Guess who’s turning 93? That’s right, The Great Gatsby!
Decadence, debauchery, and desire. What’s not to like? A melodrama that perfectly captures the roaring twenties, The Great Gatsby is written in beautiful prose by F. Scott Fitzgerald. And yet, the novel takes a dark turn as it deals with themes of disillusionment, the effects of World War I, and the futility of the American Dream.
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Narrated by Nick Carraway, the story follows wealthy socialites on Long Island in 1922 and the eventual demise of Jay Gatsby, an enigmatic millionaire. Gatsby is obsessed with Daisy Buchanan and throws extravagant parties in an attempt to win her favor. After Nick arranges a meeting, Daisy and Gatsby rekindle their affair.
And here’s when the true drama kicks in: Daisy’s husband, Tom, who is also having an affair, finds out and reveals Gatsby’s money has come from bootlegging alcohol during Prohibition. In case that’s not enough, there’s some vehicular manslaughter, revenge, and even a gunfight. Sounds like a party, right?
In time to celebrate the anniversary of the book’s publication, our infographic on The Great Gatsby presents major themes and how they relate to each character’s relationships. Considered Fitzgerald’s most impressive work, the novel’s pessimistic take on the American Dream still lingers today, as more than 50% of Americans worry their kids will live worse lives than they did.
But it’s not all depressing news. More than 25 million copies have been sold worldwide, and in 2013, Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio starred in Baz Luhrmann’s movie adaptation.