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The Great Gatsby

by F.S. Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby

- Francis Scott Fitzgerald
- Plot overview - The main characters - The major themes and symbols -Q&A

Francis Scott Fitzgerald

- was one of the greatest American writers of the 20th

century ( also called the Jazz Age); - is considered a member of the Lost Generation of the 1920s; - his most important novels are: The Great Gatsby, This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, Tender is the Night; - he also wrote many short stories: Tales of the Jazz Age, Flappers and Philosophers, All the Sad Young Men; - most of his novels contain autobiographical elements.

Plot overview
Nick Carraway, the narrator, lives beside the magnificent mansion that is owned by Jay Gatsby. Nobody knows the origins of Gatsbys wealth nor where he comes from. Nick is invited to a party at his

house where he meets the great man for the first time. From then on, through his contacts with Gatsbys acquaintances, Nick follows the twists and turns of his fascinating neighbor's life. One of his main sources of information is his cousin, Daisy. Gatsby fell in love with her many years before, but she has since married Tom Buchanan who comes from an old, established family. Daisy still loves Gatsby, but not enough to leave her husband permanently.

Plot overview
One evening, in a freak car accident, Daisy kills Tom's mistress, Myrtle Wilson. Tom tells Myrtles husband, George, that Gatsby, who was in the car with Daisy at the time of the accident, is responsible for his wifes death. In a blind rage George kills both Gatsby and himself. The novel ends with the image of Nick and Henry Gatz, Gatsbys father, who attend the funeral while all the people he knew in his glory days, including Daisy, stay away. His wealth and success had bought him neither love, nor friendship.

The Main characters

* Jay Gatsby: a young, mysterious millionaire later revealed to be a bootlegger, originally from North Dakota , with shady business connections and an obsessive love for Daisy Buchanan, whom he had met when he was a young officer in World War I.

The main characters

Nick Carraway: bond salesman from the Midwest, a Yale

graduate, a World War I veteran, and a resident of West Egg. He is Gatsby's next-door neighbor and Daisys cousin.

The main characters

* Daisy Buchanan: an attractive ,effervescent and shallow young woman; Nick's second cousin , the wife of Tom Buchanan and the object of Gatsbys love; she is in love with money, ease and luxury.

The main characters

* Tom Buchanan: millionaire who lives on East Egg, and Daisy's husband; he attended Yale and is a white supremacist. He had an affair with Myrtle Wilson.

The major themes and symbols

* The decline of the American Dream * The Hollowness of the Upper Class * The Valley of Ashes * The eyes of Doctor T.J.Eckleburg * The colors : yellow, white and green


1.When people refer to the American dream, what do they mean?

to what extent the area in which you live has been Americanised. Give as many examples as possible.

3. Do you sympathize with the character of Gatsby? Give your reasons.

4. What is your opinion about Daisys behavior? Do you think she could have been happy with Gatsby?

Matei Rodica-Madalina Faculty of Letters English-French 3rd year