The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is the great novel of America in the 1920s. It is about someone pursuing a girl, and, more than that, it is about someone pursuing a dream. Jay Gatsby is someone who believes in the American dream of success. His life plays out the most famous piece of repartee between Fitzgerald and Hemingway - that the rich are very different from you and me, because they have more money. Gatsby is a man who thought that if he had the money, he would be rich, and could therefore be different.

After reading Gatsby, one remembers the parties which its hero threw: dusk-to-dawn galas peopled by financiers, Broadway stars, and the polo-playing aristocracy. But behind the glitter there are occasional glimpses of darkness. Gatsby is a man with no background. Some say he is the Kaiser's nephew, some have heard that he once killed a man. He has unsavory connections - perhaps even criminal connections. His past is a mystery, and there is something in his present which he wants to conceal.