Saturday, July 18, 2020

A Great Classic Not Meant for Me | Book Review: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Title: The Great Gatsby
Series: -
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Publisher: Roads Publishing
Genres: Classics, Fiction
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: October 6th 2017 (first published April 10th 1925)
Pages: 176

Synopsis (Goodreads): 


My rating: 3 / 5 ★

If I were to sum up about The Great Gatsby in simple words, I wouldn't say that it's a story about a great man named Gatsby—because it's not. I would say that it's about a lonely man, caught up in his past and unable to move on from the woman that he loved.

Prior to reading The Great Gatsby, I had no idea what the story is about at all. I was expecting it to be told in a third person point-of-view, or perhaps a first person point-of-view from Gatsby himself, but I was nowhere near close to it at all. Instead, it was told from the point-of-view of Nick Carraway, a man who didn't even know Gatsby when the story started. It was surprising, but also interesting.

The plot as a whole felt good to me, but the journey towards completing it felt choppy and rather distracting for me. Nick doesn't actually know Gatsby inside and out, and he was skeptic towards the latter at most times, so there were moments where I find myself reading about Nick's thoughts that I don't feel like it served any purpose to the story. There was a part where he actually listed all the people that attended one of Gatsby's parties, and I had question marks popping up inside my head through it all. I was already aware that a lot of people (some important, others not so much) attended the parties, what's the point of listing all the names when they won't actually bring any purpose?

I didn't actually end loving any of the characters, but if I were to choose, I'd say that Nick Carraway and Jordan Baker are characters that I'm okay with. I did think Nick seemed to be skeptic towards Gatsby at most times, and I agree with him about it because Gatsby did seem to be quite shady sometimes. Despite that, Nick was not judgmental and he stayed by Gatsby's side as a friend, until the very end. Unlike the others who were there only when Gatsby was at his peak and wanted a taste of his wealth and fame, Nick actually genuinely cared for Gatsby. I guess that's the reason the story was told by his perspective, and thus the book is titled that way. I had nothing much to say about Jordan Baker, but she seemed to be independent and able to carry herself on her own, so I quite liked her.

As for Jay Gatsby himself, I don't actually hate or dislike him. He seemed nice, but he's nicer to people when he has a purpose. I do think he's be the great Gatsby, if he was not so caught up with his past and could just move on from his first love, Daisy. To me, Gatsby is just a lonely man, trapped in his wealth, and obsessed over a married woman. He was nice to Nick and other people, but his obsession over Daisy just ruined him.

And now we have the Buchanans—Daisy Buchanan and her husband, Tom Buchanan. I think it's safe to say that I hate both of these people. I never liked Daisy from the start; her personality just seemed very off and fake, constantly being dramatic and appearing like a sweet helpless pretty young thing. Although her life didn't turn out the way she wanted, she clearly did lead a good life after marrying Tom, and it was unfair of her to "accept" Gatsby once again in her life, when in reality she doesn't have the guts to be truthful to her husband about what she wanted. I honestly hated Tom Buchanan with passion; he didn't have any redeeming qualities at all. All he turned out was being a lousy husband who cheated on Daisy, and then claimed that it was women who "run around too much these days" when he himself was having an affair. He was also racist, mentioning about white supremacy and how they should make sure that "the blacks know their places". He's simply a worthless man, but I guess Daisy and Tom deserved each other since both of them are cheaters anyway.

Although I only gave The Great Gatsby a three out of five stars, I do actually see how this story became a well-praised and loved classic. Fitzgerald's writing are praiseworthy indeed, and despite not being a long story, I believe there are many elements and issues that can be discussed through The Great Gatsby. I acknowledge its worth as a classic, but it's just not meant for me.


He smiled understandingly – much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced – or seemed to face – the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.

Till next time ♡ Love, Aishah Humaira'

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