“The buildings were higher, the parties were bigger, the morals were looser and the liquor was cheaper. The restlessness approached hysteria.”
Yes that’s right, this month we’re going back to classics! In case you haven’t actually read the novel, you’re in for a treat as we review “The Great Gatsby” written in 1925 by literary genius, F. Scott Fitzgerald.
The novel follows middle class a bondsman, Nick Carraway of Minnesota, as he takes a job offer in New York post prohibition. Carraway happened to move in a shack ( “my little shacks just a cardboard box at 80 a month“) packed between two wealthy mansion owners, one being the mysterious and famous Jay Gatsby.
Across the bay from Gatsby, a green light shone from Nick’s cousin Daisy Buchanan’s dock, where she lived lavishly with her husband and daughter. One evening he gets an invitation to one of Gatsby’s parties- something he is known for in the city. Unraveling Gatsby’s past, Nick soon finds that Gatsby and his cousin have a history filled with passion and romance, and he wasn’t always such a high amount of free cash.
Gatsby had planned his life solely around this perfect woman who fell short of his own image of her, which eventually falls into three deaths -he hit and run of Tom’s mistress, Myrtle Wilson, the suicide of Myrtle’s husband, George Wilson, and the murder of Gatsby himself.
Though many people who have read the novel say that it is you’re run of the mill Love – story – slash – Tragedy, it is much more than that in itself. It is the story of a man caught in his past in which he believes strongly can be repeated. His money, all the parties he threw, the servants, they were all to get back that one colossal image of what he pictured to be his life (Daisy). The book is the perfect representation that it’s best to move on, in short. Now, I could stop here but no I will keep going.
I would like to bring up Fitzgerald’s gift of bringing all the characters to life where it is impossible to dislike one without disliking another as well, and it will show that in this I am not completely biased when I say that my love is Nick Carraway in which he does have flaws- they all do, like the real world.
HEADS UP: You can skip the character analysis, this is just analyzing how well Fitzgerald constructed his characters and may contain spoilers as you read on.
Jay Gatsby: While a lot of girls say they wish a man loved them like Jay loved Daisy, I would be a tad concerned in this case. Jay kept a binder of clippings he found in newspapers over the course of the five years they were apart. Also, he purposely moved across the bay from her and in the plaza, forced her in to telling Tom she never loved him- even though she said she loved both of them at one time or another, it wasn’t good enough. Now, all of this outweighs what I see was a pro for him- he was a victim. Yes, Jay Gatsby, was a victim of his eternal conscience. He was blinded by the mere thought he could be something for a beautiful girl. Before he met her, he was a poor man and now he is among the richest of the city. Gatsby pulled a charade so he could fulfill the american dream.
Nick Carraway : Nick Carraway! Yes, he has flaws and I will start with them. He shouldn’t have gotten involved with Gatsby’s personal life, he should have pulled from it. He shouldn’t have left Jordan Baker (one of Daisy’s friends, another important character of the novel) waiting, and explained what was going on. However, in a way, I can sympathise with him. He did try to leave, but he was only pulled back in to the point where he gave up. He tried to make Jay happy by giving him Daisy. He tried to do what would make Daisy happy by giving her Jay because of issues with Tom. All the while, he was also trying to be happy for himself, which fell apart rather quickly. And after he was done trying to keep everyone else’s happiness up, including his own, he was left alone in New York. He did all those things only to be left with no one. There’s also the fact Nick may not be a trustworthy narrator because of the fact he admired Gatsby.
Daisy Buchanan: Daisy, Daisy, Daisy. Many readers dislike her because she “should have stayed with Jay!” But in her position, she doesn’t deserve the lack of respect she is given. Daisy Buchanan was forced to choose between two men she had once loved, but no more. “You want too much!” She said to Gatsby, and it was true- not even she lived up to the image he painted for her. And Tom was abusive which is shown in the early parts of Gatsby where she tells about how Tom “accidentally” bruised her thumb, not meaning two. However Tom also slapped Myrtle for bringing up Daisy’s name at the party the next evening. It’s not where she was at fault for anything, really, but she had a hard- and dangerous- decision to make. Leave Gatsby, stay with Tom or leave Tom and risk her and Pammy- her daughter, age 3- being hurt.
Tom Buchanan: Tom Buchanan was a monstrous man. He was bulky and masculan, but I have to admit he sounds handsome (all of the men and women sound attractive, not the point). My main point is he was aracist, rich, rude and abusive man. Even with that put blatantly, his relationship wa sMyrtle was as close to good as it will get with him. In some of the paragraphs and sequances with her, I felt as if he did care about her to a certain extent. He didn’t care about Daisy at all. There’s not much more I can say on him.
Myrtle Wilson: Myrtle Wilson, my dearest one. She was not a (insert any word that is offensive to women who enjoy sexual relations with multiple men), she was a great character and I adored her! She cheated on her husband, yes and it is understandable wy many people dislike her because of it ( “hes a greasy little scumbag”). George lied to her and claimed ot be rich, when in fcat he was anything but. (more on George later). So Myrtle slept with Tom Buchanan. She fell in love with him, and she couldn’t divorce George because there was no way for her to be with Tom due to everyone believeing Daisy was against DIvorce (another lie). She was a victim in this as well, and it’s impossible to deny that.
Jordan Baker: While she wasn’t in the novel for much, she did contribute to it. She is a strong woman who didn’t put up with any (insert beep here) from a man, even Nick Carraway. She did have a fling with him though with Nick being preoccupied with Gatsby’s love life, he couldn’t keep up with her. ( “angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, i turned away”). Without her we wouldn’t know- Nick wouldn’t know- the history of Jay and Daisy. She is a good character aside from not being brought up much.
George Wilson: George wasn’t the brightest man, but he is lovable. He was fond of Myrtle, and the way I see it is he still is. However, he isn’t bright. He didn’t find out about the affair until later in the novel. I suppose it does hint at him being a tad abusive, threatening Myrtle when he did find out but he was deeply in love with her to the point of killing himself when “Jay” hit her, and killing Jay before.
Over all, Fitzgerald did a brilliant job at pacing the novel well and sorting all the characters realistically. It takes a lot of anlyzing to decipher the book into a meaningful grasp, and you can’t take it too literal. Even in the end, we don’t know the truth of Jya Gatsby- for even Nick, whom the story is told from, may not know the truth giving numerous lies. The thought process of each can be justified in numerale ways- which is why this review is hard to write, because everything is left up to opinion.
RATING OUT TEN: 10/10 literally, I can’t find something to dislike about this story.
WARNINGS: Mention of abuse, minor racism
I highly recomend reading this , then seeing the movie (it leaves out some important details).
I apologize for this being so long, but this book has alot to talk about. Great read, thoroughly enjoyed it.