The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald


Earnest Hemmingway often was critical of his friend F. Scott Fitzgerald for wasting his talent and for pompous musing.  The Roaring Twenties presented in The Great Gatsby provides a critical social history of America that seems overly grand and self-important. The story takes place in the fictional towns of West Egg and East Egg on Long Island in the summer of 1922.


Nick Carraway, a Yale graduate and veteran, narrates the story and lives in West Egg on Long Island next door to Jay Gatsby’ mansion. He is aware of the lavish parties next door but doesn’t attend.  He often eats dinner at his cousin, Daisy Fay Buchanan and her husband Tom, who lives in East Egg.  Tom has a mistress, Myrtle, and even keeps a special apartment in New York to meet her and others and have wild parties.

Nick eventually receives an invitation to one of Gatsby's parties and attends learning that they both had been in the war together. He also learns that Gatsby had by chance meet Daisy Buchanan a few years back, is in love her, and has been hoping she would show up at his lavish parties, so she could see him in his wealth and grandeur.

Gatsby uses Nick to meet again with Daisy. Gatsby and that leads to an affair over the summer.  When her adulterer husband Tom learns of her interest and involvement with Gatsby he is upset. He confronts Gatsby and tells his wife that Gatsby is a criminal having made his money bootlegging.

The story has more surprising twists and turns and whether it is an important social history story or just drama you will have to decide.

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” 

“Angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, I turned away.” 

“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.” “Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.” 

“You see I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad things that happened to me.”