Janine Kelly's Reviews > The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
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Jun 18, 09

Read in September, 2008

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 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.

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Quotes Janine Liked

F. Scott Fitzgerald
“If that was true he must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream. He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass. A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about...like that ashen, fantastic figure gliding toward him through the amorphous trees.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

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