Mr. La Bonne
The Personality of the House
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is set in the 1920s, a period of prosperity and high success in the economy. Thus, it would seem typical that an individual’s house would represent his or her social status. However, in The Great Gatsby each character’s house is used to reveal much more than just his or her wealth. Fitzgerald utilizes the house as a reflection of the characteristics of the dwellers.
Tom and Daisy's house is a fairly large and elaborate “red and white Georgian Colonial mansion overlooking the bay” (11). The house is spacious and the nice furniture and antiques presents the image of comfort and bliss. One would assume that a happy family lived in it. Tom and Daisy are not really happy, or in love; but, like their home, they have all the right properties and conveniences to cover the real situation up. Tom is having an affair and Daisy never wanted to marry Tom in the first place. Neither of them really cares about their child, and Daisy is purely superficial. Daisy’s house is a perfect representation of her because she seems to do everything merely for show. Like her house, Daisy is beautiful and charming on the outside; but on the inside, she is shallow, bored, and sardonic. Nick characterizes her as a careless person who smashes things up and then retreats behind her money.
Directly across the water from the Buchanan residence is Gatsby’s large and ostentatious house. Gatsby’s mansion reflects both Gatsby’s success as an American self-made man and the mirage of an identity that he has created to win Daisy’s love. Gatsby purposefully picked this spot because he centers his life on Daisy. Everything he does is in an effort to impress her,
get closer to her, or attract her attention. His mansion, with its mixture of different styles, also symbolizes his lack of individuality and his loss of identity. Also, Gatsby’s house...