F. Scott Fitzgerald created a story showcasing beautiful lives of the wealthy and how it’s all a facade to keep dirty laundry hidden from pestering eyes and circulating rumors.
“Yet high over the city our line of yellow windows must have contributed their share of human secrecy to the casual watcher in the darkening streets, and I saw him too, looking up and wondering. I was within and without simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”
Fitzgerald’s prose is beautiful and lyrical as if he breathed life into the words and they sigh and laugh amid the sparkling hundreds at Gatsby’s glamorous parties or at the solemn ash heaps beyond the city. In a few sentences, he was able to present how thrilling Gatsby’s parties were; how grand it is to be among the crowd, dancing and drinking classy wine, and I find that truly magical. Moreover, he showed the crummy part of the country; how there were significant racial differences and an emphasis on the contrast between the rich and the penniless.
His characters are so amusing yet interesting to behold. They are all proud, strong-willed and alluring. Nick Carroway–the narrator of what took place during the summer–is a man who met overwhelming people in a short amount of time; hence, he was swept off his feet into their hedonistic lives. On the other hand, Jay Gatsby is a man who has been at his lowest; however, he still dreams and grasps hope with his bare hands. The other characters are selfish careless airheads who only know how to carry themselves with their noses up high and to scram before their scandals are revealed. It was pretty poetic for Fitzgerald to show the seemingly attractive yet outrageous affairs of the Buchanans through a spectator.
The plot deserves a gold medal as well. I liked how it was all fast-paced but you could clearly feel the slow-burning tension and the rhythm of the story as it progresses to its end. It felt like watching lively flames end into dying embers and the rest becomes smoke.
I’m not bothered in the slightest that the characters are so unlikable and I don’t particularly understand how it’s The Great American novel; nonetheless, I would solely reread it for Fitzgerald’s writing.