Mariel's Reviews > The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
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's review
Nov 28, 2007

it was amazing
Recommended to Mariel by: my mom
Recommended for: D'angelo Barksdale

I thought about Daisy's little daughter a lot after finishing The Great Gatsby. I felt sorrier for her than I ever did for Jay Gatsby, in terms of winning or losing Daisy's love. They leave the little thing alone while they jettisoned to those fancy parties and trips... That made me feel really sad. (No, I don't blame Daisy for what Gatsby saw in her. It could only be the hard way because she was the physical representation of all his desires, for everything good and bad in life. No one can stand up to that.)
Pretending, longing for that bright light on the other side, not owning up to what you have to own about yourself. This book got to me. I read it in my younger days when I hated myself unbearably muchly, and wanted to be anything at all that wasn't me. (I'd watch other people and think "They have it better", when they probably didn't. Closer inspection I'd see that but that painful pining feeling still hurt. I could relate to Jay Gatsby sometimes. It was mostly just feeling lonely because it was painful to think about what was going on in those days.)
I didn't take it as a picture of America so much as something more personal than that: how we view ourselves and the avoiding of that viewing. I envy anyone who can see some big community/country view. I'll read books about that and long for that same "I'm a part of that" connection. The "great American novel" means nothing to me, I don't feel bullied into required reading either (at least there is that). So, non-issue for me. I love The Great Gatsby 'cause it is an unflinching personal look into a person and I don't have to take it as statement ('cause I wouldn't). No one can make anyone feel anything. It's all caught up in how we feel about ourselves.
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Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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Misha I've really been wanting to re-read this. It's been too long.

Mariel Me too. I think it's over ten years now.

Lori Haven't reread this since I was a teen. I'd probably have a whole different take on it now. I did reread Tender Is The Night 2 years ago, and it broke my heart all over again.

message 4: by Kristen (new) - added it


Mariel I felt that way about a few books I've read this year.

David Re: Daisy's daughter, I felt the same about the ignored Children in "Tender is the Night". They must be so unhappy.

Jason It's funny, I thought about Daisy's daughter, too. It actually made me dislike Daisy simply because she was just such a neglectful mother.

Cecily I've just finished it - and I was wondering about Daisy and Tom's daughter ever since her first mention.

Kate I agree. Though the idea of the great American dream appeals to me, I am more drawn to the characters' own dream worlds, and how they so obstinately refuse to see there is something bigger than themselves. And I too, felt sad for how carelessly Daisy's daughter was treated, as more of an object than a person.

message 10: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam I am also more taken with the aspects of human weaknesses, failings and fragility. I am also intrigued by the multiple layers the story seems to have, references to larger ideas, placing people on pedistals, Gatsby puts Daisy on one, the locals put Gatsby on one, temporarily, the country puts the East Coast on one, etc. but nothing is ever what it seems. And, as you find, it always takes me back to the human condition. Notice how Gatsby becomes uncomfortable when the child is placed in front of him. He is being forced to see reality. The way the daughter is treated- Nick says "I suppose she talks and-eats, and everything." Oh, yes." She looked at me absently. (and later in the paragraph) She was less than an hour old and Tom was God knows where. I woke up....with and utterly abandoned feeling, and asked the nurse right away if it was a boy or a girl. She told me it was a girl...I hope she'll be a fool-that's the best thing a girl can be in this world,a beautiful little fool." I guess Daisy was raised the same way. SHe is shallow but I feel for her in a way being alone upon the birth of her child. Really, she is like a child herself, she has never really grown up. Anyway, excuse my rambling! Loved your review.

Sketchbook Kristen wrote: ""

Ooh, Puckerbutt !

message 12: by Cole (new) - added it

Cole For more insight into the world of Scott Fitzgerald's characters, I recommend reading Zelda, the biography of her life with Scott. According to that and other biographies about the couple, he fashioned his characters and dialogue from their lives and those of their friends, as well as from Zelda's own writings. Daisy' s line about her daughter is attributed to Zelda and what she said when their daughter, Scottie, was born. I love the Great Gatsby and reading Zelda made the book even more poignant for me.

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