The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald captures the ideals of a society obsessed with wealth and status. Set in the 1920s during prohibition, the story is narrated by a young man named Nick Carraway. Nick meets Gatsby, whose real name is James Gatz, at Gatsby's elaborate mansion in West Egg. The area is full of up and coming ‘new money.’ Young, handsome, and fabulously rich, Jay Gatsby appears to have it all, yet he yearns for the one thing that will always be out of his reach, the love of Daisy Buchanan. This absence renders his life of glittering parties and bright decorations empty and desolate.
Throughout the novel, Jay Gatsby attempts to get Daisy’s attention and eventually it is Nick, Daisy’s cousin, who brings them together. The two rekindle a romantic relationship from many years ago, before Daisy was married. One evening, Gatsby and Nick are invited to Daisy's house, and her husband, Tom Buchanan, notices how close the two have become. He learns of the affair, and sabotages their love by revealing how Gatsby made his money: illegal bootlegging. Despite Tom also having an affair, he convinces Daisy that her allegiance lies with him. Daisy drives home with Gatsby and hits Myrtle, Tom’s mistress, killing her. Since the two were in Gatsby’s car, he takes responsibility for the murder.
Gatsby's tragic pursuit of his dream ultimately leads to his death, when he is shot by the husband of Tom’s mistress. Nick's despair drives him to move back to the Midwest, disillusioned by the events of the novel.