Phew, I finally finished reading this a few days ago, only just got around to write a review now.
I had to read this book for school English class and while I owned a copy, I never would have been interested to pick it up if not for school. There are a few reasons for the relatively low rating, but before I launch into talking about the negative, there are actually quite a few postives about this book also.
The writing style of the author was elborate and full of vivid desciption. I enjoyed the writing and learnt a few things in improving my own writing after reading it. The vocabulary and writing style of Fitzgerald provided the reader a clear view/imagination of the events and scenes which had taken place in the book. It also described fully the characters and their relationships with each other. Fitzgerald wrote the story in first-person perspective of Nick Carraway, a friend of the central character Gatsby. He made Nick the narrator because Nick was suppose to not be judgemental, and very perceptive. As we read on, we do come to understand that even though it is impossible for a human to not be judgemental, Nick gave every single person he met a chance to prove themselves BEFORE he judged them. Usually, his judgements were quite right.
The whole story evolved around the Roaring Twenties when America was supposed to be this great country which everyone wanted to come. The American government pushed forward the idea of "The American Dream" in which everyone, no matter their race or class or background, could make their fortune by coming to America. This was in fact not the case, and the rigid class system was very hard to break. Whoever was the elite still had power in their hands.
A great deal of symbolism was used to convey certain ideas, the reader discovered many hidden meaning as we read and re-read certain sentences. Every word was picked with care and had a reason to be there. This is what I liked about The Great Gatsby.
But moving on, I didn't feel any connection whatsoever with the book, or any of the characters for that matter. It might have been because of the time difference and a completely different circumstance, but this greatly decreased my interest in the story. Also, I didn't like any of the characters, aside from me not being able to connect with any of them, or share any of their emotions, they seemed stiff and fake. All the characters were typical steroetypes and they were all so weird!! I couldn't undertand them at all. They seemed so silly to me most of the time. The characters were not likeable at all. And sadly, I did almost fall asleep while I was reading it. I had to literally force myself to sit down for an hour to finish reading the second half of the book (because I kept putting it down and really needed to get up to speed with the story for class work). The ending was soooo sad!!! I hate it by then, I absolutely hated all the pretentious characters. The only character whom I remotely liked was Nick because he was smart and observant, as well as kind.
After all, it was a relief to finish this book. Although it may have great literature significance, I don't want to read it again.
Synopsis from Goodreads
After the war, mysterious Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire pursues wealth,riches and the lady he lost to another man with stoic determination. When Gatsby finally does reunite with Daisy Buchanan, tragic events are sent in motion. Told through the eyes of his detached and omnipresent neighbour and friend, Nick Carraway, Fitzgerald's succinct and powerful prose hints at the destruction and tragedy that awaits.