8 Jun 2012

The Great Gatsby: a Review

Written by Christopher Pembridge
My degree has now finished until next September, and consequently, after a slight retreat into my past I recently rediscovered my love for one novel that I studied at seventeen years old: The Great Gatsby. Never before had I been so awestruck by literary imagery. Never before has one character come to life so vividly in my imagination at the whim of one writer’s creative temperament.

Perhaps I see more in this book than the majority of others do, partly because I see a piece of myself in Jay Gatsby. However, that may be one aspect of the greatness of Fitzgerald’s novel; perhaps we all have a piece of Gatsby in ourselves… maybe I’m not the only reader who shares his deep longing for everything which society alleges to provide to its people, and watches with heeded understanding when I come across people in my own life who fit the stereotypes in the book.

For those who have not read The Great Gatsby, a clear indication of its literary finesse is that it cunningly opposes all of these meanings alongside magical descriptions of beauty. For example, one of my new favourites in modern literature:
He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips' touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.

Yet the main reason I find this novella deeply invigorating is that it is not just ‘another typical love story,’ where man meets woman and everything goes fabulously according to plan. The Great Gatsby is a story of the man’s desperation, agony and his fa├žade; it talks about the deepness of emotion that we all hide away from the world and is a more accurate depiction of the quieter side of each person. It gives me great joy to be able to take out of this novel what I feel like I want to. This is definitely a fantastic read for the thinkers out there; every page has its complexities.

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