The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald

Image with silhoutte of man and woman with words The Great Gatsby in front of them

 

Hailed as the “great American novel”, The Great Gatsby is a shining beacon of the tragedy genre. It captures the luxury and somewhat delirious abandonment felt by 1920s American society, prior to The Great Depression. Fitzgerald’s protagonist, Nick Carraway relays the tale in first person, capturing the tragic and exorbitant life of his neighbour; the mysterious and wealthy Jay Gatsby. Once Gatsby re-enters the life of Nick’s cousin, Daisy Buchanan, he sets of a series of tragedies and disappointments.

Gatsby’s quixotic love for Daisy has, as Nick Carraway puts – “had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with creative passion.” Nick witnesses the extent of Gatsby’s delusion eventually resulting in his downfall as he fails to let go of the past- stubbornly persisting in his belief that Daisy, now a married woman and mother will have a romantic future with him. Throughout the novel, it is evident to the reader that Gatsby’s infatuation with Daisy is not resultant of the love he had for her, but for the part of himself that he liked when he was with her. This motivates the reader to question the true meaning of love, as the dichotomy between delusion and reality thins in Gatsby’s mind. 

Readers are first deluded into being infatuated by Daisy, seeing her through Gatsby’s eyes only to be disappointed when she appears to be just a pretty fool.  However Daisy isn’t to fault for Gatsby’s delusion. She is only a fool at society’s making, as according to her it’s “the best thing a girl can be”.  Despite her foolish babbling, Daisy knew the importance of class and money, which is why she didn’t meet the fate resigned for Gatsby.  A common theme for characters downfall in this novel is not unrequited love, but the desperate need for reinvention which was shunned by the novel’s contextual society.

Fitzgerald’s novel leaves an impactful impression on you once read.  It takes you on a rollercoaster of emotion that you never truly get off from. It’s a must read.

The Great gatsby is available in print, DVD, eAudio and eBook

Book review by Himara.
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