The Great Gatsby

By F. Scott Fitzgerald

Journal 1

In the first chapter, the reader in introduced to a character named Nick, who lives in West Egg, ďthe less fashionable of the twoĒ (Fitzgerald 5). He lives next door to Mr. Gatsby, who lives in a huge mansion, which makes his home look rather small. We are also introduced to the characters of Daisy and Tom who are married and have a three-year-old daughter. They were supposedly very happy together, but Tom was having an affair with a women names Myrtle, and Daisy, though she knew, was too insecure to do anything about it. She didnít want to jeopardize her marriage, and she didnít think it already was by Tomís affair. Nick goes to visit the two and heís the only one that seems to think thereís a lot wrong with the picture. While heís there, he meets a girl named Jordan. In a later chapter, he says that sheís so dishonest, and some virtue that everyone has, his is honesty. Though contrary to what one might think, Nick is attracted to the fact thatís she dishonest. Jordan wasnít able to be and never wanted to be at a disadvantage so she lied to get away with things. For some reason he doesnít blame her, and he says honesty in a woman is never a trait that can be deeply blamed. That is a very prejudiced remark because he believes women are inferior and to get the better end of the deal, they need to lie.

Mr. Gatsby is mentioned a couple of time in the first chapter, but never a strong link to him was made. He was a very mysterious man, always hiding behind the shadows, and leading a very strange lifestyle. Nick noticed that he threw a party every week on Saturday. Gatsby would invite the most prominent people to his galas, and in some way he would be satisfied with himself. Gatsby used to be a happy man, the reader can tell, and now the only time he is happy is in the presence of others. If other people are happy, so is he, and this is because nothing close to him in his life is worth anything to him anymore. The partygoers all take Gatsby for granted because when Nick goes to one of the parties, he noticed hardly anybody knows where Gatsby is, and nobody cares. It took him all night to find the host, and he found the host to be someone that he didnít expect. Gatsby is actually a very introverted person, generally keeping to himself, though he loves the company. Heís rather shy, too.

The most surprising thing learned in the first half of the book is that Gatsby and Daisy used to be lovers. Gatsby has waited all this time for Daisy to come back to him, but she never does. Through Nick, the two meet up again, and the meeting is very awkward. They both know what they used to have, and what they can never achieve again. Their meeting is about how you can have someone to hold, and be there for you one day, and then in a second they are gone. Gatsby tries all his life to reclaim what he once had, and thereís the uncertainty what Daisy will decide in the end. You can tell she loves him or that she used to, but like I said, sheís very insecure and doesnít really know anything. She can never make up her mind. Her husband is having an affair, and she doesnít show that she is torn up inside.

Tom invites Nick to go and visit his mistress. Nick somehow agrees and all he keeps saying is how ugly she is, and how fat she is, and how imperfect she is. We donít know whether thatís true or not, but thatís what Nick sees through his own eyes. Maybe sheís beautiful, but Nick doesnít see the outward appearance, all he can see is daisyís pain. The chapter when they throw their little party is all mixed with emotions like confusion and light-headedness. This shows how nothing is perfect, not Nickís life, not Tomís, not Daisyís, and especially not Gatsbyís.

Nick isnít even a major character in the story. The part he plays is minor, but he is the narrator. Fitzgerald writes the book as if Nick is writing it. Many times, it says that Nick looks back on the pages that heís written and revises them or rethinks them. The reason Nick is the narrator instead of Gatsby is so the reader must read between the lines to figure out Gatsby. Heís more important than Nick, but the reader canít hear his thoughts. By making inferences the reader must deduce whether heís truly happy or not at all. He seems like any regular guy who loves to party, but thereís this darkness within him, that only comes out during the meeting with Daisy, and though his everyday dialogue with Nick. He always talks of time in the past, trying to relive it again.

I think that by the end of the book, everything about all their lives will be resolved. There will no longer be any complications. There doesnít seem to be anything imminent, but things will be solved.