The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby is a novel set in the 1920s admist the hustle and bustle of the Jazz Age and Prohibition. Gatsby is told from the perspective of Nick Carraway, a man who recently moved to New York in order to begin his career. By chance, Nick moves into the house next door to Jay Gatsby, one of New York's richest, most elegant yet elusive individuals.
Soon, Nick finds himself caught in the middle of a love story between his neighbor, Gatsby, and his cousin, Daisy Buchanan. And with Gatsby's famous saying, “Can’t repeat the past? … Why of course you can!” Nick discovers just how ephemeral life can be when hopelessly entangled in the past.
Review: Let me start off by saying that I can empathize with the people who were forced to read this in school. All too often in high school we are given books that have the potential to be great but live lives too short when dissected this way and that in English classes who find more value in knowing every little piece separately rather than looking at the book as a completed puzzle.
For that reason, I read The Great Gatsby on my own. The premise sounded interesting and I had heard nothing but positive reviews on it. Because of this, I decided to kick it in gear and pick up this book before an English teacher decided to hand it to me.
I think what I enjoyed most about Gatsby was the symbolism and diction. This being the first novel I've read by F. Scott Fitzgerald, I've come to think of him (perhaps prematurely) as a master of symbolism and a connoisseur of the English language. Some may argue that his writing is borderline lofty, pretentious prose, but I thought that his writing made the book for me; though I wouldn't call the plot boring, it wasn't exactly worthy of five stars. Add eloquent writing? Easy five stars. I also think that Fitzgerald's representation of the American dream and how ephemeral life is when entangled in the past was brilliant.
As for the characters, can't say I hated them, can't say I loved them. Though Gatsby held a special place in my heart: the elegant appearance juxtaposed against his true personality that was such a huge contrast from the man we all picture made him my favorite character throughout the novel.
Final Verdict: Five stars. This novel definitely deserves five stars and all of the recognition it is given. It has become one of my favorite classics and one of my favorite books of all time.