Friday, 20 January 2012
The Great Gatsby by F Scott FitzGerald is regarded as one of the great American novels. First published in 1925, it has probably been in print ever since. As a read, it is a wondrful one, with its beautiful, spare but lyric prose; not a word or phrase is out of place or excessive. The description of both people and places is quite precise; we can almost hear Daisy Buchanan's voice and see Tom Buchanan's physical presence. Despite the fact that none of the characters seemed to be particularly likeable,they were interesting and reading about their lives fascinating. The story of Jay Gatsby and his rise to riches and search for his first love, Daisy, in a society where that was the measure of success is compelling. The emptiness of Daisy's life is soon made apparent- her marriage to wealthy, faithless Tom Buchanan, her almost non-existent relationship with her infant daughter, her friendship with Jordan and also with Nick Carraway, who narrates the tale and is Daisy's cousin. Nick is also the observer of events, but is also the only one who seems to have genuine feelings of compassion for the people that Daisy and Tom damage through their actions. Despiet being strongly of its time, this novel is a modern morality tale as well.