We owe it to each other to tell stories - Neil Gaiman

Thursday, 13 May 2010

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald is truly a master story teller and his skill is displayed excellently in The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald tells about the markers of the Jazz Age - the Swinging 20s with flappers, jazz, bootlegging, prohibition and all things that made the 20s what it was. He shows great insight in his analysis, and inclusion of certain events and books e.g. the young Jewess that works at the Swastika Holding company (oh the irony!!). The Great Gatsby is a story that has an element to it that can be linked to Jane Austen, shows us how money can change and sometimes destroy your life.

The tale of Jay Gatsby is one that can be said to be 'rags to riches'. He wants to be rich so he can get the girl, but when he is rich, he derives very little pleasure from his affluence. He throws lavish parties at which he is hardly present, staying almost reclusive so that the people who arrive there (often uninvited) actually don't know the identity of this man called Gatsby. When one thinks that Gatsby only throws these parties in the hopes that the object of his affection, Daisy, will one day saunter into his house and they will end up happily ever after. This unfortunately does not happen the way Gatsby planned, Daisy does not show up to Gatsby's parties, but where there is a will there is a way.

Daisy and Gatsby are reunited by Gatsby's neighbour Nick who happens to be Daisy's cousin. Both receive much gaiety from this reunion, but it does not last long. With the turn of events in the plot one would actually believe that Daisy's husband Tom (who has been stepping out all along) set Gatsby up. But then it could just be a cruel twist of fate that results in Gatsby's death. The saddest part of it, is that of the throng of people who attended Gatsby's parties, none of them attended Gatsby's funeral.

Perhaps what we should learn from The Great Gatsby is that affluence is something that will not guarantee you genuine human relationships, but rather fair weather friends. Of course this is just a superficial analysis, the more complex stuff will be left to the literary academics and english majors.

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