The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is my all-time favorite book. I’m a teenage girl born in the 2000s but who longs to have lived in the 1900s. I’m an old fashioned person, and finding a book that appealed to my interests that also portrayed such literary excellence. I have read this book three times and have enjoyed it more with every reading. I look forward to reading it again in my sophomore English class, where we’re going to depict the book word for word. Although having The Great Gatsby as your favorite novel is fairly cliche, but it is truly my favorite book. The plotline is so engaging and the time period is intriguing.
My favorite part of the book is the character development. Fitzgerald does a great job creating a protagonist that fits in so well with all elements of the novel. The books is focused around the life of Jay Gatsby, as stated in the title, but the fact that the protagonist isn’t Gatsby is unique and allows you a whole different perspective on the goal of the novel. Nick Carraway, the protagonist, is thoroughly developed, although Fitzgerald makes his backstory seem insignificant compared to the lives of Daisy Buchanan and Gatsby. I would’ve enjoyed to hear stories from Carraway’s past in order to understand why he acts the way he does. The same goes for Buchanan and her husband, Tom. Through Carraway’s eyes, every aspect of Gatsby’s life is analyzed and shown; how he looks and dresses, his personality and the way he speaks, his business and love life and all the details of his past that made him “The Great” he is portrayed in this novel.
The plotline in this story is very unique and one I can’t relate to, but it’s still heavily enjoyed because I believe everyone wishes to live the life people in this book have. The characters live eccentric lives with money, huge, fancy house parties and you can do what you with with minimal consequence. Although I haven’t met anyone who’s able to relate to this book specifically with the plot, this novel is still widely adored for its literary excellence, especially for the time period. In the preface it mention that this novel was Fitzgerald’s first piece in which he thought was truly his because he had written what he wished. It continued to say that Fitzgerald was disappointed in the success of The Great Gatsby before he died because it earned little recognition until it was published again for a last attempt and it picked up significantly after he died, so he was never able to see how widely read his book is today.
The diction and word choice Fitzgerald uses illuminates the time period and allows you to live in the book with the character. The use of words and phrases such as “gay” – meaning joyous and happy in this time period – and “old sport,” which aren’t used today, add more layers to the development of this book. The use of “gay” is interesting to me because today, “gay” doesn’t mean happy anymore, but a word defining sexual orientation. Fitzgerald repeatedly uses these words and phrases and, deeper into the book, reminds you of the time period this book is written in and he doesn’t allow you to forget that.
In any given day to any given person, this is the first book I would recommend to read. It has such complexity for more advanced readers to analyze every sentence and read a whole different story. It also has such simple concepts that young adults and less advanced readers could easily understand. The first time I read this was when I was twelve years old, I have read it once since them, not including this year. I read it my third time for this class and I look forward to reading it in English later this school year so I can hear different ideas from many different students and can try and understand the book more than the first three times I read it.