I read the book over the last weekend and spent quite a time as its length would not suggest. Some would say its a tragic love story with crime and corrupted minds. But I say its a very close resemblance to Fitzgerald’s own life, especially his struggle for his own love. That is the main theme. The story starts with Nick Carraway’s narration when he visits his cousin, Daisy. Nick, is an exceptionally mild person to the point of being dull. But through this narration framed in the thoughts of an exceedingly dull person Fitzgerald creates characters and lays out scenes that are vivid and bright and engaging.
By coincidence or by luck, Jay Gatsby, the lavish millionaire who throws extravagant parties to celebrate his wealth, is the neighbor of Nick. The story intertwines with Nick’s cousin Daisy Buchanan who is Gatsby’s long lost first love and still the object of his desire, Daisy’s husband Tom Buchanan who is having an affair with Myrtle Wilson.
It’s a mild story and the gripping depends all on the reader mind. With insignificant complexity the plot is an impressive display of analysis through rhetoric.
There are some similarities between the author Fitzgerald and the character Gatsby. Both had the opportunities to attend world’s most prestigious universities, Princeton and Oxford, but failed to graduate either of them. Both also attended the army. These are some insignificant similarities, though.
But the analogousness between them is the love of their lives. Both of them fell in love being young and neither of them could provide what their ladies, Zelda and Daisy, wanted. Both of these ladies were highly interested in money, and terminated their relationships. In Gatsby’s case, Daisy promised to wait but instead dated many men and married Tom Buchanan. In Scott’s case, he was engaged to Zelda and he went to New York seeking fortune but his plans took longer than expected. Thus, Zelda broke their engagement. It was not until the first book which made him rich enough to marry Zelda.
Both Daisy and Zelda resemble each other. They both were unloyal to their respective lovers. Gatsby’s struggle to get back his love fully resembles the struggle Scott might have experienced.
But as story needs to have an ending, Fitzgerald wrote down one possibility of his own love life could have ended or in other words the ending.
I quite like the story and the way it is written. It is, no doubt, one of the American Classics.
4.5 out of 5 from me.