With the right outlook anything is attainable. Anything? Jay Gatsby would put this to the test. With new money and his old charms, Jay would attempt t...moreWith the right outlook anything is attainable. Anything? Jay Gatsby would put this to the test. With new money and his old charms, Jay would attempt to win the affections of his lady love. It doesn't matter if the woman is deserving of a man like him, he would deny her imperfections to himself and press forward. Classic case of a dream gone awry.
Here's the thing. Fitzgerald's story is found in many novels. In Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë Heathcliff is rejected by Catherine for his station in life, so he left, then after his millions were made he came back to retrieve her.
The preface in First Collier Books edition 1992 of The Great Gatsby states that, " Great Fiction creates memorable characters" (xii). The reason, in my opinion, that The Great Gatsby is such a masterpiece is because Fitzgerald created memorable characters out of great paragraphs.
An example of this and in excerpt of one of the greatest paragraphs I have ever read,
"if personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes thousand miles away." (6)
See, it registers as a beautiful symphony of words; the sweet sound of a masterpiece.(less)
You know that saying, no one can make you feel like a failure... Um, not true, this book makes me feel like one. This is one of the most beloved books...moreYou know that saying, no one can make you feel like a failure... Um, not true, this book makes me feel like one. This is one of the most beloved books of all time, but my brain could not handle everyone having similar names, and I kept having to consult the family tree at the beginning of the book! I renamed the characters just to keep them straight haha. I had an easier time understanding
When people ask me what I think of this book I tell them it has one of the most powerful endings I have ever read, that I can see why it is loved, but that I would have liked to have read a chapter about a George, Jose, or a person with any other name that does not start with A. I also say, was easier for me to follow.(less)
The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story is maybe the most hopeful of all true war stories. As Poland collapsed around her during World War II, Antonina (a m...moreThe Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story is maybe the most hopeful of all true war stories. As Poland collapsed around her during World War II, Antonina (a mom, zookeeper, and friend) took care of the animals left alive at her and her husband’s zoo. She also used the zoo to hide and protect Jewish people from the Nazi regime. She is painted as an iron shield that used her charm and intuitions about people/places to keep many animals and friends safe and a sense of humor that gave people hope that their way of life would return to normal. Thus, I disagree with two arguments about this book:
1. That the author described cute animal antics while forgetting how much human suffering happened during World War II.
2. That the Zookeeper’s Wife is not about the Zookeepers wife.
Okay, so I guess the author did describe some cute animal antics but she did so (I think) with a very good literary reason. I can admit that the recantation to a dinner party about how the cute puppy chewed my slipper would seem a little inappropriate if the story was told two blocks from a concentration camp. However, I do not think that Ackerman’s intention was to recant a cute story. These stories showed Antonina’s gift for creating normalcy and preserving the spirits of her guests at a time when they were scared just to look out of a window. It made me wonder if the mental atmosphere of the way Antonina kept her home is the reason why so many people in Jan and Antonina’s care survived even after they left the safety of the zoo? Had she given them just enough hope to live off of until they were liberated?
The housewife is often stuck in the corner and never dusted. Therefore, I felt that Ackerman characterized Antonina in subtle ways, almost forgetting her, and this signified that though her husband would put himself in great physical risk to save people, her role in saving people/animals turned out as important as her husbands, even though her role remained unnoticed. Would so many animals/people have been saved if the Nazi had not found her so alluring, interesting and charming? I doubt it. She outwitted snoops at every turn and raised her son to hold a huge secret for the greater good, even though doing this secret gave her immense pain because her son could not have a normal happy childhood. She often talked about how her role seemed unnoticed and she felt very humble about her good deeds. Therefore, I felt that the writer’s efforts/descriptions reflected Antonina’s feelings and humility.
There are many interesting facts about World War II amidst the zookeeper’s story. In my opinion it is well written and a must read for history lovers.(less)