Great Gatsby Overview of the Novel
The Great Gatsby was published in April of 1925 and is still read and enjoyed today. The story takes place during the summer of 1922, during the Roaring Twenties and is set in a wealthy town in Long Island. It is narrated by Nick Carraway, a Yale grad and now Gatsby’s next-door neighbor. As we see the story through Nick’s eyes, we meet a cast of characters including his cousin Daisy Fay Buchanan and her husband Tom. Tom and Daisy are not what you would call a loving couple and Tom has a mistress named Myrtle. Daisy is Gatsby’s long lost love. The war separated them years ago and Daisy married Tom while he was away.
Nick finally gets invited to one of Gatsby’s lavish parties and becomes friends with him. As the story flows we see more about the elusive Gatsby and his life and background and learn where his wealth came from. I am a sucker for long lost loves who are reunited but somehow still have the odds stacked against them. Timing is everything and sometimes timing just stinks. Gatsby does everything he can to win Daisy back and just to see her once more. So the love story here grabbed me and made me love the character of Jay Gatsby himself. His love for Daisy was selfless and enduring. The reason I disliked reading Gatsby was the pacing of it. It might have been because Nick seemed bland to me. I just couldn’t connect with him. I also think it was because we are seeing the story through his eyes. I wanted to see it from Gatsby’s point of view since so much of it is around his life. Getting the story from Nick however, continues to keep Gatsby at an arms length, mainly elusive, mysterious. The author brings the 1920’s setting to life and I did enjoy that. F. Scott Fitzgerald dedicated The Great Gatsby to his wife Zelda. I want to read Tender Is the Night which I’ve heard is partially based on the author’s own life. Although I found the pacing slow at times, I truly enjoyed this one. I found myself re-reading and savoring several passages.