I heard so much about how much people liked or disliked The Great Gatsby. I had to read it for myself. I am glad that I took the chance and read it. I was surprised by how short the book was. It came in around 175 pages. I had been expecting 600 pages at least.
I was captivated from the first sentence to the last. F. Scott Fitzgerald definitely has a way with words. I felt like I had been transported to 1920s West Egg, Long Island where the wealthy partied with absolute abandon. Champagne flowed endlessly like water out a faucet. Jay Gatsby was the epitome of this era with his polite yet mysterious demeanor. Once in his presence he made each person feel like they were the center of the universe.
But little does anyone know there is one person that Gatsby feels is his reason for being. Daisy Buchanan, his married love interest who happens to be Nick Carraway’s cousin. Daisy seems to be in a loveless marriage to Tom Buchanan who has a mistress. Daisy is tormented by this knowledge. It factors largely in her relationship with Jay Gatsby.
Throughout the book my perceptions of Gatsby and Daisy changed dramatically. I thought of Jay Gatsby as a mysterious potentially sinister man. But in the end he was far that image. He turned out to be person with the drive and ambition to achieve the American Dream. Daisy becomes interwined with this need to succeed as she previously left him because he was poor.
Daisy Buchanan turned out to be a spoiled, cold,manipulative person who didn’t care who she destroyed as long as she got what she wanted. This point was driven home by the tragedies that occurred in the final chapters of the story.
Once at the end of the book it became clear that Jay Gatsby’s love for Daisy was more of an obsession which almost consumed him mind, body, and soul. While Daisy used Gatsby as a means to torment her philandering husband. They left town together to start over. Nick Carraway describe them best at easily destroying others’ lives and leaving it to others to pick up the pieces while they enjoy their wealth elsewhere. Quite a poignant and true statement.
The Great Gatsby had such a profound effect on me that I had to stop every few chapters and process every single event that happened.
One of my favorite quotes was “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
…for one of these characters it did.
I am highly recommending this book for everyone to read.
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~DP of MVBClub