When I heard we were to be reading The Great Gatsby for our exam I was inexplicably excited; I had no idea at all what it was about and was just going...moreWhen I heard we were to be reading The Great Gatsby for our exam I was inexplicably excited; I had no idea at all what it was about and was just going off the amount of praise I'd heared heaped upon it.
The first time I read the novel I struggled to fully appreciate the symbolism and allegorical significance of it and was mostly intrigued by the character of Gatsby and is fufilling of his dream. I was able however to realise the contextual significance of the novel as a representation of the Jazz Age and 1920s American society, consumed by the wealth and hedonism of the "lost generation", perfectly presented through the over the top grandeur of Gatsby's parties and the actions of those in attendance. Upon my second reading of the book I truly fell in love with the story and its likeness to the story of America and the American Dream. Fitzgerald's comparison of Gatsby to America, always seeking to turn back time and relive a dream already "behind him" "where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night". The tragic end to the book, of Gatsby ultimately being let down by the unworthy object of his desire, Daisy (who is unable to fufill such a dream) and having to look upon "an unfamiliar sky", is one which leaves me with a great sadness everytime I read it.
I, myself, in the end felt at one with the narrator, Nick Carraway, in his belief of Gatsby's dream of "the green light" and his view, and that of Fitzgerald's, of Gatsby as a great American hero despite his flaws. A fantastic American novel and one I would recommend.(less)
This play was filled with memorable moments and quotes; particularly the more comedic scenes and lines often fufilled by Cleopatra. I enjoyed the cont...moreThis play was filled with memorable moments and quotes; particularly the more comedic scenes and lines often fufilled by Cleopatra. I enjoyed the contrasts within the play such as that of Shakespeare's portrayals of Rome and Eqypt and with this the people of Rome and Egypt and their ways of life. The perfect example of this is the ever changing character of Antony who at times seeks to fufill his title of great warrior whilst at others is merely something of hedonistic love, under the control of "strumpet" Cleopatra and looking to fill his evenings with wandering the streets of Alexandria and drinking alcohol.
My favourite element of the play however is Shakespeare's depiction of Cleopatra. Although she is criticised throught often by the Romans and in particulary Caesar she is ultimately seen to be a tragic heroine.
I would love to see this play performed. I've watched a DVD adaption of it however was a bit disappointed, mostly by the casting of the characters who were completely different from what I would have expected.(less)
It is perhaps down to the fact that I was forced to study this play, along with my rather bored and disgruntled GCSE English class, as a 15 year old t...moreIt is perhaps down to the fact that I was forced to study this play, along with my rather bored and disgruntled GCSE English class, as a 15 year old that I have a dislike for it. I found it quite dry and particularly unexciting as a piece of literature and having to make dozens of seemingly "pointless" characters notes time and time again did not help this.
However I can appreciate the beauty the of the play and it's story. It is simple, both to read and follow structurally; divided into 3 acts each symbolizing rather important stages in life. How the play is staged, little props or scenery, alludes to the fact that this town, "Our Town", could be in fact any town anywhere in the world. The people with their simple daily routines, their worries, their experiences, could be our own neighbours. It is my belief that Wilder intended to allow us to appreciate the simplicity of life in smaller communities such as that of the play. Despite the fact that I did not particularly enjoy the play, I have no doubt that I will read it again in later years and come to appreciate it and realise why it has earned the title of "classic".(less)