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The Great Gatsby – An exemplary classic novel

The Great Gatsby is a remarkable classic novel written by an American writer, namely F. Scott Fitzgerald. The original novel was published in 1925 however, a lot of other writers have republished the book with few tweaks here and there. Even though the book is now counted among one of the best classics, it sold poorly when it was first published. Literary critics gave quite a mix response towards the point of view and plot of the book.

After the failure of the book, Scott died in 1940 with the ever-looming thought of failure and of being forgotten. However, no one can hide a good literary work. During World War II, the novel was re-examined and was added as the part of American high school curricula and A-Level curriculum in the UK. Thus, “The Great Gatsby is widely considered to be a literary masterwork and a contender for the title of the Great American Novel.”

The novel is set in Jazz age which was famous for its jazz music on Long island. As per critics, The Great Gatsby offers a critical outlook on the era which was not only famous jazz music but also rebellious youth, economic prosperity, libertine mores and flapper culture. All these societal areas are covered and very well defined by Fitzgerald in the novel.

One can find several similarities in the book The Great Gatsby and the events from Fitzgerald’s youth. The entire novel can be read from the view point of the narrator Nick Carraway. From the ups and down in his personal life to meeting the millionaire jay Gatsby and Gatsby’s long time longing for his first love Daisy Buchanan, everything is explained in a beautiful manner by the author.

Regarding the similarity between the book and Fitzgerald’s life events, one can see the similarities like Nick being a Yale alumnus where Fitzgerald is from Princeton and both had Ivy League education. At Princeton, Fitzgerald met a socialite and debutante Ginevra King, with whom he fell in love but was rejected because of his financial status. After the rejection, Fitzgerald joined the US Army where he met his second love Zelda Sayre.

Financial status became an issue again when Fitzgerald decided to marry Zelda Sayre. Fitzgerald started his search for success and in no time became a successful novelist and story writer. After this accomplishment, he married Zelda. Here, Fitzgerald and Gatsby are similar. Both are in the military far away from home, trying to prove themselves in order to be with their lovers.

Reviews Straight from 1925:-

“F. Scott Fitzgerald, who won premature fame in 1920 as the author of This Side of Paradise, a book that first turned into literary material the flapper of wealthy parents and of social position, whose principal lack was inhibitions, has in The Great Gatsby written a remarkable study of today. It is a novel not to be neglected by those who follow the trend of fiction.

The story is powerful as much for what is suggested as for what is told. It leaves the reader in a mood of chastened wonder, in which fact after fact, implication after implication is pondered over, weighed and measured. And when all are linked together, the weight of the story as a revelation of life and as a work of art becomes apparent. And it is very great. Mr. Fitzgerald has certainly arrived.”                   –Lillian C. Ford, The Los Angeles Times, 1925

“Gatsby’s magic emanates not only from its powerhouse poetic style – in which ordinary American language becomes unearthly – but from the authority with which it nails who we want to be as Americans. Not who we are; who we want to be. It’s that wanting that runs through every page of Gatsby, making it our Greatest American Novel. But it’s also our easiest Great American Novel to underrate: too short; too tempting to misread as just a love story gone wrong; too mired in the Roaring Twenties and all that jazz.” —Maureen Corrigan, (2014)

Browse The Great Gatsby Collection


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