Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Rating: 4 stars

My recollections of the Gatsby that I read in high school? A green light, a sign with large eyes that had some religious significance, a supposed 'eye' motif and a scene in a swimming pool. Though, that last recollection may have much more to do with an equally vague memory of Toby Stephens floating in a pool.

Re-reading this classic in anticipation of the new Baz Luhrman movie (and realizing that I didn't remember any more than the above) was an treat - the unexpected discovery of a treasure I hadn't previously valued highly enough. I understand the importance of reading classics like this at the high school level - but I wonder why my teacher focused so heavily on the 'eye motif' - 'Do you SEE that Fitzgerald always mentions eyes?' - instead of some of focusing on what really makes this book a masterpiece. It was a really long time ago - but I don't remember discussing the American dream, materialism and wealth, and I especially do not remember discussing the overwhelming theme of depression and anxiety. Daisy, especially, who is often written off as an 'annoying' female character, suffers from such sure signs of manic depression - I couldn't help but see through her flighty personality and feel for her internal struggle.

It was a beautiful book, in story and craft, from start to finish. Something you can begin to love when you're young, and grow to completely appreciate and adore with each subsequent read.

Purchase Now from Amazon: The Great Gatsby


  1. Great Gatsby is one of my favorite classics I've read for Classics Club so far. I read a translation (Indonesian), and I'm still curious to read the original version.

  2. Whenever I post a review on The Classics Club I try to make time to visit everyone who also read the same book to say 'hi'!
    The list of readers of GG is now rather long and most seem to agree on how wonderful it is :-)
    Here's my review
    Rereading GG, like you, has been a delight in understanding, nuances and complexities that a teenager has no hope of fully grasping (which is maybe why teachers focus so much on the eyes and the green light!!)


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