F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is a literary masterpiece that has captivated readers for decades with its glitz, glamour, and heartbreaking narrative of unrequited love. Despite the fascinating plot, many readers have pondered if The Great Gatsby is based on a true story or is totally a work of fiction. In this post, we will look into the beginnings of this well-known work and distinguish between reality and fiction.
Is The Great Gatsby a True Story?
The Great Gatsby is not based on any actual events, but it does contain many fictional aspects. The character of Daisy is often believed to have been inspired by Zelda, Fitzgerald's wife. Both women were raised in wealthy households and are deemed socialites, although Gatsby and Fitzgerald come from modest means.
Great Gatsby Character Inspiration
The saying, “Write what you know” is a constant piece of advice for aspiring authors. Despite the fact that they make up their own characters and plots, their works nonetheless manage to feel grounded in reality.
Fitzgerald went all the way with this idea, basing many of The Great Gatsby's characters on real people he had met.
A lot of people think that Nick Carraway is based on Fitzgerald because of all the similarities between the two of them. Carraway was the odd one out, traveling to East and West Egg and mingling with the well-to-do despite his own lack of financial resources.
Since the book's narrator spoke for the author, we can consider Carraway and Fitzgerald to be the same person.
There are two possible backstories for Jay Gatsby. Fitzgerald modeled Max Gerlach on him at first, according to interviews he made about the novel. Gerlach, like Gatsby, was an Army officer during World War I and a bootlegger. This notion was also supported by Zelda Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald's wife.
Tom Buchanan, Daisy's husband, was named Thomas. He was a white nationalist who attended Yale and made appearances on the social circuit and elsewhere in the book. The character was well-off and lived in a spacious mansion by the water.
Tom was clearly inspired by Ginevra King's spouse, William Mitchell. After all, the prosperous man was considered a suitable suitor for King. Tom has certain similarities to King's father, Charles Garfield King, such as their shared Yale education and white nationalist beliefs.
Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan's wife, and Nick Carraway's cousin, was a flapper and socialite. Although they had broken up years before the events of the book, Jay Gatsby still felt deeply for her. Many scholars believe that Fitzgerald modeled Daisy after Ginevra King.
Fitzgerald spent a lot of time in Chicago's social scene, and it was there that he first met King and her companion Edith Cummings. Both of them had previously made their entrance into society. Fitzgerald allegedly wanted to marry King, but her father made a snide remark about poor men who marry rich ladies, and she changed her mind.
Daisy Buchanan's best friend, Jordan Baker, was a socialite in East Egg, where she spent time as an amateur golfer. The protagonist was a golf cheat who also loved to dance the night away at speakeasies and parties.
She resembled Edith Cummings, well-known as the Fairway Flapper. There is no evidence to suggest she cheated in golf, although she was a real-life debutante and a competitive player.
Both East Egg and West Egg are made up for The Great Gatsby. Both of these places are located on Long Island, according to Carraway. Great Neck, New York, where Fitzgerald resided throughout the book's composition, is immediately recognized as the inspiration for both of these affluent communities.
In fact, a home from the 1920s on Long Island's Gold Coast was put up for sale not too long ago. The fact that Fitzgerald stayed at the building for a while in 1923 adds to its illustrious history. He knew Mary Harriman Rumsey, the daughter of a railroad baron, and her family well.
On its more than five acres of ground, this mansion features 13 bedrooms, each with a ceiling height of 12 feet. It has a boathouse, a private beach, and a tennis court. It's not hard to see Gatsby and his friends sitting on the beach by day and sipping illegal wine at night at this spot.