The Great Gatsby “The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly. ” In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald presents his audience with a novel with intricate symbolism. Nick Caraway, the protagonist, has recently moved from the Midwest to get his career started in New York. He lives on the island of West Egg the poorer side of town, across from East Egg the wealthier side of town.
In East Egg are where his pompous and snobbish friends Tom and Daisy live.
They gossip and party a lot, all while Tom is cheating on Daisy with a lady named Myrtle Wilson. Everyone knows except for Daisy and Mr.. Wilson. Meanwhile, Nick lives next door to a mysterious man named Gatsby, who throws extravagant parties, but yet no one knows anything about him. Throughout the book Nick learns about the mysterious Gatsby and what it is like to live around people who believe in a conceited world Of indecency.
Fitzgerald involves symbolism into the heart Of the novel so strongly that it is necessary to read passages of the book more than once to full understand.
The creative yet simplistic styling of this book is a major reason why The Great Gatsby is one of the classics of the 20th century. Throughout the book, three themes dominate the text Of The Great Gatsby. These themes include the loss of time, appearance and characterization, and perspective. The word time appears many times in the novel either by itself or in a compound word. Fitzgerald obviously wanted to emphasize the importance of time to the overall layout Of the book. Time is most important to the character, Gatsby. Gatsby relationship with time is a major aspect to the plot.
He wants to erase five years from not only his own life but also his lover, Daisy. When Gatsby tells Nick how he can repeat the past he had with Daisy, it’s what we would call symbolism. It shows the tragic irony that is to fall upon Gatsby. Gatsby exclaims on page 116, “Can’t repeat the past? Why Of course you can! ” Gatsby cannot accept Daisy until she erases the last three years of her life by telling Tom that she never loved him to his face and completely pronounce her love for Gatsby. Gatsby fully believes what he says and thinks convincing himself that Daisy still loves him.
At one part of the story he actually tells Nick how, as soon as Tom is out Of the picture, he and Daisy were going to go to Memphis so they could get married at her white house just like it were five years before hand. In another scene, when Gatsby and Nick go to the Buchannan’ for lunch towards the end of the book, Gatsby sees Daisy’s and Tom’s child for the first time. Nick describes Gatsby expression as One Of genuine surprise and suggests that Gatsby probably never before believed in the girl’s existence. Gatsby is so caught up in his dream that he becomes alien to the world’s brutal reality.
Fitzgerald masterfully creates a symbolism of time in the scene when Daisy and Gatsby meet for the first time in five years. As Nick enters the room where Daisy and Gatsby have just met, Gatsby is leaning nervously against the mantelpiece while resting his head upon the clock on the mantle. At an awkward pause in the conversation, the clock Starts to tip as if to fall Off the mantle. Gatsby dramatically catches the clock before it falls and all three characters are speechless, with a kick Of strange awe of the precious clock.
Nick says “l think we all believed for a moment that it had smashed in pieces on the floor. ” The clock was symbolizing time and Gatsby head resting on it was all the pressure that Gatsby was putting on time. Time could not support the demands that Gatsby was making. Gatsby carefully catching the clock and his reluctant apology symbolizes the sensitivity of his plan and how necessarily delicate his methods were. The next theme is introduced by the character, Owl Eyes, who conveniently brings us to the ongoing theme related to appearance and change.
Gatsby existence in West Egg was completely for Daisy. Owl Eyes was right. Gatsby built a set to fit into the role he needed to have to get back Daisy. He was “concealing his incorruptible dream. ” Every guest at his parties gossiped about him because he was a mystery. His shady occupation added substance to the disguise. He was continually accused of being a bootlegger (a maker of false copies). Tom referred to Gatsby car as a “circus wagon,” his actions as “stunts” and his whole operation as a “menagerie. ” Gatsby simply wanted to be the man that was to have Daisy.
This dream was torn down by the carelessness of the Buchanan and that “rotten crowd. ” Continuing with the theme, appearance, the key to Daisy’s appearance was her lack Of foundation. She was constantly changing and had no real definition. She had no life to say the least. By the end of the book, she becomes hated by the readers. Her recklessness was without end. Such as the ability to not realize that her husband was cheating on her. And in her silence, after George Wilson killed Gatsby, was amazingly to go on living her life like it had never happened.
Tom’s statement earlier in the book partially explains her state of oblivion; ‘That’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool. ” The only explanation for Daisy’s destructiveness was that, as a fool, she did not know any better. There are many characters in this novel whose perspectives are important. For instance, Daisy’s appearance blends in with her perspective. The most insightful view we have at Daisy character comes in the first chapter when Nick has dinner at her house.
After the meal, while Jordan and Tom are inside, Daisy takes off her mask and confides in Nick for a rife moment. Everything about Daisy is strange, including her eyes and voice. Daisy is always cheerful and makes jokes and pointless, almost idiotic, comments. She behaves like a young girl. This conversation with Nick demonstrates her oddness. She starts by telling Nick how they hardly know each other despite being cousins, yet she then proceeds to open up and tell him her feelings which she had probably not told to more than two people in the whole world.
Daisy told Nick about how she was unhappy and how her experiences had made her bitter toward everything. As suddenly as Daisy had come upset, she becomes joyous again. After the intercourse, Nick actually feels farther from Daisy than before because he feels that the walls or masks that Daisy and her fellow established upper-upper class neighbors use to protect themselves from reality are a trick. Nick is probably the character whose perspective is hardest to grasp. While he is relatively minor in the plot, his role in the novel is the biggest one of all.
Fitzgerald chose a great way to tell the story by using an observant third party. Nick gives the readers a close-up and a different angle on the story. However, while Nick is a spectator, his role is almost of no value. Fitzgerald inserts hints throughout the book that help us understand Nick, and the message of the novel. Nick begins his story with two helpful points; that he listens to his father’s advise and very rarely judges people and that he is in the favor of Gatsby when he writes, “Gatsby turned out all right at the end, it was what preyed on Gatsby… Later in the story he confesses that he believes every man to be worthy of some virtue and that his is honesty.
During the course of the book, Nick’s actions also help define his character. Reading closely, we can see that during his time on Long Island, he has a girlfriend, with whom he was rumored to be engaged, back at home in the west and he corresponded with her throughout the duration of the book and his affair with Jordan Baker through letters signed “Love, Nick. His relationship with Jordan Baker and their awkward breakup, when Jordan calls him dishonest, is also meaningful. Finally, the scene when Nick gets drunk for the only time in the story adds a bizarre twist to Nick’s character. After drinking the entire day tit Tom and his mistress, Myrtle, Nick leaves with a guest and has a homosexual experience with that guest, Mr.. McKee (p. 42), before ending up passed out on a bench in Penn Station at four o’clock in the morning.
As a conclusion, The Great Gatsby is a book of mystery that explains the realism and the natural brutality of the human life. The realism is shown through the themes included in the book. For instance, the theme time, is told relating to the fact that sometimes the things that happened in the past won’t always be the same in the future. This is shown when Gatsby tried rekindling is love with Daisy, but in the end losing her to the fact that things aren’t the way they used to be.
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