But I haven’t talked about the novel in a really long time, like two weeks maybe. So I thought I’d break down why Gatsby is so awesome in a fun Friday listicle.
Let’s go! So why is The Great Gatsby the greatest novel ever?
1. Because Daisy’s “voice was full of money, ” and that’s such a great character descriptor.
2. Because Gatsby calls everybody “old sport, ” and that’s just the perfect, memorable salutation for an old rich guy.
3. Because all the characters are miserable human beings—and what kind of a writer can write such an amazing novel without one likeable character?
4. Because Fitzgerald writes paragraphs like this:
“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. It faced–or seemed to face–the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.”
5. Because this is the best closing line in literature:
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
6. Because Hunter S. Thompson thought The Great Gatsby was so amazing that he sat down and rewrote the whole thing word for word. Why? Just to see what it felt like to “write” a great novel.
8. Because this classic cover is pretty awesome (I think).
9. Because Fitzgerald creates a character in Gatsby that, despite his immense wealth and immense misery, is so relatable.
11. Because the novel is more identifiable with a specific time period—The Roaring 20s—perhaps more than any other novel.
12. Because it’s a dark version of the classic love story. The foundation of the whole story is based on pursuing and rediscovering an old love.
13. Because it represents the fragile, futile pursuit of “The American Dream” better than any other novel. Gatsby has it all, but all of it still isn’t enough.
14. Because the title is subtly ironic. Gatsby isn’t great at all. In fact, he’s just the opposite.
15. Because Tom Buchanan is such a wonderful, douchey bad guy. As much as you dislike the other characters, you dislike Tom even more. That takes effort to write.
16. Because the novel will make you want to drink a mint julep, even if you don’t drink.
17. Because I never have and never will strike a woman, but I kind of want to punch Daisy. Again, that’s all because of Fitzgerald’s talent.
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