All posts by ananya111222

A student with a penchant for writing

Lockdown and Mental Health

In March 2020, when the WHO declared the pneumonia-like virus as a pandemic, it overwhelmed countries all around the world. Educational institutions, workplaces, malls and airports were shut down, and we were all forced into a mandatory lockdown. This lockdown was tough for all of us, but we adopted some coping mechanisms to deal with the anxiety we felt. Slowly we adjusted to this new way of life. Now, about 5 months later, as countries ease their restrictions and we all step out of lockdown, we feel the same sort of anxieties we felt back then. 

We have to accept that the end of lockdown might be just as difficult as its start, and this transition can negatively impact our mental health. As workplaces and schools reopen, people fear being infected or passing on the virus to their loved ones. These fears are completely reasonable as the times are tough, and the virus is extremely contagious. However, we must find ways to cope with this fear and reduce our anxieties. This isn’t simple, but necessary. A few ways to make this transition easy on your mental health are:-

  1. Focus on the present 

The major fear most of us have is being infected with the virus. However, overthinking will do you no good, and only make you feel anxious. We have to stop thinking about the future, as it will only add to our suffering. Instead, one should try to live in the present and not let their imagination run amok. Realise the fact that the future is uncertain and no one can control it. Focus on what you have and do your best with it.

2. Limit your news consumption 

Although the news is extremely helpful and keeps us informed, sometimes news outlets tend to over exaggerate and dramatise the situation and portray it as much worse than it is. Nowadays, news fatigue has become very common. Absorbing all this negative content will do you no good. Limit the number of times you check the news and make sure your sources are trustworthy and evidence-based.

3. Talk it out

Bottling up one’s fears never does anyone any good. Talking to those you trust is helpful. The best thing you can do is consult a therapist, as it helps clear your mind and reduce your burden. Talking to your friends or family is also a good option, as familiarity can be a source of comfort. You can even try writing it down to ease the stress.

4. Go at your own pace

 Recognising that you need to go at the right pace for you is important. Don’t let others pressure you to change your pace or do something you don’t want to. At the same time, don’t let this be an excuse to not work hard. It can be difficult to see the world move on while you’re still stuck in the past, but don’t let this get you down and reassure yourself that one day and things will get back to normal for you too. 

Most importantly, don’t forget to stay safe and follow the proper guidelines for your country. Wear a mask, practise social distancing and wash your hands whenever you come back home. The times might be tough, but the human spirit remains undaunted.

The Mughal Empire

Indian history and culture are rich and dynamic. The country has been home to some of the worlds greatest empires, including the legendary Mughal Empire. Today let’s take a trip to the past, about 500 years ago, when the founder of the empire came to India and defeated Ibrahim Lodi to form the legendary Mughal Empire.

In 1524 the descendant of Genghis Khan and Timur, Babur came to India on the invitation of Daulat Khan, a rebel of the Lodhi dynasty, to overthrow the king of the dynasty, Ibrahim Lodhi. Many thought that he would leave the country after defeating Lodhi. Little did they know that he had no intention of doing so. Babur defeated Lodhi at the famous First Battle of Panipat in 1526 and established the Mughal Empire. He was opposed by Rana Sanga of Mewar, but the Rana was defeated in the Battle of Khanwa. Thus began the rule of the empire. 

Babur died in 1530 in Agra, where he was buried. Later, his remains were moved to Kabul as per his wishes. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Humayun. Babur had decided to divide the territories his empire between his sons, with Humayun succeeding his father to the throne of Delhi, and his half-brother Kamran Mirza inheriting the northernmost parts of his father’s empire. This was not a common practice in India at the time, but was a common Central Asian practice from the time of Genghis Khan. Many believed that Humayun was an unqualified king as he was only 22, and several of his brothers revolted against him when he came to the throne. 

In 1539, Humayun faced the founder of the Suri empire in India, Sher Shah Suri at the battle of Chausa. Humayun had to escape the battlefield to save his own life, and Suri was crowned the winner.He fled to the refuge of the Safavid Empire in Persia, and with their aid successfully won back his empire. The death of Sher Shah Suri and his successor Islam Shah rendered the Suri empire weak, and Humayun defeated the armies of Sikandar Shah Suri in 1555, re-establishing the Mughal Empire in India. Unfortunately, Humayun died due to an unfortunate accident. During his short time as a ruler, he managed to further expand the empire and was succeeded by his son Akbar.

Akbar was popularly known as Akbar The Great because of the many accomplishments he achieved during his successful rule. He defeated the Hindu king Hemu at the Second Battle of Panipat, which wasn’t far from the site where his grandfather had defeated the Lodhi’s, and occupied Delhi and Agra. After conquering most of Northern India, he sought to take over the Rajputana, and did so by defeating Pratap Singh who was the descendant of Rana Sanga at the legendary battle of Haldighati in 1576. Akbar introduced many social reforms during his time as ruler. He left a rich legacy for the Mughal empire was praised by many. He died in 1605, and was succeeded by his son Jahangir, a lover of literature, architecture and the fine arts. His successor, Shah Jahan is considered one of the greatest Mughal Emperors, and many believe that under his reign, the Mughal Empire reached its peak.Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb, who is considered one of India’s most controversial king. After his son Bahadur Shah Zafar died, the Mughal Empire declined significantly. The last ruler of the empire was exiled by the British East India Company in 1868.

The Mughals made several contributions to the culture of India, including the development of the Mughlai cuisine, large scale urbanisation, and the magnificent Taj Mahal. The Empire is considered to be one of the greatest ones in India

little women

“I’ve got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen.” 

-Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

In 1868, Louisa May Alcott was asked by her publisher to write a novel about girls that would be appealing to the masses. This was something new and challenging to her as she had spent all her life writing short stories. Also, she didn’t want to write a story from the female perspective as the only story she knew of was of her sisters. She was initially hesitant but chose to write the novel. Little did she know that her book would be an instant success and would still be read and admired by people centuries after her death.

Little Women was published in 1868 and recounts the story of four sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March. The book is loosely based off of Alcott’s own life, and many believe that she is the Jo March of her family. It is set in Massachusetts at the time of the American Civil War. On their first Christmas without their father, the March sisters and their mother, Marmee March, decided to give their Christmas breakfast away to an impoverished and starving family. When they returned, they found out that their neighbour, Mr Laurence had sent over a surprise breakfast. This leads to the two families getting closer to each other, and the March Sisters getting acquainted with Theodore “Laurie” Laurence, Mr Laurence’s nephew. 

One of the reasons why Little Women was an immediate success and remains relevant years after the author’s death is because of its realism and a perfect portrayal of sisterhood. The sisters are not particularly glamorous characters and lead ordinary lives, yet one likes them as they can relate to them. For example, when Jo refused to take young Amy to the theatre with Meg and Laurie, Amy burned down Jo’s manuscript, on which she had been working for ages. While this is not pretty to read, it is accurate as Amy was 12, and this is an accurate response from someone of her age. Her burning down of the manuscript led to Jo being extremely angry at her, and she vowed never to talk to her again. Yet, when Amy chased after Jo after feeling remorse, and almost died by falling through the thin ice at the river, Jo saved her and even made up with her. This shows that no matter how angry one is with their sibling, they still love them and would do anything for them.

Alcott also manages to perfectly capture the feeling of growing up and leaving your childhood innocence behind. Meg gets married and moves out, Jo rejects Laurie’s proposal and moves to New York to write, Beth becomes sick and eventually passes away, and Amy goes to Europe with her aunt where Laurie proposes to her after being rejected by Jo. Slowly they all leave their comfort zone behind and face the tribulations one faces when they become distant from family as they grow up. Yet, all the sisters reunite and show that their bond is stronger than ever.

Alcott gave her characters distinct and bold personalities and the women who read it at that time related to the March Sisters and felt the need to have more “public” identities and follow their ambitions. Alcott even planned to let Jo remain unmarried, but she eventually decided to get her married which lead to Jo abandoning her writing career, though Alcott remained unmarried all her life. This book has stayed relevant to date and is still beloved by the people. Generations of readers have fallen in love with this masterpiece. It is an extremely captivating story, one you won’t be able to put down.

Sudha Murthy

“How long can you keep birds in cages when their wings are strong and they are ready to fly? We can give our children only two things in life which are essential. Strong roots and powerful wings. Then they may fly anywhere and live independently. Of all the luxuries in life, the greatest luxury is getting freedom of the right kind.”

-Sudha Murthy

Sudha Murthy is one of India’s most beloved storytellers. Her work appeals to both children and young adults. Born in 1950, she became the first female engineer to be hired at the largest auto-manufacturer in India, TELCO. She has written not only novels, but also short stories, travelogues, technical books, and books for children. She has received several awards over the years, including the R.K. Narayana’s Award for Literature, and even the Padma Shri, which is the fourth highest civilian award in India.

She was born in Shiggaon, Haveri in Karnataka. Her family was extremely study-oriented and sought to educate her in a time where women’s education was not very common. She was a determined student, and never missed a day of class as she was aware of the rampant misogyny which was prevalent in India in the 70s,  and knew that no one would assist her if she missed classes. She never let anyone break her spirit or her love for education. She broke several societal barriers by pursuing Engineering and Computer Science and was even awarded a gold medal for both of her degrees by the Chief Minister of Karnataka. 

In 1974, Sudha Murthy planned to go abroad to pursue her doctorate, until she came across an advertisement put up by TELCO on the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, calling for young and hardworking engineers, and under the advertisement, it was written, ‘Lady candidates need not apply.’ This agitated her, and she wrote a strongly worded postcard to Tata, expressing her surprise over their gender discrimination. A few days later she received a telegram from JRD Tata and was granted a special interview. Soon the job was hers, and she made history by being the first female engineer to be hired at TELCO.

Sudha Murthy helped her husband N.R. Narayana Murthy build Infosys, which is an Indian MNC providing business consultation, information technology and outsourcing. In 1996 she started Infosys foundation and is its trustee till date. A nonprofit organisation, it aims to support the underprivileged sections of society. The foundation provides healthcare, education and promotes art and craft amongst the underprivileged. She is a philanthropist and has expressed her love for this country and passion to serve it several times. She also started the Library Project and has established 60,000 libraries to date.

One cannot talk about Sudha Murthy without mentioning her books. A prolific award-winning writer in both English and Kannada, her books have been translated in all major languages. Her books were simple, yet profound and can make you laugh, cry and feel nostalgic at the same time. She was raised by her parents and maternal grandparents, and drew inspiration from her experiences to write her first notable book, “How I Taught My Grandmother To Read and other stories.” Her other works include Grandma’s bag of stories, The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk, The Mother I Never Knew and many others. 

Sudha Murthy is an inspiration for every single woman in this country. Her work has continuously broken several barriers and improved society in every way it could. Her story is an extremely influential one.

The dark reality of cruises

Vacations, who doesn’t love them? The idea of sitting back, relaxing and unwinding, and living above your means, even if it is just for a few days sounds extremely appealing. As the world has become more connected, the number of vacation options have also expanded. One of the most luxurious options of them all is cruises. It is understandable as to why in recent years, the number of cruise liners and cruise options has expanded, as it is one of the few options which offer an all-in-one experience. The food is also top quality and the relaxation options are exquisite. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? Well in reality it is far from fun. The family-friendly cruise liners have a dark side too, one many fail to acknowledge.

Let’s start with the impact they have on the environment. Vast quantities of fossil fuels are required to power cruise ships every day. It is estimated that a cruise ship produces about 79,000 litres of sewage a day, and maritime regulations have allowed most of this sewage to be dumped at sea, which is extremely harmful to marine life. They also emit large amounts of carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide each day. Cruises have diesel engines or gas turbines, and these have a high sulphur content. When mixed with air and water, sulphur forms sulphuric acid, which causes acid rain. This destroys marine life, corrodes buildings and even causes deforestation. Large ships also cause noise pollution, which is very hazardous for marine life. 

Working on a cruise sounds like a dream job with all the travelling one gets to do. But in reality, the job is a nightmare for the workers. The employees are extremely overworked and severely underpaid. They are signed for contracts which are about six to eight months long. They are made to work for about 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, and make around $550 to $2000 a month, which is not adequate. Workers whose jobs are physically demanding often experience injuries and the healthcare they receive is inadequate. They are sometimes even scared of reporting any health issues they suffer from as they’re afraid their contracts might not be renewed. Cruise lines also include clauses in contracts which makes it difficult for the employees to sue them. Most of these workers are from poor countries and have limited economic opportunities back home, which is one of the main reasons why they choose to work in such jobs.

If one thinks that cruises are good for the customer, they couldn’t be far from the truth. Sure the luxuries a cruise line offers are enchanting, but they promote reckless money spending habits. Everything is obscenely expensive. Cruise cabins are cramped, and approximately 60 people are injured each year due to “operational mishaps”, which includes fires and explosions. Food poisoning is extremely common, and so are virus outbreaks. In 2017, for example, more than 500 passengers fell ill on two Royal Caribbean’s cruise ships.

Now the question that arises is, can cruising ever be ethical and sustainable? While technology is helping to reduce the environmental impact of cruises with solar-powered systems and a switch from diesel to liquid natural gas, cruises still aren’t the most sustainable vacation choice for one. The best option would be to avoid cruises altogether, but if you still want to travel on a cruise, then be sure to choose one which takes proper steps to dispose of waste, makes efforts to decreases carbon emissions, and treats its workers well. 

traditions

Human civilisation has been around for years, and while the achievements we have accomplished and the progress we have made is exceptional, we seem to be forgetting our old traditions. A tradition can be defined as an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought or behaviour, or cultural continuity in social customs and attitudes. Many don’t seem to realise how important traditions are. Not only are they exciting to look forward to, but also help us find some form of stability and comfort in this ever-changing world. Family traditions can even bring families together and help strengthen the bond between them. 

Traditions are a critical piece of our culture. They help us stay connected to our past and history, and shape us into a good citizen for the future. They reconnect family and old friends and strengthen the bonds which might have weakened during the years. We know that the world is chan, and humanity is always evolving. In such chaotic times, old traditions help us to pause and take a step back from our daily lives. Family traditions can even help improve your character. They have a way of instilling a set of values like charity in the younger generations and help mould a disciplined and functional member of society.

When you are on your deathbed, what will you remember? Your work, or the memories you made with your loved ones? Traditions create pleasant memories with friends and family which can last forever. When life gets stressful, these memories can help bring a smile to your face. They are comforting. Traditions also celebrate the unity and the diversity of a place. They are an opportunity for us to express our gratitude and celebrate the things which matter. They help us reconnect with our souls, and without them life is incomplete.

It is incredibly saddening to see how we have slowly forgotten our traditions. We are too busy with our lives to even talk to the ones closest to us. Our increasing distance from our families and friends only contributes to our stress, and make our lives lose meaning. We have to realise how therapeutic the relations we have and the memories we make with those we love and cherish are. They help keep us grounded and provide us with comfort in stressful times. We have to find some way to reestablish the important and meaningful traditions of our lives.

How can we do this? Reach out to those who you love and celebrate old traditions with them. Put down your devices and reconnect with them. Maybe even try making new ones with new friends and family. A tradition doesn’t have to be a big picnic or vacation. They can be minor things like having a movie night every Friday with friends or making a special breakfast for your family on the weekends. Have traditions you can practice on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis. These might seem trivial, but these are the things which help you find your purpose in life. They will motivate you to keep going when life gets tough.

how to hone your writing skills


There are a lot of necessary skills one requires to be a functioning member of society. One of the most underrated ones is writing. Writing, in any language, is the perfect way to express your views on the topics you want to address your listeners on. Writing goes beyond just school purposes. It can improve your communication skills and increases your knowledge and creativity. It can also help you get a job later in life. Poor or weak writing skills can adversely affect you, as it can result in lost ideas or poor communication. Having good writing skills can prove beneficial. A few ways one can do this are:

  1. Brush up on the basics

A great piece of writing is engaging and well written. It has good grammar and proper punctuation. One needs to know the basics of grammar and good spelling skills before they can write a good piece of writing. So brush up on your grammar skills by practising daily. Getting a grammar manual can prove beneficial. There are also many resources online which offer grammar games and exercises which can improve your grammar skills.

2. Be clear on the topic you’re writing about 

Having a good topic for your writing is important. But something more important is having clarity on the topic you’re writing about. Often, one chooses to write on a topic without doing proper research on it, and then the write up turns out to be messy or boring. Ask yourself why you want to write on that specific topic, do proper research on it and try explaining it to someone. Have a clear purpose and stick to it.

3. Keep your sentences simple

How many times has it happened that you sat down to read a book or an essay, but after seeing the excessive descriptions and complicated words you just put it down? Not everyone has the writing skills of Shakespeare, and neither do they need it. Long, pretentious paragraphs are no fun to read. Keep your sentences simple and less complicated. Go easy on the descriptions so that you can better connect with the reader. 

4. Read more

A good writer is an avid reader. Reading on a regular basis is an easy way to develop your writing skills. It can help you avoid any potential grammar mistakes, improve your vocabulary and enhance your creativity. It can also help you in realising what kind of writing you prefer to read, and who your favourite authors are, so you can draw inspiration from them and integrate it into your work. Diversify your reading material; don’t just limit yourself to blog posts or articles. The more you read, the more likely you are to realise what makes a piece of writing genuinely interesting to read. 

5. Practice 

Writing is like any other art, it takes time. Regular practising can help improve your writing skills. When you write regularly, you become familiar with your style of writing and the mistakes you are most likely to make. Write blog posts, newspaper articles, social media posts, whatever interests you, just don’t stop practising and believing in yourself.

the office

“Sometimes I’ll start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.” 

— Michael Scott

It was March 24,2005 when the US remake of the British show, The Office premiered on NBC. Not many people were excited for the remake , and when the ratings for the first season were low, no one expected a second season. Fast forward to 2020, and the show has become one of the admired and beloved sitcoms of all time, with nine seasons, positive reviews from many critics, a Golden Globe, 4 Primetime Emmy Awards and an extremely accomplished alumnus.

Recently the show celebrated its fifteenth anniversary. With the world battling Coronavirus and everyone under lockdown, people are turning to the show for comfort, and why wouldn’t they? The hilarious antics of the employees of Dunder Mifflin under the management of the immature and  enthusiastic regional manager, Michael Scott,  provide comfort and relief to the viewers under these difficult circumstances. 

The show is immortalised for its contribution to pop culture. With iconic quotes and memorable characters it has become one of the most bountiful contributors to the present day internet humour. The show also served as a breakthrough for many wonderful actors. For example, Steve Carrell has went on to star in The Big Short and the Emmy-nominated Apple TV original ‘The Morning Show’ featuring  Jennifer Anniston and Reese Witherspoon. John Krasinski portrayed an action hero in the Amazon original, Jack Ryan, and even directed The Quiet Place. Krasinski also launched and hosted an eight-episode web series called Some Good News during the pandemic, where he discussed several feel-good stories and also reunited The Office cast, which was something the world really needed. 

The show also served as a starting point for many accomplished writers, like the New York Times Best-Seller writer Mindy Kaling, Emmy-Nominated B.J. Novak and co-creator of Parks and Recreation, Greg Daniels. The writers were heavily involved with the show, and some of them including Novak, Kaling, Mike Schur and Paul Lieberstien even had recurring roles in the show. 

The Office significantly changed pop culture. It bought back single-camera sitcoms, which are shows that are shot like a TV drama, with one camera at a time, allowing it to use various locations and settings and to look more “movie-like.” It also thrived in a time where shows with laugh tracks like Friends were preferred by the audience. It proved to the audience that they could laugh even when the TV didn’t tell them to. 

It is indeed surprising to know that a show which ended almost nine years ago could be so relevant amongst the younger generations. Many people relate to the show as it is real and shows the viewer the reality of a normal 9-5 job rather than being a fantasy depiction of real life. Many consider the show to be therapeutic, and see it as a form of escapism. It is regarded as one of the best shows of all time.

Performative Wokeness

As the years have gone by and media and technology have evolved, we have become more aware of the injustices happening around the world. In other words, we have become “woke”. Our awareness has made us realise the oppressive structures in our societies, and how we intentionally or unintentionally contribute to them. People have become more educated, and are trying to make media, workplaces and educational institutions more diverse. Now there is nothing wrong with “being woke”.  The problem arises when we put on a superficial show of solidarity with the oppressed without actually taking any big steps for change or fighting against injustice.

Jenna M. Gray of The Harvard Crimson defined performative wokeness as “drowning your lecture comments with a host of social justice buzzwords — try favourites like intersectionality, marginalised, discourse, subjectivity, or any -ism — without regard to whether other people understand you.” It rose in popularity with the recent Black Lives Matter movement. Thousands of celebrities, influencers and brands used it as a publicity stunt and tried to gain a larger following by trying to appear more aware and pretending to care about the movement without taking any significant steps to fight against the injustice. Their activism started and ended with one black square posted on their Instagram accounts with the #blackouttuesday. The sad part is that this is not a new phenomenon, it has been happening for years.

Under modern-day capitalism, where everything is associated with profit earning, corporations have somehow managed to monetise activism and social issues. Take the example of fast fashion brands like ASOS and TopShop. All these brands have clothing lines which they claim are aimed to empower women. They sell merchandise having quotes like, “We should all be feminists” or “This is what a feminist looks like”. But it is surprising to know that these feminist shirts are created by women in third world countries, who are assaulted, made to work in terrible workplaces, and not even paid the minimum wage. So they don’t aim to empower all women, it is all just a ruse to appear woke to sell their clothing.

Even celebrities are guilty of doing so. I’m sure all of us have heard of the Harry Potter series written by J.K. Rowling. These books were a huge success and pretty much universally beloved. Even the movies were commercial successes. The last movie came out in 2011, after which everyone expected that the story was over, and all that had to be told was told. Yet, J.K. Rowling managed to destroy her legacy by making changes to the characters to try to appear more inclusive than she was. If all of the changes were present in the initial versions of the books, then it would have been clear that she intended for her narrative to be more diverse. Yet, her adding on details years after the publication of her books shows that her activism is purely performative. (not to mention that she’s extremely transphobic)

It is saddening that we have managed to turn such important social issues into marketing strategies. Performative wokeness harms everyone, and it is definitely something which shouldn’t be normalised.

The unattainable American Dream: The great gatsby

“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.”

-Socrates

The American dream, a term coined by James Truslow Adams in his 1931 bestseller “Epic of America”, is the belief that anyone can achieve success if they work hard enough, regardless of their class or status. The dream of a land where life is better for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. However, as the years have passed the American dream has become more and more materialistic. Nowadays, people have impulsive and reckless habits, and they are never satisfied. No matter how much they have, they just keep aiming for more. This critique of the American dream was provided in F Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 classic, “The Great Gatsby”.

Set in the Roaring Twenties, a few years after the first World War, the book begins with the narrator, Nick Carraway, a Yale alumnus and a war veteran, arriving in New York City, and renting a bungalow in the West Egg. This bungalow was next to the luxurious estate of Jay Gatsby, a mysterious multimillionaire and war veteran. The 20s were an interesting time for America. The young were rebellious, jazz was gaining popularity and the economy was prospering. The way society was living was reckless, and Fitzgerald foreshadowed that disaster was bound to happen. Sure enough, in 1929 the infamous Wall Street Crash put a stop to the economic prosperity of America.

Getting back to the novel, Nick observed that Gatsby had stretched out his arm in the direction of a mysterious green light coming from the end of a dock, reaching for something far off. This conveys the idea that no matter how much people possess, they always want more. Gatsby was the personification of the unattainable American Dream. He came from nothing and built his way up into the high society, earning his wealth through crime. Yet, he was never satisfied with what he had and failed to realise how hollow and empty his dream had become. When his ex-lover Daisy, who had gotten married to Tom Buchanan when Gatsby was deployed overseas, told him that she loved him, Gatsby wasn’t satisfied. He still wanted her to say that she never loved her husband. He always desired more and projected his version of the perfect American dream onto Daisy. When Daisy couldn’t bear the weight of his never-ending desires, she chose to stay with Tom, and his inability to win her love shattered his dream. This moment also set the stage for the novel’s tragic ending.

In the book, Gatsby was known for throwing glamorous parties at his lavish mansion which everyone attended, regardless of whether they were invited or not. Each week he had thousands of guests over, but he never formed a bond with anyone of them. His only companion throughout the book was Nick, although it is argued that he was only friends with him to get to Daisy, Nick’s cousin. 

After his death, only a handful of people attended his funeral, including Nick. All his former acquaintances had disappeared, and Daisy and Tom had moved away. Fitzgerald conveyed that the American dream had made people selfish, and criticised the lifestyle of the Americans. Disappointed by the low attendance at the funeral, Nick decides to move away from New York. He also realises that both Tom and Daisy were destructive and selfish people. Thus, Fitzgerald perfectly illustrates the fact that the dream is unattainable, and that one should focus on non-material things which bring more joy than this impossible dream.

The Great Gatsby is regarded as one of the greatest novels of all time.