Rated: 4.5 stars
Invited to an extravagantly lavish party in a Long Island mansion, Nick Carraway, a young bachelor who has just settled in the neighbouring cottage, is intrigued by the mysterious host, Jay Gatsby, a flamboyant but reserved self-made man with murky business interests and a shadowy past. As the two men strike up an unlikely friendship, details of Gatsby’s impossible love for a married woman emerge, until events spiral into tragedy.
Regarded as Fitzgerald’s masterpiece and one of the greatest novels of American literature, The Great Gatsby is a vivid chronicle of the excesses and decadence of the “Jazz Age”, as well as a timeless, cautionary critique of the American dream.
I didn’t think I’d like this as much as I’d previously thought, the classics genre often hint to a bore of a book, often but not always. The Great Gatsby is, in short, a tragic love story and you’ll find here that a woman can spell ruin for a man, not that it’s news. I can see why many before me consider this a great book. Fitzgerald captured a drop of human nature during the time of easy money and high living in beautiful prose.
Daisy wanted what any woman wanted; security, and for her that meant a wealthy husband. She could have waited for Gatsby but she lacked the faith. I doubt that she actually loved the man. I both despised her and pity her. Why should she not want the best for herself, but at what cost? Did she even love Tom? Nah, she had no affection to anyone but herself and not so deep down inside she’s probably not really happy. Perhaps she and Tom were a perfect match after all. An egocentric pair, those two.
Jay Gatsby was a romantic, one that was chasing a dream that had ran far past him, and the dust that lie in its wake only spurred him on to give chase, by any means. It makes me sad because he deserved better.
Given all that is past, I wonder if he’d believe it was all worth it. I would agree with Nick that he, Gatsby, was worth much more than the rotten lot of them put together. He wanted nothing more than to be loved by a woman who he thought to be in love with him. At the end of the day, his dream was pure and simple and human, to live well and to love more.