Friday, 17 October 2014

Review: The Great Gatsby

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Edition: Penguin Classics Paperback
Released: 24th February 2000
Series: n/a (standalone)
Pages: 177 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Publishers' Page | Buy the book!

In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald brilliantly captures both the disillusionment of post-war America and the moral failure of a society obsessed with wealth and status. But he does more than render the essence of a particular time and place, for in chronicling Gatsby's tragic pursuit of his dream, Fitzgerald re-creates the universal conflict between illusion and reality.

Is it just me who feels like you can't necessarily 'review' a classic? Like it's not meant to be held up to the same standards as books of today so the word 'review' doesn't look right beside it because it's too... normal, too modern. But I've used the word 'review' in the title of this post because I guess this is what this is (or will be).

So I read The Great Gatsby last year in my Higher English course. So I didn't pick it up out of choice or because I wanted to, we needed to study it, simple as. I wasn't too fussed going into it though. At that time I was still pretty much against the idea of classics (I'd resigned myself to the fact they weren't for me) but it wasn't bothering me for the simple reason we would be taking it step by step and it was quite a short book overall.

I ended up coming out of the book without a very well-formed, passionate opinion. All that I knew for sure was that I loved one thing in particular, and that was the symbolism. The Great Gatsby is rich in symbolism, and I know that if I hadn't studied it I wouldn't have appreciated it as much as I did. I'm a real fan of symbolism in stories (I feel like they give the story some more depth and a little something extra) so I rather adored that about the book.

As for the characters, Gatsby intrigued me and, more or less, had my favour. As for Daisy, I didn't like her one bit. And I loved disliking her, which was the fun part. I've never really loved to dislike a character before, but I certainly did with Daisy. I just didn't fall for her fa├žade and everything about her just seemed questionable and screamed iffy to me. I know a few people in my class had a soft spot for her, but I couldn't even empathise with her. I didn't mind Nick though, surprisingly. There's a lot of different opinions on him, to be sure!

Overall, though The Great Gatsby didn't hit a home run with me, I loved, loved, loved the perfectly executed symbolism and the way you formed strong opinions on the different characters because of how well developed Fitzgerald made them. I won't be rating this book because, as you probably know, I find it very hard to rate classics, but I will say don't fear this book if you need to study it for English - it sparks many lively and fun debates!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

6 comments:

  1. Love this review! I think you've basically just said what I was thinking about this book. Can't agree more about Daisy - I enjoyed hating her, and really none of the characters are that likeable - but it doesn't ever matter in the book :)

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    1. Thank you!! Daisy is certainly a great character to hate!

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  2. I would quite like to read this book, great review!

    Amy;
    The Blog Hermit

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  3. I totally get what you mean about reviewing classics! It just seems....like they're too elite for reviews or something?! Hehe. I don't read a lot of classics because I'm not very good at reading slowly and I know you kind of need to focus and appreciate them. *sigh* But I do love the children's classics like Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland. :)
    Thanks for stopping by @ Notebook Sisters!

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    1. EXACTLY. Glad someone else knows what I'm on about! I really want to read some children's classics - I have a box FULL of them! :D

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