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Even though the Jazz Age was what some would call the best time in history, it also had its bad side. Everything always seems to have a bad side to it. This novel was based around the Jazz Age-after World War I ended. After that time, the country seemed to go though many changes. The country made big changes in the area of women's independence. Even during the war, women had enjoyed economic independence by taking over jobs for the men who fought overseas (Bookrags-The Jazz Age and the Roaring Twenties). After the war, they began having financial independence and better lifestyles. They also gained the right to vote. During prohibition, alcohol could not be legally sold. "Bootleggers" were people who manufactured and sold liquor illegally, making a great deal of profit.
Writers from the Jazz Age started to write stories and base the plot around their life experiences. Even song writers were doing the same thing. In Fitzgerald's place, he seemed to write this novel pretty close to what his past life used to be like. His wife, Zelda, had been known to display some unusual behavior, somewhat like Daisy Buchanan. As Daisy said, "I loved you once, isn't that enough?" In the novel's case that would be Daisy and she never did love him again. Fitzgerald in this novel is pretty much the same as Gatsby.
Jay Gatsby, whose real name was James Gatz, was defiantly an odd person to some. He always had parties over at his place, and they always seemed filled with very rich and "classy" people. The thing is that it seemed like James Gatz didn't even know them. That's because he did things for show. All that he cared about was his appearance. Even that was for show for him, and all the time it was to impress Daisy to try and win her love back. He tried doing that for half of his life, and he didn't succeed. When Gatsby returned from the war, he was penniless. He thought Daisy would wait for him, but found instead that she had married the wealthy Tom Buchanan. Gatsby felt the only way to win her back was to compete with Tom. Gatsby knew that Daisy was superficial, but he was so much in love with her that he didn't care. Impressing her took over his life.
The character of Nick Carraway is introduced as Daisy's cousin from the Midwest. Nick Carraway brings his "Midwestern" morals to the story. He seems truly surprised at the behavior of the other characters. Nick is here to show how odd the behavior of the other characters really is. By comparing Nick to Tom, Daisy and Gatsby, the reader can see just how unethical these characters are. Nick represents "every man" or the values that most people had at that time. Without him, the other characters behavior would not seem as unusual.
Now Gatsby has spent his fortune, and his entire life, with the hope that someday he could find his old love with Daisy. There aren't many women like Daisy, in the novel, let alone in the world. Nick sees her as she truly is. Whenever someone has a conversation with her, it seems to be charmingly sassy and delightful. Even her cousin Nick can't help but be taken by her charms. The idea is very simple. Being charming isn't enough to make her stand out from the crowd. Gatsby sees her still as the innocent young girl he knew as a boy. He refuses to see her as she has become.
Some Critics believes that in 1925, The novel "The Great Gatsby" was
published and hailed as creative and material success for its young author, F. Scott Fitzgerald. It is considered a more mature and creatively masterful treatment of Fitzgerald's themes than his earlier fiction (bookteacher-Introduction to The Great Gatsby). These works inspect the results of the Jazz Age generation's devotion to false material values (The Great Gatsby Summary & Study Guide > Introduction). Other critics say that Nick's attitudes toward Gatsby and Gatsby's story are ambivalent and contradictory. At times he seems to disapprove of Gatsby's excesses and breaks the manners and ethics (Spartnotes-Great Gatsby-TONE).
If I ever had a women in my life turn me into someone like Gatsby, then I would have tried to make better decisions. In Gatsby's case, this woman would be Daisy. In everyone's eyes, she seems to be the one that everyone is always talking about because she is just perfect to them. However, Daisy's cousin Nick can't stand her shallowness. Nick isn't the nicest person, but is the most honest person you'll ever meet and he knows that. Then there's Gatsby, who never learned that you can't win someone's love or make someone love you, no matter what you try to do. Therefore, you should never be this crazy over a girl unless you know for sure she will be with you as long as you live. During the Jazz Age many people became shallow people easily impressed by money. The new feeling of social freedom went to many people's heads. Daisy and Tom are examples of this type of person. "The word careless also sums up one of the most important ideas in the book. Nick refers to Tom, Daisy, and Jordan as careless in one form or another. Their actions are careless and they are careless people. This is due to the ease of their life." (The Great Gatsby- a Homework Online Study guild Themes) The 1974 movie version follows the novel closely. It does a good job showing the symbolism, such as the light at the end of Daisy's dock serving as beacon of Gatsby's love, and the all seeing eyes of Dr. Eckelberg. The point of the novel "The Great Gatsby" is that you shouldn't let possessions and money mean more to you than people and relationships.