Essay on The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald

This is a creative writing sample. A letter written to Nick by Daisy:

In the midst of the Roaring 20’s, where American families are soaring through the image of the American Dream, a classic novel is born. Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby is a novel of the lives of the extremely rich. Following the perspective of young Nick Carraway, as he acquaints himself with the intricate parties, drunken nights, and love affairs surrounding his mysteriously rich neighbor Jay Gatsby, a man with an obsession with building a fantasy with Nick’s second cousin Daisy. This is a letter received years after the fatal night of Gatsby’s death:


My Dearest Nick,

It has been decades since I have been able to reach you, my dearest cousin. This letter shouldn’t even be in your possession! But I felt a fiery desire to explain myself. All of these years, my mind has been replaying the horrible day that ruined Gatsby and myself. Even now, as I write this letter my tears fall. Oh, Nick, my poor heart is heavy with guilt and swollen with shame. After such a long time the news has finally gotten to me, even here thousands upon thousands of miles from East Egg. I found out while eating lunch with a friend, since Tom is never around, I heard gossip from a chef and it hit me so hard I began to weep then and there! My mind traveled back to the time we locked eyes in my home before heading to that measly hotel, I fell into Gatsby’s eyes and told him “You always look so cool” (126). Oh, you should have seen the reaction of everybody in that restaurant! They thought I was dying, Nick.

I thought I was dying. And sadly I wished I had. I wish it had been me mangled in front of that wheel instead of that poor wretched woman! He was delirious, Nick; I had no idea what to do! After the whole scene in the hotel I think Jay realized. He realized a fool like me would never be with a fool like him! He wanted to run away, then and there. To go back to Louisville and get married right in the front steps of my old home. Nick, what was I supposed to tell him? My life belonged to Tom? He wouldn’t have it. So he took the wheel, and went in a frenzy telling me about all the nights he stayed up in the middle of a war, he survived because of me. It was devastating, sitting in the front of his car, going far too fast and hearing him bring back all the times we had together. He told me his whole fortune was built upon “the green light right at the end of his dock”(24). How he dodged bullets believing him and I would walk nights together, hand in hand.

My heart was practically leaping out of my chest I couldn’t take the guilt anymore Nick. And so I screamed, and it startled him and at that moment we heard a terrible sound. The sound of bones crunching, and wheels screeching, it was just horrible. We were at such a panic that I barely got to see what happened, Gatsby kept on driving wildly. As if he didn’t hear what happened, as if he had ran over someone before, or killed someone at that. I couldn’t say anything. He kept telling me that no one had to know I killed Myrtle. I was so confused because I sat there crying on his lap after the horrible incident, I didn’t near an inch to the wheel, but he sat there so confidently telling me he wouldn’t tell anyone! Oh, Nick I tell you he was delirious!

My body was at such a frantic state Nick that I just sat there. All I wanted was to be in the arms of Tom, far far away from this mess.

And so he took me home, apologizing about his loose tongue. He told me he’d wait for me all night, he’d wait for me until Tom was asleep and I would sneak out of our home and get inside his car and ride away to Louisville where no one would ever find us. But my mind had already been made. Gatsby looked different in my eyes, Nick. And it saddened me. Because on the night he was scheduled to leave my young heart so long ago, I promised him, we would have it all, together. Even five years, I sometimes feel his lips hovering over mine, and my heart would flutter at the fantasy we created together. I think about the fight with Tom and how he was so excited to tell Tom that “your wife doesn’t love you, she loves me”(139). And perhaps I did love him at one time, But I looked at him that night, and his eyes were darker then usual, and his hair, it was so strange and my heart it crumbled under the pressure of our memories. Ones that I no longer savored as he had.

So I lied, Nick. Yes! I lied to Gatsby and I told him I would be with him by that same time tomorrow. Kissing until our hearts made home in our mouths. It felt so good Nick! I don’t know why, but it felt remarkably beautiful telling him all I told him, even though in my mind, I knew it would never happen. I left him that night, and waited for Tom at home. And when he came I already had all my bags. Falling into his arms I cried and wept and begged him to take me far away from this home. We sat and spoke a conversation most calm and beautiful. For the first time in my life, I felt like an adult. Not once did I think of meeting with Gatsby. Actually I believe I was so over whelmed with leaving this horrible place Gatsby had escaped my mind. We left in the morning and did not turn back.

I am sorry, my dearest Nick, to write to you such an awful story. But it had to leave me. It only took a few days after arriving in France to begin thinking of such bad memories once more. Tom promised me he would take care of me, and for the first month he did. I still remember his words in that hotel “…and in my heart I love her all the time” (131). We were in love dearly. But then his drinking turned better for worst, and now here I am in a land foreign then mine, wishing I was buried right next to Gatsby.


Yours truly,