« The Great Gatsby »

Part one: defining the terms « myths » and « heroes », asking what makes Jay Gatsby both a myth and a hero, introducing the novel.

a) A myth can be several things. First, it is a story that is partly true and partly invented and that is supposed to advocate or promote a certain set values in a given society, even though these values are not always within everybody’s reach, even though some people don’t always manage to enjoy the benefits of these values. The example of the American Dream illustrates this in the sense that theoretically (in theory) everybody can climb the social ladder, but only a happy few actually manage to do that.

A myth can also be a person whose public image is a bit idealized due to his or her exceptional fame or outstanding achievements, while some other, less glorious parts of his or her existence are overlooked (ignored). The case of Marilyn Monroe can be given, she was a worldwide superstar, but only a few people knew that she was addicted to drugs and alcohol.

To that extent it can be argued that a hero – a person of exceptional courage, with outstanding qualities and capable of incredible achievements – may sometimes be a bit of a myth.

b) This what I would like to show with the example of Jay Gatsby, the main character of the novel “The Great Gatsby”.

c) [BY LINA] The novel was written by Francis Scott-Fitzgerald in 1925. The scene takes place in 1922.
The Narrator is Nick Caraway , he's not very rich and lives in a small house near NYC.
His neighbor, called Jay Gatsby,  is very very rich. Every week-end he organizes (throws) fantastic parties in his huge mansion. Nick’s other neighbors , Daisy and Tom Buchanan are also incredibly rich.
Tom cheats on Daisy with another woman named Mrs. Wilson. Before the first world war, Gatsby and Daisy were in love but she refused his marriage proposal because he was poor. So, he went to war , returned home and became rich, in the hope to rekindle Daisy's love and reconquer her heart.
Tom becomes suspicious and provokes Gatsby. Daisy is shocked, she and Gatsby go for a ride in his car. Daisy drives but she is so shocked that she runs over Mrs. Wilson by accident and kills her.
Mr. Wilson recognizes the car and shoots Gatsby before killing himself.

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