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My review of the great gatsby

jeanelle 1 / 1  
Sep 20, 2007   #1
Fitzgerald used the social events such as the parties and Gatsby's funeral in The Great Gatsby, to show the deteriorating moral standards of the 1920's, and the empty lifestyles that had replaced them. Fitzgerald also viewed the cities as the beginning of this demoralization. The narrator, Nick, quickly saw how materialistic, vain, unfaithful, untruthful, and selfish the people of New York were. Nick's move to New York was the first time he was exposed to a wealthy urban society. Although Nick tried to be non-judgmental, as his father taught him, we judge the characters through his eyes. The observations made by Nick revealed Fitzgerald's tone. Nick was disgusted with what he saw. The reader can relate to Nick's internal conflict; it is hard not to judge. Overall though, Nick is a moral man and a reliable narrator, as well as Gatsby's most loyal friend, despite the fact that he always disapproved of Gatsby.

Gatsby loved to put on his pink suit and throw elaborate parties to show off his wealth. His guest's behavior would have been appropriate only at an amusement park. Pleasure seeking was the only thing their life consisted of. Gatsby didn't know half of his guests, but didn't seem to mind. Gatsby threw parties and flashed his wealth in hope that his love from long ago, Daisy, would come, even though he knew she was married to Tom and had a daughter. At the end of the night, guests would leave, arguing with their spouses, and not even thanking their host, who distracted them momentarily from their empty lives.

Nick met a drunken man in large glasses in Gatsby's library at one of these parties, whom he nicknamed Owl-eyes. Owl-eyes was amazed that Gatsby's books were real. Fitzgerald used this anecdote to ridicule the way people pretended to be more intelligent and wealthy than they were. The nickname Owl-eyes was ironic for this drunken man, but he was wise in his clear insight. Fitzgerald introduced Owl-eyes in a way so that the reader was immediately is critical, but then surprises us by using a positive attitude toward this drunken man. Like Nick, Owl-eyes is imperfect, but they are the only two characters Fitzgerald portrays as moral, as they were the only two friends who attended Gatsby's funeral.

When Nick went to New York City, Tom introduced him to his mistress, Myrtle. Nick went to the apartment that they had together, and Myrtle invited her sister, Catherine, and a couple who lived in their building to join them. It was obvious how vain and materialist Myrtle was. When complemented on the fancy dress she was wearing she said, " Oh this old thing." She loved Tom's money and social position, and loved to pretend she was rich and high class. At the end of the party, she and Tom argued, and he broke her nose. The others were not surprised and didn't even seem concerned, but rather annoyed at the mess they had to clean up. Nick could not believe that this was a social norm. In a few hours, he had noted the vanity, unfaithfulness, greed, domestic violence, and insincerity this empty society seemed to consist of.

In the end, Myrtle's husband shot Gatsby. Nick took it upon himself to arrange Gatsby's funeral. He traced down Gatsby's father, the last remaining member of the family Gatsby was ashamed of, which explains why he changed his name from Gatz to Gatsby. Gatsby didn't come from a rich family, as he would like others to believe, and was consequently secretive about his past. Mr. Gatz was amazed and proud when he saw his son's home and possessions. After opening his home to so many people for years, none cared enough to even pay their final respects. Nick couldn't believe that Klipspringer, nicknamed the boarder because he practically lived with Gatsby, only cared about his shoes that he had left at his last visit.

(is this focus and well-developed so far, the conclusion is still in progress)
Wonderfulloser 5 / 2  
Sep 20, 2007   #2
I really like the changes you made!
At the end of the second paragraph, maybe change "empty lives" to "hollow lives" or another word. Because you said empty lives in the first paragraph. =)

TYPO:"Fitzgerald introduced Owl-eyes in a way so that the reader was immediately is critical,"
take out the was or is.

When you are talking about Nick's findings after he Myrtle incident, maybe say "society void of value". EMPTY just sounds too little of a word.

hehe I must not like "empty"for some reason.

the boarder should be in quotes.

You have done a good job so far. I still think you maybe summarize a little too much. WHen describing the characters you give a lot a way...that may not be very good.

I like it though!

Like when you talk about going to Mrytle's you don't have to say who was invited...and at the end you don't really need to tell us Gatsby got shot by Wilson. You could say that his mterialism and greed led to his downfall or something.

Good Job.
I hope this helps!

EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Sep 21, 2007   #3

I think you're doing a great job so far! You do want to be careful, as Devyn pointed out, about summarizing too much without actually "reviewing"; implicit in the idea of a review is that you give your opinion about it, and simply telling what happened does not do that. You might want to add a little more of your thoughts and interpretations.

A couple of editing suggestions:

His guests' behavior would have been appropriate only at an amusement park.

Pleasure seeking was the only thing their lives consisted of.

Keep up the good work!


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