8 of 1001 Books: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

For some reason my high school completely skipped over ever reading The Great Gatsby in high school, and maybe that was a good thing because for some reason I don’t think as a teen I appreciated classics as much as I do now. The Great Gatsby is a book that takes time to sink in though. While reading it does run slow, but it is a book that sits with you a good while after reading because the themes are ones that extend beyond the very detailed and rich time period Fitzgerald set it in.

Nick Carraway is a new residence in a ritzy neighborhood set in the roaring 1920s. One day when he goes to visit his cousin, Daisy, all the talk seems to be about Jay Gatsby, his next door neighbor. Not long after he is invited to a party of Gatsby’s. At the end of the night it seems the puzzle of Gatsby’s past begins to open up. Gatsby is wanting Nick to do him a favor that will begin to reveal to him who he is, and the need for his long lost love to return to him.

The Great Gatsby is much of what you would want from a novel. It has action, great quotes, cool characters, and a romance. It’s also really short. While there are slow parts, the author has a way with words that does keep you invested in reading though. The dialogue feels very realistic, and it gives all the character their own life and personality.

You have an assortment of characters and one of the things you’ll be doing after reading is analyzing all the character’s motives. Some might seem easy to hate, but once you think over their situation and their own circumstances it does help you understand them more. Jay Gatsby varies from charming to seeming insane at times while Daisy does have normal grounding for the decision you seem to want to dislike her.

Another thing that this book does is bring life to a time in the 1920s that you could only now experience by movies or books. It captures the growth, and even the back fire of the prohibition in the book in a way that isn’t overt, but still a bit of insight into history. Another thing is that Fitzgerald employs a lot of color into his novel to try to depict the lavish lives of the prosperous during the times.

The Great Gatsby might be a book most read in high school, but it’s a book worth going back and reading when you’re an adult as well especially since the subject matter seems a little something more adult themed. The book lights up with an array of characters. The Great Gatsby is appropriately the character the novel is named after though, and Fitzgerald makes him one of the most mysterious characters ever by using another character to tell of him through his own perspective. This heightens the sense of intrigue surrounding Gatsby. After the novel is over though you’ll be trying to figure out who he is without the help of Nick Carraway.

Rating 8 of 10.

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