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date: 19 July 2019

Great Gatsby, The, 

The Concise Oxford Companion to American Literature

James D. Hart

novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, published in 1925. It was dramatized by Owen Davis (1926).Nick Carraway, a young Midwesterner who sells bonds in New York, lives at West Egg, Long Island, which is separated from the city by an ashdump, whose distinctive feature is an oculist’s faded billboard with a pair of great staring eyes behind yellow spectacles, symbolic of an obscenely futile world. Nick’s neighbor is mysterious Jay Gatsby, whose mansion and fabulous entertainments are financed by bootlegging and other criminal activities. As a poor army lieutenant, Gatsby had fallen in love with Nick’s beautiful cousin Daisy, who later married Tom Buchanan, an unintelligent, brutal man of wealth. Through Nick, he manages to meet Daisy again, impresses her by his extravagant devotion, and makes her his mistress. Her husband takes as his mistress Myrtle Wilson, sensual wife of a garageman. When her husband becomes jealous and imprisons her in her room, Myrtle escapes, runs out on the highway, and is accidentally hit by Daisy, who drives on. Gatsby tries to protect Daisy, and Tom, to whom she has become reconciled, brings his hatred of her lover to a climax by telling Myrtle’s husband that it was Gatsby who killed her. Wilson shoots Gatsby and then himself. At the end Nick broods over the setting whose... ...

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