The Romancers

by Edmond Rostand

Pasquinot and Bergamin are neighbors, but the relations are not good. Their parks are divided by a big wall. The former’s daughter Sylvette and the latter’s son Percinet are madly in love. But their fathers do not like it all.

When the play starts, Percient is reading Romeo and Juliet to Sylvette who is listening from the other side of the wall. They identify themselves with Romeo and Juliet and sympathize their conditions. They wish that their love could unite their families. They think of means to bring the same about.

The father’s know that their children are not going to regard their enmity as a force between their love. So they silently decide to arrange a make-believe drama to hand over Sylvette to Percinet. For this they invite a paid killer Stafforel.

One afternoon, when the romancers are exchanging their love, Scafforel and his team act of kidnapping Sylvette. Percinet, mad in love comes and attacks the kidnappers and delivers Sylvette. This is explained as a great case of bravery for love, and hence every one approves their marriage. This way, the enmity between the families falls and their love prevails.

Plot Summary

Nick Carraway grew up in the Midwestern United States and went to school at Yale University. After this, he was stationed in France during World War I. Returning home after travelling a great deal, he is discontent and decides to move to the East at the beginning of the Summer of 1922, renting a ramshackle house in Long Island’s West Egg section. He begins working in nearby New York City as a bondsman and it is here that his story begins.

Jay Gatsby is a wealthy neighbor living next door in a lavish mansion where he holds many extravagant weekend parties. His name is mentioned while Nick is visiting a relative, Daisy, living in the East Egg section on the other side of Long Island with her millionaire husband, Tom Buchanan. As it turns out, Jay Gatsby had met Daisy five years before while in the military and was rejected by her due to his lack of wealth and because he had been sent so far away in Europe for the war. Daisy was attracted by Tom’s riches and his distinguished family background and married him. Meanwhile Gatsby spent all of his effort after the war to buy his mansion through shady business dealings in order to be nearer to Daisy in the hope that she would leave Tom for him. Nick is chosen to be the “matchmaker” and arranges a reunion for the two at his home. Daisy is impressed by Gatsby’s wealth and the two begin spending much time together, raising the suspicions of Tom who had also upset Daisy by carrying on an affair with a gas station owner’s wife, Myrtle Wilson. Jay no longer holds his weekend parties since Daisy hadn’t liked them and he allows her desires to control his actions. Nick distances himself from this mess by becoming close to Jordan Baker, a long time friend of Daisy.

While in a New York City hotel room one evening late in the summer with Jordan, Nick, Daisy, Tom, and Gatsby, there is a massive confrontation during which Tom exposes Gatsby’s corrupt business dealings. Jay and Daisy leave to drive back to Long Island together with her driving Gatsby’s car “to calm her down” until she accidentally hits and kills Tom’s mistress running out in front of the gas station after her own jealous husband had locked her inside. The car doesn’t stop after the accident and speeds on towards Long Island. Gatsby’s charm has faded with his exposed corruption while Tom refocuses on Daisy since his mistress has been killed, assuming Gatsby to have been the car’s driver. Nick is disgusted by this entire mess of love affairs and even ignores Jordan, worried about Gatsby since he continues to yearn for Daisy even though it is clear that he has failed. While Nick goes off to work in New York City the next day, the dead woman’s vengeful husband, assuming Gatsby to have been driving his car that night and told that it had been Gatsby’s car by a vengeful Tom Buchanan, shoots Gatsby to death in his own swimming pool and then kills himself.

Gatsby’s funeral has few in attendance aside from Carraway and Jay’s father who has come all the way from the Midwest where Jay grew up. Disgusted that so few had come, including Tom and Daisy who had abruptly moved away, and the hundreds who had attended Gatsby’s parties, Nick distances himself fromJordan for good. Finally, tired of this gross scene of wealth and pettiness , he moves back home to theMidwest. His fond memories of the East remain only of Gatsby, and it is for him that this story is told.

contributed by Mahesh Paudyal

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