The Great Gatsbyby F. Scott Fitzgerald Published 01 Sep 2004
|The Great Gatsby.pdf|
Download The Great Gatsby (2014) PDF ePub eBook
- 1. Register a free 1 month Trial Account.
- 2. Download as many books as you like.
- 3. Cancel the membership at any time if not satisfied.
Alternate Cover Edition ISBN: 0743273567 (ISBN13: 9780743273565)
THE GREAT GATSBY, F. Scott Fitzgerald's third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story is of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his new love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted "gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession," it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.
The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature.
"The Great Gatsby" Reviews
The eh Gatsby
Classic. Yes. THE great American novel. Hmph, so I heard. I suppose it should make one more interested, or at least feel more compelled to read something (or re-read as is the case here) when it has "classic" and "everyone else loves it!" stamped all over it. And has a movie made out of it, though what beloved novel hasn't these days? Of course, I originally read FSF's Gatsby because I was expected to for a high school English class. So, even though I was never the type to do homework, I read The Great Gatsby because it had a neat cover, Fitzgerald is fun to say, and, of course, the legend of Zelda.
Unfortunately for Meredyth, my thoughts on Gatsby 10 years ago are pretty similar to the thoughts I have on it today: How pretty. Pretty decedant. How drippy. How zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
It's not that I was completely uninterested. It's that my interest was never piqued to the point of really giving a shit. Sure, who doesn't love a hot mysteriously wealthy man with serious heart ache for a serious material girl? What about those rich dudes who may be crooks but no one can figger out how crooked they are exactly because how crooked can you be if you throw such mean hoedowns?!
Oh, and I love a good morally ambiguous-protaganist/narrator-who-hates-parties-and-society-but-just-can't-seem-to-stay-away as much as the next person, but Nick, our hero, just wants to be liked so very much, and unfortunately, he reads like a sap. And when all the other characters are unforgivable bores, I would prefer that my ambiguous, socially mandated narrator manage to keep me awake.
What about those three stars? You ask. Well I can't lie. I do think Fitz had a way with words. I did find that those subtle nuances of the variations in lifestyle during the depression to be very much in effect, and I would be happy to visit any fictional small town called West Egg. Or East Egg for that matter. And I get the kind of crazy he was going for in his more psychopathic character, George Wilson, who, because he was in love, becomes the bastiOn of normalcy even when he is driven to murder and his own suicide.
FSF did manage to be believably compassionate towards his seemingly less insane characters, (who are all on the brink of insanity) (but still made me drowsy). There is definitely a part of me that sees how one could be drawn into the twinkly lit world FSF created, supposedly, out of his own reality, and I have noted his passion for the beauty of the unfolding story, such as it is.
But I was disappointed 10 years ago by the story's inability to convince me it wasn't nap time, its unwillingness to point out the the relevance of the individual over society, and the irrelevance of the world Gatsby inhabits, and I was disappointed again this past week.
In summation, be sure to keep an eye out for this writer. Once he writes something more appealing to the masses he's sure to bust out onto the scene soon. You heard it here first.
The True Value of Monopoly Money
Capitalism tends towards monopoly.
No capitalist welcomes a competitor or rival. Having attained wealth, the desire is to retain it, not to concede it; to increase it, not to share it.
A competitor is perceived as a threat, and will be treated like a virus invading an otherwise healthy, but vulnerable, body.
The Great American Dream
"The Great Gatsby" is often described as a paean to the Great American Dream.
This Dream supposedly sustains the average American. It offers the opportunity to achieve success, prosperity and happiness, regardless of class, status, background or wealth.
It contains a promise of upward social mobility, a reward that will be ours if we work hard enough.
We all have an equal opportunity to transcend our current circumstances.
Implicitly, if we fail to transcend, we have only ourselves to blame. We didn't take sufficient advantage of our opportunity. Everybody is responsible for their own failure.
The Great American Dream isn't far from the Objectivist Philosophy of Ayn Rand.
Stars and stripes and silhouettes and shadows.
Most readers think of Jay Gatsby as someone who took advantage of his opportunity, and made it.
In that sense, he's the epitome of the Great American Dream.
He has amassed enormous business wealth. He owns a colossal mansion on West Egg, Long Island. Every week, he holds a lavish party attended by all and sundry. The parties are the ultimate in Jazz Age glamour.
Gatsby has achieved everything material an American could want. He has realised the Long Island real estate mantra, "Vocation, Location, Ovation".
The Green Light
So what's Gatsby's problem?
Every night, Gatsby looks across the sound to a green light on a porch, where Daisy lives in her more prestigious East Egg mansion with her husband, Tom Buchanan.
Daisy is the one thing for which Gatsby yearns. She is the one thing he has sought after since he met and fell in love with her five years earlier at age 25.
"The Great Gatsby" revers that small green light. What we never see is what Gatsby's mansion looked like from Daisy's perspective at home. We aren't expressly offered a vision of Gatsby's fully-lit mansion as a counterpoint to Tom's, but that is what it is.
The point is Gatsby's achievement of the Great American Dream was not the end, as it is with most Americans, it was the means to an end, and that end was winning the hand in marriage of Daisy.
The most important thing about Gatsby's mansion, from Gatsby's point of view, is what it would look like to one woman across the sound.
Love's Labours Retrieved
Gatsby has already lost Daisy once, in 1917, when as a destitute young officer during the war, he was unable to marry her, because he could not offer her a financial security that was acceptable to her wealthy mid-west family.
Since then, he has acquired wealth, by whatever means necessary, to win her away from Tom and marry her.
The wealth was nothing to him, the parties were grotesque bonfires of vanity, designed with one thing in mind: to attract Daisy's attention and bring her, curious, within his reach.
Then, having got her within his sphere of influence, he could win her back.
"The Great Gatsby" is really about the love a man had for a woman, how he lost it and what he did to regain it.
At one point, Gatsby talks about repeating the past. I don't see him as repeating it, so much as regaining it, making up for lost time, retrieving what he felt should have been his.
"The Great Gatsby" is not so much about repetition, as it is about retrieval; not so much a remembrance of things past, as a resumption of a journey from a point in the past when the journey was broken.
Carey Mulligan as Daisy (Courtesy: The Telegraph)
The Pursuit of Another Man's Wife
At its heart, Gatsby engages in adultery with Daisy, with a view to convincing her to divorce Tom and marry him.
Many might find his conduct objectionable, except that he is young, elegant, good-looking, fabulously wealthy and, most importantly, in love with the slender Daisy.
In contrast, Tom is a brute of a man, he is an ex-champion footballer, hard and cruel. Most importantly, he has cheated on Daisy many times and now has a mistress, the stout, but sensuous, Myrtle Wilson.
Tom comes from an extremely wealthy mid-western family. Money is no object to him. Daisy might have the voice of money, but Tom has the demeanour and arrogance of not just money, but old money.
When Tom learns of Daisy's infidelity and Gatsby's takeover bid, he goes into typical capitalist mode in order to defend his wife, his asset, his marital property.
He researches Gatsby's past and theorises about how he has made his new money. He plans his counter-attack.
The narrator, Nick Carraway, watches on, not just witness to a battle between Good and Evil, but in reality a battle between two degrees of bad.
Black and white portrait of Isla Fisher as Myrtle Wilson
Tom's Defence Strategy
In the realm of love, as between two rival men, there can be no such thing as a friendly takeover bid.
There is no suggestion that Tom can allow Gatsby to have Daisy, so that he can settle for Myrtle. The latter is just a plaything, something he spends time on, because she is available and he can have her without effort.
All Myrtle ever wanted from her own husband was a gentleman with breeding. He turns out to be a mere mechanic and car salesman. He doesn't have the right status. Equally, although he is content to have her as his mistress, Tom doesn't see Myrtle as having the right status for marriage either.
Ultimately, the role of marriage is not to perpetuate love and happiness. Tom's task is to bond together two wealthy establishment families and their riches. A merger of two capitalist families moves them that much closer to monopolistic power, in the same way that the intermarriage of royal families once cemented international power.
Tom's goal is so important that it can accommodate his cruelty and infidelities, at least in his eyes.
Moreover, it allows Tom to prevail over Gatsby, who, despite his war record, his partly-completed Oxford education, his wealth, his glamour, and his apparent achievement of the Great American Dream, is not "one of us".
Ultimately, coincidence, accident and fate intervene on behalf of Tom, almost comically if it was not so sad, and he resists Gatsby's takeover bid.
Nick, the observer, the witness, the audience of this tragedy, is left disgusted.
Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker
The Great American Paradox
"The Great Gatsby" is a short novel. At times, there is more telling than showing. At times, the description is too adjectival or adverbial for the dictates of current style manuals.
Take away the mansion, the parties and the glamour, and what remains comes close to the dimensions of film noir like "Double Indemnity".
While the novel is perceived as hailing the Great American Dream, the paradox is that it highlights how great are the forces that are lined up to resist the efforts of a man who aspires to the Dream, especially if that man is a trespasser who covets another man's wife, even if he loves her and she loves him.
There are flaws in Fitzgerald's writing, but they are tolerable. The story is magificent, even if, when laid out methodically, it might appear cliched. The characters, while realistic, are detailed and larger than life, certainly detailed enough to withstand the scrutiny when they are projected onto the silver screen. They are portrayed acting out their emotions in exactly the same way that we might in the same circumstances.
However, in the long run, what makes "The Great Gatsby" great is Fitzgerald's ability to both adulate and perpetuate the Great American Dream, while simultaneously subverting it.
I just spent three days being read to by Jake Gyllenhaal and it was absolutely wonderful! I took Jake with me for long Summer walks, to the grocery store, Trader Joe's, and let me not forget the ten minutes I spent driving around the parking lot of Target, not for a better parking space, but to listen to Jake read "The Great Gatsby" to me! My only regret is that this fabulous experience is over. Sigh...
I've read the book and watched both versions of the movie but this is by far my favorite experience with this novel!
Highly highly recommended!
The Great Gatsby is your neighbor you're best friends with until you find out he's a drug dealer. It charms you with some of the most elegant English prose ever published, making it difficult to discuss the novel without the urge to stammer awestruck about its beauty. It would be evidence enough to argue that F. Scott Fitzgerald was superhuman, if it wasn't for the fact that we know he also wrote This Side of Paradise.
But despite its magic, the rhetoric is just that, and it is a cruel facade. Behind the stunning glitter lies a story with all the discontent and intensity of the early Metallica albums. At its heart, The Great Gatsby throws the very nature of our desires into a harsh, shocking light. There may never be a character who so epitomizes tragically misplaced devotion as Jay Gatsby, and Daisy, his devotee, plays her part with perfect, innocent malevolence. Gatsby's competition, Tom Buchanan, stands aside watching, taunting and provoking with piercing vocal jabs and the constant boast of his enviable physique. The three jostle for position in an epic love triangle that lays waste to countless innocent victims, as well as both Eggs of Long Island. Every jab, hook, and uppercut is relayed by the instantly likable narrator Nick Carraway, seemingly the only voice of reason amongst all the chaos. But when those boats are finally borne back ceaselessly by the current, no one is left afloat. It is an ethical massacre, and Fitzgerald spares no lives; there is perhaps not a single character of any significance worthy even of a Sportsmanship Award from the Boys and Girls Club.
In a word, The Great Gatsby is about deception; Fitzgerald tints our glasses rosy with gorgeous prose and a narrator you want so much to trust, but leaves the lenses just translucent enough for us to see that Gatsby is getting the same treatment. And if Gatsby represents the truth of the American Dream, it means trouble for us all. Consider it the most pleasant insult you'll ever receive.
Most Americans are assigned to read this novel in high school. Few American high schoolers have the wherewithal to appreciate this novel in full. I certainly did not. It is on a shortlist of novels that should, every 5 years starting at age 25, return to any American's required reading list.
First things first: The opening of The Great Gatsby -- its first 3-4 pages -- ranks among the best of any novel in the English language, and so too does its ending. Both for their content and for their prose, the latter of which is stunning and near perfect throughout the novel.
As for that between the novel's opening and conclusion, two things first. (1) History is fairly clear that the term "the American Dream" did not exist at the time Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby, and regardless it almost certainly did not exist in the popular consciousness. (2) Few great American novelists after Fitzgerald have not attempted to write "the great American novel". Most of these efforts are absurdly long and often tortured. The Great Gatsby, on the other hand, is relatively short, fluid, and of seemingly effortless yet pristine expression. At a point in history where Fitzgerald's express focus could hardly have been a tale regarding "the American dream" per se or the writing of "the great American novel", Fitzgerald nevertheless crafts the definitive tale of "the American Dream", as well as, his successors' endeavors aside, "the great American novel". Period.
In not so many pages, Fitzgerald paints a brilliantly cogent picture of the potential pleasures, joys, and benefits an individual might deem achievable -- uniquely so -- in an America filled with possibilities. Paired with that picture, Fitzgerald besprinkles The Great Gatsby with the numerous pitfalls and evils that both stand as a barrier to what's imagined achievable in America, and threaten to accompany that which is achieved. Neither the quest for, nor (if possible) the achievement of, the American Dream is a thing untainted. Nor, in Fitzgerald's view, can it be.
Fitzgerald, frankly, writes all that need be written on this subject; whatever his successors' ambitions may be. And he writes it in prose so perfect, so impressive, and so beautiful, I occasionally find myself at a loss to name a novel in the English language constructed with greater skill, and apparent ease thereof.
In short: The Great Gatsby is an inimitable wonder of American fiction. And, for lack of a better word, an "application" of the English language that has few equals. The novel is astounding.
ترتبط هذه الرواية في ذهني بذكريات جميلة ودافئة
فلقد درستها في عامي الأول في الكلية
وكنت أقرؤها بلذة خالصة لن يعرفها من يقوم بقرائتها مترجمة
لا أجد رواية تقوم بتجسيد الحلم الأمريكي كهذه الرواية
وعليك أن تقارن فكرة الحلم الأمريكي في بدايتها بفكرة الحلم الإنساني ككل
هذا الشبق العظيم للوصول إلى القمة
الحصول على كل شيء
فكرة الحلم الأمريكي ترجع جذورها إلى البدايات
لحظة توقيع إعلان الاستقلال
والذي يجعل الرجال جميعهم متساوين في الحقوق
حيث خلقوا جميعاً من ربّ واحد بحقوق مستحقة
لاحظ هنا أن توماس جيفريسون ذكر
All men are created equal
وإن كانت لفظة men
تعني الإنسان في وقت ما إنما استخدام اللفظة عامة جعلها تحتكر الحرية على الذكور
فمازالت المرأة وقتها تعامل على أنها مواطن من الدرجة الثانية
وربما إلى الآن
يرسم فيتزجيرالد أبطاله بعناية
يدقق في تفاصيلاتهم الخاصة
يأخذك في دواخلهم ويداعب ملامحهم بلغته الماكرة الممتعة
بأكثر من مجرّد تفهم
وكانت واحدة من تلك الابتسامات النادرة التي تحمل صبغة طمأنينة أبدية فيها
والتي قد تأتي عبر أربع أو خمس مرات في الحياة
أو بدى أنها واجهت
العالم بأكمله في لحظة
ومن ثم ركزت على روحك بمحاباة لا تقاوم في صالحك
لقد تفهّمتكْ قدر ما تريد أنت أن تكون مفهوماً
آمنت بك بالقدر الذي تريد أنت به الإيمان بذاتك
و طمأنتك بأنها تأخذ نفس الانطباع الذي قد تودّ إعطاءه عن نفسك في أقصى طموحاتك
كانت طريقة الكاتب في الوصف هي الآسرة هُنا
فالقصّة ذاتها إن تجرّدت من سردها القيّم ستبقى عادية جداً
وتافهة لدى البعض
رجل فقير يحاول قدر ما يحاول إثراء ذاته للوصول إلى قلب المرأة التي أحبها
والتي تتصف بانتهازية ووقاحة وأنانية تجعلك تود سحقها احياناً
القصة لن تتفهمها جيداً إلا إذا كنت مهتماً ببدايات الحلم الأمريكي
وبدراسة تلك الفترة من عمر أمريكا القصير
فالرواية تدور في عصر الجاز
وتلقي الضوء على أوقات قريبة من بداية الكساد الكبير
و في وقت كان الإتجار بالخمور ممنوعاً
والذي انتشر فيه بيع وشراء الخمر بنهم كبير في السوق السوداء
تنقل الرواية المشاعر الإنسانية في أوجها
تجدها متجسدة في الحروف تكاد تنطق
بطريقة شديدة الخصوصية وبمهارة أدبية عظيمة
القصة أكثر من مجرد شباب وفتيات يعيشون المتعة واللهو
فهي تصور حيرة جيل مجنون بأكمله
يعاني الاغتراب والملل والجهل
يحاول الوصول إلى فكرة مستحيلة
إلى ثراء ومجد وحرية
حتى يتساقطوا واحداً تلو الآخر من التعب وخيبة الأمل
فكل واحد فيهم أراه قد مات في نهاية الرواية بطريقة أو بأخرى
بحيث لم يبقى ممن قد بقى سوى أشباح لم تعد قادرة حتى على التفاهات اليومية التي يغرقون أنفسهم بها
هناك أكثر من فيلم شاهدته عن الرواية
ولم يعجبني أي منهم
ولكنني أنتظر الفيلم الجديد
وأشعر أنه سيكون مختلفاً
متعة الرواية تقل كثيراً في الترجمة
فالرواية الأمريكية تحتاج لقراءتها كما كتبت وبنفس الروح
و لقد تمتعت بدراستها ،وحصلت على تقدير جيد جدا سنتها
ولذا تبقى في ذهني مرتبطة ببعض قطرات من سعادة
وبأوقات حلوة لا تُنسى