I want to learn all I can, live as wisely as I can, and savor every moment on the journey.
When I read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald a couple years ago, it instantly fell into my mental list of favorite classic novels.
I haven’t seen any of the movie versions yet, but I’ll admit I’m already prejudiced against them in favor of the book itself: while the story is powerful, what I loved most about the book was the writing style and language. The similes and metaphors, vivid descriptions, and music of the writing were breathtaking.
But I did love the story too. A few more specific thoughts (*possible spoiler alert*):
I loved that Nick, the narrator, was a secondary character to the story’s action. This not only allows for the beautiful description of things through his eyes, but it also helps focus the reader’s attention objectively on Gatsby and Daisy and makes the story’s ending more bearable.
Normally, I admit, I prefer rather simplistic and neat endings to stories (despite the fact that I like classic literature), but this is one realistic story ending that I did very much like; I found it both moving and closure-providing.
Some examples of the prose I so adored in the novel:
“The wind had blown off, leaving a loud, bright night, with wings beating in the trees and a persistent organ sound as the full bellows of the earth blew the frogs full of life.” (p. 20)
“He wouldn’t say another word. His correctness grew on him as we neared the city.” (p. 68)
“When the melody rose, her voice broke up sweetly, following it, in a way contralto voices have, and each change tipped out a little of her warm human magic upon the air.” (p. 108)
The last line of the book: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” (p. 180)