You know how I completely failed last year's resolution to read at least one classic. WELL I DID IT! It may be 2015, but I DID IT! And not only did I read it, but I loved it and have caught the bug- anyone have any classics they recommend?? Tell me and I'll read them all!!
Title: The Great Gatbsy
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
No. of Pages: 180
A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, The Great Gatsby captured the spirit of the author's generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald's--and his country's--most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings. "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning--"Gatsby's rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.
It's also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby's quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying, but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means--and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. "Her voice is full of money," Gatsby says admiringly. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy's patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties, and waits for her to appear. When she does, events unfold with detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout. -(Goodreads)
5 stars: Page the bird salutes this book, and starts
flying with joy.
The Great Gatsby perfectly reflects the era that was the 1920s. It's a time that I love, with the bright lights and the big cities filled with men and women running wild and free. For me, it feels like a bit of a revolutionary age: a time where women wore short dresses, make-up, heels, short hair and had fun. It's a step away from the reserved society that had once prevailed. It's exciting and exhilarating, a new world that once existed brought back to life.
But what really impressed me was the rich description that made everything vivid. The whole feel of this time was captured in the pages; A wild, carefree, reckless universe filled with parties and bright young things. It betrayed the brightest era as also the darkest of them all, where secrets lurk in every corner hiding behind the dazzling jewels and jazz music. It's a haze of smoke and love stories. Passionate and timeless. For me, it became a burning candle, at its brightest before it burns out.
The characters were mirror images of this world at the same time. You had charismatic Gatsby; charming and lovely who you just needed to know. But also a man unable to let go of the past. There was Daisy Buchanan; pretty, breezy and passionate. Nevertheless, a girl who can't bear to leave her own world. With them came Nick Carringway, Tom Buchanan, Jordan Baker and the rest. All intoxicating characters who seem so unbreakable at first and are left with ending that doesn't seem to fit with their firstly flashy lives.
The truth is, you don't realise how brilliant The Great Gatsby is until you finish it. It's the kind of novel that truly gets you thinking and feeling because there is not a right or wrong way to feel about the characters. In the end, they all have quite sad endings, and it feels impossible to root specifically for one character. But it shows the complexities of us all as humans. We aren't all good or bad, because we all have our downfalls. We let ourselves do stupid things for stupid reasons and it's often messy, complicated and bitter.
But then this story seems to showcase that even more than usual. The characters seemed so wrapped up in their fierce display of their dreams and loves, that when they retreat back to their comfort zone, to the temptation of careless living it is a sorry sight. It's that vision crumbling amongst the greed of money and riches to become that faint image in the past of could-of-beens, when that burning candle is smothered out. An end to the spectacular world of feathers and dazzling lights, just like the end of the 1920s came to a crash.
The Great Gatsby could be a metaphor for it's time, and is perfect for those looking to get into classics like me. I would recommend it to everyone.