The Great Gatsby

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Published in 1925, The Great Gatsby became an immediate classic and propelled its author to fame. The novel captured the spirit of the "Jazz Age," a post−World War I era in upper−class America. However, Gatsby expresses more than the exuberance of the times. It depicts the restlessness and corruption that pervades the novel and "infects" the story and its hero too. Because the novel is not just about one man, James Gatz or Jay Gatsby, but about aspects of the human condition of an era, and themes that transcend time altogether, it is the stuff of myth Gatsby's attempts to attain an ideal of himself and then to put this ideal to the service of another ideal, romantic love, are attempts to rise above corruption in all its forms. It is this quality in him that Nick Carraway, the novel's narrator, attempts to portray, and in so doing the novel, like its hero, attains a form of enduring greatness. The novel is narrated in retrospect; Nick is writing the account two years after the events of the summer he describes, and this introduces a distance and perspective which is conveyed through occasional comments about the story he is telling and how it must appear to a reader. The tune scheme of the novel is further complicated as "the history of that summer" of 1922 contains within it the story of another summer, five years before this one, when Gatsby and Daisy first courted. This is the story that Jordan tells Nick. As that earlier summer ended with Gatsby's departure for the war in the fall, so the summer of Nick's experience of the East ends with the crisis on the last hot day and is followed by Gatsby's murder by George Wilson on the first day of fall This seasonal calendar is more than just a parallel, however. It is a metaphor for the blooming and blasting of love and of hope, like the flowers so often mentioned. Similarly, the novel's elaborate use of light and dark imagery symbolizes emotional states as well. In−between time (like the popular song Klipspringer...
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