“There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.”
Upon our first class discussion regarding Fitzgerald’s novel ‘The Great Gatsby’, I put forward my opinion that it was quite slow paced and boring to read. However, after studying this text, my view has completely changed as I realised that when reading this for the first time, I hadn’t considered a deeper meaning underlying the main plot line. The novel is set in 1920’s America and much like other American literary works, such as Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’, it revolves around the prominent theme of pursuing the American Dream. Gatsby’s dream of attaining Daisy is symbolised through the ‘green light’ which is referenced multiple times throughout the novel, it is used as a very distinct form of foreshadowing towards the end of the book as the light is seen to turn out. This shows the lack of hope as Gatsby’s dream fails and could be Fitzgerald’s criticism of the faults of the American Dream as a concept. The character of Daisy is presented throughout as being rather naive and childish, despite supposedly being a mother to her child Pammy. It particularly interested me that Pammy’s name is mentioned only once in the entire novel, perhaps this shows the lack of relationship between Daisy and her daughter, and so therefore again reinforcing the idea that Daisy and Tom only care about their image, and having a daughter makes them this ‘ideal’ family, however we, as readers, can infer that they are far from this. Furthermore, Daisy’s friend, the famous Jordan Baker, is used by Fitzgerald in order to represent the ‘flapper girls’ of the 1920’s, of which introduce new looks and ideas for women. Ironically, in Jordan’s attempts to be the ‘new woman’ and to stand out from the crowd, she instead perfectly fits the stereotype of a flapper girl, proving her attempts to be somewhat unsuccessful. Each of the characters and settings within ‘The Great Gatsby’ is uniquely interesting when considered in further depth and so I would personally recommend this novel as one to add to the bucket reading list.