Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Me and Mr. Gatsby

I just finished The Great Gatsby last weekend. It was a strange experience for me because I usually become very absorbed in the characters I am reading about. This wasn't the case with The Great Gatsby. I found it difficult to identify with and like Mr. Gatsby, but I don’t think that was Fitzgerald’s purpose. Still, by the end of the book I was able to sympathize with his passion for the elusive Daisy and appreciate his methodical mind. To me he resembled somewhat of a mad scientist in his obsession with Daisy.

I felt that The Great Gatsby was eloquent and descriptive. I really enjoyed the glittering atmosphere of the twenties it provided. I felt like I was spending a hot, lazy, aristocratic summer in the West and East Egg myself. While reading I visualized the muted, summery, and glittery tones of blue, yellow, and pink.

The novel’s purpose is to explore the changes that were taking place in the early twenties in regard to the disintegration of the “American dream”. Fitzgerald explored faded morals and excessive availability of financial success. He modeled this change by introducing characters that were not particularly likable as they lacked moral decency. He also chose a setting that indicated the wealth he meant to describe. The West and the East egg were symbolic of both new and old money respectively. This showed the social division between the classes as well as the dynamics of excessive wealth.

When taking the novel to a more personal level, I took this from my reading: Take advantage of your opportunities especially when it comes to love. Don't deny your feelings because you will likely feel the same way years from now when your time is passed. I also feel that it exemplified that once a commitment has been made and you have lost your opportunity it is honorable to keep your peace.

For those of you who haven't read The Great Gatsby, I recommend it as a Summer or Spring read. I think this would be the perfect book to read in a lounge chair on the lawn sipping a sweaty glass of lemonade.


Parker said...

This post is the cat's meow. I want to get all dolled up and go out on the town in a flapper dress. Well I'm gonna get my wiggle on and start reading. PRONTO.
Hotsy Totsy,

p.s. I looked up 1920's slang just for you.

Anonymous said...

Wow, great read.


Amy said...

I certainly didn't get all of that out of the book when I read it as part of my high school curriculum. Thanks for the suggestion. I will definitely read it this summer.

Kat your comment got me even more in the mood for the book. Too fun!