants the car from.In all conclusion to The Great Gatsby, many little things in the novel weresubstantial to how the ending was to be. Fitzgerald had really related the billboard of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg that looked like owl eyes and referred to a the eyes of god by Mr. Wilsonwhen he talking to Tom. The other thing that sets the tone of this novel is the car. thiswas the murder weapon that killed Myrtle and was recognized by Mr. Wilson as the carthat Jay Gatsby was driving that night, which was result of the death of Mr. Jay Gatsby byno other than the man that looked at the owl eyes all day outside his gas station. Wellthe fact of living in the nineteen twenties and being a millionaire and throwing partiesevery weekend doesn t sound that bad, I just wouldn t want to be The Great Gatsby.