This book is told in first person by Nick Carraway, a man who is about 30 years old who has just moved to New York for work. The events that happen are told from his perspective and his emotions influence what he says, naturally.
After Nick arrives to live in the West Egg, in 1922, he goes to live next to a big mansion he later finds out it is property of a mysterious man called Gatsby. This man throws parties every night and lots of celebrities and common people attend. Nick is intrigued about this man once he learns about his identity from his close friend Tom Buchanan and his wife Daisy, until the man himself invites him to one of his parties and he attends. Nick gets to know Gatsby and finds out that they were friends, but it is not gold all that glitters…
The Great Gatsby deals with the past and the illusion of reviving it. It also deals with loss, homicide, and pushing one self beyond the limits. Gatsby represents the common man who can’t deal with his origins because the woman he loves wants more. This is why he creates another identity in order to reach the top in a ‘humble’ way, by being nice to people and throwing parties for them, or letting them enjoy what they can’t have because they may not be wealthy. But at which price?
To become rich, Jay Gatsby has used secret escapades that end up killing him just like he ‘killed’ himself when he decided he had to become somebody else if he wanted to take care of his lady-love. It saddens me a little to talk about him, because he is miserable yet he is determined. He is deluded that the woman he likes will go with him once she reminisces who he is and that she also liked him years before. She seems willing to follow him and live in his lush instead of her husband’s money, but when reality strikes her and the woman makes a big mistake, Gatsby is willing to pay the price for love.
In the end, it is all very solemn and sad. Gatsby and all of his delusions, die together with his imaginary identity of a rich man, and nobody shows up at his funeral besides his father who still cared for him, Nick Carraway, and Gatsby’s servants. It took him so little to vanish from people’s lives, the same way he appeared like a thunder in their lives a while before. Gatsby dedicated his last few years of life to get the attention he demanded from the woman he loved, but couldn’t he go to her in private and have a talk? Maybe not, since these are still the 20’s and she was married, but he could have tried. Like this, he could have dedicated more time to people and his mere existence wouldn’t have been forgotten so easily.
Nick Carraway is the opposite of Gatsby, instead. He is a humble man from a family that is not rich and has to work at Wall Street to live. Unlike Jay Gatsby who uses illegal way to grow money, Nick has to work hard to get his pay and doesn’t seem interested to invest and be of an upper class. Gatsby’s world shocks him a lot in ways that he probably never thought possible. It is like he sees the reality of the way of the world in just a few months, and this is too much to take for him.
The other characters, Tom, Daisy and Jordan Baker, who is Nick’s girlfriend for a while, also reflect opposite visions of reality. Daisy is the innocent woman who is all but innocent. She loves her husband Tom but she also loves Gatsby. She doesn’t want to leave the old road for the new and leave her husband’s fortune to go to Gatsby, and this is why ironically destiny chooses for her. We don’t find out how she took Gatsby’s ending, but I am pretty sure after what happens she and Tom decided to leave the Egg to start anew in a new city. Tom is what Gatsby wasn’t. He is a strong man who is more abrupt and faces things instead of running around them like the other did. He also doesn’t love Daisy but at the same time he does, and fate chooses for him as well. The impact of fate on his and Daisy’s lives is too great to face, but they need to move on and strengthen their union now that casuality pushed away what was putting in between their marriage. It doesn’t always happens like that, of course. People in real life are not ‘lucky’ like fictional characters. Jordan is a professional golfer who seems interested in Nick but that later moves on from him. Their union is another opposition to the ones made by the others, because they seem to be more honest and direct with each other, but truthfully, they aren’t.
In conclusion, on this book everyone believes or pretends to believe things will turn out differently than they are, but they don’t. We can’t live the past a second time, what is done, is done. The reality is tragic against the characters of this book. I found it a bit harsh for the author to kill off the ‘lovers’ as if it was the only way for the married couple to move on.