The Great Gatsby Review

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By David Lo, Teacher

The Great Gatsby includes plenty of elements that are likely to be highly engaging for adolescent readers. From the very first moment Gatsby is introduced at one of his parties, Fitzgerald creates him as a larger than life character. “I’m Gatsby,” he said suddenly. “I thought you knew, old sport. I’m afraid I’m not a very good host.” He smiled understandingly—much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life.” Watching the romance between Gatsby and the one he has been talking about will make many adolescent readers happy especially if they like romance and courtship. One of the key scenes in the novel is the very first meeting between Gatsby and Daisy. During this scene, Gatsby reverts to acting like an awkward teenager. “We’ve met before,” muttered Gatsby. He then knocks over Nick’s clock by accident due to his nerves. Nick even tells him, “You’re acting like a little boy. Not only that but you’re rude. Daisy’s sitting in there all alone.” Later the story’s main conflict occurs with the confrontation between Daisy, Gatsby and Tom. Gatsby’s plan is to force Daisy to tell Tom that she never loved him so his plan can finally become complete. “By the way, Mr. Gatsby, I understand you’re an Oxford man.” From this line, begins the tense meeting with Tom starting the fireworks. Gatsby’s lies finally catch up to him. Tom later says, “What kind of row are you trying to cause in my house anyhow? I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife.” The climax of the novel is when Gatsby says, “Your wife doesn’t love you. She’s never loved you. She loves me.” Teenagers will find this engaging because Fitzgerald writes a memorable scene with Daisy having to make a crucial decision that will affect her life, Tom’s and Gatsby’s. The line that angers Tom further is, “You’ve been seeing this fellow for five years?”

 

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