Saturday, 23 April 2011

The Not-So-Great Gatsby

I think it's more of a personal preference which I attribute my dislike of this novel to. Fitzgerald isn't a bad writer, by any extent of the word, however, there are a few features which, personally, aren't very appealing. 

First, the positives. Fitzgerald is fantastic at crafting settings; in particular, his wasteland. The barren area between the Eggs and the city is rife with symbolism, character development and crucial plot-points. Of the entire novel, T. J. Eckleburg was by far the most intriguing - religious symbolism has always been a point of interest for me. 

Unfortunately, that was pretty much where the good points stopped for me. Mainly my problems were with characterisation. I didn't care much for Nick's narration. Though I realise it was a personal choice of Fitzgerald to make Nick more detached and uninvolved, even as a first-person narration, I can't help wishing he wasn't so lacking in depth. Gatsby himself, though lending his name to the novel's cover, seems far too ambiguous. His mysterious characterisation was extended so long that it lost almost any intrigue I had in the first place. 

Overall, I don't regret reading this book. It was interesting, and held enough symbolism to keep me marginally engaged, though I doubt I'd re-read it unless contractually obliged or threatened in some manner. 


  1. Thanks for the info, I have to read this book for English.

  2. I had to read it in 11th grade :/

  3. ugh this must be one book i never intend to ever read gain... as above.. had to read it at school..

  4. hah, yep, had to read it in school also.

  5. I read it for school as well. I'm surprised you didn't mention Daisy. I always hated her.

  6. "Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her;
    If you can bounce high, bounce for her too,
    Till she cry “Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover,
    I must have you!”

    I actually rather liked The Great Gatsby. Something romantic about the 1920s setting.

  7. I actually enjoyed the book. It was different from my typical high school books. I heard there is a movie in the making though!

  8. I have ever read it. And my favorite writer considers Fitzgerald his main influence...