Gatsby is a reformed man of innocence, crippling inner-solitude, and bona fide goodness.
Now without giving away the book to those who haven’t read it, I’m going to write vaguely, in the first couple of paragraphs. At first glance of the book (and the hoopla surrounding the new film), we may consider Gatsby a man of everything. We may think he’s a man of excess, and money. He is, but that’s often mistakenly what people think the story is about. I remember watching the King of Queens (a situational comedy), where the main character, Doug, believed “The Great Gatsby” was a magician, based on the name alone. That’s clearly a joke, but it’s actually a good uneducated guess (for someone who hasn’t read it).
The main reasons I decided to read The Great Gatsby are because it has come into the limelight again because of Baz Luhrmann’s remake of a movie, and because I haven’t had the pleasure of reading it before. I hope you enjoy my first review on this “52 weeks, 52 books tour” I’m completing. Starting now, I will get into the story so right now is the spoiler alert!
Spoiler alert! The review begins in detail, here. The book is well narrated by Nick Carraway. Nick is a dedicated and loyal friend of Gatsby’s (and cousin to Daisy-Gatsby’s love interest), who only becomes his friend at the beginning of the book. The book only spans the time of a few months. Regardless, Nick becomes a friend everyone would want to have. Even though he doesn’t usually approve of Gatsby, nor does he really fit in the same social circle, he eventually feels sorry for Gatsby. He believes others take advantage of him, and they taint his bona fide good nature. Nick is very relatable, for me, as he’s a common man, with limited means, but he’s well-rounded. It’s a pleasure to have the book narrated from Nick’s point of view because of the above-mentioned reasons.
Gatsby is a man who was once a swindler. He’s now rich, proper, and of a higher cloth. He owns a grand house, a mansion, in West Egg (part of Long Island, NY), that lights up the little neighborhood with its massiveness and unending window light. Nick happens to live in a little cottage, just to the side of Gatsby’s lawn. Gatsby has parties, large and impersonal, very often. It is as if he’s trying to fill some lonely void in his heart, by inviting anyone and everyone to these lavish gatherings at his mansion. He has a motive for having these parties however. He wants his past lover, Daisy, to come to the house, as he knows she lives just across the sound. The story The Great Gatsby is a love story, in my opinion. So if someone tries to tell you it’s main points are related to living in excess, or it’s about being rich, you can tell them they’re wrong. It’s a delicate love story. Living in excess is a byproduct of the story’s soul, of love. The sole reason for Gatsby’s existence in this book, and in his life is that he will one day be with Daisy again.
You see, he loved Daisy 5 years ago, and she loved him. She’s now married to Tom Buchanan, and this is a hurdle for Gatsby. He never sees it as a problem, because he’s so confident that he’s loved more by Daisy, than she ever loved Tom (if she loved Tom at all).
I will not go too deeply into the ending of the story but I will touch on some points. There are other critical characters in this story of whom I won’t mention. Gatsby gets so caught up in his love for Daisy that he blinds himself.
In the end, tragedy strikes West Egg, because of a fatal car accident. Tom’s mistress, Mrs. Wilson frantically escapes the confinement of her apartment, running into the street, seeking help from the car driver. Daisy drove straight through Mrs. Wilson tearing her to shreds. Mr. Wilson starts an all out search for the hit and run driver. There were even reports at the scene of a yellow car, being in the accident. Jay Gatsby drives a yellow car. Mr. Wilson eventually found this out. In conclusion, Mr. Wilson shoots Gatsby, then himself, because he knows that it was Gatsby’s car that took his wife’s life (based on reports by witnesses).
Gatsby was a good man. He was a very good man. Perhaps he had some involvement in the fixing of the 1919 baseball World Series, but he’s been a focused person, pining for the love of Daisy for the past 5 years. He knew she loved him, and he, her. He also knew the kind of love they had would never fade. Gatsby should not have died. He was someone who welcomed everyone, and just wanted love, like everyone. He had straightened out his life only to have it broken, in the end. He died at too young of an age. I guess that lyric is true; “only the good die young.”
Fitzgerald writes a masterpiece here. He’s able to portray his characters clearly and distinctively. The main character is Nick Carraway (the narrator). “The Great” Gatsby is sadly put to rest in this story of love, loneliness, and ultimately hate, that culminates into an ending of melancholy. Regardless of the sad feeling this book leaves its readers in, it’s written well throughout. I recommend the book if only for its precise, and educated writing. Readers will gain a better understanding of the complexities of the English language through Fitzgerald’s writing, and be better readers (and writers) for it. When you feel smarter after having read a book, it’s a good book. The moment an author makes you feel less intelligent is the time you toss the book. This book will increase your English sharpness, and at the same time, give you a classic story to munch on. Read this book! Preferably, read it before watching any of the movie remakes.