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This article is about the novel. For the film, TV and opera adaptations, see The Great Gatsby (disambiguation). The Great Gatsby
Cover of the first edition, 1925.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Charles Scribner's Sons
April 10, 1925
Print (Hardback & Paperback)
NA & reissue ISBN 0-7432-7356-7 (2004 paperback edition)
The Great Gatsby is a novel by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald. The story takes place in 1922, during the Roaring Twenties, a time of prosperity in the United States after World War I. The book received critical acclaim and is generally considered Fitzgerald's best work. It is also widely regarded as a "Great American Novel" and a literary classic, capturing the essence of an era. The Modern Library named it the second best English language novel of the 20th century. Contents
1 Writing and publication
1.1 Original cover art
2.1 Major characters
2.2 Secondary characters
4.8 Computer games
5 See also
8 External links
Writing and publication
With The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald made a conscious departure from the writing process of his previous novels. He started planning it in June 1922, after completing his play The Vegetable and began composing The Great Gatsby in 1923. He ended up discarding most of it as a false start, some of which resurfaced in the story "Absolution". Unlike his previous works, Fitzgerald intended to edit and reshape Gatsby thoroughly, believing that it held the potential to launch him toward literary acclaim. He told his editor Maxwell Perkins that the novel was a "consciously artistic achievement" and a "purely creative work — not trashy imaginings as in my stories but the sustained imagination of a sincere and yet radiant world". He added later, during editing, that he felt "an enormous power in me now, more than I've ever had".
Oheka Castle on the Gold Coast of Long Island was a partial inspiration for Gatsby's estate. After the birth of their child, the Fitzgeralds moved to Great Neck, Long Island in October 1922, a setting used as the scene for The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald's neighbors in Great Neck included such prominent and newly wealthy New Yorkers as writer Ring Lardner, actor Lew Fields and comedian Ed Wynn. These figures were all considered to be 'new money', unlike those who came from Manhasset Neck or Cow Neck Peninsula, places which were home to many of New York's wealthiest established families, and which sat across a bay from Great Neck. This real-life juxtaposition gave Fitzgerald his idea for "West Egg" and "East Egg." In this novel, Great Neck became the new-money peninsula of "West Egg" and Manhasset the old-money peninsula of "East Egg". Progress on the novel was slow. In May 1923, the Fitzgeralds moved to the French Riviera, where the novel was finished. In November 1923 he sent the draft to his editor Maxwell Perkins and his agent Harold Ober. The Fitzgeralds then moved to Rome for the winter. Fitzgerald made revisions through the winter after Perkins informed him that the novel was too vague and Gatsby's biographical section too long. Content after a few rounds of revision, Fitzgerald returned the final batch of revised galleys in the middle of February 1925. Original cover art
The cover of The Great Gatsby is among the most celebrated pieces of art in American literature. It depicts disembodied eyes and a mouth over a blue skyline, with the image of a naked woman reflected in the irises. A little-known artist named Francis Cugat was commissioned to illustrate the book while Fitzgerald was in the midst of writing it. The cover was completed before the novel, with Fitzgerald so enamored of it that he told his publisher he had "written it into" the novel. Fitzgerald's remarks about incorporating the painting into the novel led to the interpretation that the eyes are reminiscent of those of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg (the novel's erstwhile optometrist on a faded commercial billboard near George Wilson's auto repair shop) which Fitzgerald described as "blue and gigantic — their retinas are one yard high. They look out of no face, but instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a non-existent nose." Although this passage has some resemblance to the painting, a closer explanation can be found in the description of Daisy Buchanan as the "girl whose disembodied face floated along the dark cornices and blinding signs". Ernest Hemingway recorded in A Moveable Feast that when Fitzgerald lent him a copy of The Great Gatsby to read, he immediately disliked the cover, but "Scott told me not to be put off by it, that it had to do with a billboard along a highway in Long Island that was important in the story. He said he had liked the jacket and now he didn't like it." Title
Fitzgerald was ambivalent about the title, making it hard for him to choose. The title may have originally been borrowed from Alain-Fournier's Le Grand Meaulnes, a novel he admired.  He entertained many choices before settling on The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald shifted between Gatsby; Among Ash-Heaps and Millionaires; Trimalchio; Trimalchio in West Egg; On the Road to West Egg; Under the Red, White, and Blue; Gold-Hatted Gatsby and The High-Bouncing Lover. Initially, he preferred Trimalchio, after the crude parvenu in Petronius's Satyricon. Unlike Fitzgerald's protagonist, Trimalchio participated in the audacious and libidinous orgies that he hosted. That Fitzgerald refers to Gatsby by the proposed title once in the novel reinforces the view that it would have been a misnomer. As Tony Tanner observed, there are subtle similarities between the two. A notable difference between Trimalchio and The Great Gatsby is a less complete failure of Gatsby's dream in Trimalchio. In Trimalchio, the argument between Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby is much more even, although Tom still wins in that Daisy returns to him. On November 7, 1924, Fitzgerald wrote to Perkins. — "I have now decided to stick to the title I put on the book [...] Trimalchio in West Egg" but was eventually persuaded that the reference was too obscure and that people would not be able to pronounce it. His wife and Perkins both expressed their preference for The Great Gatsby and the next month Fitzgerald agreed. A month before publication, after a final review of the proofs, he asked if it would be possible to re-title it Trimalchio or Gold-Hatted Gatsby but Perkins advised against it. On March 19, Fitzgerald asked if the book could be renamed Under the Red, White and Blue but it was at that stage too late to change. The Great Gatsby was published on April 10, 1925. Fitzgerald remarked that "the title is only fair, rather bad than good". Plot
The main events of the novel take place in the summer of 1922, narrated by Nicholas "Nick" Carraway, a Yale graduate and World War I veteran from the Midwest who takes a job in New York City as a bond salesman. He rents a small house on Long Island, in the (fictional) village of West Egg, next door to the lavish mansion of Jay Gatsby, a mysterious millionaire who holds extravagant parties. Across the bay, Nick's second cousin Daisy lives with Tom Buchanan, her old-money husband who attended Yale at the same time as Nick. The Buchanans ask Nick to dinner at their home, where they introduce him to Jordan Baker, a well-known but emotionally evasive golfer whom Nick finds attractive, despite her unscrupulous sporting record. The atmosphere of the dinner is spoiled when Tom answers a telephone call that Jordan suggests is from his mistress, Myrtle Wilson. Myrtle is the discontented wife of George Wilson, who owns an unsuccessful garage in the "Valley of Ashes" on the outskirts of New York City. One day, Tom takes Nick privately to a flat in Manhattan where they rendezvous with Myrtle and have a small party, but Tom again ruins the occasion, this time by breaking Myrtle's nose following an argument regarding whether Myrtle should be allowed to speak Daisy's name. Nick eventually gets an invitation to one of Gatsby's huge parties next door, where he soon spots Jordan. Most guests seem to be uninvited and do not know their host, who keeps himself aloof; however, Nick is coincidentally recognized by Gatsby from their division in the war and the two instantly become friends. For the remainder of the novel, Nick revels in the enigma of Gatsby's larger-than-life persona, accentuated by a lunch in Manhattan shared between Gatsby, Nick and Gatsby's business associate, a notorious Jewish gangster called Meyer Wolfshiem.[note 1] Later, Jordan reveals that in 1917, Gatsby, originating from a penniless Midwestern family, had courted Daisy and hoped to marry her, but was sent to Europe to fight during the war, briefly studying at Trinity College, Oxford, during which time Daisy married Tom. Gatsby's goals are now made clear: he has reinvented himself, become rich through self-made efforts, bought a house near Daisy, and thrown his enormous parties in the hope that she would, by chance, find her way there one night. Jordan, whom Nick casually begins dating, now asks Nick on Gatsby's behalf to arrange a reunion between Gatsby and Daisy. Nick agrees to have both Gatsby and Daisy to tea. Although the reunion is initially awkward, Daisy, who is unhappy with Tom, appears ready to revive her relationship with Gatsby. Daisy and Gatsby soon rekindle their affair, and Daisy ultimately asks Gatsby, Jordan, and Nick to a lunch date at her house, while Tom is present. At the lunch, Daisy suggests that they all go into Manhattan, and Tom, who is clearly suspicious of Gatsby, gets into Gatsby's yellow car with Jordan and Nick, while he encourages Daisy and Gatsby to follow in Tom's own car. At Wilson's garage, Tom stops to fill the car and an unhappy Wilson reveals that he knows Myrtle has a secret lover. Although Wilson does not know who the lover is, he has temporarily locked Myrtle in their home above the garage.
The Plaza Hotel.
Gatsby, Daisy, Tom, Jordan, and Nick continue onward to the Plaza Hotel, where Tom angrily confronts Gatsby about his relationship with Daisy and his alleged criminal activities. Gatsby and Tom argue in front of the whole group, Gatsby telling Daisy to come with him, her first love, and to deny that she ever loved Tom. She avoids both men's appeals and, overwrought, begs to go home. By the end of the altercation, Tom, believing himself victorious and therefore assuming that Gatsby is no longer a threat, scornfully orders Daisy and Gatsby to shamefully go home in the same car. The two leave, taking Gatsby's yellow roadster. Nick suddenly remembers that it is his birthday and he is now thirty years old. He, Tom, and Jordan then ride off in Tom's coupé. Meanwhile, as Daisy and Gatsby race past Wilson's garage, a frenzied Myrtle, who has just been let loose by her husband, recognizes the yellow roadster and runs into the road, where the car strikes and kills her. Daisy panics, Gatsby takes the wheel, and they quickly drive on, but Tom soon arrives with the other two and discovers Myrtle's corpse. Back home, Tom and Daisy achieve a reconciliation, pack up, and hastily leave town. Gatsby later tells Nick that Daisy was the driver responsible for Myrtle's death, but that he is prepared to take the blame for her. Nick advises Gatsby to flee, but Gatsby refuses. He finally straightens out some facts about his life story to Nick and how he—born James Gatz—came to assume the name Jay Gatsby. The next day, Tom tells a distraught Wilson that Gatsby was the driver on the night of the accident, leading Wilson to believe it was Gatsby with whom Myrtle was having an affair. Wilson tracks down Gatsby's address and arrives at the mansion to find Gatsby relaxing on a mattress in his pool; Wilson shoots Gatsby dead and then turns the gun on himself. Flustered by his friend's sudden death, Nick arranges Gatsby's funeral, which is attended only by Nick, Gatsby's elderly father, and a single former party guest who Nick never got to know. Nick is disgusted by the small turnout at the funeral. Nick runs into Tom on the street and later meets up with Jordan, openly revealing his dissatisfaction with both. Nick effectively ends all of his relationships in New York and decides to give up his job and his house. He resolves to return to the Midwest, acknowledging that the five main characters of the novel—Gatsby, Tom, Daisy, Jordan and himself—were all westerners who, in some fundamental way, failed to adapt to the standards of the East. Major characters
Nicholas "Nick" Carraway (narrator) — a man from the Midwest, a Yale graduate, a World War I veteran, and a newly-arrived resident of West Egg. He is Gatsby's next-door neighbor and a bond salesman. Easygoing though occasionally sarcastic and initially optimistic, though this latter quality fades as the novel progresses. Jay Gatsby (originally James Gatz) — a young, mysterious millionaire with shady business connections (later revealed to be a bootlegger), originally from North Dakota. He is obsessed with Daisy Buchanan, whom he had met when he was a young officer stationed in the South during World War I. The character is based on the bootlegger and former World War I officer Max Gerlach, according to Some Sort of Epic Grandeur, Matthew J Bruccoli's biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Gatsby is said to have briefly studied at Trinity College, Oxford in England after the end of World War I. Daisy Buchanan née Fay — an attractive and effervescent, if shallow and self-absorbed, young woman, identified as a flapper. She is Nick's second cousin, once removed; and the wife of Tom Buchanan. Daisy is believed to have been inspired by Fitzgerald's own youthful romances with Ginevra King. Daisy once had a romantic relationship with Gatsby, before she married Tom. Her choice between Gatsby and Tom is one of the central conflicts in the novel. Tom Buchanan — a millionaire who lives on East Egg, and Daisy's husband. Tom is an imposing man of muscular build with a "husky tenor" voice and arrogant demeanor, a former football star at Yale. Buchanan has parallels with William Mitchell, the Chicagoan who married Ginevra King. Buchanan and Mitchell were both Chicagoans with an interest in polo. Like Ginevra's father, whom Fitzgerald resented, Buchanan attended Yale and is a white supremacist. Jordan Baker — Daisy Buchanan's long-time friend with "autumn-leaf yellow hair," a firm athletic body, and an aloof attitude. She is Nick Carraway's girlfriend for most of the novel and a professional golfer with a slightly shady reputation and a penchant for untruthfulness. Fitzgerald told Maxwell Perkins that Jordan was based on the golfer Edith Cummings, a friend of Ginevra King. Her name is a play on the two then-popular automobile brands, the Jordan Motor Car Company and the Baker Motor Vehicle, alluding to Jordan's "fast" reputation and the freedom now presented to Americans, especially women, in the 1920s. George B. Wilson — a mechanic and owner of a garage. Both Tom Buchanan and his own wife, Myrtle Wilson, the former of whom describes him as "so dumb he doesn't know he's alive," dislike Wilson. When he learns of the death of his wife, he shoots and kills Gatsby, wrongly believing he had been driving the car that killed Myrtle, and then kills himself. Myrtle Wilson — George's wife, and Tom Buchanan's mistress. She is accidentally killed after being hit by a car driven by Daisy, though Gatsby takes the blame for it. Secondary characters
Meyer Wolfshiem — a Jewish man Gatsby describes as a gangster/gambler who had fixed the World Series. Wolfshiem (in some editions spelled "Wolfsheim"[note 1]) is a clear allusion to Arnold Rothstein, a New York crime kingpin who was notoriously blamed for the Black Sox Scandal which tainted the 1919 World Series. Catherine — Myrtle Wilson's sister.
Chester and Lucille McKee — Myrtle's New York friends.
"Owl-eyes" — a drunken party-goer whom Nick meets in Gatsby's library. One of the only three characters in the novel to attend Gatsby's funeral, he represents the Lost Generation itself. Ewing "The Boarder" Klipspringer — a sponger who virtually lives at Gatsby's mansion. Pammy Buchanan — the Buchanans' three-year-old daughter.
Henry C. Gatz — Gatsby's somewhat estranged father in North Dakota. One of the only characters in the book to attend Gatsby's funeral. Mr. and Mrs. Sloane — a couple that visits Gatsby's house with Tom. Michaelis — George Wilson's Greek neighbor.
Dan Cody — a wealthy adventurer who was Gatsby's mentor as a youth. Reception
The Great Gatsby received mostly positive reviews when it was first published and many of Fitzgerald's literary friends wrote him letters praising the novel. However, Gatsby did not experience the commercial success of Fitzgerald's previous two novels, This Side of Paradise and The Beautiful and Damned, and although the novel went through two initial printings, some of these copies remained unsold years later. When Fitzgerald died in 1940, he had been largely forgotten. His obituary in The New York Times mentioned Gatsby as evidence of great potential that was never reached. Gatsby gained readers when Armed Services Editions gave away around 150,000 copies of the novel to the American military in World War II. In 1951 Arthur Mizener published The Far Side of Paradise, a biography of Fitzgerald. By the 1960s, Gatsby's reputation was established, and it is frequently mentioned as one of the great American novels. Adaptations
Gatsby has been adapted numerous times, in various media. In addition, an early draft of the novel is now available as Trimalchio: An Early Version of "The Great Gatsby". (1925)
July 9th, 2002: - We have just been informed that this book is still in copyright and therefore we have had to remove the text from the site. In place of the text we have added a chapter by chapter summary. Please note the search feature searches through this summary, not the text. ~
This novel shows the basic instinct of human beings to be admired as someone special even if this instinct leads, like moths attracted by the fire, towards burned wings.--Submitted by Mahawa Cheikh Gueye ~
The hollow pursuit of wealth and social status results in tragedy in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Each character has their own way of showing off their wealth and status. Whether it's by the type of car you drive or the location of your house or even through marriage, it's all shown in this novel.--Submitted by Anonymous
The Great Gatsby is set in the jazz age, the 1920's. It tells the fictional story of an enigmatic and lonely millionaire named Jay Gatsby, who has been in love with the same woman for years and tries to win her back. The narrator is Nick, who lives across the lawn from Gatsby and becomes friends with him. This book written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, one of the greatest authors of all time shows that no matter how rich we are, it cannot buy us love. --Submitted by Anna
This novel is beautiful in every way. It is filled with a haunting sadness, that I have never been able to forget. The prose is beautiful -- glowing like Daisy's green light across the water. The story itself is beautifully tragic -- a poor man falls in love with a beautiful, rich woman (or what she represents) and it brings disaster. But this book is so much more than that. What F. Scott Fitzgerald shows the reader about this society we, ourselves, have created is larger than any story a person could think up. Fitzgerald creates a portrait of the hollowness, carelessness, and ugliness in American society that moved my old English teacher to tears in front of the whole class a few years ago, and brings a lump to my throat even now, as I think about it. If someone asked me what exactly The Great Gatsby "means," I couldn't tell them. I don't think anyone will ever be able to understand it enough to put it in words that will have meaning to everyone, but I think anyone who reads this book WILL have an understanding of it that they can feel in the gut. Such is the way with all great literature.--Submitted by Anonymous
THE OLD MAN
The Old Man and the Sea is a novel written by the American author Ernest Hemingway in 1951 in Cuba, and published in 1952. It was the last major work of fiction to be produced by Hemingway and published in his lifetime. One of his most famous works, it centers upon Santiago, an aging fisherman who struggles with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. The Old Man and the Sea was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1953 and was cited by the Nobel Committee as contributing to the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Hemingway in 1954.
The Old Man and the Sea is the story of a battle between an old, experienced Cuban fisherman and a large marlin. The novel opens with the explanation that the fisherman, who is named Santiago, has gone 84 days without catching a fish. Santiago is considered "salao", the worst form of unlucky. In fact, he is so unlucky that his young apprentice, Manolin, has been forbidden by his parents to sail with the old man and been ordered to fish with more successful fishermen. Still dedicated to the old man, however, the boy visits Santiago's shack each night, hauling back his fishing gear, getting him food and discussing American baseball and his favorite player Joe DiMaggio. Santiago tells Manolin that on the next day, he will venture far out into the Gulf Stream, north of Cuba in the Straits of Florida to fish, confident that his unlucky streak is near its end. Thus on the eighty-fifth day, Santiago sets out alone, taking his skiff far onto the Gulf Stream. He sets his lines and, by noon of the first day, a big fish that he is sure is a marlin takes his bait. Unable to pull in the great marlin, Santiago instead finds the fish pulling his skiff. Two days and two nights pass in this manner, during which the old man bears the tension of the line with his body. Though he is wounded by the struggle and in pain, Santiago expresses a compassionate appreciation for his adversary, often referring to him as a brother. He also determines that because of the fish's great dignity, no one will be worthy of eating the marlin. On the third day of the ordeal, the fish begins to circle the skiff, indicating his tiredness to the old man. Santiago, now completely worn out and almost in delirium, uses all the strength he has left in him to pull the fish onto its side and stab the marlin with a harpoon, ending the long battle between the old man and the tenacious fish. Santiago straps the marlin to the side of his skiff and heads home, thinking about the high price the fish will bring him at the market and how many people he will feed. While Santiago continues his journey back to the shore, sharks are attracted to the trail of blood left by the marlin in the water. The first, a great mako shark, Santiago kills with his harpoon, losing that weapon in the process. He makes a new harpoon by strapping his knife to the end of an oar to help ward off the next line of sharks; in total, five sharks are slain and many others are driven away. But the sharks kept coming, and by nightfall the sharks have almost devoured the marlin's entire carcass, leaving a skeleton consisting mostly of its backbone, its tail and its head. Finally reaching the shore before dawn on the next day, Santiago struggles on the way to his shack, carrying the heavy mast on his shoulder. Once home, he slumps onto his bed and falls into a deep sleep. A group of fishermen gather the next day around the boat where the fish's skeleton is still attached. One of the fishermen measures it to be 18 feet (5.5 m) from nose to tail. Tourists at the nearby café mistakenly take it for a shark. Manolin, worried during the old man's endeavor, cries upon finding him safe asleep. The boy brings him newspapers and coffee. When the old man wakes, they promise to fish together once again. Upon his return to sleep, Santiago dreams of his youth—of lions on an African beach. The old man feels very unwell and also coughs up blood a few times towards the end of the story. Background and publication
Hemingway in 1939
Written in 1951, and published in 1952, The Old Man and the Sea is Hemingway's final work published during his lifetime. The book, dedicated to Hemingway's literary editor Maxwell Perkins, was featured in Life magazine on September 1, 1952, and five million copies of the magazine were sold in two days. The Old Man and the Sea also became a Book of the Month selection, and made Hemingway a celebrity. Published in book form on September 1, 1952, the first edition print run was 50,000 copies. The illustrated edition featured black and white illustrations by Charles Tunnicliffe and Raymond Sheppard. The novel received the Pulitzer Prize in May, 1952, and was specifically cited when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. The success of The Old Man and the Sea made Hemingway an international celebrity. The Old Man and the Sea is taught at schools around the world and continues to earn foreign royalties. No good book has ever been written that has in it symbols arrived at beforehand and stuck in. ... I tried to make a real old man, a real boy, a real sea and a real fish and real sharks. But if I made them good and true enough they would mean many things. Ernest Hemingway in 1954
Hemingway wanted to use the story of the old man, Santiago, to show the honor in struggle and to draw biblical parallels to life in his modern world. Possibly based on the character of Gregorio Fuentes, Hemingway had initially planned to use Santiago's story, which became The Old Man and the Sea, as part of an intimacy between mother and son and also the fact of relationships that cover most of the book relate to the Bible, which he referred to as "The Sea Book." (He also referred to the Bible as the "Sea of Knowledge" and other such things.) Some aspects of it did appear in the posthumously published Islands in the Stream. Hemingway mentions the real life experience of an old fisherman almost identical to that of Santiago and his marlin in On the Blue Water: A Gulf Stream Letter (Esquire, April 1936). Literary significance and criticism
The Old Man and the Sea served to reinvigorate Hemingway's literary reputation and prompted a reexamination of his entire body of work. The novel was initially received with much popularity; it restored many readers' confidence in Hemingway's capability as an author. Its publisher, Scribner's, on an early dust jacket, called the novel a "new classic," and many critics favorably compared it with such works as William Faulkner's "The Bear" and Herman Melville's Moby-Dick. Santiago as a Spaniard
"'Eyes the Same Color of the Sea': Santiago's Expatriation from Spain and Ethnic Otherness in Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea" focuses on the old man's national identity. Using baseball references, the article points out that Santiago was at least 22 years old when he moved from Spain to Cuba. "Born in Spain’s Canary Islands, Santiago moved to Cuba as a young man; this circumstance has a significant impact on his social condition." Santiago was old enough to have a Spanish identity when he immigrated, and the article examined how being a foreigner (and from a country that colonized Cuba) would influence his life on the island. Because Santiago was too poor to move back to Spain—many Spaniards moved to Cuba and then back to Spain at that time—he adopted Cuban culture like religious ceremonies, Cuban Spanish, and fishing in skiffs in order to acculturate in the new country. The dangerous hunt for the marlin was an effort to earn a place in the new community, something which had eluded him. Religion as theme
Joseph Waldmeir's essay "Confiteor Hominem: Ernest Hemingway's Religion of Man" is a favorable critical reading of the novel—and one which has defined analytical considerations since. Perhaps the most memorable claim therein is Waldmeir's answer to the question—What is the book's message? "The answer assumes a third level on which The Old Man and the Sea must be read—as a sort of allegorical commentary on all his previous work, by means of which it may be established that the religious overtones of The Old Man and the Sea are not peculiar to that book among Hemingway's works, and that Hemingway has finally taken the decisive step in elevating what might be called his philosophy of Manhood to the level of a religion." Waldmeir was one of the most prominent critics to wholly consider the function of the novel's Christian imagery, made most evident through Hemingway's blatant reference to the crucifixion following Santiago's sighting of the sharks that reads: "‘Ay,′ he said aloud. There is no translation for this word and perhaps it is just a noise such as a man might make, involuntarily, feeling the nail go through his hands and into the wood." An unrealistic novel?
Ernest Hemingway and Henry ("Mike") Strater with the remaining 500 lbs of an estimated 1000 lb marlin that was half-eaten by sharks before it could be landed in the Bahamas in 1935. See Pilar for details of this episode. One of the most outspoken critics of The Old Man and the Sea is Robert P. Weeks. His 1962 piece "Fakery in The Old Man and the Sea" presents his claim that the novel is a weak and unexpected divergence from the typical, realistic Hemingway (referring to the rest of Hemingway's body of work as "earlier glories"). In juxtaposing this novel against Hemingway's previous works, Weeks contends: "The difference, however, in the effectiveness with which Hemingway employs this characteristic device in his best work and in The Old Man and the Sea is illuminating. The work of fiction in which Hemingway devoted the most attention to natural objects, The Old Man and the Sea, is pieced out with an extraordinary quantity of fakery, extraordinary because one would expect to find no inexactness, no romanticizing of natural objects in a writer who loathed W.H. Hudson, could not read Thoreau, deplored Melville's rhetoric in Moby Dick, and who was himself criticized by other writers, notably Faulkner, for his devotion to the facts and his unwillingness to 'invent.'" Some critics suggest "The Old Man and the Sea" was Hemingway's reaction towards the criticism of his most recent work, Across the River and into the Trees. The negative reviews for Across the River and into the Trees distressed him, and may have been a catalyst to his writing of The Old Man and the Sea.
R obinson Crusoe is an Englishman from the town of York in the seventeenth century, theyoungest son of a merchant of German origin. Encouraged by his father to study law, Crusoeexpresses his wish to go to sea instead. His family is against Crusoe going out to sea, and hisfather explains that it is better to seek a modest, secure life for oneself. Initially, Robinson iscommitted to obeying his father, but he eventually succumbs to temptation and embarks on aship bound for London with a friend. When a storm causes the near deaths of Crusoe and hisfriend, the friend is dissuaded from sea travel, but Crusoe still goes on to set himself up asmerchant on a ship leaving London. This trip is financially successful, and Crusoe plans another,leaving his early profits in the care of a friendly widow. The second voyage does not prove asfortunate: the ship is seized by Moorish pirates, and Crusoe is enslaved to a potentate in theNorth African town of Sallee. While on a fishing expedition, he and a slave boy break free and saildown the African coast. A kindly Portuguese captain picks them up, buys the slave boy fromCrusoe, and takes Crusoe to Brazil. In Brazil, Crusoe establishes himself as a plantation owner and soon becomes successful. Eager for slave labor and its economic advantages, he embarkson a slave-gathering expedition to West Africa but ends up shipwrecked off of the coast of Trinidad. Crusoe soon learns he is the sole survivor of the expedition and seeks shelter and food for himself. He returns to the wreck’s remains twelve times to salvage guns, powder, food, and other items. Onshore, he finds goats he can graze for meat and builds himself a shelter. He erects across that he inscribes with the date of his arrival, September 1, 1659, and makes a notch everyday in order never to lose track of time. He also keeps a journal of his household activities, notinghis attempts to make candles, his lucky discovery of sprouting grain, and his construction of acellar, among other events. In June 1660, he falls ill and hallucinates that an angel visits, warninghim to repent. Drinking tobacco-steeped rum, Crusoe experiences a religious illumination andrealizes that God has delivered him from his earlier sins. After recovering, Crusoe makes asurvey of the area and discovers he is on an island. He finds a pleasant valley abounding ingrapes, where he builds a shady retreat. Crusoe begins to feel more optimistic about being on theisland, describing himself as its “king.” He trains a pet parrot, takes a goat as a pet, and developsskills in basket weaving, bread making, and pottery. He cuts down an enormous cedar tree andbuilds a huge canoe from its trunk, but he discovers that he cannot move it to the sea. After building a smaller boat, he rows around the island but nearly perishes when swept away by apowerful current. Reaching shore, he hears his parrot calling his name and is thankful for beingsaved once again. He spends several years in peace.One day Crusoe is shocked to discover a man’s footprint on the beach. He first assumes thefootprint is the devil’s, then decides it must belong to one of the cannibals said to live in theregion. Terrified, he arms himself and remains on the lookout for cannibals. He also builds anunderground cellar in which to herd his goats at night and devises a way to cook underground.One evening he hears gunshots, and the next day he is able to see a ship wrecked on his coast.It is empty when he arrives on the scene to investigate. Crusoe once again thanks Providence for having been saved. Soon afterward, Crusoe discovers that the shore has been strewn withhuman carnage, apparently the remains of a cannibal feast. He is alarmed and continues to bevigilant. Later Crusoe catches sight of thirty cannibals heading for shore with their victims. One of the victims is killed. Another one, waiting to be slaughtered, suddenly breaks free and runstoward Crusoe’s dwelling. Crusoe protects him, killing one of the pursuers and injuring the other,whom the victim finally kills. Well-armed, Crusoe defeats most of the cannibals onshore. Thevictim vows total submission to Crusoe in gratitude for his liberation. Crusoe names him Friday, tocommemorate the day on which his life was saved, and takes him as his servant.Finding Friday cheerful and intelligent, Crusoe teaches him some English words and someelementary Christian concepts. Friday, in turn, explains that the cannibals are divided into distinc