Claire's Reviews > The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
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Mar 23, 09


Fitzgerald’s insight in this book cuts through the blinding American optimism of the time. Though at the time he wrote The Great Gatsby he could not have foreseen the economic and cultural crisis approaching in 1929, he is clearly suspicious and wary of the culture surrounding him, and the tone of this book expresses that he expects evil will come of it. His characters put their faith and their trust in unstable things- wealth, social superiority, commercialism, the power of culture- and their typical american idealism and ambition makes them reach too far for things they don’t have, and they end up losing what they did have. Fitzgerald’s narrator, Nick Carraway, is ambitious, but is not blinded by the glamour and excess of the society surrounding him. Nick is the only character who is actually grieved by the tragedies which befall the other characters, because he alone values human compassion above society and ambition. From a Christian perspective, this book shows what happens to culture and the individuals who make up that culture when Christian ambition and even basic humanity are sacrificed for social greed.
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