F.S. Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby

Nick Carraway tells this story, a decent and perceptive young men, who has come to Long Island to learn the investment business. He comes from wealthy family from Mid West. He studied in New Haven with Tom Buchanan, who is now a husband of his cousin Daisy. He graduated in 1915 and after that he fought in The World War. Now he lives in West Egg and rented the house – a weather beaten clapboard bungalow, which has a Finnish housekeeper and an old Dodge.
The main character is Jay Gatsby. His really name was James Gatz. He is a wealthy neighbour of Nick and organises big parties for unknown people that many of them nobody invited. For them he is surrounded by mystery. They tell many untrue stories about him. In fact he is a bootlegger. He hopes that one day will come to his party his secret love Daisy. They met some years ago and love each other. He was a soldier and had to go to Europe to fight. He told her that he came from a wealthy family but it wasn't true.
He comes from North Dakota and his parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people. For over a year he had been beating his way along the south shore of Lake Superior as a clam-digger and salmon fisher or in any other capacity that brought him food and bed. One day he saw Dan Cody's yacht Tuolomee over the most insidious flat on Lake Superior. He was 17 and changed his name. He became Jay Gatsby. When Tuolomee left for the West Indies and the Barbary Coast Gatsby left too. He was employed in a vague personal capacity – while he remained with Cody he was in turn steward, mate, skipper, secretary and even jailor because Dan Cody got drunk. The arrangement lasted five years, during which the boat went three times around the Continent. It might have lasted indefinitely except for the fact that Ella Kaye came on board one night in Boston and a week later Dan Cody inexplicably died. He was wealthy and bequeathed some money to Gatsby but he never got it.
After The World War he studied in Oxford in England because he was an officer. He wanted to be with Daisy. Her letter caught him there. But before he returned to America, she got married to wealthy Tom. He was poor and had only his uniform. Fortunately he met Mayer Wolfsheim, who help him to get wealth. Across from the Gatsby's manor house, in the more fashionable area of east Egg, lives Daisy.
One day Nick comes to visit her home there he met Jordan Baker, who is a famous golfer. She tells him that Tom has a mistress in New York. His mistress is Myrtle Wilson, whose husband George scrapes a living running a garage on a scruffy ash–ridden stretch of land outside the city.
Nick is inviting to one Gatsby's parties, where he meets Gatsby for the first time. At first he doesn’t recognise him and talks with him about the host. They become friends. Gatsby addresses people as “old boy”. It is something strange on his speech. Gatsby tells Nick the whole truth about him and Jordan helps to fill in some of the details about Gatsby's early love affair with Daisy. Gatsby asks Nick to arrange a private meeting with her. They become lovers. One day Tom and Daisy come to Gatsby's party. Tom meets Gatsby and he doesn't like him. Because of Gatsby’s secret meetings with Daisy in his house he changes his domestic staff.
One hot day all decide to take a trip into the city. Tom realises what is happening. They have exchange their cars. Gatsby and Daisy had Tom's car and Tom with Nick and Jordan has the yellow car of Gatsby. Tom stops for petrol at Wilson's garage, noticed by myrtle from an upstairs window. She thinks that Jordan is his wife. They go to the Plaza Hotel and take an apartment. Tom had swaps opinions with Gatsby. Gatsby tells him that Daisy always loved only him and never Tom. Daisy is confused and she doesn’t know what to say. Tom says that all Gatsby’s money has come from criminal activity. At last she goes with Gatsby. They go by car. Daisy drives but only Gatsby knows it. When they go near George's petrol station, Myrtle and George have a row and Myrtle sees a yellow car – she thinks it is Tom and runs to the car. When Daisy sees her, she goes ahead. Gatsby tries to swing the wheel but she doesn’t avoid her and Myrtle died. Gatsby goes to West Egg and leaves the car in his garage. He takes a taxi and goes with Daisy to East Egg to her house. He waits before her house. When he returns to his house he knows that all of his dreams of winning Daisy back are dashed. Tom tells George Wilson that the car, which killed his wife, was Gatsby’s. Next day he tells him Gatsby's address. Nick goes to Gatsby and tells him: “They're a rotten crowd, you're worth the whole damn bunch put together.” After two o'clock Gatsby is dead. Gatsby and George Wilson killed each other. At the end only few people are at Gatsby's funeral.

I liked reading this book. It was gripping. Even if tragic end it wasn't depressing. I didn't know how it would end. I didn't see it as a film before I read it. I didn't want to be influenced by this. From the beginning I hoped that Gatsby would get all he wanted. He wanted only Daisy and thought that he must be rich to get her. I wanted Nick to go out with Jordan and would become wealthy. But the book isn't about him, so his story isn't completely solved. When I was half way through this book, I knew that this story couldn't end happily. Daisy wasn't the same girl in fact as in his mind. He dreamt about her a few years, but she had changed. Gatsby in the surroundings of his big evening parties, where there were many unknown and uninvited people, condemned himself to failure. I pity him absolutely. It is evident, that he was very steadfast. The way he became wealthy wasn't legal, but I think that it wasn't so bad. It is a shame, that he wanted to be wealthy for such an undeserving reason – a woman. And this woman was the very cold Daisy. I think that she really loved Tom. I think that she is the same as him and they belong to each other. Gatsby was so good to her, despite being a bootlegger, he was really a hero. I think that he is maybe a dreamer and romantic. I like complete characters. The story develops others. The characters and events are so real. It shows a picture of the period – easy money, spending money, big parties and so on. I think that only Nick really knows Gatsby. The other people at his parties don't know anything about him, so they pretended. When he dies, nobody remembers him. It is written a little bit gloomily. I like the way of writing this book, the striking scene of nature. The author never tell us everything, I must read between lines. It was very difficult to read this in the original. On every page there were many new words and this book was very hard to read.

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  7. duben 2008
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