Hello my beautiful readers (the few there are of you) just wanted to say a huge thank you for continuing to read my reviews. Any suggestions given are really appreciated. Anyway, this is my review of ‘The Great Gatsby’. I chose to review this as I studied it for AS Literature, so if you’re looking to do Literature at college this should help.
The 1920s affluent society is one which often has a hazed image and stereotype attached. It is seen to be a time in American especially, which is completely at ease and bliss. The Great Gatsby challenges this perception, thusly bringing the era of carelessness out of the dark. No longer is it being seen through rose tinted spectacles but instead through the eyes of clarity.
Now, in order to read this book I’d recommend a cup of tea, two sugars, milk in last and an accepting imagination. Simply because tea is great and Fitzgerald paints a world that we need to accept in order to understand the full extent of that particular society. And yes, it’s essential that the milk is put in last-it’s just not the same otherwise.
Fitzgerald presents an insightful image of the nouveau riche in his novel. Jay Gatsby himself is an example of this type of wealth, as the money his has is known as ‘new money’. Tom Buchanan in contrast has wealth which has been established generations prior to him. As a result Tom is seen as a higher class, and Gatsby is desperate to reach that status.
The Great Gatsby is ultimately a love story as throughout the novel Gatsby’s main aim is to impress Daisy (wife to Tom) as before Gatsby came into his ‘new money’ he was too poor for her. Now that Gatsby has money to his name he is intent on using that money to gain her affections. His ostentatious yellow Rolls Royce and extravagant parties are designed to separate him from the crowd. The first part of the novel doesn’t really address Gatsby’s affections for Daisy; this could suggest that Fitzgerald was not trying to present a romance. However, before even opening Chapter One pay attention to the epigraph placed before the novels ‘start’. The quote taken from Thomas Parke D’Invilliers tells us from the outset that this is a story ultimately about love.
Nick Carraway tells us Gatsby’s story, or his version of it to say the least. In the very first chapter Nick says;
‘’Gatsby, who represented every-thing for which I have some unaffected scorn.’’
Making it clear to us that Nick didn’t agree with the 1920s society, as he knows the results of it, it also suggests that Gatsby embodies all of the aspects of this society. In this same section Nick says;
‘’What foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams’’
Foreshadowing that something bad is likely to happen to Gatsby, and throughout the whole novel I found myself asking why and how.
It is clear Fitzgerald knows and understands his characters deeply, as each one of them has its own story embedded into the narrative in some way or another, whether it is told through Nick or through the characters. No character is unneeded or is a mere spare part. All areas of society are covered, from the rich Buchanan’s to the less fortunate Wilson’s and this is due to the vast characters with their diverse backgrounds.
The symbolism throughout the novel is extremely clever and stays with you no matter how many times you read the novel. The plot takes you on an emotional track regarding in particular both Nick and Gatsby, as at points you can feel like you’re feeling the same as them. This is due to the way Fitzgerald moulds his characters into more than what they essentially are; they are not just characters they are people. The Great Gatsby is easily one of the greatest novels to come out of America, which is why so many degrees and A level students study it! So it’s worth a read. I’ve read it four times and I still cry when a certain something happens…
Also after reading The Great Gatsby I can safely say that LEO MAKES A GREAT GATSBY (HA SEE WHAT I DID THERE?) AND HE’S GORGEOUS AND I NEED TO SEE THAT FILM.