Monday, March 18, 2013

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

2013 reread #3
I read this book for the first time in junior high, for fun, at summer camp (I know, I'm strange.) Then, when reading it again in high school, it inspired one of my favorite paper topics in my entire academic career. Now, I'm sort of just waiting for Gatsby to die (and if that spoiled things for you - start reading more!) as I read through the book. All of Fitzgerald's commentary on the opulence of the 1920's that was so interesting and insightful at my second read almost just felt like obvious fodder now. What, obscenely wealthy people can be extremely vapid? No? Can you hear my sarcasm?

I'm happy I reread this book though despite its ability to amaze me like it had previously done. This story takes place over just a few months and is really very tragic for so many characters - not just the ones that die - and I find it interesting how much sadness Fitzgerald was able to inlay between crazy parties and lush trips into New York City. You really don't feel like anyone but our narrator, Nick Carraway, lives in reality and yet all the other characters are looked upon as "normal." 

Ironic side note: Nick's last name, Carraway, like carried away, yet he's the only one who stays grounded.

This story is really very complex if you look at it analytically, which is how I like to look at literature. A million different paper topics could come form this book and because of that, with each read I see something new in the text. A book that changes with each read is truly a great work of art.

I'm curious to see how they shape each character in the movie version coming out soon. A lot of big names playing characters that don't always make good choices (alright, they characters are totally morally questionable.) While there's no real villain in the story, nobody is really good. It would be interesting to have a movie where none of the characters are totally likeable, where there's no actual hero. We'll just have to wait and see.

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