Not entirely a personal response

Alschain
虽然是作业但...写了就存个档吧.
废话很多, 和读后感的要求有点跑偏了



One of the most influential novels in the 20th century, The Great Gatsby, was written by Francis Scott Fitzgerald in the 1920s. The narrator is a young man, Nick Carraway, who moves to New York, looking for opportunities. Nick establishes a friendship with the millionaire Jay Gatsby who lives next door and discovers his obsession towards Nick’s cousin Daisy whom Gatsby knew and fell in love with long ago. Despite the fact that Daisy is already married to another man, Tom Buchanan, the reunion of the two begins their affair. Gatsby’s love for Daisy is mad enough to make him take the blame when she accidentally hits and kills Tom’s mistress, which gets him nothing but a bullet to death by the woman’s husband.
I was fascinated by the man who the book title is about, the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby. On one hand I give him my greatest admiration, just like how Nick does, for how he believed i...
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虽然是作业但...写了就存个档吧.
废话很多, 和读后感的要求有点跑偏了



One of the most influential novels in the 20th century, The Great Gatsby, was written by Francis Scott Fitzgerald in the 1920s. The narrator is a young man, Nick Carraway, who moves to New York, looking for opportunities. Nick establishes a friendship with the millionaire Jay Gatsby who lives next door and discovers his obsession towards Nick’s cousin Daisy whom Gatsby knew and fell in love with long ago. Despite the fact that Daisy is already married to another man, Tom Buchanan, the reunion of the two begins their affair. Gatsby’s love for Daisy is mad enough to make him take the blame when she accidentally hits and kills Tom’s mistress, which gets him nothing but a bullet to death by the woman’s husband.
I was fascinated by the man who the book title is about, the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby. On one hand I give him my greatest admiration, just like how Nick does, for how he believed in himself, determined that he was meant for higher aims, so he worked his way up. Once he had achieved his goals, Gatsby still kept all his manners and standards which differed himself from extravagant people like Daisy, Tom and even Jordan. On the other I feel pity for the man, because what makes him extraordinary is exactly what makes him tragic. ‘Jay Gatsby’ is a perfection "built" by the son of a poor farmer James Gatz at that time, a perfect image with all the features a noble, upper class man was expected to have. I have no doubt in his ability for great achievements, since he was already setting himself a discipline schedule when he was only a kid, Gatsby’s father described to Nick before his funeral: “He knew he had a big future in front of him…Jimmy was bound to get ahead.” It is not hard to understand because I would be proud if I had a child who was making a name for himself out in the world, the same way old man Gatz felt for his son. Daisy was however unexpected when Gatsby was living the life he planned for himself. In his eyes, Daisy is the personification of everything thing he ever wanted – a rich and full life where none of the miseries and struggles of the poor exist. His life goal use to be drifting in distance, but with Daisy coming into his life, instead of becoming the dream Gatsby chose to chase the one right next to him. From my point of view this is where he has gone off track, Gatsby as a penniless young man gave up his potentials and the glorious path he might walk on. In the long five years Gatsby lost Daisy because he wasn’t a match for her, so he got a good reason for illegally smuggling wine to have quick access to money and fulfill his only quest, winning Daisy back. Nick explained the little reunion afternoon tea of Gatsby and Daisy’s: “there must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbles short of his dreams – not through her own fault, but because the colossal vitality of his illusion. It has gone beyond her, beyond everything.” Gatsby kept perfecting Daisy, shaping his memories because he has nothing else to turn to, and wanted to be persuaded that what he has done was worth it. The author would like us to understand that there is a reason that Gatsby is obsessed with Daisy. I pity Gatsby for how he foolishly put on every last bit of his hope onto a woman that was far less than what he had imagined. People often expect too much of their lives, then hit the ground when their illusion collapses.
Another thing that interests me is how Fitzgerald used Gatsby to reflect the idea of shattered American dream. In the roaring twenties new opportunities kept showing up, everyone seemed to have money and everything was glittering in gold. I have some knowledge of the American culture and know that the origin of this American dream is Benjamin Franklin, who had a destitute childhood but through hard work he became a great musician, scientist and even one of the most important founding fathers of America. Therefore it is easy to tell that the author took Gatsby as a pursuitor of the American dream because Franklin's experience is exactly what he was after. However, behind all the encouraging stories, behind all the fancy clothes, mansion and his manners, reality strikes Gatsby in the face – no matter how hard he tries, he will never be among the group of people he has dreamt of. “Her voice is full of money” says Gatsby to Nick when they are having a conversation about Daisy. Daisy was brought up in a wealthy background and everything she had experienced was based on the wealth of her family and her husband. She has never been in touch with the people outside her social class, which coincides with an ignorance of what is happening outside of her luxurious world. This is what Gatsby wants, that one day he will no longer worry about money, no longer fight every single day just to stay alive. But he is never a person of that world, as we see money brings him only emptiness. Tom and other rich-born people mock and despise Gatsby, embarrass him at any possible chances. Even the people who come to his party, who drinks his alcohol, who use his pool are judging him with hostility. The unachievable goal "is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dream". I feel like that Fitzgerald has denied the American dream, because through Gatsby he showed that the social inequality from birth on is irreversible. From my interpretation American dream stands for seeking 'a better life', between the lines author has raised two questions – does a better life means simply glamorous things? Does a life full of glamorous things represents happiness? After I have read the book I found out that the answer to both questions is no. Gatsby thinks he has 'a better life', but he is not accepted by the group of people he wants to join. The upper class, Tom, Daisy, Jordon, their arrogance, greed and apathy toward others don't make them happy neither. People blindly chase after the American dream, believing that if you try you will success without knowing where exactly this path leads to, or if the place at the end is really where they would like to go.
In conclusion, I am very fond of the novel The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald conveys many issues back throughout the book, creates fascinating characters to help develop the idea of the fainted American dream. An interesting fact I learnt when doing some research about the book is that when it was published in 1925 people didn't take The Great Gatsby as a big deal. The novel reflected the society so well that readers felt like reading newspaper instead of a fiction. It was not until twenty years later when Fitzgerald himself has passed away the book started to become popular and highly rated. I suppose that was when people realized that Fitzgerald has wrote a prophecy. The book came out before the Great Depression when stock market crashed and a lot of money was lost, before the end of the roaring twenties. This faded illusion is exactly what Fitzgerald described in his The Great Gatsby. F Scott Fitzgerald was truly one of the greatest novelist at that time and I would love to read the book again if I have the time, for there will always be more to dig up upon.


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