Title– The Great Gatsby ; Written by– F. Scott Fitzgerald ; Genre– Tragedy ; Publisher– F.P Classics ; Pages– 200
It starts off on a philosophical note. We are immediately introduced to the somewhat important character of the novel, if not the main, Nick Carraway. He explains how his wise father taught him “in his vulnerable years”, that whenever he is in a position to judge someone, he should remember not everyone gets the same opportunity as he does. This helped him to be “inclined to reserve judgements”. He is necessarily not the protagonist but it’s his opinion we usually are made to look through at various situations. Apart from its miraculous storyline, there are many side elements, opinions of people and how discriminatory they are to our present generation’s views. There are many beautiful metaphors too, one of my favourite being that of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg. Set in the summer of 1920s in New York, Nick starts off by moving towards the East egg (east side) from the West egg, to learn bond business. He later came back to West Egg which he claimed to be “the less fashionable of the two”.
“The history of summer really begins on the evening I drove over there (East Egg) to have dinner with the Tom Buchanans” Nick meets Daisy, his second cousin and her rather arrogant husband Tom. Nick also happened to meet Jordan Baker whose role is very uncertified but she did has small roles with Nick throughout the novel. He acknowledged the luxuriously adapted East Egg but also realises the messed up life of the Buchanans. He had a heart-to-heart talk with Daisy and she complains about Nick not being there in her marriage. He explains how he was then still serving time at the War. Daisy is a very sophisticated and polite character who would treat one like fragile, dry flower when instead it was her who was entirely broken from inside, or that’s what it appeared. When she told Nick how Tom wasn’t even there during the birth of their first child, t is seen how helpless she was. Nick describes Daisy in some of the most beautiful possible ways, one of my favourite line is “For a moment, the sunshine fell with romantic affection upon her glowing face… Each light deserting her with lingering regret, like children having pleasant street at dusk”. She explains to Nick how she wished her daughter would be a fool as according to her, “That’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool”. I happened to form an variable opinion of Daisy because although what she meant was simply that the world is cruel to girls, (at least at that period of time) she could have said something more encouraging towards her own child. Daisy, in my opinion was helpless in many situations throughout the story but her decisions are just not understandable and could have been better. It appeared that she lived with Tom only because of his wealth.
Nick later also meets Tom’s mistress and the most disturbing was the fact that even Daisy knew about Myrtle (Tom’s mistress). He thought it to be very absurd when Tom brought him in a small get-together with his mistress but the fact that what Catherine, Myrtle’s sister thinks, thinks about Daisy, put Nick in an utter sense of confusion. Catherine believed that Tom and Daisy could not file a divorce as Daisy was catholic. Nick was stunned since he knew Daisy was certainly everything but catholic. He couldn’t make out why would Tom lie and make them believe so. It was then when Nick realises the messy life of the Buchanan couple. It wasn’t just the end. Even Myrtle had a husband, Wilson, who seemed to be completely unaware of the entire situation.
Nick further meets Jay Gatsby in proceeding chapter in one of the weekly parties that Gatsby organises at his place. He was in awe upon realising how rich Gatsby was even while living in the West Egg, which was the conservative and aristocratic out of the two. We also understand that Gatsby and Nick were acquaintances as both of them served the same division during War. Nick soon comes to know about Gatsby and Daisy’s past and the awkward situation between them. They used to be lovers and Gatsby promised to marry Daisy once he returned back from war. But it was in the meanwhile Daisy met Tom Buchanan and married him instead as he assured to offer her a luxurious and comfortable life. It was a long time ago but Gatsby didn’t seem to have moved on further in his life as he wanted Nick to bring Daisy to one of his party. We are made to ponder over the fact if Gatsby really loved Daisy and if Daisy loved him the same way back.
Nick, and so are we, as we are usually made to look through situations from Nick’s point of view, suspicious of Gatsby’s ravishingly luxurious lifestyle and what his occupation really was, although Nick has always refrained himself from forming judgements at first sight. I personally appreciate how Fitzgerald tried to be realistic in this fact and just did not just portray his character to be rich without any evident reason.
Another line that is really very popular from the book that I really want to mention “The officer (Gatsby is called so, as he was serving at War) looked at Daisy while she was speaking, in a way that every young girl wants to be looked at sometime, and because it seemed romantic to me I have remembered the incident ever since.”
Overall, I would give this book a 9/10, since there are very few factors that I believe were just not my liking but overall the storyline actually left me in awe. From Mr. Fitzgerald’s style of writing to each character’s unique role, everything played an important part in making this book so popular.
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