Like most high school graduates, when I first read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece I was at an age where I could barely appreciate the novel. Even then, though, the book left a huge impression on me. The eloquence with which Fitzgerald crafted it drew me in unlike any other novel I had read, and despite the fact that the plot did little to hold my interest at that age. After revisiting the novel this past semester in my 20th Century Literature class my free time has once again fallen victim to the poetry of Fitzgerald’s prose.
I realize that I speak about the novel as if it is some object of literary perfection, however, as my professor pointed out this past semester, this is not entirely the case. In particular, Fitzgerald lacks subtly in his use of certain symbols, such as the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckelburg, which come off as a trite depiction of god’s gaze of judgement. Nonetheless, this novel is considered one of the greatest American novels of all time; and not simply because it tells an amazing story of the dangers that follow when a man becomes so utterly consumed in his dreams that reality could never possibly fulfill them. Rather, it is truly beloved because the words with which it is told are so meticulously arranged on the page that they rival those Joyce. Not convinced ? Well I’ll leave you with my favorite line from the novel…
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
Let me know what you guys think of the novel. Should I do a full review? Either way thanks for stopping by :)
So it goes.