Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby is one my favorite books of all time. There is no way that I could even do it justice with my own words, but I'll try. To me, it's one of those books that you can read over and over again; and every time that you do, you'll see it in a different light. The roaring 1920's is my favorite decade, which is partly to do with the reason I love this book so much.

Nick Carraway is the narrative voice of this book and throughout the entire book, he is trying to remain moral but finds it's hard to do. He is surrounded by people who place wealth at the center of everything. Gatsby met a girl and loved her so fiercely, that he then became the person he thought he needed to be in order for her to love him. He chased this dream endlessly. He built Daisy up to be someone she could never live up to and the dream that he had for their future was so disconnected to reality it was borderline insane, but he couldn't see this. Nick represents morality, while many of the other characters (i.e. Tom, Daisy, Jordan) represent moral decay and obsession with material things. Gatsby represents the American Dream and the drive to do anything in order to achieve it.

This books examines wealth in so many senses. Old money verses new money. High class society, pseudo high class society, and the poor and desolate. Superficiality is a very prominent theme is this book, as well as, double standards. Societal expectations are also something that play a strong role in the plot. Daisy married Tom because he was a well off man from old money, not because she necessarily loved him. Gatsby might have done a million and one things wrong, but it was all done so that he could get Daisy in the end. He would do anything for his dream of love. Gatsby's death was wrought with irony. However, I grew to like Gatsby's character despite everything and choose to think he died in his pool still thinking he and Daisy would end up together. So at least he died happy, or in my opinion anyway. He died still clinging to his dream, which isn't a half bad thing.

To sum it all up, since they're supposed to be short posts. Even though this book was written many, many years ago, we still struggle with these same issues in society. Our basic human emotions can't really change too much over time. Love is a power strong enough to make some people do almost anything. The internal struggle to be a good moral person is something I believe we all deal with. The obsession with wealth is as superfluous as ever. The need to save face in a sticky situation is something everyone has experienced because it's never easy to say you were wrong. The desire to be loved by all is a timeless quest we all deal with.

This book just speaks volumes upon volumes about human behavior and societies direct influence upon our lives. It just worth reading, over and over again!


  1. I loved teaching Gatsby! We did skits with 20's lingo, learned about bootlegging, learned to dance, dressed as flappers, mapped out East Egg and West Egg, and demonstrated the crash with matchbox cars. But, like you, I know that the message of the book is so much deeper than all of those things. I'm sure you know this, but the similarities between the book and Fitzgerald and Zelda's own relationship are fascinating. And by the way, isn't there a new Gatsby movie coming out? I relate to and feel for the great and tragic Mr. Gatsby. I loved your last few paragraphs and really appreciated a literature-inspired post! Yeah, girl. :) What are your other favorite books?

  2. excellent post ( nothing wrong with long ones btw!they rock)i like these kind of books i think you might like Atlas shrugged by Ayn rand, the things we do for love....

  3. i just subbed in english and we watched a bit of rob redford. the kids giggled at their goofiness. such a different era!

  4. wonderful book and first movie--might have to see the next one coming out soon i think--great insights!

  5. I just found your blog. I too like the Great Gatsby and the 20s! I hope you enjoy the rest of the Blogging from A to Z. This is my first time and I'm loving it.

  6. The last line in the book is a favorite, "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." And the last page, talking about the American Dream is a wonderful page to re-read.