“Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.”
Friday, March 26, 2010
The Great Gatsby by: F. Scott Fitzgerald
The mysterious Jay Gatsby embodies the American notion that it ispossible to redefine oneself and persuade the world to accept that definition. Gatsby's youthful neighbor, Nick Carraway, fascinated with the display of enormous wealth in which Gatsby revels, finds himself swept up in the lavish lifestyle of Long Island society during the Jazz Age.
The decades surrounding the roaring 20s have always fascinated me, which is part of the reason I love Fitzgerald's work so much. They're always very character-driven. Less about the plot and more about the people. While I don't always love that style of writing, I think Fitzgerald makes it work.
His details are often spot on, able to put you right in that moment, so you can hear the parties and the music. His settings always appropriate, and often a character in itself.
I've wanted to read The Great Gatsby for a while now, and I'm glad I was finally able to. The characters you might have been rooting for at the beginning are the ones you hate at the end, and there's a sad sort of complexity to Gatsby's character that just makes the reader feel sorry for you. I know I did.
The ending threw me, I loved it. It was not what I was expecting at all.
If you're a fan of the 20s, then this is a great novel to read. It breathes the decade, and the characters are enough to draw you in.