The Great Gatsby

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Cover of the Scribner Paperback Edition of The Great Gatsby, 1995.

The Great Gatsby is considered the finest work of F. Scott Fitzgerald. It documents the "Jazz Age" of the 1920s, which was a period of great prosperity in America just before the Great Depression. [1]

It is a novel about of Jay Gatsby, who was an ambitious American from the Midwest, just as Fitzgerald himself was. Gatsby becomes a bootlegger during Prohibition, illegally selling liquor in his quest to impress Daisy Buchanan, a married, upper-class woman who had previously rejected him.

The story is told sympathetically with respect to Gatsby's search for the love of Daisy. The narrator of the novel, Nick Carraway, is less sympathetic towards Daisy and others who flaunt their wealth.

The book was initially unsuccessful, until liberals began promoting it heavily after Fitzgerald's death. The essence of the novel is largely a tale of atheistic despair, as Gatsby clings to a love interest in his past. It also criticizes the heavily conservative government of the 1920s. It is a call to arms for the government to go barging into regulating business. It largely focuses on the negative aspects of what would become American conservatism.

There have been seven different movie adaptations of the novel, with Jay Gatsby portrayed by Robert Redford in 1974 and by Leonardo diCaprio in the 2013 version.

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