Review: The Great Gatsby

by - Wednesday, December 17, 2008

currently: listening to "Your House 2007" - by Jimmy Eat World.

Okay, so if you read said linked post before, I said I would read a book at least every week. And maybe post a review of it. Or discussion. Whatever.

Anyway, I read 'The Great Gatsby' by F. Scott Fitzgerald over the past week. I actually finished it last Thursday morning but I forgot to blog about it. I'm curious to what the F. in F. Scott Fitzgerald is. I may wiki it later.

Btw- I am gonna claim that right now it is an amateur opinion to the book. I claim now that I am no professional critic (yet) and I'm only building my skills here, and maybe encouraging you to try/or avoid stuff.

So, The Great Gatsby was written in 1925 and they claim it's a 'classic American novel'. So when something like that is said, you expect it to be quite good or life-changing in some way (Like 'The Catcher in The Rye' which I say is a good book.)
Apparently it was also said that the book didn't reach it's full potential till the late 50s or 60s. Which is kinda sad for Fitzgerald. Died before getting the real recognition.


Anyway, first impression of The Great Gatsby...the language...very interesting. And kind of annoying in the way Fitzgerald would over-describe stuff. I know he may have been trying to personify the rain, or the sweat, or the heat coming from a room but it seemed too much. And that he was using big and long words to sound smart. Also the long sentence descriptions made it appear that there were no fullstops.
Okay, that's my technical criticism.

Plot: Sometimes I wondered where the plot was going, where the story was being directed. But that may be because I was not fully into the book in those first few chapters. Well halfway through. After I read past the 5th or 6th, I began getting an idea of what was gonna happen in the end. But then, with a title called 'The Great Gatsby' you get a clue of what the story was about haha. Honestly I could analyse this and go into it much deeper, but do I really want to give the story away to you? No...not just yet.

The theme of Gatsby is the idea of a person's desire to achieve the American Dream. The idealised lifestyle of the being socially and financially well off, the nice house, the lovely wife and the children. This reflected the time that the book is set in (1922 - or "The Jazz Age" as once said by Fitzgerald) and the theme is still relevant to this day and age. Probably why it was able to be recognised as a good book during the 60s.

Interesting things I found:
- The ironic mentioning to WWII even though it hadn't happened yet. There's a mention of a Jew working at a Swastikas labelling factory, and a sentence which contains the word 'holocaust.'
- Just the general narration. It's in first person, but sometimes Nick is talking directly to the reader sometimes, and sometimes it appears like he isn't.


Overall opinion: (for people who aren't bothered reading the stuff above.)
It is a good book. I don't find it mind bending or moving since the ending was kind of expected. But I guess if you really analyse the book, there is quite a bit of depth to it too and it does have a good meaning and moral - To die for your dream or to live a life unfulfilled. I guess that moral is quite mind bending.
Anyway, I do suggest reading it just cause it's a good American novel. If I were to rate it...I'd give it a 7/10
Yay, that's one scholarship book down.

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