Nick Carraway is the novel’s narrator and protagonist who undergoes considerable personal change. He is a young man who graduates from Yale University and moves from Minnesota to New York as he gets the position of a bond salesman (Fitzgerald, 1925). Nick is described as responsible, innocent, honest, mild-mannered, and fair-minded person. Although he becomes disillusioned and more critical and observant over time, his honor and self-respect leave unchanged. Nick does not judge people and its habit helps him to get acquainted with highly interesting people.
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Daisy Buchanan is Nick’s second cousin and a wife of Tom Buchanan. She is a beautiful young woman with bright eyes, a bright passionate mouth, and a low, thrilling voice “that the ear follows up and down as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again” (Fitzgerald, 1925, p. 12). She may be described as high-spirited and charming, though self-absorbed, frivolous, and vain at the same time. Daisy values her social status that determines her choices in life. However, she clearly understands human nature and the world’s harsh truths.
Tom Buchanan is the novel’s main antagonist; he is an enormously wealthy man and Daisy’s husband. He has a gruff husky tenor of voice, shining, arrogant eyes, and an appearance “of always leaning aggressively forward” (Fitzgerald, 1925, p. 9). Tom may be characterized by brutality, possessive behavior, unreasonable white supremacist views, and careless infidelity. His open engagement in a love affair with another woman does not bother him. However, he expects Daisy to be faithful, and her romantic relationship with Gatsby makes Tom enraged.
Jay Gatsby is the novel’s another protagonist; he is a self-made young millionaire who prefers a lavish and luxurious lifestyle and organizes extravagant parties in his mansion every Saturday. He was born in a poor farming family in North Dakota, however, beneficial acquaintances with people from high society and his devotion to wealth acquisition made him rich (Fitzgerald, 1925). Jay Gatsby is highly ambitious and idealistic as he is sure that he may return Daisy with whom he passionately fell in love during World War I.
George Wilson is a weak-willed, boring, and depressed man; he works as a car mechanic and has a wife, Myrtle. Although he does not completely understand Myrtle, he is fully devoted to her. At the same time, Myrtle Wilson feels contempt for her husband. She is not satisfied with her working-class life in poverty and engages in a love affair with Tom Buchanan in order to escape her disappointing marriage and indulge certain materialistic desires.
Different colors in the novel’s almost every chapter provide readers with an insight into the lives of characters. The author uses white color to describe the fairness and purity of Daisy’s character and yellow or gold color to describe her desire to be rich (Fitzgerald, 1925). In turn, blue color represents illusions and is associated with Jay Gatsby. Finally, in the novel, green color is the symbol of wealth and money. The author’s choice of locations is not accidental as well. East Egg and West Egg imply two different kinds of wealth. The inhabitants of East Egg inherit their wealth that is passed down in their families through generations. At the same time, people from West Egg are self-made successful individuals who probably get their money by fortune. The Valley of Ashes symbolizes poverty, helplessness, and the moral decay of people who desire wealth. New York City unites wealthy and poor people and represents the varieties of life.
In the novel, automobiles symbolize money as well, however, they represent their owners to underline the difference in their wealth. For instance, Tom drives a traditional, high-end, and elegant automobile, while Gatsby’s car contains the latest innovations and gadgets (Fitzgerald, 1925). In addition, the novel may be regarded as the American Dream’s pessimistic critique and the supremacy of traditions over impermanent fortune. Love is depicted as a highly powerful motivator for all characters of the novel, however, all their relationships are corrupted.
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Fitzgerald, F. S. (1925). The great Gatsby [eBook edition]. Planet eBook. Web.