Back to the Classics: The Great Gatsby

The Great GatsbyThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

About 11 years ago, I read this in high school. I remember not loving it. Then a couple of years ago, I read The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Jazz Age Stories and LOVED them. I knew I had to give Fitzgerald and Gatsby another chance. It took me a little while, but here we are. (And it completes a goal in the Back to the Classics challenge!)

I had forgotten so much about it! The history, the way the stories connect, the selfishness of the characters, the language, the ending…ah!

One of my favorite parts is the introduction of Daisy and Jordan contrasted with the introduction of Myrtle. With Daisy, she’s dressed in white and seems to be floating. Poor Myrtle is described as “fairly stout.” However, you also get this sense of purity with Daisy, while Myrtle is “continually smoldering.”

My only criticism is that it feels a little rushed at the end. And I’m sure things did happen fairly quickly when Wilson loses it, but I want more. And really, I want someone to be punished, I mean, poor Gatsby…Daisy’s selfishness astounds me. And I pretty much hate Tom.

It all boils down to a tragic love story…and I completely forget all about the tragic part.

Finally, rereading makes me even more excited about seeing Baz Luhrmann’s take on the book. Tobey Maguire as Nick, I can handle that. Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby, kind of perfect. Carey Mulligan as Daisy, absolutely perfect.

Favorite quotes:

“I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool–that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”

“…there was an immediately perceptible vitality about her as if the nerves of her body were continually smouldering.”

“Then it had not been merely the stars to which he had aspired on that June night.”

“I’ve been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit in a library.”

“It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard-drinking people. You can hold your tongue, and, moreover, you can time any little irregularity of your own so that everybody else is so blind that they don’t see or care.”

“‘Her voice is full of money,’ he said suddenly….  That was it. I’d never understood before. It was full of money–that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song of it…. High in a white palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl….”

Quick challenge update: 

  1. A Banned Book (The Giver)
  2. A Book with a Wartime Setting (The Killer Angels)
  3. Pulitzer Prize (Fiction) Winner or Runner Up (The Age of Innocence)
  4. A Children’s/Young Adult Classic (The Secret Garden)
  5. 19th Century Classic
  6. 20th Century Classic
  7. A Book you think should be considered a 21st Century Classic (A Visit from the Goon Squad)
  8. Re-Read a book from your High School/College Classes (The Great Gatsby)
Side note…I really need to start working on all those other challenges.

0 thoughts on “Back to the Classics: The Great Gatsby”

  1. I really want to read this again someday, but I had to read it about 5 gajillion times in college and got sick of it. But I think it might be time for a revisit. Oh, and I agree about Leo being perfect for Gatsby.

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