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  • Introduction

Life in West Egg and East Egg

Resurfacing gatsby’s past, a deadly crash and a shooting, setting and historical context, publication history, legacy, and adaptations, the meaning of the great gatsby.

Robert Redford in The Great Gatsby

  • When did American literature begin?
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  • Who was F. Scott Fitzgerald?
  • When and where was F. Scott Fitzgerald born?

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The Great Gatsby

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  • Trinity College Digital Repository - Why We Believe Nick Carraway: Narrative Reliability & American Identity in The Great Gatsby
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The Great Gatsby , novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald , published in 1925 by Charles Scribner’s Sons. Set in Jazz Age New York , it tells the story of Jay Gatsby , a self-made millionaire, and his pursuit of Daisy Buchanan, a wealthy young woman whom he loved in his youth .

Commercially unsuccessful when it was first published, The Great Gatsby —which was Fitzgerald’s third novel—is now considered a classic of American fiction and has often been called the Great American Novel.

Young woman with glasses reading a book, student

  • Who is Jay Gatsby, and what are the parties like at his house?
  • How does Tom Buchanan react to the relationship that his wife, Daisy, has with Gatsby?
  • What shocking event occurs when Daisy, seated beside Gatsby, is driving his car, and how does it affect everyone involved?
  • How does The Great Gatsby capture the essence of the Jazz Age?
  • How did The Great Gatsby ’s popularity change over time?
  • What is the significance of West Egg vs. East Egg, and which wins in the end?

These AI-generated questions have been reviewed by Britannica’s editors.

Plot summary

The Great Gatsby is narrated by Nick Carraway , a Yale University graduate from the Midwest who moves to New York after World War I to pursue a career in bonds . He recounts the events of the summer he spent in the East two years later, reconstructing his story through a series of flashbacks not always told in chronological order.

In the spring of 1922, Nick takes a house in the fictional village of West Egg on Long Island , where he finds himself living among the colossal mansions of the newly rich. Across the water in the more refined village of East Egg live his cousin Daisy and her brutish, absurdly wealthy husband Tom Buchanan. Early in the summer Nick goes over to their house for dinner, where he also meets Jordan Baker, a friend of Daisy’s and a well-known golf champion, who tells him that Tom has a mistress in New York City . In a private conversation, Daisy confesses to Nick that she has been unhappy. Returning to his house in West Egg, he catches sight of his neighbor Jay Gatsby standing alone in the dark and stretching his arms out to a green light burning across the bay at the end of Tom and Daisy’s dock.

Early in July Tom introduces Nick to his mistress, Myrtle Wilson, who lives with her spiritless husband George Wilson in what Nick calls “a valley of ashes”: an industrial wasteland presided over by the bespectacled eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg, which stare down from an advertising billboard. Meeting her at the garage where George works as a repairman, the three of them go to Tom and Myrtle’s apartment in Manhattan. They are joined by Myrtle’s sister and some other friends who live nearby, and the evening ends in heavy drunkenness and Tom punching Myrtle in the nose when she brings up Daisy. Nick wakes up in a train station the morning afterward.

As the summer progresses, Nick grows accustomed to the noises and lights of dazzling parties held at his neighbor’s house, where the famous and newly rich turn up on Saturday nights to enjoy Gatsby’s well-stocked bar and full jazz orchestra. Nick attends one of these parties when personally invited by Gatsby and runs into Jordan, with whom he spends most of the evening. He is struck by the apparent absence of the host and the impression that all of his guests seem to have dark theories about Gatsby’s past. However, Nick meets him at last in a rather quiet encounter later in the evening when the man sitting beside him identifies himself as Gatsby. Gatsby disappears and later asks to speak to Jordan privately. Jordan returns amazed by what he has told her, but she is unable to tell Nick what it is.

Nick begins seeing Jordan Baker as the summer continues, and he also becomes better acquainted with Gatsby. One afternoon in late July when they are driving into Manhattan for lunch, Gatsby tries to dispel the rumors circulating around himself, and he tells Nick that he is the son of very wealthy people who are all dead and that he is an Oxford man and a war hero. Nick is skeptical about this. At lunch he meets Gatsby’s business partner Meyer Wolfsheim, the man who fixed the World Series in 1919 (based on a real person and a real event from Fitzgerald’s day). Later, at tea, Jordan Baker tells Nick the surprising thing that Gatsby had told her in confidence at his party: Gatsby had known Nick’s cousin Daisy almost five years earlier in Louisville and they had been in love, but then he went away to fight in the war and she married Tom Buchanan. Gatsby bought his house on West Egg so he could be across the water from her.

At Gatsby’s request, Nick agrees to invite Daisy to his house, where Gatsby can meet her. A few days later he has them both over for tea, and Daisy is astonished to see Gatsby after nearly five years. The meeting is at first uncomfortable, and Nick steps outside for half an hour to give the two of them privacy. When he returns, they seem fully reconciled , Gatsby glowing with happiness and Daisy in tears. Afterward they go next door to Gatsby’s enormous house, and Gatsby shows off its impressive rooms to Daisy.

As the days pass, Tom becomes aware of Daisy’s association with Gatsby. Disliking it, he shows up at one of Gatsby’s parties with his wife. It becomes clear that Daisy does not like the party and is appalled by the impropriety of the new-money crowd at West Egg. Tom suspects that Gatsby is a bootlegger, and he says so. Voicing his dismay to Nick after the party is over, Gatsby explains that he wants Daisy to tell Tom she never loved him and then marry him as though the years had never passed.

Gatsby’s wild parties cease thereafter, and Daisy goes over to Gatsby’s house in the afternoons. On a boiling hot day near the end of the summer, Nick arrives for lunch at the Buchanans’ house; Gatsby and Jordan have also been invited. In the dining room, Daisy pays Gatsby a compliment that makes clear her love for him, and, when Tom notices this, he insists they drive into town.

Daisy and Gatsby leave in Tom’s blue coupe, while Tom drives Jordan and Nick in Gatsby’s garish yellow car. On the way, Tom stops for gas at George Wilson’s garage in the valley of ashes, and Wilson tells Tom that he is planning to move west with Myrtle as soon as he can raise the money. This news shakes Tom considerably, and he speeds on toward Manhattan, catching up with Daisy and Gatsby.

The whole party ends up in a parlor at the Plaza Hotel, hot and in bad temper . As they are about to drink mint juleps to cool off, Tom confronts Gatsby directly on the subject of his relationship with Daisy. Daisy tries to calm them down, but Gatsby insists that Daisy and he have always been in love and that she has never loved Tom. As the fight escalates and Daisy threatens to leave her husband, Tom reveals what he learned from an investigation into Gatsby’s affairs—that he had earned his money by selling illegal alcohol at drugstores in Chicago with Wolfsheim after Prohibition laws went into effect. Gatsby tries to deny it, but Daisy has lost her resolve, and his cause seems hopeless. As they leave the Plaza, Nick realizes that it is his 30th birthday.

Gatsby and Daisy leave together in Gatsby’s car, with Daisy driving. On the road they hit and kill Myrtle, who, after having a vehement argument with her husband, had run into the street toward Gatsby’s passing car, thinking it was Tom. Terrified, Daisy continues driving, but the car is seen by witnesses. Coming behind them, Tom stops his car when he sees a commotion on the road. He is stunned and devastated when he finds the body of his mistress dead on a table in Wilson’s garage.

Wilson accusingly tells him it was a yellow car that hit her, but Tom insists it was not his and drives on to East Egg in tears. Back at the Buchanans’ house in East Egg, Nick finds Gatsby hiding in the garden and learns that it was Daisy who was driving, though Gatsby insists that he will say it was he if his car is found. He says he will wait outside Daisy’s house in case Tom abuses Daisy.

The next morning Nick goes over to Gatsby’s house, where he has returned, dejected . Nick advises him to go away, afraid that his car will be traced. He refuses, and that night he tells Nick the truth about his past: he had come from a poor farming family and had met Daisy in Louisville while serving in the army, but he was too poor to marry her at the time. He earned his incredible wealth only after the war (by bootlegging , as Tom discovered).

Reluctantly, Nick leaves for work, while Gatsby continues to wait for a call from Daisy. That afternoon, George Wilson arrives in East Egg, where Tom tells him that it was Gatsby who killed his wife. Wilson makes his way to Gatsby’s house, where he finds Gatsby in his pool. Wilson shoots Gatsby and then himself. Afterward the Buchanans leave Long Island. They give no forwarding address. Nick arranges Gatsby’s funeral, although only two people attend , one of whom is Gatsby’s father. Nick moves back to the Midwest, disgusted with life in the East.

Set in the Jazz Age (a term popularized by Fitzgerald), The Great Gatsby vividly captures its historical moment: the economic boom in America after World War I, the new jazz music, the free-flowing illegal liquor. As Fitzgerald later remarked in an essay about the Roaring Twenties , it was “a whole race going hedonistic, deciding on pleasure.”

According to F. Scott Fitzgerald, the 1920s witnessed “a whole race going hedonistic, deciding on pleasure.”

The brazenly lavish culture of West Egg is a reflection of the new prosperity that was possible during Prohibition , when illegal schemes involving the black-market selling of liquor abounded. Such criminal enterprises are the source of Gatsby’s income and finance his incredible parties, which are probably based on parties Fitzgerald himself attended when he lived on Long Island in the early 1920s.

The racial anxieties of the period are also evident in the novel; Tom’s diatribe on The Rise of the Colored Empires —a reference to a real book published in 1920 by the American political scientist Lothrop Stoddard—points to the burgeoning eugenics movement in the United States during the early 20th century.

the great gatsby essays

Fitzgerald finished The Great Gatsby in early 1925 while he was living in France, and Scribner’s published it in April of the same year. Fitzgerald struggled considerably in choosing a title, toying with Trimalchio and Under the Red, White and Blue , among others; he was never satisfied with the title The Great Gatsby , under which it was ultimately published.

The illustration for the novel’s original dust jacket was commissioned by Fitzgerald’s editor Maxwell Perkins seven months before he was in possession of the finished manuscript. It was designed by Francis Cugat, a Spanish-born artist who did Hollywood movie posters, and depicts the eyes of a woman hanging over the carnival lights of Coney Island . The design was well-loved by Fitzgerald, and he claimed in a letter to Perkins that he had written it into the book, though whether this refers to the eyes of Doctor Eckleburg or something else is uncertain. Cugat’s painting is now one of the most well-known and celebrated examples of jacket art in American literature .

While Fitzgerald considered The Great Gatsby to be his greatest achievement at the time it was published, the book was neither a critical nor a commercial success upon publication. Reviews were mixed, and the 20,000 copies of its first printing sold slowly. It was printed one more time during Fitzgerald’s life, and there were still copies unsold from this second printing when he died in 1940.

The Great Gatsby was rediscovered a few years later and enjoyed an exponential growth in popularity in the 1950s, soon becoming a standard text of high-school curricula in the United States. It remains one of Scribner’s best sellers, and it is now considered a masterpiece of American fiction. In 2021 it entered the public domain in the United States.

There have been several film adaptations of the novel, most notably a production directed by Jack Clayton in 1974, starring Robert Redford as Gatsby, and one in 2013 directed by Baz Luhrmann , starring Leonardo DiCaprio .

the great gatsby essays

Above all, The Great Gatsby has been read as a pessimistic examination of the American Dream . At its center is a remarkable rags-to-riches story, of a boy from a poor farming background who has built himself up to fabulous wealth. Jay Gatsby is someone who once had nothing but who now entertains rich and celebrated people in his enormous house on Long Island. However, even though Gatsby’s wealth may be commensurate with the likes of Tom Buchanan’s, he is ultimately unable to break into the “distinguished secret society” of those who were born wealthy. His attempt to win Daisy Buchanan, a woman from a well-established family of the American elite, ends in disaster and his death.

This tension between “new money” and “old money” is represented in the book by the contrast between West Egg and East Egg. West Egg is portrayed as a tawdry, brash society that “chafed under the old euphemisms,” full of people who have made their money in an age of unprecedented materialism. East Egg, in contrast, is a refined society populated by America’s “staid nobility,” those who have inherited their wealth and who frown on the rawness of West Egg. In the end, it is East Egg that might be said to triumph: while Gatsby is shot and his garish parties are dispersed, Tom and Daisy are unharmed by the terrible events of the summer.

The Great Gatsby is memorable for the rich symbolism that underpins its story. Throughout the novel, the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock is a recurrent image that beckons to Gatsby’s sense of ambition. It is a symbol of “the orgastic future” he believes in so intensely, toward which his arms are outstretched when Nick first sees him. It is this “extraordinary gift for hope” that Nick admires so much in Gatsby, his “heightened sensitivity to the promises of life.” Once Daisy is within Gatsby’s reach, however, the “colossal significance” of the green light disappears. In essence, the green light is an unattainable promise, one that Nick understands in universal terms at the end of the novel: a future we never grasp but for which we are always reaching. Nick compares it to the hope the early settlers had in the promise of the New World. Gatsby’s dream fails, then, when he fixates his hope on a real object, Daisy. His once indefinite ambition is thereafter limited to the real world and becomes prey to all of its corruption.

The valley of ashes—an industrial wasteland located between West Egg and Manhattan—serves as a counterpoint to the brilliant future promised by the green light. As a dumping ground for the refuse of nearby factories, it stands as the consequence of America’s postwar economic boom, the ugly truth behind the consumer culture that props up newly rich people like Gatsby. In this valley live men like George Wilson who are “already crumbling.” They are the underclasses that live without hope, all the while bolstering the greed of a thriving economy. Notably, Gatsby does not in the end escape the ash of this economy that built him: it is George Wilson who comes to kill him, described as an “ashen” figure the moment before he shoots Gatsby.

Over the valley of ashes hover the bespectacled eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg, which appear on the advertising billboard of an oculist. These eyes almost become a moral conscience in the morally vacuous world of The Great Gatsby ; to George Wilson they are the eyes of God. They are said to “brood” and “[keep] their vigil” over the valley, and they witness some of the most corrupt moments of the novel: Tom and Myrtle’s affair, Myrtle’s death, and the valley itself, full of America’s industrial waste and the toiling poor. However, in the end they are another product of the materialistic culture of the age, set up by Doctor Eckleburg to “fatten his practice.” Behind them is just one more person trying to get rich. Their function as a divine being who watches and judges is thus ultimately null , and the novel is left without a moral anchor.

“The Great Gatsby”: Themes of Desire, Decay, and the American Dream

This essay about “The Great Gatsby” analyzes the core themes and narrative structure of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel. It centers on Jay Gatsby, a symbol of the self-made American man, and his obsession with the elusive Daisy Buchanan, reflecting the broader societal decay and the hollowness of the American Dream during the Jazz Age. Through the eyes of narrator Nick Carraway, the story dissects the moral and social layers of 1920s America, contrasting Gatsby’s lavish parties with the bleak valley of ashes. The novel’s rich symbolism, particularly the green light on Daisy’s dock, underscores the perpetual quest for unattainable desires. The essay argues that Fitzgerald’s work is a critical examination of American idealism, material excess, and the inherent flaws in the pursuit of happiness through wealth.

How it works

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” written in 1925, is a deep dive into American dreams and disappointments during the Jazz Age. Through its tight story and rich characters, Fitzgerald paints a colorful picture of societal decay, shattered idealism, and the destructive power of obsession. Let’s explore the main themes and elements that make this novel so powerful.

At the center of the story is Jay Gatsby, a man who changes from a poor Midwestern boy to a rich New York socialite, symbolizing the self-made American man.

But Gatsby’s wealth isn’t just for show; it’s his way of trying to win back his lost love, Daisy Buchanan. The sad irony of Gatsby’s life is that he achieves great wealth and social status, only to find them empty without Daisy. Daisy, married and part of the old-money class, becomes a symbol of Gatsby’s dreams and his ultimate downfall.

Fitzgerald uses the setting—both time and place—to highlight the novel’s themes. The roaring twenties, marked by a post-war economic boom and moral decline, provide the backdrop. Gatsby’s grand parties on West Egg, full of the era’s excesses, sharply contrast with the bleak valley of ashes, a dumping ground between the city and the suburbs that symbolizes the decay beneath society’s shiny surface. This stark contrast shows the disparities in American society and the illusion of the American Dream.

The narrator, Nick Carraway, offers a unique perspective on the story. As Gatsby’s neighbor and Daisy’s cousin, Nick is both a participant and an observer, often showing disillusionment with the hollow luxury he sees. His Midwestern values and moral judgments shape the narrative, offering a critique of the American upper class as he wrestles with his own place within or outside this world.

“The Great Gatsby” also subtly critiques the elusive nature of the American Dream. Gatsby’s tragic flaw isn’t just his obsession with Daisy but his belief that he can achieve his ideal through hard work and wealth. Fitzgerald suggests that Gatsby’s dream is flawed from the start, tainted by his shady business dealings and the shallowness of his social circle. The novel questions whether the American Dream is real or just an illusion leading to ruin, as seen in Gatsby’s fate.

Moreover, the narrative structure and symbolism—like the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock that Gatsby reaches for—enrich the novel’s themes. This green light symbolizes Gatsby’s hopes and dreams for the future, serving as a powerful image of longing that drives the story and deepens its commentary on desire and the American experience.

In conclusion, “The Great Gatsby” isn’t just a love story or a critique of the Jazz Age. It’s a profound exploration of the American spirit—its aspirations, its failures, and its endless restlessness. Fitzgerald captures the essence of an era and its lasting impact on American culture, making “The Great Gatsby” a timeless reflection on chasing dreams and the cost of living in pursuit of a goal that might always be out of reach. Through his elegant prose and poignant themes, Fitzgerald invites readers to ponder ambition and happiness in a world that might ultimately be beyond our control.

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The Great Gatsby: Analysis and Feminist Critique

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The Great Gatsby: Abstract

Introduction, the great gatsby: summary and analysis.

This Great Gatsby essay explores one of the greatest novels written in the 1920s. It was created in the days when the society was by far patriarchal, and the concept of the American dream was different. Essays on The Great Gatsby usually explore how much men had dominated society, which led to women discrimination and objectification; the novel will help us understand the concept of feminist critique.

The feminist critique is an aspect that seeks to explore the topic of men domination in the social, economic, and political sectors. It aims to expose how much women characters have been discriminated in the society through the study of literature. This sample essay on The Great Gatsby will apply the concept of feminist critique with reference to the F. Scott Fitzgerald’s work to expose some of the aspects of patriarchal society as revealed in the novel.

The Great Gatsby starts by bringing in a male character, Nick Carraway, as the narrator. First, the narrator is just from the First World War and seeks to settle and takes a job in New York. Searching for wealth and happiness, he rents a bungalow in West Egg next to a generous and mysterious bachelor Jay Gatsby, who owned a mansion.

Nick describes the mansion as “a colossal affair by any standard – it is an imitation of some Hotel de villa in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool, and more than forty acres of lawn and garden” (Fitzgerald 1).

The introduction analysis brings out a theme of male occupying a more significant portion of wealth. These two men were relatively young and yet so rich to own such property at their age. The mentioned women, Daisy, Jordan, and Myrtle, are just an attachment to the men in the society since they all at some level depict an aspect of lack of independence since men dominate every aspect of life.

Socially, men seem to dominate in the relationships in The Great Gatsby. Tom’s financial power sets him way ahead of that he can afford to have an affair outside marriage. That’s what he does in an open way as he invites Nick, Daisy’s cousin, to meet his mistress Myrtle Wilson. Nick’s reflection on the relationship between Tom and Daisy, Tom, and Myrtle shows a break of social norms.

Tom’s relationship with the two women is abusive and of so much control. He abuses Myrtle publicly in the name of making her straight by even beating her. Tom comes out as a man who has so much power to bully everybody, including Myrtle’s husband Wilson, he also has so much control in Daisy, his wife.

Usually, one will expect that Nick being a cousin to Daisy, will resist seeing their close relatives get involved in extra-marital affairs. Nick being a man, supports other men, Tom and Gatsby, in their moves. After knowing that Gatsby had been in love with Daisy before she got married, he allows reconnection to happen in his own house although Gatsby’s credibility was still in question to him.

He admires Gatsby’s having “an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness he had never found in any other person and which it was not likely he could ever find again” (Fitzgerald 1). This admiration overpowered his questions on Gatsby’s character and that of his company. This shows that men’s dominance was critical since women were to follow what the men wanted them to, not their choices.

The novel was written in a time when men could batter women if dissatisfied by their actions, absolutely ignoring women’s rights. In the meeting with Myrtle, when an argument ensued between Tom and the mistress, Tom broke her nose to shut her up. The whole thing looks normal and even when George complains to him, he is not moved by his cry.

Tom is the dominant character in the novel. He harasses people starting with his wife, his mistress, George and even Gatsby. Tom is seen doing the same thing Gatsby does, dating a married woman, but he has the guts to confront him on his affair with Daisy. When Myrtle died, he fires a battle between Gatsby and George by convincing him that Gatsby had an affair with Myrtle.

George kills Gatsby before killing himself as a sign of revenge. The revenge was purely egotistic to reclaim his position as Myrtle’s husband since his status as a man on top of the relationship had been invalid. This leaves a mark in moral decadence, which only happens in a patriarchal society that cannot be controlled by any other voice than the male voice.

The novel has so much influence geographically and culturally due to the approach used and the structure itself. Tom Buchanan’s treatment of his wife and mistress and Gatsby’s manipulation of Daisy, Tom’s wife, brings out the aspect of male domination. The male has a dominant part in the exploitation of power in the relationships, and marital status is nothing of a worry when one wants to pursue their mistresses. Men in the text have idolized women, and they justify their reasons for the exploitation of women.

For example, Gatsby’s life is made true by the fact that he managed to have a relationship with a lady he had loved before. He does everything to get her, which include him “buying a house in West Egg just so that Daisy would be just across the bay” (Fitzgerald 1). This was a crucial sport in being strategic in his plans.

Tom, on the other hand, uses his physical and financial powers to prove that he is in control. He and Gatsby set social structures that attract women to them. However, Nick, the narrator, was not able to relate with the unpredictable and manipulative Jordan Baker. Jordan Baker’s character of believing that she could do as much as a man could do scared him away. She is unlike Daisy, who chose to stay with Tom, although she was in the relationship for financial gains.

Gatsby describes her as one with “voice is full of money” (Fitzgerald 1). For Jordan’s belief in herself, Nick later blames his failure to cope with her on her partying, smoking, and drinking character without really revealing that he had the same character as being pragmatic.

Women in the great gatsby had been accustomed to so much submission; an example is in Daisy’s character. She has a complacent kind of character that makes it difficult to make her own decisions.

She exhibits incapacity to have an independent sense of self-will that Gatsby takes advantage of to win her by flattering her with words like “You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock” (Fitzgerald 1). The fact that she had a relationship before with Gatsby was enough to lead her in deciding to have an affair with him.

Myrtle also belongs to the same types of women as Daisy as she engages in a relationship with another woman’s husband just because they met and liked each other. This aspect manages to bring out a clear definition of gender roles and identity in the earlier days when the novel was written. Men ask, and women respond without looking at what could be affected in their decisions.

The Great Gatsby sample essay shows how the novel brings out an aspect of both genders reclaiming their positions in society in terms of gender relations. Though the male has dominated, and the female has proven to be dependent on men, they both need to redefine themselves as the victims of social norms.

The male gender has dominated the economic and social part of the society making sure that the role of women is reduced to being subjects to the male exercise of power. This has been shown clearly by women getting trapped in the misogyny and manipulation set by men hence making it hard for them to stand by their choices. Their gender nature dictates the character choice in the male-dominated world.

The male exercise their power over the significant female characters by ensuring that they remain the sole financial sources, and the women exercise their dependence by remaining in their marriages despite their involvement in affairs outside marriage. Though there are men like George, who have lost their position, they still exhibit their ego by defending their marriages.

Fitzgerald, Scott. The Great Gatsby. University of Adelaide, 2005. Web.

  • Short Summary
  • Summary (Chapter 1)
  • Summary (Chapter 2)
  • Summary (Chapter 3)
  • Summary (Chapter 4)
  • Summary (Chapter 5)
  • Summary (Chapter 6)
  • Summary (Chapter 7)
  • Summary (Chapter 8)
  • Summary (Chapter 9)
  • Symbolism & Style
  • Quotes Explained
  • Essay Topics & Examples
  • Questions & Answers
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Biography
  • The Corrupted American Dream and Its Significance in “The Great Gatsby”
  • Tom and George in Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby
  • Nick as the Narrator in The Great Gatsby
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  • Comparison of the Opening Scene of Macbeth by Orson Welles and The Tragedy of Macbeth by Roman Polanski
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IvyPanda. (2018, June 9). The Great Gatsby: Analysis and Feminist Critique. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-great-gatsby/

"The Great Gatsby: Analysis and Feminist Critique." IvyPanda , 9 June 2018, ivypanda.com/essays/the-great-gatsby/.

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, how to write a compare/contrast essay for the great gatsby.

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These compare/contrast essays are an opportunity for you to tie the character similarities and differences to larger observations about society and class, the American Dream , or identity in the novel. They also allow you to practice standard English class skills: close reading, using lines from the text as evidence, and taking a stance and presenting a supporting argument in an essay.

We’ll go over some basic dos and don’ts for writing compare/contrast essays before diving into some analysis of the most asked-about character pairings. Keep reading if you have a Compare/Contrast assignment on the horizon!

Article Roadmap

  • The do's of a compare and contrast essay
  • The don'ts of a compare contrast essay
  • Why some characters are paired for comparison more often than others
  • Nick and Gatsby
  • Tom and George
  • Tom and Gatsby
  • Daisy and Jordan
  • Daisy and Myrtle

What to Do in a Compare/Contrast Essay

Like anything you write for English class, your essay should be clearly organized, with a thesis statement (a one-sentence summary of your argument), and topic sentences for each body paragraph.

And you should definitely have an overall argument! The point of the compare/contrast essay isn’t for you to just list the differences and similarities between two characters, you need to take those observations and make a larger argument about the novel as a whole . That larger argument allows you to practice writing an essay that contains an argument, which is a skill that nearly all English teachers are focused on building.

To take a quick example, don’t just list the differences between Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby. Instead, make an argument like, “Fitzgerald’s portrayal of wealthy New York society through Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan allows him to critique both old money and the newly rich, while reserving his most pointed critiques for the old money crowd.” (Obviously, that’s just one example, and there are dozens of potential arguments you could make while comparing and contrasting characters in Gatsby!)

Make sure to address your larger argument in each body paragraph as you draw out the similarities and differences between the two characters. Don’t get caught in the weeds as you tease out the many differences and similarities in each character pair. Always link back to the bigger picture.

Finally, analyze each quote you use – in other words, don’t stick a quote in your essay and do nothing with it. Make sure to explain how and why the quote demonstrates a key similarity or difference, and what that means for your bigger argument.

What to Avoid in a Compare/Contrast Essay

Don’t just list differences and similarities without an overarching argument . Although you can definitely start brainstorming by making a list of similarities and differences, just presenting that list in essay form won’t get you a good grade, since you need to go deeper and explain what the similarities/differences suggest about the novel as a whole.

And, on the other side, don’t make big claims without some evidence from the text to back them up . For example, don’t say “Tom is selfish while Gatsby cares about others.” Prove those two separate claims (Tom is selfish” and “Gatsby cares about others”) with relevant lines from the book. (And if you’re having a hard time locating good quotes, find a digital version of Gatsby you can search using the CTRL-F function. It’s a lifesaver when gathering relevant quotes for an essay!)

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Why Are These Characters Paired Most Often?

We will tackle these major pairings in the next sections of this article:

Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby

Tom buchanan and jay gatsby, tom buchanan and george wilson, daisy buchanan and jordan baker, daisy buchanan and myrtle wilson.

Before we dig into the analysis, you might be wondering: “why are we only comparing characters of the same gender?” or maybe “why not other pairings? Why not Jordan and Myrtle, or Nick and Tom?” We are focusing on these specific pairings because they are by far the most commonly asked about pairs in essay prompts and discussion topics for The Great Gatsby . And we want this guide, first and foremost, to be helpful to students as you work on assignments involving Gatsby!

Furthermore, these pairings help teachers get you to explore some of the novel’s larger themes . For example, comparing Daisy/ Myrtle or Tom/George can help you explore the differences between the wealthy and the working class . Comparing Daisy/Myrtle or Daisy/Jordan can help you explore the changing status of women during the 1920s. Comparing Tom and Gatsby can get at the old money/new money divide. Finally, differences between Nick and Gatsby raise some of the novel’s larger questions about the American Dream , repeating the past, and identity. In short, these pairings have become common because they each allow fairly easy access to one of the novel’s larger issues.

That’s not to say you couldn’t also explore some of those themes by comparing, say, Jordan and George, or Daisy and Gatsby, but cross-gender compare/contrast essays can be challenging because the status of women and men is so different in the novel. If you are interested in seeing how a particular male and female character are paired, you may be better off studying them through the lens of love, desire, and relationships in the novel, or through the way they relate to one of the novel's symbols or motifs.

With those thoughts in mind, let's jump into the top 5 pairings! For each pairing, we will suggest a few possible larger arguments you can either build from or disagree with, but these are far from comprehensive! You should add to our analysis of the characters and come up with an argument you’re excited about.

Quick Note on Our Citations

Our citation format in this guide is (chapter.paragraph). We're using this system since there are many editions of Gatsby, so using page numbers would only work for students with our copy of the book. To find a quotation we cite via chapter and paragraph in your book, you can either eyeball it (Paragraph 1-50: beginning of chapter; 50-100: middle of chapter; 100-on: end of chapter), or use the search function if you're using an online or eReader version of the text.

Although Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway vary both in outlook and temperament, they are also alike in interesting ways. Despite somewhat similar desires, attitudes, and social positions, Nick and Gatsby make very different choices during the novel.

Love and Romance . Nick and Gatsby both want women that are out of their reach, although in different degrees. Daisy is miles above Gatsby in terms of social class. Jordan and Nick are of the same social status, but Jordan doesn't seem free to make her own decisions since an aunt controls her financial life. There is a significant passion gap between Gatsby and Nick as well. Gatsby obsesses over Daisy - he has thought of nothing else for five years, going as far as to buy a house across the bay from her just in case she notices. Nick, meanwhile, is attracted to Jordan's cool and self-sufficient demeanor, but he is clearly not in love with her, as he himself notes ("I wasn't actually in love, but I felt a sort of tender curiosity" (3.159)). 

Approach to Women.  Both men are not particularly interested in the inner lives of the women they want to be with. Gatsby is devastated when Daisy doesn't want to renounce her relationship with Tom completely. Similarly, Nick cavalierly discounts Jordan's penchant to lie, cheat, and generally be cynically uninterested in other people, and then is deeply disappointed when she acts this way after Myrtle's death.

Class and Social Standing.  Although both Gatsby and Nick are outsiders to the wealthy communities of East and West Egg, Nick is a much more in-between character socially than Gatsby. Nick is familiar with the ways of the old money crowd because of his own family's privilege and the fact that he is related to Daisy. Gatsby is not only self-made, but is a criminal who is desperate to pass as part of the old money elite without knowing its customs or rules of behavior. What isolates Nick from East Egg life is his Midwestern values and the importance he places on morality and decency. Gatsby is isolated from everyone by the fact that he can never actually be himself - he is always playing a role and putting on his "Oxford man" persona. It may be this sense of feeling out of place that connects them.

Outlook and Temperament.  Gatsby is an optimist (almost to a delusional degree) while Nick is a realist who finds Gatsby's idealism inspiring and admirable. Gatsby believes in his ability to shape his own life and future, which makes sense since he has managed to transform himself from a farmer to a successful gangster, to impersonate an "Oxford man," and to accumulate a fantastic amount of wealth in a very short time. This belief in his power translates to Gatsby being sure that he and Daisy can go back to their month of idyllic love ("'Can't repeat the past?', he cried incredulously. 'Why of course you can!'" (6.129). Nick tries his best to be an objective realist and to reign in his tendency to judge others. He is deeply in awe of self-directed men like Gatsby, and even Wolfshiem (Nick is amazed to think that one man could be behind a huge event like the rigged World Series). 

Ambition.  Gatsby dreams of greatness. As a young man his mind “romped like the mind of God,” and so as an adult, he seems to have made good on this promise by buying the most ridiculous mansion and throwing the most extravagant parties (6.134). Nick is much less ambitious in comparison. While he comes to New York seeking excitement, he doesn't want to be the wealthiest bond salesman on Wall Street or to have the biggest house. He is happy to be an observer at the edge of the drama rather than being in its midst.

Nick and Gatsby Essay Ideas

Here are potential arguments to build on or disagree with based our observations. These are certainly not the only possible arguments, so be creative! Make sure your essay considers what the similarities and differences between Nick and Gatsby reveal about the novel as a whole.

  • Nick is a passive person and Gatsby is active, which is why Gatsby is the hero and Nick simply the observer.
  • Nick has much more in common with Gatsby than he thinks he does, which explains why he becomes so enamored of him.
  • Nick serves as a foil (someone who serves as a contrast) to Gatsby, which makes Nick the best possible observer of Gatsby.
  • At the end of the novel, Tom says that Gatsby “threw dirt in [Nick’s] eyes, just like Daisy’s,” meaning that both Nick and Daisy were taken in and could never see the true Gatsby: a narcissist and a criminal. Tom is right - the whole novel is Nick trying to spin a negative character into a positive one.

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As they battle over Daisy’s love, Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby sometimes seem surprisingly similar - particular in their self-centeredness, wealth, and concern with appearances. At the same time, these surface parallels point to major conflicts in their social class, and say a lot about the world of the novel.

Appearance.  Gatsby is driven by his materialism to be very invested having fashionable clothes, a beautiful mansion, and visually overwhelming parties - for him, the outfit is the thing that makes the Oxford man . Meanwhile because Tom doesn't have to dress the part of the moneyed elite to be one, he is instead very attuned to the behavior of others. This is why he immediately sees how fake Gatsby's persona is, both because of Gatsby's overly ostentatious clothes, and because of how much Gatsby misreads the fake invitation from the Sloanes. Tom is never fooled into thinking that Gatsby is anything other than an upstart, and mostly likely a criminal one.

Self-Centeredness.  Tom and Gatsby are both completely selfish, and fully convinced that their desires have to be acquiesced to by those around them. Tom, for example, starts his affair with Myrtle by pressing himself against her on a train platform - basically, his version of flirting is bodily assault. Gatsby, meanwhile, also thinks nothing of starting an affair with a married woman, assuming that his obsessive feelings are enough to justify any behavior.

Wealth.  Despite the fact that both are unimaginably rich, these men come from totally different sides of the big money divide. Tom comes from old money and is forever worried about the encroachment of the nouveau riche, minorities, and others onto what he thinks is his. At the same time, Gatsby is the most successful of the novel's many ambitious social climbers, using his lack of ethical scruples to parlay his criminal activity into a higher social status.

Power.  Tom loves being powerful and wields his power directly. He is physically aggressive and uses his body to threaten and intimidate (Nick, for one, is clearly very cowed by Tom's bulk). He is also quick to violence, whether it's socially sanctioned - like his football accomplishments - or not - like when he breaks Myrtle's nose without a second thought. Gatsby also holds significant power, but his methods are much more indirect. Still, whether he is offering Nick some illegal bond trading action, or showing off his get-out-of-a-ticket-free card to a cop on the highway, Gatsby is clearly happy to be in control of a situation.

Love. Tom and Gatsby both seem to be in love with Daisy. But what does that really mean to each of them? For Tom, Daisy is clearly partly appealing because she completes his horse-riding, East Egg, 350-thousand-dollar pearl necklace lifestyle. He cheats on her because he clearly has never denied himself anything, but he also understands Daisy as a person. He knows that she is too weak to leave him, but he also loves her enough to tolerate her affair with Gatsby and to stay with her after Myrtle's murder. Gatsby's love, on the other hand, is in some ways purer because he so idealizes Daisy and connects her to all of his other hopes and dreams. But this love is overly pure - he doesn't really seem to know Daisy as anything other than an idealized object, and is incapable of accepting that she has led a life apart from him for five years.

Tom and Gatsby Essay Ideas

In a compare/contrast essay, you can’t just present a list of similarities and differences. You also need to have an underlying argument you’re supporting. Feel free to take these at face value or as jumping-off points for your own thoughts.

  • Tom loves Daisy as a person, Gatsby loves her as an idea.
  • Both Tom and Gatsby’s tendency to control women and see them as prizes reveals the misogyny of the 1920s.
  • Although Tom sees Gatsby as someone from an entirely different class than him, what they have in common (selfishness, affairs, obsession with appearances) makes a larger argument for an overall moral hollowness of the rich of any class.
  • We see both Gatsby and Tom through the eyes of Nick, who worships one of them and hates the other. In reality, they are both much more similar than different, and their different treatment reveals Nick's insecurities and biases.

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At first, most readers see Tom Buchanan and George Wilson  as opposites. But, these markedly different characters face very similar circumstances and offer two takes on masculinity and power in the novel.

Appearance and Presence.  Where Tom is strong and cowering, George is meek and shrinking. Tom exudes power and confidence while George tends to just fade into the background. These differences are borne out in the way these two men interact with the world. Tom is violent towards others, while George’s instinct is to be passive or to try and escape situations, the notable exceptions being his locking up of Myrtle and murder of Gatsby. Tom is confident, privileged, and assured while George is timid; George is “ruled by his wife” where Tom is selfish and acts on his own desires.

Reaction to Adversity. There is a dramatic difference in the way the two men react to the fact that their wives are cheating on them. Tom notices Daisy’s love for Gatsby and immediately starts making power plays. On the other hand, George discovers Myrtle’s affair and is undone by it. Nick compares the two men in a memorable description:

“the shock had made him physically sick. I stared at him and then at Tom, who had made a parallel discovery less than an hour before--and it occurred to me that there was no difference between men, in intelligence or race, so profound as the difference between the sick and the well. Wilson was so sick that he looked guilty, unforgivably guilty--as if he had just got some poor girl with child" (7.160).

In this description, Tom is “well” and George is “sick.” These are certainly arresting ways to describe Tom's more traditional masculinity and George's less overtly masculine character. Tom is self-assured in the face of adversity and immediately takes action to win Daisy back, insisting on driving Gatsby's car, bullying those around him into driving to Manhattan, and using his romance skills to remind Daisy of the pluses of their relationship. Meanwhile, George's weakness makes him look sick and guilty as he contemplates Myrtle's betrayal and is driven to violence to reassert his power over her.

Approach to Women.  Both Tom and George assume they know what’s best for their wives: Tom dismisses Daisy’s professed love for Gatsby despite their obvious closeness, while George is determined to take Myrtle out west once he learns about the affair. But, while it seems that Tom does fundamentally understand Daisy and is right about her unwillingness to leave their marriage, George is unable to hold on to Myrtle either emotionally or physically. She is killed trying to run away from him.

Tom and George Essay Ideas

Differences in attitude and outcome, despite a relatively similar situation, reveal some unexpected truths about the world of the novel. Argue the reverse of any of these topics for a really provocative essay!

  • The fact that Tom manipulates George into killing Gatsby and then himself (which allows Tom and Daisy to walk away from the entire affair without consequence) shows the huge privileges of having money in the novel.
  • Nick's approach to Tom and George shows his admiration of a physical, brutish, domineering kind of masculinity. 
  • The fact that the relatively good guy turns into a murderer while the bad guy lives to cheat another day is a very cynical take on what happens in a world without a moral compass.

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Despite Daisy Buchanan and Jordan Baker 's similar “white girlhoods” (1.140) in Louisville, their attitude and motivations are quite distinct, making them really interesting to compare and contrast.

Attitude and Outlook.  Both Daisy and Jordan display an entitled, bored attitude that’s typical of Fitzgerald’s depiction of the old money segment of wealthy New York society. The fact that they are introduced in tandem, both lying on the couches in their white dresses, speaks to their initially similar attitudes. But soon we see how different their takes on this kind of life are. Daisy is increasingly despondent, even nihilistic, asking in Chapter 7 , “what shall we do today, and tomorrow, and for the next thirty years?” (7.74).  Jordan meanwhile is a pragmatic opportunist, who sees possibilities everywhere, arguing that “life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall” (7.75). In other words, Daisy’s pessimistic attitude from Chapter 1 comes through again, while Jordan, despite coming across as cynical and sharp, actually still seems excited about the possibilities life has to offer.

Appearance and Personality.  Both Daisy and Jordan very alluring in their own way, though Daisy’s allure comes through her enchanting voice and feminine charms, while Jordan is masculine, “jaunty,” witty, sharp, and physical. Daisy maintains a squeaky-clean reputation despite moving with a fast crowd, while there are plenty of rumors about Jordan’s cheating in golf, and Nick comments on her dishonest attitude. More significantly, Daisy is incredibly self-absorbed while Jordan is very observant.

Role in Society.  Daisy seems caught between what society expects of her and some deeper, more powerful desires she can’t name, resulting in restlessness, depression, and her affair. Daisy is sticking to her prescribed societal role by marrying and having a child, while Jordan plays golf, “runs around town” and doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to marry, at least in the beginning of the novel. Perhaps Jordan is still somewhat optimistic about the possibilities of life since she hasn’t settled down yet, while Daisy realizes that nothing major in her life will change at this point. Jordan, meanwhile, is content to chase after fun and intrigue via other people’s bad behavior. And she doesn’t get dragged down by the tragedy in the book – on the contrary, she is callous in how little Myrtle’s death seems to shake her, coolly calling Nick the next day and asking him to meet like nothing has happened (8.50-61). Perhaps her motivations are a bit less accessible to the reader since her role was significantly downsized between some of Fitzgerald’s earlier drafts. But in any case, as we watch Daisy struggle in her marriage, what we see of Jordan is cool, calm, collected, and rather uncaring.

Daisy and Jordan Essay Ideas

So what are some possible conclusions we can draw from Daisy and Jordan’s characters? One of the most common strategies is to tie the differences between these women onto one of the book’s larger themes, like the role of society and class or the American Dream . Another is to think about an important feature of the novel, like Nick’s narration, and see what these two characters can reveal about it. With those strategies in mind, here are some potential arguments you could argue for or against!

  • Jordan and Daisy, because they are generally disempowered, both use their sexuality in different ways to gain power, with different results.
  • Despite Jordan’s overt cheating and lying, Daisy is, in fact, the more morally compromised person.
  • The way Nick treats Jordan versus the way he describes Daisy reveals the novel’s preoccupation with Gatsby above all, to the detriment of the female characters.

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While Daisy Buchanan and Myrtle Wilson obviously come from very different backgrounds and have conflicting motivations, they also have some surprising similarities.

Physical Appearance.  Daisy and Myrtle both derive power from their looks. Myrtle's comfort with her voluptuous body is clearly appealing to Tom, while Daisy's magnetic voice and ethereal presence obsess Gatsby. Throughout the novel, Myrtle is frequently reduced to being just a body - one to be used or violated by those around her. Tom sees little in Myrtle besides someone to either rub up against, have sex with, or punch at will; George resorts to imprisoning Myrtle while she eggs him on to "beat" her (7.314) the way Tom does; and finally, Daisy gruesomely rips Myrtle's body apart with a car. Meanwhile, Daisy's voice also serves to make her less of a person in her own right and more of an idealized, mythic figure from fairy tales. For Gatsby, Daisy's voice is appealing because it is "full of money" (7.105) - he is attracted to her not because of who she is, but because he sees her as a prize.

Social Standing.  Myrtle puts on the airs that Daisy has been born and raised with. This allows Myrtle to wield considerable social power within her group, as seen by how her guests fawn on her at the Manhattan party she throws. Daisy, in contrast, never exerts such overt power over a group – rather, she seems to move with crowds, doing what it expected of her (for instance marrying Tom despite still loving Gatsby). 

Love and Relationships.  Daisy and Myrtle’s marriages are strikingly quite different. Daisy and Tom are able to stay together even through serial affairs and murder. They end up loyal co-conspirators, protected by their wealth. Meanwhile, Myrtle has nothing but disdain for George despite his evident love for her. Still, both women use affairs with other men as a way to escape. Daisy wants to get away from an increasingly unhappy marriage and try to recapture the spontaneity and possibility of her youth, while Myrtle loves the status that her affair with Tom grants her. However, both learn that they can’t escape forever through their affairs. Obviously, their biggest difference is that Daisy gets to walk away from the novel unscathed, while Myrtle gets killed. 

Daisy and Myrtle Essay Ideas

Here are ways to write about these different women who face similar choices with dramatically opposite conclusions.

  • Despite their similarities in action and motivation, Daisy is protected from any lasting harm by her wealth and old money status, while Myrtle is punished for the same behavior, revealing how the class system in America protects the wealthy.
  • The novel refuses to give any inner life to women, and instead reduces them to their physical qualities no matter what social class they come from. Daisy and Myrtle's similar treatment by the narrator and by the men around them shows that gender trumps class when determining status. 
  • Daisy and Myrtle’s similarities reveal how hollow the progress of the women’s movement really was at that point in time. Despite the big gains the movement made in the early twentieth century, including winning the right to vote and pushing for more freedom in how they could dress and act, both of these women’s lives aren’t vastly improved. They’re both trapped in unhappy marriages, they both rely on their looks/charms/sexuality to get what they want, and neither of them has even a chance of pursuing a fulfilling life through a career.

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What’s Next?

Now that you’ve gone over the novel’s most popular compare/contrast pairings, check out our analysis of the novel’s romantic pairings in our guide to love, desire, and relationships in The Great Gatsby .

Have an essay about a symbol or motif? Get started with our symbols overview  and motifs overview.

Still a little hazy on some of the plot elements in Gatsby? Not to worry, we have you covered with our complete book summary !

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Anna scored in the 99th percentile on her SATs in high school, and went on to major in English at Princeton and to get her doctorate in English Literature at Columbia. She is passionate about improving student access to higher education.

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The Great Gatsby

A great american dream jens shroyer.

The Great Gatsby and "Babylon Revisited," both by F. Scott Fitzgerald, are stories about the emptiness and recklessness of the 1920s. Each story has its distinctions, but Fitzgerald's condemnation of the decade reverberates through both. Fitzgerald explores and displays insufficiencies of the vacuous period, and does so with sharp clarity and depth, leaving no crude, barbarous habit to imagination. Fitzgerald had a deep and personal affliction with the 1920s (most notably in the Eastern United States), and in both The Great Gatsby and "Babylon Revisited," he hones his conflicts into a furious condemnation. The 1920s were a period of sloth, habitual sin, exhausted illustriousness, and moral despondency; the black mark of a society and world usually tilted more toward attempted civility. Fitzgerald conveys this theme through the use of character, symbolism, and wasteland imagery.

First, Fitzgerald uses characters to personify the vast recklessness of the generation. The characters in both are incomprehensibly selfish and carefree, though more noticeably in The Great Gatsby. Tom Buchanan, for instance, is almost flippant in acknowledging his affair with Jordan Baker, a local miscreant golf pro. Tom leaves...

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The White Party That Brought Kim Kardashian, Drake and Tom Brady to the Hamptons

Michael Rubin, the billionaire e-commerce mogul, hosted a celebrity-filled, Independence Day bash at his beachfront mansion on Long Island.

Drake smiles for the camera with his arm around Robert Kraft, also in a white shirt.

By Rachel Sherman

It’s hard to name just one noteworthy guest who attended the Fourth of July White Party hosted by the business mogul Michael Rubin and his fiancé, the model Camille Fishel , this year. Tom Brady, Kim and Khloé Kardashian, Megan Fox, Drake and Emily Ratajkowski were only some of the celebrities in bright white outfits who flitted about the couple’s sprawling Long Island estate on Thursday, rubbing elbows and generating content galore.

It was the fourth edition of Mr. Rubin and Ms. Fishel’s annual Independence Day bash in the Hamptons where bodycon dresses reign supreme. Paparazzi had lined up outside their property’s manicured hedges to catch a glimpse of the black SUVs ferrying A-listers who came to fraternize on the tennis court, which had been transformed into an ultraexclusive nightclub for the event. Reporters, including from The New York Times, were not permitted to attend, and organizers hired their own photographer.

“Imagine walking into Liv Miami,” Ms. Fishel, 33, said in an interview. “You don’t even know you’re on a tennis court.”

The Gatsby-esque soiree was held at the 2-acre, 8,000-square-foot oceanfront mansion in Water Mill, N.Y., that Mr. Rubin bought for $50 million in 2021, according to the Real Deal. The property is flanked by views of Mecox Bay on one side, and ocean vistas on the other.

Some 400 people made the cut for this year’s guest list, 300 of whom received invitations in the form of lithographs designed by the visual artist George Condo. (Ms. Fishel met Mr. Condo in 2013 as a hostess at a West Village restaurant where Mr. Condo was a regular.) A much smaller group received invitations that were framed, personally painted and addressed by name by Mr. Condo.

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  1. The Great Gatsby Essay Examples

    The Great Gatsby Essay Topic Examples. Whether you want to analyze the American Dream, compare and contrast characters, vividly describe settings and characters, persuade readers with your viewpoints, or share personal experiences related to the story, these essay ideas provide a diverse perspective on the themes and complexities within the book.

  2. The Great Gatsby Essays and Criticism

    Romantics relate to Gatsby's unrelenting commitment to Daisy, the love of his life. But beneath all the decadence and romance, The Great Gatsby is a severe criticism of American upper class ...

  3. The Great Gatsby Essays

    The Great Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald explores the decline of the American Dream in one of his most famous novels, The Great Gatsby. Although this book only takes place over a few months, it represents the entire time period of the 1920s, in which society, mainly... The Great Gatsby essays are academic essays for citation.

  4. The Great Gatsby Critical Essays

    "The Great Gatsby - Sample Essay Outlines." MAXnotes to The Great Gatsby, edited by Dr. M. Fogiel, Research and Education Association, Inc., 2000 ...

  5. The Great Gatsby

    The Great Gatsby is F. Scott Fitzgerald's third novel. It was published in 1925. Set in Jazz Age New York, it tells the story of Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire, and his pursuit of Daisy Buchanan, a wealthy young woman whom he loved in his youth. Commercially unsuccessful upon publication, the book is now considered a classic of American fiction.

  6. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

    The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald (Full name Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald) American novelist, short story writer, essayist, screenwriter, and playwright. The following entry provides criticism ...

  7. 157 The Great Gatsby Essay Titles, Examples & Essay Samples

    The Great Gatsby, the masterpiece written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, will help you dive into the Roaring Twenties' wealth atmosphere. This is a story of a millionaire Jay Gatsby and his passion for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan. We will write. a custom essay specifically for you by our professional experts.

  8. Most Important Themes in Great Gatsby, Analyzed

    The 7 Major Great Gatsby Themes. Money and Materialism: Everyone in the novel is money-obsessed, whether they were born with money (Tom, Daisy, Jordan, and Nick to a lesser extent), whether they made a fortune (Gatsby), or whether they're eager for more (Myrtle and George). So why are the characters so materialistic?

  9. PDF AP English III Great Gatsby Essay Prompts

    P English III Great Gatsby Essay Prompts:Assignment: Cho. se two of the following six essay topics. Construct a specific thesis whic. utlines your ideas and. n support it. -Underline your thesis. -Cite examples from th. vely support your thesis.Requirements: Each should be 2-3 pages, typed, double spaced, Times.

  10. "The Great Gatsby": Themes of Desire, Decay, and the American Dream

    Essay Example: F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," written in 1925, is a deep dive into American dreams and disappointments during the Jazz Age. Through its tight story and rich characters, Fitzgerald paints a colorful picture of societal decay, shattered idealism, and the destructive

  11. Best Analysis: The American Dream in The Great Gatsby

    Book Guides. The Great Gatsby is a tragic love story on the surface, but it's most commonly understood as a pessimistic critique of the American Dream. In the novel, Jay Gatsby overcomes his poor past to gain an incredible amount of money and a limited amount of social cache in 1920s NYC, only to be rejected by the "old money" crowd.

  12. The Great Gatsby: Pursuing The American Dream

    Overall, this essay presents a clear and focused analysis of the theme of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby, with a well-organized structure and a consistent voice. The essay discusses the pursuit of the American Dream by two characters, Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan, and how their respective pursuits are shallow and unattainable.

  13. The Great Gatsby Suggested Essay Topics

    Suggested Essay Topics. PDF Cite. Chapter 1. 1. Consider the references to people in literature or history in the chapter. What purpose (s) do they serve? 2. Write a character sketch of Daisy (or ...

  14. The Great Gatsby: Analysis and Feminist Critique

    This sample essay on The Great Gatsby will apply the concept of feminist critique with reference to the F. Scott Fitzgerald's work to expose some of the aspects of patriarchal society as revealed in the novel. The Great Gatsby: Summary and Analysis. The Great Gatsby starts by bringing in a male character, Nick Carraway, as the narrator.

  15. "The Great Gatsby": Theme and Symbols

    The essay is a comprehensive analysis of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It is well-organized and focused on the main topic of The Great Gatsby as a highly symbolic meditation on 1920s America, and how the disintegration of the American dream is reflected in the characters and events of the novel.

  16. How to Write a Compare/Contrast Essay for The Great Gatsby

    A very common essay prompt/discussion topic for The Great Gatsby is to have you compare and contrast a pair of characters in Gatsby. Why do teachers love these prompts so much? These compare/contrast essays are an opportunity for you to tie the character similarities and differences to larger observations about society and class, the American Dream, or identity in the novel.

  17. The Great Gatsby Essay

    In the novel, The Great Gatsby, Gatsby is seen as a mysterious character that's not called great or bad. The Great Gatsby takes place in the 1920's during the "roaring twenties" or called as the "Jazz Age", a period ending the Great Depression and an era where jazz and dancing become trendy. Gatsby does not seem to be fit to be ...

  18. The Great Gatsby Essay

    A Great American Dream. The Great Gatsby and "Babylon Revisited," both by F. Scott Fitzgerald, are stories about the emptiness and recklessness of the 1920s. Each story has its distinctions, but Fitzgerald's condemnation of the decade reverberates through both. Fitzgerald explores and displays insufficiencies of the vacuous period, and does so ...

  19. 10 Life Lessons From The Great Gatsby

    The Great Gatsby is one of the greatest stories from the Roaring Twenties. Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jay Gatsby's story of societal acceptance and romance is a classic for a reason: the ...

  20. What to Know About Michael Rubin's White Party in the Hamptons

    The Gatsby-esque soiree was held at the 2-acre, 8,000-square-foot oceanfront mansion in Water Mill, N.Y., that Mr. Rubin bought for $50 million in 2021, according to the Real Deal. The property is ...