Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

 The Great Gatsby
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.

This will be short since I had to read it for school. The Great Gatsby is very poigant and creates such awesome images of 1920's New York, one of my favorite times and places in history. The characters seemed real and the love story is so relevant, it could have been told in high school hallways.

I got a bit bored but it didn't have to do with the book. It had more to do with the fact that I had to read it for school instead of it being for my own accord. It's a short novel with a well-paced plot. Easy read, really.

In one sentence: "Poigant and realistic."

Plot:  4
Characters: 5
Writing: 5
Cover: 3
Overall Feeling: 4
Average: 4.2


Caroline said...

I loved this book!
I had to read it in high school and I fell in love with his description of the Jazz Age!
His short stories are amazing as well.
Thanks for posting on this classic!!

Emidy said...

I have to read this book! It's one of those classics that I've never gotten around to reading yet.


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