From 1001 Books:
"The Great Gatsby is an American literary classic. Nick Carraway's enraptured account of the rise and fall of his charismatic neighbor during a single summer came to evoke the pleasurable excesses and false promises of a whole decade. The novel's extraordinary visual motifs - the brooding eyes of the billboard, the ashen wasteland between metropolitan New York and hedonistic Long Island, the blues and golds of Gatsby's nocturnal hospitality - combined the iconography of the "jazz age" and its accompanying anxieties about the changing social order characteristic of American modernism. Gatsby, infamously created out of a "platonic conception of himself," came to be synonymous with nothing less than the American Dream.
Gatsby's lavish and hedonistic lifestyle is a construct, we quickly learn, erected in order to seduce Daisy, the lost love of his youth who is now married to Tom Buchanan. Fitzgerald's easy conjuring of Gatsby's shimmering fantasy world is matched by his presentation of its darker and more pugnacious realities. The novel frequently hints at the corruption that lies behind Gatsby's wealth, and Tom is shown to be a crude and adulterous husband. The novel's violent climax is a damning indictment of the careless excess of the very privileged, yet it concludes ambivalently."