Great Gatsby
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, born in St. Paul, Minnesota, grew up in an
upper-middle class family where he enjoyed the traditions of the upper classes,
but not the financial ability to uphold those practices. Fitzgerald acquired his
fame, almost overnight, with the publication of his first book, This Side of

Paradise, in 1920. His extensive career began with the writing of stories for
mass-circulation magazines, such as The Saturday Evening Post. That same year,
he married Zelda Sayre, who later became one his major influences on his
writing, along with literature, Princeton, and alcohol. In the summer of 1924,

Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby, a novel about the American dream. This novel
was written in Fitzgerald’s own time. The reader is able to see his insight
and artistic integrity in the way that which the novel is composed. He brings
forth the values that he embraced at least partially in his own life, such as
materialism and the magic of wealth, which are clearly placed in the characters
of The Great Gatsby. The novel is almost a paradox of his own biography: a
unique materialism in which men attempt to create happiness from material
achievement. The novel received the most striking critical appraisal, just as
predicted by Fitzgerald. This honorary event marked the climax of his fame,
however, his reputation faded from then on. With the illness of his wife, he
reflected his experiences in his further work, such as Tender Is the Night. Some
other examples of his work include The Beautiful and Damned and The Love of the

Last Tycoon. At the age of forty-four, Fitzgerald dies of a heart attack. Since
his death, critics have come to see his work as a reflection of the American
culture and of "The Twenties", a noteworthy representation of his people
that is saturated with meaning today. II. The story of Gatsby takes place in the

1920’s, a time that began with the closing of the bloodiest conflict the world
had ever witnessed. The European society had suffered spiritually from the
effects of World War I, yet life in America became a time of material demand.

The twenties are best known as a decade when American business was riding high
and increases in productivity brought hundreds of new products within the reach
of the average consumer. The widespread impact of the stock market downturn
heightened the popular view of the importance of the economy during the

1920’s. Americans perceived business as the source of this new good life;
thus, materialism grew. The fact that The Great Gatsby takes place during the
actual life of Scott Fitzgerald is very significant to the story because in his
world, the setting reveals the nature of the characters. Much of the story is
described about the West Egg and East Egg, two distinct locations of Long

Island. Tom and Daisy Buchanan, the primary examples of the stable upper class,
live in the wealthiest area of Long Island: East Egg. They are satisfied with
their inherited traditions and long-term financial situation. Tom and Daisy lack
the tastelessness that Gatsby is characteristic of. Jay Gatsby and Nick are
residents of West Egg; both have acquired wealth in their lives yet do not have
the sheer intelligence associated with prosperity. If looked at from a moral
perspective, East Egg and West Egg both carry a kind of individual fault,
whether it is rudeness or emptiness. New York City, home of the apartment of

Tom’s mistress and the Plaza Hotel, is where money is made and where pleasure
is gained. Parties and social events take place there. The story also occurs in
the home of Gatsby, a place that circulates a cycle of guests. The house is both
meaningless and bland, almost an illusion created by money. In general, the
setting is directly related to the main theme of the story: the American dream,
in the sense that each character, based on their residence, tries to prevail
themselves greatly into the faux realm of riches. III. The Great Gatsby is a
story that depicts the American dream while, at the same time, criticizes its
values. Nick Carraway, the narrator, is introduced as a functioning character of
the book. He has moved form the Midwest to New York to learn the bond business.

He learns that Gatsby, his next-door neighbor, held a past relationship with his
cousin Daisy that eventually broke due to his shortfall of money. Daisy and Tom
invite Nick for dinner where he learns of Tom’s affair with Myrtle. A short
time after, Nick meets Gatsby at one of his parties where they become friends.