Well, I'm sure you will have to wait a long time for everybody's opinion. I have never read the book; however, some years ago I watched a BBC dramatisation of the thing, all I can remember from seeing it was - what a pile of heaving cow faeces.
The Great Gatsby is a perversion. The American Dream can be defined as many things, but I personally believe that it is defined on a personal level, it is finding happiness for you.
Is a classic that people should go back to and read as adults. So many people read it as high school students, don't like it and then don't go back to it. Fitzgerald challenges the idea of the American dream with this novel. The definition of the American dream has changed over time. Jthomp42 is right in that the dream is about finding happiness. That seems to be a constant through history. Gatsby was looking in the wrong place for his happiness. It really is worth the read. Maybe I will write hub on gatsby.
Jay Gatz was a poor nobody who didn't get the girl (Daisy) when he was younger. He remade himself into Jay Gatsby--shadily and even criminally--to "get" the girl. When he and Daisy finally reunite and have a "romance" (not really much of one, but ...), he shuts down his greatness (no more parties, no more extravagance) and tries to become his old Jay Gatz self again--but it's too late. Jay Gatz is somewhere back in Minnesota. Sure, he made a name for himself, but he burned the candle at both ends, flamed out, and ended up with less than what he started with.
I taught this book for a decade, and by the end of the book, my students didn't like or respect a SINGLE character in the book--which is fine. I don't believe Fitzgerald wanted us to like them or even to emulate them. Was Fitzgerald writing about "the American dream gone bad"? Perhaps. Gatsby's dreams glowed for a bit and winked out.
The modern parallels are astonishing. How many "celebrities" become rich, live to excess, flame out, and end up in rehab (Lindsay Lohan and many others)? How many current celebs are famous (or infamous) for simply being famous like the Kardashians or Paris Hilton? Why does society consider them "great"? What does it say about any society that elevates the rich and (in)famous to such high positions ... and why do we groundlings always cheer their inevitable falls?
My students agreed that Nick was by far the "worst" character in the novel. He said he was honest, and yet he didn't tell the whole truth. He kept secrets. His inaction led to a few deaths.
It is truly amazing that a novel this short (@ 50,000 words) can still echo and resonate today.
by Tyson Walker8 years ago
Okay, I don't care what background, what degree, or lack of anything you possess. I want to start a literary debate. And we will start easy, which Lost Generation writer was the best? Hemingway? Fitzgerald? Stein?...
by Jennifer Arnett4 years ago
What is the theme of The Great Gatsby?
by GiblinGirl5 years ago
What is one book you think everyone should read?
by Jennifer Arnett4 years ago
What is appealing about The Great Gatsby?Why do you like the story?
by A Ercoli7 years ago
What in your opinion would you consider the America dream?
by TheHoleStory4 years ago
Have you seen the movie the "Great Gatsby" yet?
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