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Reading the Classics #1 : The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

Rating: 4 out of 4 stars

Title: The Great Gatsby

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Published: 1925

I can’t believe it has taken me this long to read this book! I loved it! It wasn’t until I actually began reading the story that I realized I had no idea what this book was about. In the beginning I was skeptical about the storyline. Going into it blind left me reluctant to read the story, but I didn’t want to read a summary and have the story ruined for me. I began the book yesterday and was unable to put it down. I read at every chance I got and was not disappointed.

Although the story only highlighted the rich, I think it was very telling on what America was like in the 1920’s. One of the biggest things that first jumped out at me was race relations. There is a discussion of white supremacy and at one point how shocked they were to see a white chauffer with black passengers. The 1920’s was before any form of civil rights, so it would have been unusual and shocking to see such a thing. There were numerous articles published, of course with no scientific standing, about white supremacy. While not a focus of the story, it added an interesting element.

Sexism was also very prevalent throughout the story. Infidelity was at the center of this story. It did not only touch the lives of the main characters, but those of others. Women were seen as lesser and more like “arm candy”. There wasn’t much respect for them and it was frowned upon for them to be anything lesser than a proper lady. The status of women was summed up by Daisy. She told Nick that when she found out that she gave birth to a girl she said “All right,’…I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool”. It is sad that women had to live this way based off of their looks and maintaining ignorance of the world. As with civil rights, the rights of women had yet to be fully examined and fought for during the story.

Lastly, status was very important to America during that time. Marriages weren’t considered if the person was seen as below you. Gatsby himself had to fight for his wealth and in the end it all meant nothing. I think this is still very much a reality in our world today. It is about what you are wearing, doing and how much money you have. As seen with Gatsby, money is not everything.

If you have not read this, even though I feel I may be the only one in the world who had not read it, I would suggest you do so. It is a great read and eloquently written.

What are your thoughts on the story?

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