The Great Gatsby is one of the most acclaimed books of the twentieth century, capturing the mayhem and madness of the American Jazz age. The book portrays the story of wealthy New Yorkers, doing whatever they please in a mist of champagne, money, sex and unlimited partying with no consequences. Gatsby is a man of means, owner of the largest house and the best cars – no one knows his past and where his wealth is derived from except himself. The mystery surrounding the protagonist of this novella is what makes it so intriguing, since he is the one who becomes the cause of his own fall.
The story line of The Great Gatsby is quite basic. Gatsby is in love with Daisy, who rejects him on account of his lower class. He leaves for some years, during which Daisy marries a well to do man named Tom. When Gatsby returns with his unlimited wealth and frivolous parties, he is to find Daisy in an unhappy marriage to a man who has lost interest in her. The real story unfolds when Daisy and Gatsby have the pleasure of meeting again – the sparks that fly and the consequences that follow.
Personally, I found this text a bit frustrating to read since both the main characters have obsessive qualities. Daisy is obsessed with money and status, while Gatsby is obsessed with Daisy. The extreme obsession Gatsby has with Daisy is difficult to read about because of his desperation, which reduces his status as a powerful, mysterious and intimidating man. When started reading this book, I had expectations about how the story will unfold, after all – the book is called the great Gatsby. The greatness of his character was belittled because of his weakness in love – to me, Gatsby was too preoccupied in making Daisy happy, which wasn’t much to do with greatness.
Daisy, on the other hand, was one of the most annoying heroines I have ever read about. She is so materialistic, and it is her ideology that destroys Gatsby. She is in awe of Gatsby’s wealth and wants part of it – only that she can’t because she is married to Tom. Their loveless relationship is tragic, since they both indulge in extra marital affairs openly.
Ultimately, The Great Gatsby is just a snapshot that captured a period where the young and restless partied till dawn and ruined lives at the drop of a hat. What I found surprising was the resemblance that era has to university student life. There are quite a few parallels that can be drawn between that time and the life of a student – the partying, the promiscuity and the wild carefree age. Overall I think that it is a book worth reading, especially because the psychologies of the characters is quite intriguing, even when it is frustrating.
Have you read The Great Gatsby yet? What did you make of the book and the movie? Comment your thoughts below, I’d love to hear back!