F. Scott Fitzgerald, known by some as author of fluffy magazine articles, has shocked us with the recent release of The Great Gatsby. Breaking from his reputation as a cliché reporter (his most recent work was on the latest women’s shoe style) Fitzgerald proves himself a true intellectual with this tremendous novel. Using eloquent prose and a style fresh to today’s literature scene, he captures the essence of modern culture.
The lavish parties in Gatsby are perfect illustrations of our social lives that have become overzealous and desperate in light of the controversial prohibition laws. Fitzgerald describes the “floating rounds of cocktails permeat[ing] the garden” and “amusement park” behavior of typical partygoers with unmatchable insight (40). The debonair host, Gatsby, is a man we have all met at some point—significantly wealthy and relentlessly mysterious.
Fitzgerald presents brilliantly complex characters whose contrasting life views represent the sentiments of today. Gatsby’s zealous romanticism is praiseworthy in the face of inevitable corruption. He willfully denies that the world is fragile and clings to his romantic aspirations. Fitzgerald counters this romanticism with characters Tom and Jordan—forceful, blunt characters whose realism starkly contrasts Daisy’s flippant responsiveness and Gatsby’s dreamy aura. The intricacy of these characters warrants significant attention to Fitzgerald’s recent accomplishment as a writer.
Offering further social commentary, Tom Buchanan blatantly and exaggeratingly points to a common undertone among today’s upper class when he says, “Civilization is going to pieces…it’s up to us, the dominant rac...
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... spirit and its resulting absurdity in a bizarre scene where Daisy whispers, “’I’d like to just get one of those pink clouds and put you in it and push you around’” (94). Through such scenes, the author shows us “a satisfactory hint of the unreality of reality, a promise that the rock of the world was founded securely on fairy’s wings”—a brilliantly paradoxical statement unique to Fitzgerald’s work (99).
With beautiful language unprecedented by any work up to date, Fitzgerald presents a work thematically and aesthetically profound. His characters are remarkably applicable to modern behavior as they express commonly felt sentiments. Critics are truly astounded at Fitzgerald’s poeticism and metaphorical writing style; we can hardly believe that Gatsby is a work by the disregarded magazine columnist. We hope to see more quality works from Fitzgerald.
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