Sunday, November 13, 2011

Outside Reading - The Great Gatsby

When choosing my outside reading book, it took me a long time to finally make a decision on what book to read. I finally chose The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby is an American classic and Fitzgerald's greatest novel. The novel takes place in New York in the 1920's. It starts off with the narrator, Nick Carraway, moving into the West Egg district of Long Island to learn about the bond business. His next door neighbor is a man named Jay Gatsby, who lives in a mansion and throws extravagant parties on Saturday evenings. Gatsby is extravagant man on the outside, but he is really nothing more than a man desperate for love. Despite Gatsby's classy lifestyle, he is unhappy because he is still in love with Daisy Buchanan. With Nick's help, Gatsby and Daisy meet again and rekindle their affair. Daisy's husband, Tom, is angry about Daisy's affair, even though he himself is also having an affair with George Wilson's wife, Myrtle. When Gatsby and Daisy are driving back to New York one day, Gatsby's car hits Myrtle. Even though it was really Daisy who was driving, Gatsby takes the blame. George Wilson hears that it was Gatsby that hit and killed his wife, Myrtle. So, he goes to Gatsby's house and shoots Gatsby in his pool and kills him. Nick Carraway sets up a funeral for his friend. After the funeral, Nick decides to leave West Egg, disgusted by the lifestyle.

In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald has a very unique writing style that is both complex and descriptive. Fitzgerald's purpose is to expose what he saw as the flaws of the so called, "American Dream." Even though he focuses on this purpose and the general plot throughout the novel, he leaves other hints of underlying problems. For example, nobody really knew for sure how Gatsby made all of his money. But, near the end of the novel, Tom Buchanan reveals something that me, as the reader, had already started to suspect; Gatsby's fortune was made through illegal gambling and bootlegging. Fitzgerald uses ethos to create unique personalities for all of the characters. Fitzgerald uses pathos to emotionally persuade the reader and keep them interested in the love and relationships. "He doesn’t know very much about Tom, though he says he’s read a Chicago paper for years just on the chance of catching a glimpse of Daisy’s name." (Pg. 152) Fitzgerald uses pathos throughout the novel. I felt like Fitzgerald didn't use logos to support his ideas and purpose. One characteristic of Fitzgerald that kept me interested in The Great Gatsby was his use of description. Fitzgerald was very descriptive and used lots of imagery. Overall, I really enjoyed The Great Gatsby and F. Scott Fitzgerald's writing style, and look forward to reading more of his work in the future. 

1 comment:

  1. I really like books set in the 1920s so I would definitely want to read this one. It sounds very interesting!