Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Megan Rambles About The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
From Goodreads: ...It's also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby's quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying, but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means--and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. "Her voice is full of money," Gatsby says admiringly, in one of the novel's more famous descriptions. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy's patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties, and waits for her to appear. When she does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout. Spare, elegantly plotted, and written in crystalline prose, The Great Gatsby is as perfectly satisfying as the best kind of poem.

First of all, I would just like to tell everyone how sorry I am that I've been kind of absent from blogging lately. The spring is kind of crazy for me because I play two sports, running track at school and playing soccer on a club team, plus I still have a ton of homework to do. Basically I haven't had the energy to do anything else besides eat, sleep, and occasionally do homework. I'm going to try to make more time to get involved again and hopefully once summer finally gets here I'll do nothing but read and write blog posts. :) So anyway, on to the review.

A while ago I found some old books that used to belong to my mom in her parents' house. Among them was her copy of The Great Gatsby and with the movie coming out, I decided that I needed to finish it before I saw the movie in order to be able to decide how accurate it was. 

First of all, I love Gatsby. Even though like the rest of the characters he had moments where I just wanted to shake him, for the majority of the time I just felt for him. I mean, the poor guy has spent the last five years looking for Daisy because he can't get over how in love with her he is. Plus, I really just want to go to one of his parties. Partying with Jay Gatsby sounds totally awesome. 

As far as the rest of the characters go, I absolutely hated Tom Buchanan. He came across as a rich snob who was completely obsessed with himself and being in control. This was probably the intention behind the way F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote his character, but he still bothered me more than the others. His wife Daisy was irritating most of the time, but I still felt bad for her a few times. She seemed to be constantly smothered by her husband. The rest of the characters I was a bit indifferent towards. Nick didn't have much of a personality himself because he was narrating everyone else's lives, but it was pretty funny how he was the perpetual third wheel. Overall though, the characters all served their purpose in the story well and there was good development throughout the story too.

The descriptions in this book, while sometimes a bit difficult to follow, were beautifully written and created a clear picture of the setting in my mind. The symbolism was also a definite strong point with the green light and the eyes on the billboard. The Great Gatsby was another classic book that I really liked and I would definitely recommend it, especially if you love the 1920's. 

Finally, a quick word about the movie. On Friday, Rachel and I went to see it with a group of our friends. There were about nine of us taking up an entire corner of the theater and fangirling the entire time. The movie was really accurate to the book and all of the famous quotes were left in there. They were also able to make some creative decisions like inserting a few one liners that actually gave Nick some personality or using modern music that made the movie interesting. I loved getting to see all of the settings brought to life and in some cases it actually cleared up the descriptions in the book for me. While there were a few minor things that I didn't like, I thought the movie was really good for the most part and I would definitely call it a success. 

As for whether or not Leonardo DiCaprio made a good Gatsby, my friends and I all agreed that he made a GREAT Gatsby. :P Plus, Rachel actually said she liked him in a movie, so he must have done something right! If you liked the book, I'd definitely recommend seeing the movie. It definitely did the book justice. 

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