Thursday, June 28, 2012
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Publisher: Scribner (Simon & Schuster)
Pub. Date: April 10, 1925
I first read The Great Gatsby in junior high or high school. I didn't remember anything about it except that I didn't mind it so much. (I have never been a fan of reading assigned books even though I now would enjoy half the books I was made to read then). Anyway, I've been wanting to re-read this for a while, but I was especially motivated after seeing the trailers for the December release of the movie featuring Leonardo DiCaprio.
This is one of those books where the aftertaste seems to have more of an effect on me than the actual process of reading it. For me, it's reflecting back on what the story stands for that makes it good. The Great Gatsby is narrated by Nick Carraway, a man of wealth who has learned to not let it affect the type of person he is. He lives next door to Jay Gatsby in the West Egg. Gatsby is a wealthy man who throws lavish parties; the kind of parties where half the guests don't even know Gatsby; it's just the place to be. As opposed to Nick, Gatsby revels in his money, though he has another reason for this. Gatsby is secretly longing for the love of his life, Daisy Buchanan, who happens to be a cousin of Nick's. The problem is Daisy is married to Tom Buchanan. Though, Tom has his own little mistress on the side, so why should Daisy stay loyal to him? Daisy is ultimately lured toward Gatsby, as he wishes, and drama ensues that has tragic consequences for everyone.
The Great Gatsby is a book about money, high society in 1920's New York City, and what this kind of wealth does to people. It's a love story of sorts but a tragedy too. I still feel like there are parts to this book that I didn't "get" or pick up on. On the one hand it's a fairly simple story, but on the other hand there may be a lot of symbolism I'm missing out on. Regardless, the story is good and it will give you something to talk about. It wasn't my favorite, but I enjoyed it, and I can see (with all the drama and gossip) why my high school self would have enjoyed this book.