The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald takes place among the contrast of the neighboring rich and poor. After reuniting with his cousin, Daisy Buchanan, Nick Calloway is thrust into a world in which both rich and poor are miserable and extra marital affairs are common. Not long after meeting Daisy’s husband, Tom Buchanan, Nick is soon exposed to the affair Tom is having with Myrtle Wilson. Myrtle Wilson is the wife of auto-mechanic, George Wilson. About this time Jay Gatsby enters the lives of many of the locals as the elusive host to many elaborate parties.
Gatsby’s interest in Nick eludes him until Jordan Baker enlightens him to the love Gatsby has long felt for Daisy. Jordan is Nicks love interest and a well-known golf champion. As a good friend to Daisy, Jordan has an insight to the feelings that are felt between Gatsby and Daisy. All affairs of the heart come to light one tragic evening and as Gatsby and Daisy leave the others behind Myrtle is killed as she runs across the street. Witnesses do not see the driver and Gatsby is soon telling Nick that Daisy had been driving the car on that fateful night. A mournful George out for vengeance eventually finds his way to Tom.
Tom has no intentions of admitting adultery with Myrtle, so he instead turns George’s attention to Gatsby as the culprit. Filled with rage, George shoots Gatsby then turns the gun on himself. Nick dutifully attempts to find mourners for Gatsby’s funeral but it would soon be proven that no one was interested in Gatsby himself, only with the good times he could provide them with. I will analyze this novel in terms of man’s search for identity. Socially we sometimes believe material things or overwhelming love are things that will make us whole or content with our lives.
We have false hopes about our lives and will not be easily fulfilled. We place emphasis on things or people to fill voids instead of concentrating on our souls and minds. I will discuss four of the main characters in this novel individually and analyze the search for their own identity. Jay Gatsby searches for his identity through love. The money he earns is simply something he needs to help him find the love he has dreamed of for years. Gatsby seeks a love that is concocted in his head and therefore unrealistic.
When Gatsby first meets Daisy she is young, beautiful, rich and very much out of his league. Gatsby specifically recalls falling in love with Daisy’s house while visiting her so he arranges for Daisy to have tea at Nick’s house, giving Daisy the perfect view of his own mansion. Gatsby has his lawn cut, buys flowers to impress Daisy and then nervously reintroduces himself. By impressing Daisy with his home Gatsby obviously longs for the same effect on her. Gatsby knows from the inception of his relationship with Daisy that he cannot have her if he does not have money.
Gatsby’s feelings of unwortyness are solidified when Daisy marries wealthy Tom Buchanan not long after Gatsby departs while serving in the military. Gatsby incorrectly assumes that money is all he needs and that the rest will fall into place. Unfortunately with or without money Gatsby cannot have the status and the prestige of old money and Daisy places herself above people with self-made riches. It seems all that Gatsby goes through to attain riches is in vane, for all the money in the world will never suffice in a world like Daisy’s.