The Great Gatsby

As everyone is well aware, The Great Gatsby has recently been released in theaters and as a result has been the subject of quite a bit of talk.  Undoubtedly, this has caused many people to pick up a copy of the original book, hoping that the movie will stay true to its words.  While I have yet to see the film, I did recently finish the book.  Honestly, my thoughts are a bit jumbled at this point as I am suffering from what I like to call a “book hangover”, which, in this instance, means that I feel as though I am in Gatsby’s mansion back in the twenties rather than my suburban home in 2013.

Despite my book hangover, I feel that I should share my thoughts, however murky, on Gatsby. First of all, I am in no way questioning the literary value of Fitzgerald’s work, but I did find it to have a strange quality about it.  It felt that he wrote in primarily metaphors and at the beginning it was difficult to understand.  By the second chapter, I was able to comprehend the author’s style without a problem, but I still found myself questioning the plot.  I felt that the relationship between Daisy and Gatsby was not nearly as well-developed as I would have liked it to be and honestly, Gatsby and the narrator, Nick, were the only two characters I could stand.  I absolutely hated Tom, but I gather that Fitzgerald was aiming at this, and I know that I am supposed to admire the lovely Daisy, but I really just found her dim-witted and weak.  Again, this is most likely what the author intended, but it frustrated me just the same.  Overall, I did enjoy the book, even with my dislike of most of its characters.  I found it to contain a fascinating plot, written exquisitely by a masterful author. Now I can justify my claims to be a fan of Fitzgerald’s writing and I do not feel like a fake for pinning many of his quotes on Pinterest.  I highly recommend this book as a quick and intriguing read.  As Jay Gatsby might say, “Give it a try, old sport!”

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2 thoughts on “The Great Gatsby

  1. Alice says:

    As someone who is one of the biggest Gatsby fans there is, I just had to comment on a few things you mentioned that will hopefully help you understand the novel even better! First of all yes Gatsby and Daisy’s relationship is not very well developed but Fitzgerald does this for a reason. The relationship, to the reader, seems rather plain, and that’s because it is. Gatsby is actually the one making it seem more than it is since Daisy is his American dream that he will pursue until the end of time. As a boy growing up in a rather ordinary town whom was doomed with an illustrious imagination, Gatsby saw Daisy as a ticket into a perfect life in which all his dreams would be complete. In other words, much of the romanticism he saw in their relationship was fabricated, as he would say anything to convince himself Daisy was a part of this perfect life. This also accounts for why the reader often dislikes Daisy, because she really is not anything extraordinary, hence making Gatsby’s story more tragic as we see his dream is that of a young man wanting something to be made of his life. Many people can relate to this, as they will often convince themselves that something is greater than it is, in the hopes that it may lead them to some sort of fortune or excitement. Such as that obnoxious couple in junior high that were hoping their relationship would make them be more like the “cool” high school students. As for Tom, well, no one likes Tom. We sympathize with Gatsby, and seeing Tom mistreat and cheat on the woman Gatsby would do anything for, shows him as a selfish pig. I’ll try to refrain from ranting about Tom, since his wastefulness is a trait that is hard to forgive.
    Anyways, I hope you have enjoyed reading this and maybe I have even enlightened you on what a masterpiece The Great Gatsby truly is.

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    • Ryanne says:

      Thank you for the response! I actually reread this fantastic book a few months ago and was shocked that I didn’t see the depth and meanings Fitzgerald artfully wove in its plot, characters, motifs, etc. I totally agree with you now and I’d love to hear any other insights you have! (Nothing like a deep literary discussion, right?) 🙂

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