Gatsby meets a woman and falls in love with her. However, Gatsby does not have the fame and fortune a classy lady like Daisy desires. Gatsby decides to devote his whole life to achieving the material goods with which to satisfy Daisy. He lives in the past on a moment of absolute happiness hoping he can relive that state of emotion sometime in the future. F. Scott Fitzgerald published the book in 1925 using the actual time in history, the Roaring Twenties to help create Gatsby’s character.
Gatsby’s participation in the bootlegging business, the extravagant parties he throws, and the wealthy, careless lifestyle the Buchanans represent, are all vivid pictures of that time frame. Fitzgerald’s portrayal of the time period creates lifelike characters in the novel. By creating these personable characters, Fitzgerald is allowing the reader to associate himself with Gatsby, and letting him use his imagination, so that in the end, the reader can decide if the Great Gatsby is truly ‘great’.
Fitzgerald allows the reader to incorporate the story into their own past and past relationships, ultimately putting the reader in Gatsby’s shoes and seeing what the reader would do in the same situation. It raises a great debate; should people live their lives yearning for something in the past? Is it acceptable to live one’s whole life on a past experience or memory hoping to reach back in time and pull the past to the present. Is it healthy?
In this case, Fitzgerald is saying no its not healthy. He says it ruins a person and things change. Is Gatsby great? In some ways he is, you have to admire a man who lives his whole life devoting himself to his passion and never getting sidetracked. But you also have to realize that some things are foolish to live a dream upon, because nothing ever stays the same. Things change and when you reach a goal you realize it wasn’t what you emember.
Fitzgerald tackles a issue that everyone canrelate to and has to deal with sometime in his life. Fitzgerald presents a likable character, a likable story and time period to the reader. At the end he has the reader contemplating what he himself would do if a similar situation would arise in his life. Fitzgerald raises a great philosophical question, making the book enjoyable to read and think about.