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Jason’s review of The Great Gatsby
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Feb 21, 2011 01:19PM
. I absolutely must second your point about the importance of the historical period in understanding this novel. I read it for the first time in 10th grade and just recently re-read it as I'm about to clear "the bottom rung of middle age." [Full credit to you for such a wonderful description of such!] In 10th grade, I was told it was A Great Novel, but apart from that, I have very little memory of what I read. (Something about a green light at the end of a dock...?)
Now, reading it for myself as an adult, it took my breath away to see how different my experience of the book was. I really don't think it's possible to fully appreciate
unless you look at it squarely in the context of its time period. You mention the nihilistic abandon of the shell-shocked (both literally and figuratively) post-Great War generation. It's also important to consider the technological revolution that was going at the time. It's no mere happenstance that bright electric lighting floods Gatsby's mansion, or that so much of the action hinges on high-speed travel in fancy new motorcars. It must have seemed a world full of all kinds of possibilities, some hopeful, many frightening, and certainly disorienting, to say the least.
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