Nothing is obvious in The Great Gatsby; everything is either implied or suggested or the message of the text slowly comes out as a soft drizzle across the story. If you love literary ambiguity (and that vast horizon to express your own creativity while reading) like I do, then The Great Gatsby should definitely be on the top of your to-read books.
I have to admit, I am not an avid reader of classics. I just do not feel connected to any of the middle aged characters living a seemingly ordinary life almost a century ago. But The Great Gatsby has definitely made me rethink this and now I am on my way to reading Wuthering Heights. Classics, to me, are like a vague net that you think you do not want to fall into, but you don’t realize how beautiful the fall really is.
The Great Gatsby revolves around the life of Jay Gatsby – or rather a particular time period in his life when he finally, but tragically, reunited with his love, Daisy – as told by his omnipresent and over-concerned (that’s how I felt about Carraway, anyway) neighbor, Nick Carraway.
Like most other classics (Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat aside), The Great Gatsby is a beautiful tragedy filled with indulging metaphors and inordinately profound (if not sometimes annoying) characters. (I say that the characters are annoying because the decisions they make, however practical they may have sounded during their time, seem immensely idiotic to me). The characters are definitely well described in that vague way that only well-written authors can define a character: Fitzgerald does not go too deep into their personality, but still somehow manages to bring out their character in the most vivid black and white.
I see a lot of trailing sexism and racism in the book. However, Fitzgerald does mock the racism, but he does little to address the sexism. I suppose it’s because at that time sexism probably had a totally different meaning than it does now. If you want an example of the lingering sexism, I suggest reading page 78, which definitely hints towards the less importance of women in the society of that time.
The Great Gatsby is filled (drowned, covered, shadowed, whatever you like to say) with the most beautiful metaphors that I have ever read. Here are some of the quotes that I found especially intriguing and illuminating:
My favorite quote of all time, from any book that I have ever read (excluding Harry Potter, of course, because let’s face it: I am a huge Potterhead and the entirety of the Harry Potter series is my favorite quote) is:
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.