‘The Great Gatsby’ is one of those books that isn’t as appreciated the first time you read it, especially since it is usually ‘required’ reading when students are in high school. Most students don’t appreciate the delicacy of a novel that has been written by a decent mind. Many students usually just resort to renting the movie… I have never once seen a classic book turned into a movie and have it turn out to be better (or even equivalent) to the novel itself.
It is almost impossible to read an entire book when you absolutely loathe the main characters. It is even more impossible to actually enjoy the book when those shallow, self-deprecating characters continue to get worse throughout the entire novel. But in some weird, encouraging way it was made possible by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
I dove into this story the first time around having my fingers crossed that the demented love story between Daisy and Gatsby would have a happy, rainbow filled ending. The second time around it gave me satisfaction knowing that my naive highschool mind was left behind when I graduated.
Gatsby is a newly wealthy man who accumulated his fortunes through dubious means. Daisy, on the other hand, has always led a life of privilege and could not let love stand in the way of her comfortable existence. She married Tom Buchanan for that sole purpose. With Gatsby’s ambition spurred by his love for Daisy, he rekindles his romance with Daisy, as Tom carries on carelessly with an auto mechanic’s grasping wife.
Again, you just begin to feel hatred for the characters, but at the same time you are rooting for them to be happy in the end.
Fitzgerald has a way with detail, he has a gift of making every sentence feel like it is an important part of the story. Some people can actually learn a lesson from reading this novel, assuming humans can learn lessons without doing things the ‘hard’ way. (ha ha)
Pick up this book and read it. Even if you read it in high school, there will be more satisfaction the second time around. You certainly won’t be disappointed. (hopefully)
“All right… I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool–that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”