He was in love with the golden girl of a gilded era. He was Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire who gave wild and lavish parties attended by strangers.
“In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.”
She was Daisy Buchanan, a young rich beauty with bright eyes and a passionate mouth.
“High in a white palace, the King’s daughter, the Golden Girl.” Even her voice was “full of money.”
great novel of a glittering era, of amazing richness and scope, this is the most dazzling fiction we possess of the Jazz Age’s reckless revels.
fable of the Roaring Twenties that will survive as a legend.
I read this book years ago back when I was still in High School and not really a fan of Classics. I didn’t care much for the story then but I decided to give it a second chance. I think it’s safe to say that it was a good thing I did because this second read was fantastic.
The Great Gatsby is told from Nick Carraway’s point of view, a man who recently moved to East Egg and soon acts as a narrator to the complicated and somewhat messed up lives of these peculiar people. Of course The Great Gatsby is said to be this love story but I’m going with the opinion that it’s more about looking in from the outside. Nick doesn’t fit in and that’s made clear from the beginning of the book already. He’s an outsider and who better to give a solid idea of what’s really happening with these privileged people.
My first read, I didn’t notice much about Gatsby and didn’t really take note of his feelings because I found a major part of the book boring. Now, I see that Gatsby’s a bit…creepy. Jay Gatsby seems very immature and is like a petulant child who sets out to disturb others’ lives because he’s not getting his way (no matter if said peoples’ lives are already disturbed). ‘“I know your wife.” Gatsby continued, almost aggressively.’ I’m not a fan of him if I’m being honest and I think he’s a crook.
Let’s look into what else I do not like about Gatsby’s character. Again, ignoring the fact that Tom is already tearing his family apart with his ’side-chick’, Jay is coming around as if he’s entitled to Daisy’s heart. Sure Tom is not the greatest of guys and he’s- for lack of a better word- a dick. Two wrongs don’t make a right and I think that Gatsby has absolutely no self respect if he can make moves on a woman who’s married, albeit unhappily, but still married. Another thing, you can’t turn back the clock and pretend like 5 years didn’t pass by. You might think you can, but things change and people change. Rant about him is over. I think I’ve made it extremely clear that I do not like Jay Gatsby…at all.
I have issues with other characters in this book as well and I think this is my most detailed and rant-filled review ever but oh well. The read was enjoyed more this time around.
I have a bone to pick with Tom Buchanan and Daisy as well. The two of them deserve each other in the sense that he loves telling people what to do and she can’t seem to think or act for herself. She needs to be directed, which got annoying fairly quickly. I almost feel sorry for Gatsby near the end because what did the poor schmuck ever do to deserve falling into cahoots with her? And I don’t know if it’s sad or just plain pathetic but right till the end, Gatsby is still holding out hope that she’ll choose him. Tom is a hypocrite and a vile human and there’s certainly no love lost there. Nick takes the words out of my mouth by saying: ‘They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made…’
The last time I read this book, I stopped being bored after things picked up a bit (hint hint: the ‘accident’). This time it was more of a meh situation for me. I didn’t think it was a big deal because I was more focused on Nick’s reactions to the whole thing,
“Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead”
As the reader, I’m driven where Nick takes me and if he decides something is a certain way, I’m hardly going to put up an argument unless it’s something that actually needs to be discussed. It’s at this point, near the end, that Nick is starting to get sick of these people. He’s a bit late on the uptake but better late than never.
By the last two chapters I felt sorry for Gatsby. I still didn’t like him, but I began to feel sort of pitiful towards him about everything. He started seeming like nothing but a misunderstood character. Misunderstood in both that he was peculiar and that he himself misunderstood many aspects of life and love itself.
I’m glad I gave this book another chance, I don’t regret the choice mad at all. Now I’m definitely looking forward to reading The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Read: 22 August 2017 (reread)
Publication Date: First published 1926
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: F. Scott Fitzgerald