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The Great Gatsby

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Introduction

The Great Gatsby 'Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn' This is the phrase which Nick Carraway uses at the beginning of The Great Gatsby to describe his next door neighbour. In this essay I will be looking at the relationship between Carraway and Gatsby, significant events that affect their relationship, and how Nick Carraway's opinion of Gatsby changes throughout the book. Mr Gatsby is a very mysterious character. Though he is Nick Carraway's neighbour, Nick knows noting about him and does not meet him until chapter 3, when they have been neighbours for some time. Indeed many events in the book only reinforce the mystery surrounding Gatsby. Though hundreds of people come to his lavish parties, almost none of them have met him, and know nothing about him. Thus many rumours circulate about him: 'Somebody told me he killed a man once.' 'Its more that he was a German spy before the war.' Thus before Carraway has even met Gatsby, Gatsby seems surrounded by an aura of illusion. Gatsby is a relative newcomer to the island of West Egg, the island for the incredibly rich. Over on East Egg, live Carraway's cousin Daisy and her husband Tom. ...read more.

Middle

When Gatsby and Carraway finally arrive in New York, Carraway meets a dubious acquaintance of Gatsby's, Meyer Wolfshiem. Wolfshiem casually tells of when he saw a man being killed, and Carraway sees that his cufflinks are made from human molars. Carraway then begins to think that maybe there is something sinister about Gatsby after all. It is during this chapter that we get the first of several flashbacks in the novel, this one recounting when Gatsby and Daisy fell in love during the war, from the viewpoint of Jordan Baker. She tells how deeply they were in love, but as soon as the war ended she married Tom Buchanan. Thus we see how shallow Daisy really is. She loves Gatsby, but because he did not have any money at the time of the war she married Tom, for his money. However now Gatsby has returned with money, and he hopes he can win back Daisy. After this flashback Jordan tells Carraway that Gatsby would like him to invite Daisy to his house, so that Gatsby can meet her again. It is at this point when us the reader and Nick Carraway realise that underneath his smooth persona, Gatsby is quite timid and shy. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is a large argument between Gatsby and Tom, so everyone drives home. The final indicator that Carraway has changed his opinion about Gatsby is when he is talking to Gatsby and comparing him to the other residents of West and East Egg. 'They're a rotten crowd...You're worth the whole damn bunch of them.' This shows that he respects Gatsby much more than the rich, materialistic residents of the Egg. Carraway reflects on Gatsby by saying that he had: 'An extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again.' After Gatsby's death, Carraway is introdueced to Gatsby's father. His father helps Carraway to piece together more about Gatsby's past. He shows Carraway a schedule that Gatsby used to keep when he was a child. This shows that even at a young age he wanted to make something of himself. Gatsby's life is portrayed as a variant of the American Dream. This is why The Great Gatsby is in my opinion the quintessential American novel, because it portrays the American Dream very well, the idea that anyone can have the opportunity to become successful in America. Carraway's opinion of Gatsby ends on a positive note, and he believes that he will never meet a man of such endearing hope ever again. ...read more.

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