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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Book Review: The Great Gatsby

4671By: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Pages: 180
Release Date: January 1. 1925

Summary: In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write "something new--something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned." That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned, and above all, simple novel became The Great Gatsby, arguably Fitzgerald's finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author's generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald's--and his country's--most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings. "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning--" Gatsby's rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.

It's also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby's quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying, but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means--and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. "Her voice is full of money," Gatsby says admiringly, in one of the novel's more famous descriptions. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy's patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties, and waits for her to appear. When she does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout. Spare, elegantly plotted, and written in crystalline prose, The Great Gatsby is as perfectly satisfying as the best kind of poem

Rating: 4

Review: This story is not a story where you love the characters or where it's happy and good. It is so much more than that. F. Scott Fitzgerald paints a picturesque scene of the 1920's Jazz age.

This book is filled with symbolism. Everything that happens in the books means something. The places, the people, and even the weather. You can notice so much if you pay close attention and the themes are generally reoccurring.

I read this book for school last year and I had to reread it this year and it was even better the second time. It's not a book to read about good examples because you learn more of what you shouldn't do, but it's about Nick Caraway finding his way in the world.

Nick goes to New York to get a job in the bond business. He meets many people but he also befriends the mysterious Jay Gatsby. As the novel goes on it seems to be mostly about Gatsby attaining his dream of having Daisy again. It is a coming-of-age story for Nick. He turns thirty in the book, and that is the promise of a new decade when his life should be mostly figured out. He is surrounded by the chaos of the 20's, the circus of everyone's life but he doesn't want to be part of an act. He wants to stay away from all the moral decay of the people in New York. Through the book his has a change in character at first he loved New York. It was the city where anything could happen and he enjoyed it.

I loved this book and it raises so many questions: about morals, life, friends, and trust. It is beautifully written and the setting of the 1920's is amazing everything was bigger, better, and crazier. I would love to just be a standby person in the story and feel all the excitement and see what it was like.

I would definitely recommend it and if you have the opportunity to read it for school you should really read it because it is completely worth it

Favourite Quotes:

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

“I hope she'll be a fool -- that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”

“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.”

“I wasn't actually in love, but I felt a sort of tender curiosity.”

“There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.”

“You see I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad things that happened to me.”

“Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.”

DFTBA and have a great weeekend!

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