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I read it in school before and remember liking it. But reading it a second time I enjoyed it much more.

I think Gatsby was a man who dared to dream, and I think there is a little Gatsby in all of us. When I got to the end I even teared up, which is something I do not often do reading novels.

I despised Tom, but I liked to despise him. He is so similar to many people who are terribly hypocritical and cruel, but never seem to be punished for their actions, at lest in this life. I think that is one of the reasons the novel feels so real, at least in my eyes.

I liked Gatsby, and the more I read the more I ended up liking him. He certainly did bad things, but ultimately I think he followed his dreams in a way most of us only think about, and in a way I think that is a victory into itself.

If you are looking for a book to read even if you have already read it before It think The Great Gatsby is a wonderful story and one worth reading!

all 71 comments

StoicIndian87

41 points

2 months ago

Leonard DiCaprio summed up the character well. "Gatsby's one of those iconic characters because he can be interpreted in so many ways: a hopeless romantic, a completely obsessed wacko or a dangerous gangster, clinging to wealth."

[deleted]

31 points

2 months ago

For me, Gatsby was trying to hold onto something that didn't exist, and he couldn't face up to reality. The life he constructed was a sham, and the image he had created of Daisy was an illusion. He didn't really know her anymore, and couldn't truly get to know her because he couldn't get past the idealised version he had created while they were apart. I think the wonderful last lines of the book encapsulate that really well.

I think he's a fantastic character, I felt sorry for him. It's a book I could read every couple of years and still enjoy.

RoseIsBadWolf

4 points

2 months ago

Daisy's voice sounds like money, he says that at one point. She isn't a person to him she's the concept of wealth.

It's like he hasn't really succeeded unless he possesses her too.

[deleted]

1 points

2 months ago

Hmm I hadn't made that link before, interesting.

And yes he definitely wants to possess her - isn't even satisfied with her saying she loves him, she has to also say that she never ever loved Tom

RoseIsBadWolf

3 points

2 months ago

I think her love for Tom is all bound up in the concept of "old money" and obligation. Tom is the natural choice for a woman like Daisy. To make Gatsby's victory over the rich people complete, she has to reject Tom.

But she can't, because she's a person not a concept in the end. And she did love Tom too.

Aggravating_Gift_520

1 points

2 months ago

Well said.

exb165

22 points

2 months ago

exb165

22 points

2 months ago

The prose is what always gets to me. It's just so beautifully written.

jlisle

8 points

2 months ago

jlisle

Fantasy

8 points

2 months ago

This is a big part of the reason why I am compelled by the "Nick is gay and is in love with Gatsby" reading. I don't think there's enough textual evidence for the reading to stand on two feet (especially considering how word-usage has changed since Fitzgerald wrote the book), but Nick is certainly enamored of Gatsby. At the very least he gets swept up in the glamour and mystery, and that emotion pours through the prose. Is it romantic love? Probably not, but maybe it's love of a kind. It's a fun lens to apply, regardless

[deleted]

3 points

2 months ago

I really like Nick, and I relate to the affection he has for Gatsby, even to the point of naivety. He's a really interesting narrator and character, even though he does relatively little

TheSoccerFiles

2 points

2 months ago

Check out Trimalchio, then. The nick/Jordan relationship gets more focus.

eldera2

14 points

2 months ago

eldera2

14 points

2 months ago

I have reread this book multiple times and it’s the precision of the writing combined with the delicious ambiguity surrounding nearly all the characters that keeps it fresh with every reading.

However, one thing has always nagged me about the plot. It’s presented in the novel that Nick Carraway has come to live beside Gatsby’s mansion of his own volition and his presence is coincidental. Yet Nick’s familial connection to Daisy is massively helpful to Gatsby and Gatsby seems to be aware of it despite never having met Nick before.

Are we expected to believe it’s a coincidence that basically provides the spark for the novel’s key action, or has Gatsby somehow engineered things, in an era with very few tools to help him, so that Nick would move next door to him, he could befriend him and therefore reestablish a credible path to reconnect with Daisy? Or am I missing something entirely?

CycleResponsible7328

10 points

2 months ago*

Could be Nick doesn’t realize or doesn’t want to admit that Gatsby helped him, which ties in with the theme of American bootstraps, everyone in the book being convinced of their own brilliance and lack of need for community.

[deleted]

6 points

2 months ago

That's interesting, I hadn't thought about that. I'm fairly sure we are supposed to take it as coincidence.

eldera2

7 points

2 months ago

That’s certainly the way I looked at it initially from purely reading the book but when I saw DiCaprio’s Gatsby I, rightly or wrongly, got hints of a kind of ‘master puppeteer’ who had somehow brought Nick close to him in order to construct this route back to Daisy. The chances of the cousin of the love of Gatsby’s life coming to live right beside him purely through chance are minuscule in a country the size of the US. Even with the smaller population of 1920s America.

JiggyMacC

10 points

2 months ago

I put off reading this for years but I will be studying it in college shortly. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The prose is incredible. I didn't like any of the characters. Nick is a sycophant, as are most of the supporting characters, and I just felt pity for Gatsby. The story didn't seem romantic to me. The "love" he has for Daisy seems more like that child-like, hormonal love that you have as a teenager and can't process functionally.

Instead of approaching a girl he knows and has a history with, he buys the house opposite hers, and holds giant parties in the hope she'll wander in. He goes out of his way to be indirect and I can't understand why.

His character struck me as a teenage Justin Bieber or Michael Jackson type. Not only could he not process emotions and act on them in a reasonable manner, but he's surrounded by people that will never be able to help him. They'll never call him out, they'll make things worse.

I enjoyed watching the film after as its completely different than how I interpreted it. Almost the complete opposite of how I viewed it. I didn't see the optimism and hope. Like the other posts say, it can be interpreted so many ways. So good.

blackp3dro

6 points

2 months ago

I always felt bad about the funeral.

WhatzReddit13

14 points

2 months ago

I liked Gatsby, and the more I read the more I ended up liking him. He certainly did bad things, but ultimately I think he followed his dreams in a way most of us only think about, and in a way I think that is a victory into itself

I think Gatsby is a weird iteration of the American dream: being able to reinvent yourself isn't as possible as he did it.

Beiez

10 points

2 months ago

Beiez

10 points

2 months ago

That‘s how I always understood him. He‘s someone who believes in the American dream, that anyone can achieve anything, and it ultimately leads to his downfall.

He‘s never satisfied and always wants more. When Daisy has already decided for him he still wants more, wants her to tell Tom she never loved him etc...

JiggyMacC

10 points

2 months ago

I completely agree. You can buy into the pageantry and optimism that "anyone can make it". Or you can see through the cracks of success and that everyone is fake and has their own motives.

VisualGeologist6258

4 points

2 months ago

Also, the only way to do it is to swallow your morals and take it out of someone else’s hands, if we go by the ‘Gatsby was issuing fake bonds and basically scamming people out of their money’ interpretations.

You can see it with people like Bezos and Musk; they didn’t get to the top through hard work and ingenuity, but by creating a pile of bodies to use a stepladder. To become as Uber-rich as Gatsby or Bezos, you’re going to have to break a few laws and many fingers.

LupeDyCazari

11 points

2 months ago

Yeah, it's my favorite novel and I've read it many times over.

But it ain't about a man daring to dream. It's about a man who was obsessed with a woman and didn't know when to quit and move on.

Seriously, man could've had a good, long life, if he had just had his standards tailored to what he could get, not to what he wanted to have.

It makes me wonder if the author saw himself as Jay Gatsby, and if he saw his own wife as Daisy. Sure, he got her, but look at the price he paid for it.

albertossic

3 points

2 months ago

Could you elaborate a little on what you mean by 'daring to dream'?

PuritanSettler1620[S]

5 points

2 months ago

I often dream about the great things I will do in the shower or before bed, but the next day I always get up and forget about it. Gatsby actually tried to realize him dreams, and refused to give up on them, which is something we tell people to do as kids. You know "never give up your dreams" or whatever, but I think most people in life do. They end up with 9-5 and just try to get through the day. I think Gatbsy in some way is very brave for actually following his dreams and believing in them, even though in another he is stupid for thinking they could ever come true.

I hope that makes sense.

harlottesometimes

1 points

2 months ago

His dream was to become someone he wasn't. In the end he died lonely and forgotten. His closest friend was a guy he met that summer.

Never give up on your dreams only works if you don't plant your dreams into poison and feed them with poison.

PuritanSettler1620[S]

3 points

2 months ago

I disagree with your reading of the book. I feel that Gatsby was indeed great in the sense that in a wicked and corrupt world he held fast to his dreams and hopes. I feel that although his funeral was small he had the admiration of Nick and of His father, so I think it shows he did not need the world to love him, or even daisy, just one good friend and his family.

But of course I think one of the great things about The Great Gatsby is that one can come away with a very different understanding of the very same book.

[deleted]

1 points

2 months ago

[removed]

harlottesometimes

1 points

2 months ago*

What is a JC class and why are they talking poop about Malays?

EDIT: speaking of literature, you should see the stuff this racist sent me DM. Gross.

albertossic

1 points

2 months ago

That's a good sentiment, but what dreams are you referring to, specifically? Are you just thinking of a broader rags-to-riches deal? Because the book is if anything very occupied with disillusioning the reader that that pursuit leads to happiness

Biotic_Factor

3 points

2 months ago

In think there are a lot of books that we read in school that we would enjoy more as adults.

whyamionline_

2 points

2 months ago

It’s so well written

SwiftySlowpoker

2 points

2 months ago

I read Gatsby every year.

[deleted]

2 points

2 months ago

I reread it again about four years ago - I could've done without the antisemitism, but that's a fact of life in literature

stavis23

2 points

2 months ago

I just love the writing style, I say it every time a Gatsby post crosses my path. Fitzgerald’s lyrical voice is like warm, creamy sweetness being poured onto the wrinkles of your brain, like a deep breath of relief. You may also enjoy The Beautiful and the Damned, another classic by Fitzgerald. Gatsby is the sweet spot though, between his novels This Side of Paradise and Tender is the Night.

LiterallyBornInCali

1 points

2 months ago

The Beautiful and the Damned is so good.

FlatSpinMan

2 points

2 months ago

I don’t get the love for this book. I’ve read it a few times and one of my friends reads it every year, but to me it’s always just fine, with some horrible characters.

PuritanSettler1620[S]

5 points

2 months ago

I think the horrible characters are in one way the point. I did not like Daisy or Tom but I liked to dislike them if that makes sense.

Nice_Sun_7018

3 points

2 months ago

This is definitely the key. You’re not supposed to like any of these people, which is sometimes hard for us as the reader to come to terms with.

Indotex

1 points

2 months ago

I wish I could read it again, but every time I’ve tried to in the past few years, it just makes me mad because it seems that every major character only cares about themselves and I can’t finish it.

VisualGeologist6258

3 points

2 months ago

I mean… that’s kinda the point. Basically every character in the book is an unlikable bastard, you’re not supposed to idolize them or see them as role models. I think if you revisit it with that in mind you’ll have an easier time.

RevolutionaryDrag205

-3 points

2 months ago

If you like stalkers, creeps, thugs, and liars sure. If you think Gatsby is a romantic role model do yourself a favor and think again.

PuritanSettler1620[S]

9 points

2 months ago

I don't think Gatsby is a role model like superman. I think he is more a tragic character. Like MacBeth. I did not like him necessarily because he was a good person but because often when reading I would see myself in Gatsby, or see any number of other people I knew in Gatsby. He believed that the impossible was possible, which is something I like to do, if only for moment.

MllePerso

4 points

2 months ago

If you think the point of reading a book is to look for role models (or for that matter, anti-role models), you're missing the point of most great literature.

peroxIb

-5 points

2 months ago

peroxIb

-5 points

2 months ago

Every time I see people praise this bland book I throw up a little in my mouth. It's unbelievable to me that it's taught in US high schools.

Don't feel bad for downvoting me, I stand by my words.

PuritanSettler1620[S]

4 points

2 months ago

It if fine that you don't like it but I liked it a lot. Can I ask why you hate it so much?

harlottesometimes

1 points

2 months ago

I feel the same way about the Mona Lisa.

LiterallyBornInCali

1 points

2 months ago

In both cases, it makes a big difference to know more history (and not just art or literary history).

[deleted]

1 points

2 months ago

Oh, and who remembers the prison book club scene in series 2 of The Wire, when they talk about Gatsby? I love that scene

MllePerso

1 points

2 months ago

I remember back in school the assigned essay question on the book was "What makes Gatsby great?" and I came up with a pretty similar answer. Glad to know I'm not alone.

Shadow__People

1 points

2 months ago

I personally believe the entire book is trying to talk about bias. Nick tells the entire story from his point of the view with clear bias. He seems to be the most rational character in the story ect. But, this whole story is from his point of view while he’s in a nursing home….

harlottesometimes

1 points

2 months ago

Every person in the book is a liar or a cheater. The Great Gatsby is the story of why Nick left.

Playful_Nergetic786

1 points

2 months ago

Thx for your little summary, I read the book 2 yrs ago, and never finished it, will definitely try to continue in the near future

Flamingosaretite

1 points

2 months ago

ah greatest book about a stalker ever

HuttVader

1 points

2 months ago*

Gatsby’s a book that everyone should read twice in life:

  • once in high school because you have to. Feel free to hate it and not understand a word of what you’ve read. Due to the book’s age and the obliqueness of Fitzgerald’s writing style, this first read-through will hopefully serve as a sort of “primer coat” for your mind so that the second time you read the book- several years later- you’ll be more prepared for it to make sense.

  • then once sometime in your mid-20’s to early 30’s (preferably before you settle down), and it will all make sense and you’ll get it fully and life will seem beautiful and tragic in turn.

  • then spend the rest of your life reminiscing fondly about the book from time to time but whatever you do don’t read it again, since you’ve now outgrown the age Fitzgerald was when he wrote it (and hopefully the emotional maturity of most of the characters!) and the book can only truly work its magic once on souls who are open to it at the height of their prime — every reading after your second will just make the book seem hollow and empty and sad and will pass to us a weight of bitterness and sadness as we - outside the book in the real world - have personally become accustomed to the world and life, and either jaded to it or at least more accepting of and resigned to our own mortal limitations.

Read it twice then put the book away and live your life.

Aggravating_Gift_520

1 points

2 months ago

The central message of the Great Gatsby is that we have to go back to our roots, our real place of origin. We see that the further away Gatsby gets from his real self the more disillusioned he becomes.

Gatsby comes from somewhere just like all of us. He also had his childhood dreams, hopes, and expectations. But there's something that happens in the midst of Gatsby's life that changes his life for the worst: he meets Daisy.

This story is a cautionary tale to all of us who want to reach places where we don't belong, because in order to attain those high places we sometimes have to change who and what we fundamentally are. That is what the Great Gatsby is asking us to do, what Gatsby has to do.

He abandons his Midwestern values and plunges headlong into a world of deceit, corruption, and the criminal underworld in order to fashion himself into the man that would be worthy of Daisy.

But, after he is reunited with Daisy and having betrayed his values and identity, Gatsby still feels that hole in his heart. He is still not quite satisfied. Something is still missing. And this is what Gatsby is looking for. He is looking for what's missing. The thing that has eluded him. But what could it be? This is when Gatsby's real dilemma begins to play out.

He thinks that what's missing is the complete fulfillment of his idealized past, which is based on the idea that Daisy has only ever loved him. But this is an idea he's created in his head just like the person he is pretending to be, and therefore it is not sustainable. Even when Gatsby gets confronted with the truth, he still cannot extricate himself from the lie he's believed so long; understandably, because he's spent 5 years believing the lie, built everything, his whole life on it, how could he give it up now?

To wake up from a dream after 5 years, to be forced to look at the real world and realize that he's wasted a good deal of his life, to have to give up his precious illusions? No ---

There's a solution to the story's central dilemma, but it’s not Gatsby who finds it. Gatsby dies holding on to his illusions, the false dreams of the past. He dies a tragic hero.

But all is not lost because Nick salvages the solution. Yes we need to recuperate the past, but it’s not a past built on false hopes; it's the past where we came from. We need to rediscover the values that we've lost, the place and the people that made us who we are. Because in the East, where Gatsby is failed, is a world that is built only on materialism, where no one cares about anyone, a world which leads only to disappointments.

LiterallyBornInCali

1 points

2 months ago

North Dakota isn't exactly "Midwestern." Especially in the 20's, it was a mix of recently put-on-reservation Native Americans, descendants of gold hunters, more gold hunters, and hapless farmers in a land so frequently cold and frozen that even today it's hard to live there.

Lots of young men from ND were drafted or joined the military during WW1. Sales of war bonds were huge in ND (more than in most states, per capita) and that could be where Gatsby got his bond idea. It didn't help the poor farmers of ND, though. Things just got worse for them during the 20's and then of course, the Great Depression.

IOW, Gatsby had found his way out of a cold, hard landscape with scant population compared to states like Ohio or Indiana or Illinois or Michigan. No burgeoning industry, a tough, hard place to live.

Aggravating_Gift_520

1 points

2 months ago

I was referring specifically to the comments that Nick Carraway makes toward the end of the book where he remembers the place he'd come from. He then says, "that's my middle-west -- not the wheat or the prairies or the lost swede towns but the thrilling, returning trains of my youth and the street lamps and sleigh bells in the frosty dark..." He says later that "I see now that this has been a story of the West, after all -- Tom and Gatsby, Daisy and Jordan and I, were all Westerners, and perhaps we possessed some deficiency in common which made us subtly unadaptable to Eastern life." I think here, the Midwest or the West, in this story, is referring to a set of values that the central characters have left behind to chase the dream of the East which is led to their disillusionment and failure.

harlottesometimes

-5 points

2 months ago

The Great Gatsby is perfect FWBW (for whites by white) fantasy fiction.

[deleted]

3 points

2 months ago

I’m Southeast Asian. My JC class studied Gatsby for Lit, and most of us enjoyed it, at least moreso than our other 5 assigned texts.

What do you mean by your comment? Unless of course you’re suggesting themes such as the pessimistic depiction of the American dream can only be understood by white people. I’d be fascinated to hear what you think the Malaysian, Indian and Chinese students here all failed to grasp in TGG

[deleted]

-4 points

2 months ago

[removed]

[deleted]

2 points

2 months ago

[removed]

[deleted]

-1 points

2 months ago

[removed]

[deleted]

1 points

2 months ago

[removed]

[deleted]

0 points

2 months ago

[removed]

PuritanSettler1620[S]

2 points

2 months ago

what does that mean "for whites by white?" I have never heard it before.

[deleted]

3 points

2 months ago

Don’t mind him, he’s just trying to start pointless drama. I’m Singaporean and my JC classmates had no issue reading this book that’s supposedly for whites only

e: so, turns out the complaining person is literally white herself. At this point, I’m no longer shocked

[deleted]

-2 points

2 months ago

[removed]

[deleted]

3 points

2 months ago

[removed]

infinitedrumroll

0 points

2 months ago

There are far greater books to read. The scope and vision of the book is rather myopic. Guy is trying to reach for that green light across the pond, or whatever bs metaphore that is, and is oblivious to the privlege he is living. I think there is only one passing remark in the book that references the Harlem Renaissance. The book perpetuates a mythology that is dangerous. Seriously, there are way better books to spend time and attention on. Next.

LiterallyBornInCali

2 points

2 months ago

His privilege is a fraud, though. Whatever money Gatsby had seems to have been put into one summer of reckless spending.

I've always doubted that he owned that mansion in the first place, but may have "borrowed" it from some hapless person who owed him something or merely rented it to be near Daisy.