Date: November 16, 2018
Book Report 2
The Great Gatsby
The Reason Why Gatsby is Great
The story of Gatsby took place in America in the 1920s, which is a brief and special period called the Jazz Age in the American past. It seems to be an elegiac personal love story, but actually a narrative of America's grand history. Gatsby is great due to his purity and romance, especially in contrast to the selfish and dirty crowd.
Gatsby is sincere and romantic. At that time, poor boys can’t marry rich girls. Despite his strong love for Daisy, he still can’t marry her for lack of money and status. In that money-oriented age, love is usually established on wealth and power. However, Gatsby maintains his pure love to Daisy even after he becomes super rich. Though he is not interested in all the fun and noise at all, he still tries to build a golden palace with lively parties for Daisy. Moreover, he lives opposite to Daisy’s house to get closer to her. Every time he misses her, he overlooks a green light to relieve the loneliness as said by himself, “If it wasn't for the mist we could see your home across the bay...You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock.”1
When Daisy first appears in this work, her beauty attracts all the readers just as it appeals to Nick. There is evidence of this: “Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it, bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth--but there was an excitement in her voice.”2 Apart from her charming appearance, Daisy also looks delicate to arouse others’ sympathy. When it comes to her expectation to her child, she once said, “All right...I'm glad it's a girl. And I hope she'll be a fool -- a beautiful little fool.”3 Both in reality and the novel, readers cannot help loving such a lovely and innocent woman.
However, Daisy is not as innocent as she appears to be. As the story progresses, readers gradually know about the complex or even dark side of her life. Due to her insincere nature, she worships status and money more than love. To protect herself, she always chooses the right way and avoids being trapped in trouble, just as mentioned in the book: “They (Tom and Daisy) smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money of their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”4
In that historical environment, many young people are obsessed with the wealth and status just as they are fond of Daisy's appearance. They want to seize the opportunity and get a better life as described in the book: “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired.”5 Then they become indifferent and hypocritical towards other things. But Gatsby chooses to hold a passionate attitude towards life, even with childishness. He plays jokes on Nick the first time they meet: “ ‘This man Gatsby sent over his chauffeur with an invitation.’ For a moment he looked at me...