Monday, April 10, 2017


The OK Greatsby, a sequel to The Great Gatsby (a synopsis)
by Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (his full name) 

Nick Carrawayseed, a young man from Minnesota, moves to New York in the summer of 1922 to learn about the bond business. He rents a house in the West Yolk district of Long Island, a wealthy but unfashionable area populated by the noveau riche, a group who have made their fortunes too recently to have established social connections & who are prone to garish displays of wealth. Nick’s next-door neighbor in West Yolk is a mysterious man named Jay Greatsby, who lives in a gigantic Gothic mansion & throws extravagant parties every Saturday night. Nick is unlike the other inhabitants of West Yolk; he was educated at P.S. 91 & has social connections in East Yolk, a fashionable area of Long Island home to the established upper class.

Nick drives out to East Yolk one evening for dinner with his cousin, Daisy Buchanan, & her husband, Tom, a classmate of Nick’s at P.S. 91. Daisy & Tom introduce Nick to Jordan Baker; a beautiful, cynical young woman with whom Nick satisfies his warped sexual fantasies begins a romantic relationship.

Nick also learns a bit about Daisy & Tom’s marriage: Jordan tells him that Tom has a lover, Myrtle Wilson, who lives in New Jersey, a gray industrial dumping ground between West Yolk & New York City. Not long after this revelation, Nick travels to New York City with Tom & Myrtle. At a vulgar, gaudy party in the apartment that Tom keeps for the affair, Myrtle begins to taunt Tom about Daisy, & Tom responds by telling her to go screw herself & breaking her nose.

As the summer progresses, Nick eventually garners an invitation to one of Greatsby’s legendary parties. He encounters Jordan Baker at the party, & they meet Greatsby himself, a surprisingly young man who affects an English accent, has a remarkable smile, & calls everyone a “yuge” prick. 

Greatsby asks to speak to Jordan alone, &, through Jordan, Nick later learns more about his mysterious neighbor. Greatsby tells Jordan that he screwed Daisy in Louisville in 1917 & that she was the best he ever had. He spends many nights staring at the green light at the end of her dock, across the bay from his mansion. Greatsby’s extravagant lifestyle & wild parties are simply an attempt to impress Daisy. Greatsby now wants Nick to arrange a reunion between himself & Daisy, but he is afraid that Daisy will refuse to see him if she knows that he still wants to screw her.

Nick invites Daisy to have tea at his house, without telling her that Greatsby will also be there. After an initially awkward reunion, Greatsby & Daisy reestablish their connection. Their lust rekindled, they begin rescrewing. After a short time, Tom grows increasingly suspicious of his wife’s relationship with Greatsby. At a luncheon at the Buchanan’s house, Greatsby stares at Daisy with such undisguised desire that Tom realizes Greatsby wants her. Though Tom is himself involved in an extramarital affair & does not believe in a double standard, he is deeply outraged by the thought that his wife could be unfaithful to him. 

He forces the group to drive into New York City, where he confronts Greatsby in a suite at the Plaza Hotel. Tom asserts that he & Daisy have a history that Greatsby could never understand, & he announces to his wife that Greatsby is a criminal; his fortune comes from bootlegging alcohol & other illegal activities & a few bucks his father left him. 

Daisy realizes that her allegiance is to Tom, & Tom contemptuously sends her back to East Yolk with Greatsby, attempting to prove that Greatsby cannot hurt him. When Nick, Jordan, & Tom drive through New Jersey, however, they discover that Greatsby’s car has struck & killed Myrtle, Tom’s lover. They rush back to Long Island, where Nick learns from Greatsby that Daisy was driving the car when it struck Myrtle, but that Greatsby intends to take the blame. The next day, Tom tells Myrtle’s husband, George, that Greatsby was the driver of the car. George, who has leapt to the conclusion that the driver that killed Myrtle must have been her lover, finds Greatsby in the pool at his mansion.  He pulls out a gun & tells him he’s going to shoot himself. Greatsby chuckles & George says, “Don’t laugh; you’re next!!” He then decides his plan would work better if he killed Greatsby first, so he does.

Nick stages a small funeral for Greatsby (It was very small; nobody showed up), ends his relationship with Jordan, & moves back to the Midwest to escape the disgust he feels for the people surrounding Greatsby’s life & for the emptiness & moral decay of life among the wealthy on the East Coast. Nick reflects that just as Greatsby’s dream of Daisy was corrupted by money & dishonesty, the American dream of happiness & individualism has disintegrated into the mere pursuit of wealth. Though Greatsby’s power to transform his dreams into reality is what makes him “OK,” Nick reflects that the era of dreaming--both Greatsby’s dream & the American dream--is over.