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