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Francis Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby

Francis Scott Fitzgerald is recognized as the finest writer in American literature in the 20th century. He is the author of many excellent writings. The most honoured ones are:
This Side of Paradise – Táto Strana Raja, Tender Is the Night – Nežná Je Noc, Last Tycoon - Posledný Magnát , Tales of the Jazz Age – Poviedky Jazzového Veku, Flappers and Philosophers – Žabce a Filozofi, The Beautiful and Damned - Krásni a Zatratení, The Great Gatsby – Veľký Gatsby and of course many more. He also wrote many screenplays and he is the author of more than 150 short stories.

Now I will start with analyzing the novel The Great Gatsby
Character analysis:

Nick Carraway - is the novel’s narrator. Because he is the storyteller it is very hard to understand his character completely. He gives us only impression of himself that he would like to give. From the beginning Nick holds himself in higher esteem than the other characters in the novel. He is honest, responsible, tolerant and fair-minded. Throughout the book you can sense that the only person, who he envies, is Gatsby. Jay Gatsby – is the novel's title character and its protagonist. At the beginning he is described as a mysterious, fantastically wealthy young man. Later on his true side is exposed and we learn his real name (James Gatz) and his origin. He is famous for the extravagant parties he throws every Saturday night. Nick finds out that Gatsby made his fortune through criminal activity, as he was willing to do anything to gain the social position he thought necessary to win Daisy – Gatsby’s love from earlier years.

Daisy Buchanan – is Nick's cousin, and the woman Gatsby loves. She fell in love with Gatsby and promised to wait for him. However, Daisy harbors a deep need to be loved, and when a wealthy, powerful young man named Tom Buchanan asked her to marry him, Daisy decided not to wait for Gatsby after all. She is sardonic, a bit cynical, careless and immature. She's trapped in a marriage that she is unhappy in and trapped in a world where she has no chance to be free or independent.

Tom Buchanan – is Daisy's wealthy husband. He is an arrogant, hypocritical vicious bully.
His racism and sexism are characteristic of his deep insecurity about his own elevated social position. He is having an affair, which he makes no attempt to keep secret. Tom is just the bad guy in this story.

He is the antagonist of the novel.
Jordan Baker - Daisy's friend, a woman with whom Nick becomes romantically involved during the course of the novel. She has been born with money and has lived in a culture full of money and has been spoiled by it. She is a professional golfer who cheated in order to win her first tournament. She is extremely cynical.
This is my first book I read by this author and I have to say that this book was more thrilling than Hemingway's Farewell To Arms. Yes, The Great Gatsby is a love story like Farewell to Arms, but the most interesting parts for me were, the descriptions of the individual spoiled personalities. It was interesting to follow the development of these characters and to see how their status in society actually modifies them. The first pages of the book weren’t that interesting, but then couple of pages further, I got use to the language and I was really enjoying it. I could feel some type of gradation because I was very impatient and wanted to know what is going to happen next. If I compare this writing to Hemingway’s works, then the most significant difference is that Fitzgerald uses lot of detail descriptions on everything. I thing though, in general, that Fitzgerald‘s language is very similar to Hemingway’s natural language. Fitzgerald uses symbolism in his work, but not in that range as Hemingway does.
It’s true that Gatsby had lot of acquaintances, but actually he was a stranger to most of them. He loved to be surrounded bye the best society.[....„Tamten obrovský dom?“ zvolala a ukázala naň. „Páči sa ti?“ „Božský, len si neviem predstaviť, ako tam vydržíš celkom sám.“ „Mám tam vždy plno zaujímavých ľudí, vo dne v noci. Takých, čo robia všeličo zaujímavé. Slávnych.“......pg 91] This was the first meeting of Gatsby and Nick: [.....Zase som sa obrátil k novému známemu. „Je to pre mňa neobyčajný večierok. Ešte som ani nevidel domáceho pána....a ten Gatsby poslal ku mne šoféra s pozvánkou.“ Chvíľu na mňa pozeral, akoby nevedel pochopiť. „Ja som Gatsby,“ povedal zrazu.....pg. 52]. As I said before, one of Daisy’s characteristics is cynicism. Here she indeed admits it: [....„Hoci sme bratranec a sesternica. Neprišiel si mi na svadbu.” „Vtedy som sa ešte nevrátil z vojny.“ „To je fakt.“ Zaváhala. „No čo, prežila som si svoje, Nick, a teraz beriem všetko riadne cynicky“.....pg. 25]. Gatsby was a big party lover. He was know for throwing huge parties every Saturday night.

[...Za popoludňajšieho prílivu som vídal jeho hostí, ako skáču do vody z veže na plávajúcom bazéne alebo sa slnia na horúcom piesku jeho pláže, kým jeho dva motorové člny krájali vody prielivu, ťahajúc za sebou akvaplány cez vodopád peny.....Každý piatok prišlo od ovocinára v New Yorku päť debien pomarančov a citrónov....Aspoň raz za dva týždne prišiel celý pluk dodávateľov s desiatkami metrov plátna a takým množstvom farebných svetiel, že by z Gatsbyho obrovskej záhrady mohli spraviť vianočný stromček....pg 44] Daisy’s and Gatsby’s espression of love was unclear and strange from the beginning. [....„Prestalo pršať. Ano?”. Keď si uvedomil, o čom rozprávam, že v izbe sú zvončeky slnka, usmial sa ako meteorológ, ako jasavý zvestovateľ vracajúceho sa svetla, a zopakoval novinku Daisy. „Čo na to povieš? Prestalo pršať.“ „To som rada, Jay.“ Jej hrdlo, plné boľavej, smutnej krásy, rozprávalo len o nečakanej radosti....pg 90]

The theme of this book
Well, this book has actually many themes but I have to agree with other readers that the main theme is the decline of the American Dream. The Great Gatsby is a type of symbolic meditation on America in the 1920s. It shows us in what time America is situated and what kind of different relationships between people are typical for this period of time. Fitzgerald portrays the 1920s as an era of decayed social and moral values.

My opinion on this writing
As a mentioned before, the beginning was a bit unamusing in some parts, but later on it was getting more and more clear. But that was just a little minus. The book as a whole was great. Even though the novel is full of detailed descriptions of characters, objects or the environment, the author still proved to keep the reader in excitement the whole time.

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