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Plot Summary The novel basically begins after the story - that is, Gatsby's story - has ended. The narrator is a young man named Nick Carraway, a Yale graduate from

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  #1  
Alt 08.02.10, 16:10
ghostgirl - ait kullanıcı resmi (Avatar)
Genel Yönetici
 
Üyelik tarihi: Jan 2008
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İletiler: 13.530
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Standart The Great Gatsby

Plot Summary

The novel basically begins after the story - that is, Gatsby's story - has ended. The narrator is a young man named Nick Carraway, a Yale graduate from the Midwest who has come to the East Coast to learn the bonds business. At the novel's start, Nick tells us that he has moved back to the Midwest because he had abhorred the people whom he had met in New York, except for a man named Gatsby. It was Gatsby's romantic readiness and ability to dream big dreams that distinguished him from the shallow, materialistic hopes of the image-conscious and morally bereft young aristocrats who had surrounded them on the East Coast.
GreatGatsby.jpg
Nick flashes back to the summer of 1922, the strange summer that he had met and befriended a man named Gatsby. Nick lives on West Egg, which is dramatically different from its more conservative, aristocratic, "old money" East Egg. West Eggers are the nouveau riche who have recently acquired great wealth (through various means, some of which involved criminal activities) but lacked the social connections and the family background to make them members of the most elite social circles. Nick's second cousin, Daisy Buchanan, lives on East Egg, and he goes to visit her and her blue-blooded husband, Tom, one afternoon. At lunch that day, he meets their friend, a professional golfer named Jordan Baker, who reveals to him that Tom has been having an affair. Nick later meets Tom's mistress, Myrtle Wilson, and spends an afternoon with them in New York City.

On West Egg, Nick lives next door to a mysterious man named Gatsby, who owns an enormous Gothic mansion and throws huge, lavish parties every weekend. Hundreds of people attend his parties, most of whom are celebrities or wealthy young socialites. One day, Nick receives an invitation to go to one of Gatsby's parties, and when he attends that night and runs into Jordan Baker, they hear wild rumors flying around about Gatsby's past because no one seems to know where he had come from. People suspect that he had been a German spy during the war, and others suggest that he had murdered men while he had been serving. Nick doesn't know who to believe but finally meets Gatsby, who is an average-looking man with an extraordinary smile. At the party, Gatsby asks to speak to Jordan alone and speaks to her behind closed doors for hours.
Nick and Jordan begin dating, and one day at lunch, Jordan tells Nick that Gatsby and Daisy had been in love while he had been a young soldier stationed in Louisville after the war. When he was sent to Europe, Daisy found it unbearable to be alone, and she married the wealthy Tom Buchanan. At Gatsby's request, Nick stages a meeting between him and Daisy at Nick's house, and even though there is initial tension and confusion at first, Daisy and Gatsby begin to carry on an affair.
At this point in the narration, Nick flashes back to Gatsby's history, which Gatsby tells him days later. It turns out that Jay Gatsby began life as James Gatz, a young man who had grown up in a middle-class family in North Dakota and who had despised being one of the faceless, voiceless members of the rat race. He had left a small college in Minnesota in search of something bigger, and when he saw the enormous yacht of Dan Cody on Lake Superior, he had sniffed opportunity. He introduced himself as Jay Gatsby, and even though Cody didn't leave him a fortune, Gatsby had still come away with what he prized most - a self-created image that he knew could win him anything he wanted.
Even though Nick doesn't find out this information about Gatsby's past until later, he tells it to the reader because he doesn't want us to form negative opinions of Gatsby, as everyone else has. The story jumps ahead to a party that Daisy, Tom, and Nick attend at Gatsby's house, and even though the party is as festive and crazy as his others have been, there is a different note in the air with the Buchanans' presence, for they see the West Egg crowd as savage, raw, and unrefined - completely different from their own conservative East Egg social circle. That night, Gatsby tells Nick more about his past relationship with Daisy, and Nick realizes that Gatsby believes that he can change the past. She had been the most beautiful, wealthy, and privileged girl in Louisville, and he can't bear the thought that he has lost her. Gatsby has empowered himself so deeply with his sense of self-invention that he has the confidence to believe that he can fix what has hurt him in the past.
On the hottest day of the summer, Nick, Jordan, and Gatsby all have lunch at the Buchanans' house, and Tom tries to wear down Gatsby's credibility because he is very suspicious of his background and too-cool demeanor. He realizes that Gatsby and Daisy are having an affair, and to ease the tension, Daisy suggests that they all take a trip to New York City. They end up drinking at a suite at the Park Plaza hotel, and a heated argument finally breaks out between Tom and Gatsby. Tom accuses Gatsby of being a good-for-nothing bootlegger, and Gatsby tells Tom that Daisy had never loved him. Daisy, who is too confused and indecisive to say anything, finally tells them that she had loved them both - a statement that shocks Gatsby because he had believed that she had loved him alone.
On the way back to Long Island, Gatsby drives with Daisy, and Tom drives with Jordan and Nick. Tom's mistress, Myrtle Wilson, had been arguing with her husband George while they had all been in New York City, and just as Gatsby and Daisy drive past the Wilsons' gas station, Myrtle runs in front of the car to try and speak to them, but they end up running over her and killing her. Tom, Nick, and Jordan, who had been behind the other car but too far away to have seen the accident, stop at the gas station and discover that George Wilson has been driven insane with feelings of utter helplessness and solitude. Tom is struck with rage and grief when he realizes that it had been Gatsby who had hit her and that he hadn't even stopped his car to see if she had been killed.
Gatsby later reveals to Nick that Daisy had been the one who was driving the car, but he refuses to believe that she still cannot be his. Nick realizes what careless and immoral people the Buchanans - and their entire circle of friends - are, and he tells Gatsby the next day that he is worth all of them put together because his untainted dream gives him hope and value in Nick's eyes.
Nick leaves Gatsby to go to work, and Nick later finds out that during that day, after he had left Gatsby, a deranged George Wilson had found out that Gatsby was the owner of the car that had struck Myrtle and had finally hunted him down at his mansion. Nick later discovers that Wilson had killed Gatsby that afternoon and then had decided to turn the gun on himself.
Nick tries to get people to come to Gatsby's funeral, but his illegal connections make people nervous about going, and Nick even finds that most of his friends don't even like him. One of the few people who attends his funeral is his father, Henry Gatz, who reveals to Nick that Jimmy Gatz had always had been big dreams and big hopes and that he alone had the work ethic and the vision to make his dreams come true. After the funeral, Nick returns to the Midwest because he is disgusted by the people whom he had met in New York and has tired of living a fast-paced, wild lifestyle. He realizes that Gatsby had carried the same dream in his heart that millions of Americans had been cherishing for centuries - the dream of seeing what could be and then chasing it down with the hopes of winning it. What had prevented Gatsby from achieving his dream were the pettiness and cruelty of others, but the American Dream would still continue in the hearts and minds of others for centuries to come.
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  #2  
Alt 08.02.10, 16:11
ghostgirl - ait kullanıcı resmi (Avatar)
Genel Yönetici
 
Üyelik tarihi: Jan 2008
Nereden: Mersin
İletiler: 13.530
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Standart The Great Gatsby

Main Characters
Nick Carraway

The narrator of the story, Nick puts the story of Gatsby's life together for the audience. Born in the Midwest and a Yale grad, Nick gets involved in the bonds business and moves to West Egg in the summer of 1922. He becomes intrigued by his next-door neighbor, the enigmatic Jay Gatsby, who owns a huge mansion and hosts huge parties there each weekend. Nick later discovers that his wealthy cousin Daisy Buchanan, who lives on East Egg, had once been involved with Gatsby while he was a soldier. After more investigation into Gatsby's life, Nick realizes that Gatsby attained his wealth and possessions not only to impress Daisy but also to attempt to fulfill the American Dream of rising from rags to riches. While he admits that he is disgusted by Gatsby's Machiavellian actions, Nick nonetheless admires his optimism, ambition, and grand schemes.
Because Nick is the narrator of the story, we actually learn very little about his personality except for the few tidbits that Fitzgerald purposely allows to slip out. He tells us at the beginning of the book that he is inclined to reserve making judgments about people, a habit which encourages many people to confide in him and tell him secrets that they are too afraid to tell anyone else. We find out through Daisy and Tom that he had once been engaged to a girl out West but for some unknown reason, they had broken up. During his Gatsby summer, he dates Jordan Baker but abruptly breaks it off with her when Gatsby is murdered. At the end of the story, he moves back to the Midwest because he is completely disgusted by the conscience-less and coldhearted people who he has met in the East.

Jay Gatsby/James Gatz

The protagonist of the work, Jay Gatsby attempts to live out the American Dream but instead meets a tragic death because he cannot survive without his dream. Gatsby is unique - one of the most memorable characters. Gatsby's goal is to attain as much money as he can because money has limitless power. He believes that money can buy him friends, social status, and even love. Although Gatsby has told almost everyone that he is an Oxford grad who has traveled the world and inherited his wealth from his blue-blooded family, Nick later discovers that Gatsby was really just another Midwestern kid named James Gatz who stumbled upon the yacht of the wealthy Dan Cody, a bootlegger who taught him the tricks of the trade. By the time that Nick meets Gatsby, he has made a huge fortune as a bootlegger during Prohibition and dealing in other criminal activities.
Like Fitzgerald, who had fallen in love with Zelda Sayre while he had been a soldier during the war, Gatsby had met the beautiful and unattainable Daisy Fay while he had been stationed in the South. When he is sent to Europe to fight, he and Daisy promise that they will remain faithful to each other, and even after she marries Tom Buchanan, he believes that she still loves him. He buys a house in West Egg directly across the bay from her East Egg home and finally meets her five years after their farewell in Nick's home. They begin to carry on an affair parallel to Tom's affair with Myrtle Wilson, but Daisy cannot make a final decision between him and Tom. Gatsby's dream goes up in smoke before he can carry out its completion when he is killed by the crazed George Wilson, who mistakenly believes that it is Gatsby, not Tom, who is having an affair with Myrtle.

Daisy Buchanan

The object of Gatsby's limitless love, Daisy Buchanan is nothing more than a combination of unimaginable wealth and unattainable beauty - and that is why Gatsby loves her. She is unarguably a ditz and feels little moral responsibility for her actions, but because her husky voice and lovely face have no equal, men have always been drawn to her. As Gatsby remarks to Nick, her voice is "full of money" because it symbolizes the ultimate fulfillment of his American Dream - he believes that if he wins her, he will win the wealth and beauty that she symbolizes.
Daisy had grown up as the most beautiful and privileged young girl among the elite of Louisville, but she had a fetish for young soldiers, and when she met Gatsby while he was stationed in the South, they fell madly in love. But when he was sent off to Europe during the war, she became engaged to the wealthy and muscular Tom Buchanan. When she meets Gatsby years later in Nick's home, she is immediately drawn to the novelty, secrecy, and passion of their affair, but when she is asked to make a choice between her husband and Jay, she cannot choose. When she and Gatsby drive away in the "death car" that kills Myrtle Wilson, Nick discovers that it is Daisy who is driving, but she is willing to allow Gatsby to take the blame. After both Myrtle and Gatsby are killed, she and Tom leave New York and forget about their crimes and their marital unhappiness.

Tom Buchanan

Tom is an intimidating, powerful hulk of a man who tries to prove to any individual he meets that he has both brains and brawns, but his mind definitely doesn't match his muscles. An extremely wealthy and privileged ex-athlete who attended Yale with Nick, he proclaims to love Daisy but has had extramarital affairs throughout their relationship. In fact, many members of their fast-paced crowd know that he has had a long-term affair with a woman in New York, who turns out to be Myrtle Wilson, the wife of the man whose garage Tom uses.
Tom tries to make himself seem intelligent and well-read, but in reality, he is quite ignorant. He believes that the white race should always possess power over all minority races and worries that African-Americans have gained too much standing in society. At the end of the story, he reveals that he has discovered that Gatsby is a bootlegger and then realizes that Daisy and Gatsby are having an affair. After Gatsby and Daisy run over Myrtle in a car, he and Daisy, lacking moral scruples and any sense of responsibility, leave New York.

Jordan Baker

A friend of Tom and Daisy Buchanan, Jordan is a cynical, caustic professional golf player who is involved in a romantic relationship with Nick during the summer of 1922. She is always cool and composed, even to the point of seeming disinterested and completely bored with the company of others. Nick remembers hearing rumors that Jordan had cheated often during tournaments, moving her golf balls from bad lies out of the rough. It is never clear why Nick and Jordan begin to date, especially because their break-up is extremely sudden, but both seem to be detached from each other by the end of their relationship.
Jordan is the character who finally provides Gatsby with an opening to Daisy, for after waiting for Daisy to come to one of his extravagant parties, he finally fishes around for someone who knows her, and he stumbles upon Jordan and asks her for an introduction, which she sets up through Nick. Jordan is also the one who relates to Nick her memory of Gatsby and Daisy while they had been young lovers in Louisville.

Myrtle Wilson

Myrtle is the woman with whom Tom is having an extended extramarital affair. A robust, healthy woman who seems to exude sexual energy and desire, Myrtle seems to be the opposite of the delicate, childlike Daisy, but Myrtle provides Tom with a welcome escape from monogamy. Her husband, George, owns the gas station that Tom goes to, and he does not realize until the end of the story that she is having an affair. She ultimately picks her unknown lover over George, who becomes deranged with anger. Myrtle, who is much stronger and more independent than her husband, tries to run away from George but is run over by Daisy, who is driving in Gatsby's car.

George Wilson

The submissive, and almost idiotic, husband of Tom Buchanan's mistress, George Wilson owns the gas station that Tom attends. Nick's first impression of George is as a mindless, unintelligent man who needs others to give him affirmation in order to survive. He depends almost solely on his wife, Myrtle, for emotional comfort and psychological safety, and he slowly becomes more and more ill as he realizes that he no longer has any control over her life. When he finds out that she is having an affair, he goes insane. On the night of the fatal car accident that kills Myrtle, he sees the car that runs over her and asks Tom Buchanan who her lover was. Tom tells him that it was Gatsby to avoid Wilson's rage. Wilson then embarks on an enraged, murderous rampage, finds Gatsby's West Egg mansion, shoots Gatsby, and then kills himself because he is too weak to live without Myrtle.

Meyer Wolfshiem

A friend of Gatsby, Nick briefly meets him in a restaurant while he is with Gatsby, and Nick is shocked to learn that Wolfshiem was the sole individual who fixed the 1919 World Series. Wolfshiem briefly tries to get Nick involved in the shady business "negotiations" between himself and Gatsby, but Gatsby quickly stops him from talking before he reveals too much information about their illegal activities. When Gatsby is murdered, Nick tries to invite his friends to his funeral and goes to Wolfshiem's office to figure out why everyone is reluctant to come. Wolfshiem reveals to Nick that he had served as Gatsby's mentor and helped him to make millions by participating in various illegal activities, like gambling, bootlegging, and drug trafficking.
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