F. Scott Fitzgerald Questions and Answers

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How is the physical journey in The Great Gatsby an important element and how does it add meaning to the story?

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Mary Sutton eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The only character who I think makes any significant "physical journey" is Jay Gatsby. We learn later in the novel, after his death, that he grew up poor in the Midwest. Through hard work and exceptional discipline, however, Gatsby saved money, used his experience as a soldier in World War I to study at Oxford, then returned to the United States and worked for Meyer Wolfsheim as a bootlegger in New York.

Gatsby's physical trajectory is similar to that of Fitzgerald, who came from the Midwest (St. Paul, Minnesota), entered World War I as a second lieutenant, then returned to America to write and live in New York....

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