I have been reading classics lately and the first thing that I can say about this book is it’s imagery,the beautiful flowing of the language,the description of the imaginary West Egg/East Egg not to leave behind the decaying and losing morality of The Great American dream where it’s money that calls the shots and the charcters are not perfect but duly marked with their own shades of grey.
All said and done,I have a certain problem with the characters portrayed here.
Lets start with Nick,the investment banker who after returning from the war was too restless and looking forward to learn the bond business,finds abode sandwiched between the sprawling acres of the rich in West Egg one of which belongs to the Great Gatsby.
I like his observation of the characters around him.His description of their beauty and their flaws,their distractions that speak of their attraction and obeisance to the material world,their lack of depth and characters at certain times and how superficial the definition of love is for some people.
Nick Carraway is in awe of Gatsby’s wealth.He hasn’t met his neighbour and when he goes to one of the countless parties Gatsby throws he finds himself wondering the entire fuss,pretention and the meaningless of it.
Comes to meet Gatsby personally and finds himself in an odd position where Gatsby asks of him to invite Daisy and himself at Nick’s place and to be secretive about it.Gatsby who had been in love with Daisy(Nick’s cousin)even before the story starts and has been accumulating all this wealth in a hopeless and tragic pursuit of being good enough for her.Does he even realise in his blindness that she is already married? What kind of love is this that leads to obsession,total lack of morals just for the sake of accetance and social perception?It’s a message for the society that accepts people for what they have rather than what they are.
Next comes Daisy Buchanan who is as self-centered as anyone can be.She is at the center of attraction with two men fighting over her and that too when she is already married and has long ago given up on love having chosen wealth and a comfortable Life over that.My question is whether she really is looking for love or is Jay Gatsby(and his millions)another way to one-up her social status. She has no problem being unfaithful to her husband.I wonder what her decision would have been had Gatsby not owned as much wealth as he did.Would she have still felt the same for him ?She admires his home,his beautiful shirts and so widely depicts her shallowness when she fails to own up for running over her husband’s mistress and going away for yet another one of her fancy trips letting Gatsby take the entire onus of that.
What love,huh ?
This book has to be read and re-read in order to fully capture the essence of the beauty that it has to offer,not in terms of what it says but how it says it.It certainly is a masterpiece in prose. A must read!