Great Gatsby free essay sample

In chapter 6 of The Great Gatsby, a reporter comes to Gatsby’s door to interview him about his personal life. Jay Gatsby’s original name was James Gatz and he was born on a North Dakota farm but went to college in St. Olaf, Minnesota. He dropped out of college and later met the wealthy Dan Cody who hired him as a personal assistant. When Dan Cody died he left Gatsby $25,000, but his mistress prevented Gatsby from claiming it. After that, Gatsby was determined to become rich and successful. Later on, Nick visits Gatsby and is shocked to find Tom Buchanan there, and the next Saturday Tom and Daisy attend one of Gatsby’s parties.

After the party Gatsby is worried that Daisy did not enjoy it and Nick tells him to give up on Daisy, however, Gatsby refuses and instead tells Nick about he and Daisy’s past. The quote that best describes Jay Gatsby is, “He talked a lot about the past, and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy” (110).

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The good qualities of Jay Gatsby are he is a loyal person and he has a good heart. The bad qualities of Gatsby are he is amoral, dishonest, and throws his money away.

Fitzgerald developed this character to show how people use their wealth to get love only to discover the love is not real. Additionally, he is developed throughout the novel to be an example of how living extravagantly can be an empty life. A meaningful quote in the chapter is, “The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself” (98). This quote is meaningful to the story because it reveals the truth of Gatsby changing his identity. Also, it focuses on the fact that Gatsby wasn’t going to let any obstacle stop him from fulfilling his dream.

So, James Gatz changed his identity into Jay Gatsby to fulfill his image of himself. In The Great Gatsby Dan Cody symbolizes everything that Jay Gatsby wanted to be. Dan Cody was a wealthy successful man while Gatsby was a poor boy. Dan Cody is mentioned first when Jay is out fishing, “He had changed it…when he saw Dan Cody’s yacht drop anchor over the most insidious flat on Lake Superior” (98). Dan Cody is described as this, “Cody was fifty years old then, a product of the Nevada silver fields, of the Yukon, of every rush for metal since seventy-five” (99).

This symbol is important to the novel because it gave Gatsby his determination to become wealthy and catch Daisy’s eye again. In chapter 7 of The Great Gatsby Nick finds out that Gatsby had stopped throwing parties every weekend, fired all his servants, and then replaced them with people connected to the shady Meyer Wolfshiem. Nick goes to lunch at Daisy and Tom’s house while Gatsby and Jordan are already there and Daisy shows off her daughter to a surprised Gatsby who didn’t believe the child existed.

Since it is the hottest day of the year the group agrees to drive to the city and Nick, Tom, and Jordan stop at Wilson’s garage where they learn he knows about his wife’s affair. They meet up with Daisy and Gatsby at the hotel where Tom and Gatsby finally get their feelings out in the open. After Tom won the argument he sent Daisy and Gatsby back to Long Island and Nick realizes it is his thirtieth birthday. Tom, Jordan, and Nick head home to find out that Myrtle was killed by being run over and Tom assumes that Gatsby was driving.

At the end of the chapter Gatsby is waiting outside the Buchanan’s home watching over Daisy; he sends Nick to check on them and he finds that Daisy and Tom have made up and leaves Gatsby alone. The quote that best describes Tom Buchanan is, “I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife…next they’ll throw everything overboard and have intermarriage between black and white” (130). The good qualities of Tom Buchanan are that he is proud and strong-willed.

The bad qualities about Tom are that he is a tormentor, cruel, disloyal, and arrogant. Fitzgerald uses Tom to show how people from higher social classes can think they are better than others just because they are wealthier. Additionally, he stands for the people that are very hypocritical, giving back nothing but demanding to receive the best. A meaningful quote in this chapter is, “There is no confusion like the confusion of a simple mind…His wife and his mistress, until an hour ago secure and inviolate, were slipping precipitately from his control” (125).

This quote is significant because it shows that Tom used to have it all but now everything was falling apart. With his mistress moving away and his wife in love with another man Tom is getting more agitated by the moment. Tom is worried that his wife is going to leave him and this sets up the rest of the chapter. Additionally, this quote talks about how Tom is a foolish person to begin with and that fact that his wife and mistress are slipping away is not a surprise. In The Great Gatsby the heat symbolizes the boiling point of the story and Gatsby’s yellow car represents destruction and his wealth.

The heat is first mentioned by Nick, “The next day was broiling, almost the last, certainly the warmest, of the summer” (114), and later on again by Daisy, “Then she remembered the heat and sat down guilty on the couch…” (117). This symbol is important to the novel because it is representing the climax of the story and how things are finally reaching their breaking point thus Gatsby and Tom having their confrontation. The yellow car is mentioned first by Wilson, “It’s a nice yellow one” (123), and again by a witness, “It was a yellow car… big yellow car” (139).

This symbol is important to the story because it shows how wealth can be destructive and how careless rich people can be. In chapter 8 of The Great Gatsby Nick goes to visit Gatsby at his house and Gatsby tells him that he waited until four in the morning and nothing happened with Daisy and Tom after they left the hotel. When Nick suggested that Gatsby should give up on Daisy he refused and began to tell Nick about he and Daisy’s past. Gatsby’s gardener then interrupts to tell Gatsby he was going to drain the pool, Gatsby said to wait since he was going to use the pool.

Gatsby invites Nick to stay but he refuses since he is late to work and right before he leaves Nick shouts to Gatsby that he thinks Gatsby is better than any of their friends. Nick goes to work but is very distracted and the story shifts views to Michaelis and Wilson after Myrtle was killed. They talk about Myrtle and then Wilson sees the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg and believes they are the eyes of God, wanting revenge. Wilson goes to Gatsby’s house, who he believes is Myrtle’s lover and killer. Wilson then shoots Gatsby and then himself.

The chapter ends with Nick finding Gatsby’s body and wondering what his last thoughts were. The quote that best describes George Wilson is, “This was a forlorn hope-he was almost sure that Wilson had no friend: there was not enough of him for his wife” (159). The good qualities of George Wilson are that he was trusting and loyal. The bad qualities were that he was pathetic and lifeless. Fitzgerald uses this character to show how poor people can lose their vitality and their will for life compared to richer people like Tom, who flourish in their lives. Wilson is an example of how living in a world without morals can affect people.

A meaningful quote in the story is, “God knows what you’ve been doing, everything you’ve been doing. You may fool me, but you can’t fool God” (159)! This quote is significant to the novel because it shows that Wilson thought that the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg were really the eyes of God watching over the sinful city. Wilson thought they had seen what Myrtle was doing with Tom and that even though she tried to hide it she couldn’t hide from the eyes of God. Additionally, Wilson thought that the eyes saw everything and knew from the start about the affair.

So, this quote shows that Wilson thought the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg wanted revenge and Wilson had to go and get it. In The Great Gatsby the color silver symbolized the flaunting of wealth and the color red represented blood and death. The color silver was first mentioned when describing Daisy, “She had caught a cold, and it made her voice huskier and more charming than ever…of Daisy, gleaming like silver, safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor” (150), and again when describing Myrtle’s dog leash, “There was nothing… expensive dog-leash, made of leather and braided silver”(158).

This symbol is important to the story because it represented the characters being superior to the poor and showing off their money. The color red was hinted at by Nick when thinking about Gatsby, “He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky… and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is… ” (161). Also again when describing the murder scene, “The touch of a cluster of leaves revolved it slowly… a thin red circle in the water” (162). This symbol is important to the novel because it shows how loving Daisy was a mistake as loving someone like her was dangerous and only leads to destruction.

In chapter 9 of The Great Gatsby Nick is describing the events that happened around the time of the funeral, two years earlier. Reporters and police were investigating Gatsby’s murder and wild rumors surrounded his death. Nick thought Gatsby would want a large funeral so he invited all of Gatsby’s friends but none of them would attend. The only people that came were owl eyes, some servants, Gatsby’s father Henry Gatz, and Nick. After the funeral Nick heads back to the Midwest, sick of the East, and before he leaves he breaks up with Jordan who is apparently engaged to another man.

Right before Nick leaves he sees Tom on the street and when he refuses to shake hands with him Tom tells Nick about his involvement with Gatsby’s death. At the end of the chapter Nick erases an obscene word off of Gatsby’s mansion steps and goes to the beach to think about the American Dream. The quote that best describes Meyer Wolfshiem is, “When I was a young man it was different- if a friend of mine died, no matter how, I stuck with them to the end…to the bitter end” (171). The bad qualities of Meyer Wolfshiem are that he is a shady criminal, a bootlegger, and dishonest.

The good qualities of Meyer are that he is caring for his friends and loyal. Fitzgerald uses this character to hint at how Gatsby really got his fortune. Additionally, he also represents the darker side of getting rich and how not everyone earns their money honestly. This chapter’s meaningful quote is significant to the novel’s theme. This is evident with Nick’s closing words:  Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—to-morrow we will fun faster, stretch out our arms farther….

And one fine morning—- So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. (180)  This quote’s significance to the novel’s theme is apparent because it talks about the American Dream and the importance of the past and hopes for the future. Additionally, with the symbols used in this quote it represents how people can’t escape the past as they struggle to reach their dreams. So, the importance of this quote is it symbolizes how Americans are positive they will achieve their dreams yet they lose themselves trying to get there.

In The Great Gatsby, Gatsby’s mansion symbolizes his love for Daisy and the emptiness of wealth while the East and West symbolize money in different social classes. Gatsby’s mansion is first mentioned by his father, Henry Gatz, to Nick, “It was a photograph of the house cracked in the corners and dirty with many hands” (172), and again by Nick, “On the last night…I went over and looked at that huge incoherent failure of a house once more” (179). This symbol is important to the story because it symbolizes the emptiness of Gatsby’s life and shows how his quest for Daisy was a failure.

The East and West were mentioned by Nick, “Even when the East excited me most, even when I was most keenly aware of it superiority to the bored, sprawling, swollen towns beyond the Ohio…” (176). It was mentioned again by Nick soon after, “After Gatsby’s death the East was haunted for me like that, distorted beyond my eyes’ power of correction” (176). The symbol is important to the story because they represented the different social classes and how they made a barrier between the people from the East and West.

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