The Great Gatsby

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby Pages: 5 (910 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Doesn't it always seem as though rich and famous people are larger-

than-life and virtually impossible to touch, almost as if they were a

fantasy? In The Great Gatsby, set in two wealthy communities, East

Egg and West Egg, Fitzgerald describes Gatsby as a Romantic, larger-

than-life, figure by setting him apart from the common person.

Fitzgerald sets Gatsby in a fantasy world that, based on

illusion, is of his own making. Gatsby's possessions start to this

illusion. He lives in an extremely lavish mansion. "It is a factual

imitation of some Hotel de Ville 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." It models an extravagant

castle with a European style. Indoors it has "Marie Antoinette music-

rooms and restoration salons." There is even a "Merton College Library,

paneled with imported carved English oak and thousands of volumes of

books." There is even a private beach on his property. He also has his

own personal hydroplane. Gatsby also drives a highly imaginative,

"circus wagon", car that "everybody had seen. It is a rich cream color

with nickel and has a three-noted horn." It has a "monstrous length

with triumphant hat-boxes, supper-boxes, tool-boxes, and terraced with a

labyrinth of windshields and a green leather conservatory."

Other than Gatsby's possessions, he develops his personal self.

His physical self appearance sets him apart form the other characters.

His smile is the type "that comes across four or five times in life. One

of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it." He

has a collection of tailored shirts from England. They are described as

"shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel." He has shirts

with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple-green and la-

vender and faint orange, with monograms of Indian blue." Gatsby wears a

unique "gorgeous pink rag of a suit" that sets him apart as a "bright

spot." Gatsby's mannerisms are different too. He gives the "strong im-

pression that he picks his words with care." Gatsby is an "elegant

young roughneck whose elaborate formality of speech just misses being

absurd." Gatsby also has a particularly distinct phrase which is "old

sport." Further, at his parties he stands apart from the other people.

Unlike everyone else, he does not drink any alcohol. Also, there are no

young ladies that lay their head on his shoulder and he doesn't dance.

During his parties he either sits alone or stands on his balcony alone,

apart from everyone else. Gatsby even creates himself a false personal

history that is unlike anyone else's in order to give him the appearance

of having old money. He says that he is the son of a wealthy family in

the Middle West, San Francisco, and he was educated at Oxford. Sup-

posedly after his family had all died he "lived like a young rajah in

all the capitals of Europe collecting jewels, hunting big game, painting

and doing things for himself." During the war he was apparently a

promoted major that every Allied government gave a decoration to."

However, the medal he received looked to be either fake or borrowed.

The fantasy world that Fitzgerald gives Gatsby also ends with

parties that are practically like movie-like productions. These parties

are so fantastic that they last from Friday nights to Monday mornings.

His house and garden is decorated with thousands of colored lights,

"enough to make a Christmas tree of his enormous...
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