Review: The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Title: The Great Gatsby

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Release Date: September 30, 2004

Publisher: Scribner

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 180

Source: Bookstore

In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write “somethingnew–something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned.” That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned, and above all, simple novel became The Great Gatsby, arguably Fitzgerald’s finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author’s generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald’s–and his country’s–most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings. “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter–tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…. And one fine morning–” Gatsby’s rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.

It’s also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby’s quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying, but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means–and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. “Her voice is full of money,” Gatsby says admiringly, in one of the novel’s more famous descriptions. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy’s patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties, and waits for her to appear. When she does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout. Spare, elegantly plotted, and written in crystalline prose,The Great Gatsby is as perfectly satisfying as the best kind of poem.

3 out of 5 stars

Plot:

Nick moves in next to the man who throws the parties, Jay Gatsby. Mr. Gatsby lives in a mansion across the water from Daisy Buchanan. This is no coincidence. Gatsby has been in love with Daisy since 1919 before he left for war. Daisy loved Jay Gatsby as well, but thought he died when he was at war. She fell for another man, married, and had a daughter. Jay comes back, but doesn’t tell Daisy. He builds a crazy huge mansion across the lake from her and throws huge parties every weekend in the hope that she’ll wander through his doors. She never does, but he sees her another way. Nick Carraway is Daisy’s cousin. Is it coincidental that Nick moved in right next to Gatsby? Maybe only F. Scott Fitzgerald will know. Nick is asked by Gatsby to have Daisy over for tea so he can see his one true love, Daisy Buchanan.

I honestly was only following this because I’ve seen the movie so many times. This book is really confusing. It takes multiple paragraphs to tell something that could be said in one sentence. I was expecting to love this book and be blown away, but I was kind of let down. I know so many people LOVE and rave about this book, but I’m not a huge fan. I love the movie. I love that era and the music and the fashion. I feel that I would have appreciated reading it more if I would have read it with classmates in school.

Characters:

Gatsby is a cool guy,but he’s so full of himself! He was asking way too much of Daisy when he told her to tell her husband that she never loved him and that she only loved Gatsby himself. That’s a ridiculous thing to ask! She didn’t even know he was alive, of course she fell in love again. Daisy was honestly my favorite, but she was whiny. I feel like during that time women were viewed as weak and whiny, though. I think she embodied being girly, but also having strong will and strong character.

Who Would I Be?:

I love Daisy. I would choose to be her. She’s kind of irritating, but she lived in a beautiful house, she was a stunning woman and she got to live in that time period. I love the Great Gatsby era. I honestly believe I was born in the wrong time.

 

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