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The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, published in 1925. The novel is famous for capturing the mood of the 1920s, especially the moral void of a post-war society America obsessed with wealth and status. Although hardly a success upon its release, the novel is considered an American classic today, and many adaptations of the story have been made for stage, film, radio, and television. An operatic version of the story premiered in 1999.
The narrator, Nick Carraway, is a young Yale graduate who works as a bond broker in Manhattan. He rents a house at West Egg on Long Island across the water from his cousin, Daisy. His neighbour there is the mysterious Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire from the Midwest who lives the high life from the profits of his minor criminal activities. Gatsby’s infamous parties are attended by many guests who do not know their host. Nick becomes cynically fascinated and transfixed by Gatsby, and their friendship nurtures many confidences. Carraway learns that Gatsby and Daisy had been in love, but that Daisy had not waited for him to return from the war and had married another. Nick arranges a meeting between the two, and Daisy finds herself impressed by the change in Gatsby’s fortunes. Daisy’s husband Tom, himself already involved in an affair with the garage owner’s wife Myrtle, becomes jealous of Gatsby’s attention to his wife. Then Myrtle is killed in an accident, and Tom tells Myrtle’s husband that Gatsby is responsible. Through it all, Nick watches as Gatsby is betrayed by his own dreams, which have been nurtured by a pretentious society.
Adapted from https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Great-Gatsby
Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby is all about those roaring 20’s. The time to party. The time to let loose. The time to have fun. Fitzgerald definitely sets the stage for the time period and it’s characters not only tell of the past but they also share a story. The narrator Nick Carraway reveals insights into the characters lives that are still relevant today. Here are 6 life lessons from The Great Gatsby.
1. Have a focus on what you want
“Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.” —Meyer Wolfshiem
Gatsby wanted and longed for one thing his whole life. His main priority was not his mansion, money, parties, or fame. He just wanted Daisy. Daisy was his one thought and priority. Be like Gatsby and find something in life that makes you happy, and then never take your eye off it. Put all your energy and effort into it. Cherish it. And never take advantage of it.
2. We all need to be a little more like Nick Carraway
“Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” —Nick Carraway
Nick Carraway’s personality seems to exist because of the words of his father that always just stuck with him. His father is right when he says to not be quick to judge because people do not have the same advantages. Carraway’s character exemplifies this. He is non-judgmental. He sees people for simply what they are. Look for the good in people. You never know what a man’s real life is until you have walked a mile in his shoes.
3. You will meet an array of different people in your lifetime
“There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.” —Nick Carraway
As you grow older you will encounter many different people. Some will be happy, others lonely and sad. While there are young and old, the busy and the bored. Throughout Nick’s experience, he meets a vast amount of characters. Those caught up in money. Some living in the past. Some searching for love. No matter who you meet, each will be different and unique in its own.
4. We are all in search of the pursuit of happiness
The American Dream, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Everyone is entitled to chase after their dreams, find their passions, and pursue happiness. That is our goal, to use our life and liberty to achieve joy. That’s all we really want, and that’s all we really need. So I challenge you to journey through life in the pursuit of happiness.
5. Money doesn’t buy you happiness
Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby is all about the money, but is that what really makes the people happy? Daisy married Tom for money and she was living in an abusive and cheating relationship. She was rich but was constantly restless. Is that happiness? Gatsby had the biggest house, huge parties, millions of clothes, and loads of money. Is this what made him happy? No, Daisy’s love was Gatsby’s happiness. Do not seek happiness through possessions and money because in the end none of it will matter. It is the people that we love and care about that mean the most.
6. Your past is always part of the present
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” -Nick Carraway
Our past events and occurrences have shaped our present and future life. They have proceeded and the future is yet to follow. Gatsby’s whole life was changed because he meets Daisy in his past. He had fallen in love and his whole life was different from that point on. For the rest of his life, he was never the same. Our past has an enormous effect on our entire lives. Some for the better, some for the worst.