Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Great Gatsby

This is a review that I did on the classic book, "The Great Gatsby," by: F. Scott Fitzgerald. I am part of the Gerneration Joshua Book Club and this year they are looking at the worldwiew in some classic works of fiction. After reading it, I wouldn't reccomend this book to others, but there are some good lessons to be learned. (I still am not sure why this book is a classic. I found it to be disturbing.)

The Great Gatsby
By: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Review By: Kaila Babiak

            Affairs, lies, death and love are a few of the main components of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic book, The Great Gatsby. A story set in the roaring twenties, the reader gets a glimpse into the personal lives of several characters and the affairs that connect them. The tale is one of tragedy and heartbreak, without moral, and with hidden messages.
            We are first introduced to Nick Carraway, a young man living next door to the extremely wealthy Jay Gatsby. As Nick gets to know his neighbor he discovers a startling connection between this man and Nick’s cousin Daisy Buchanan. Through Nick, a long lost love affair between Gatsby and Daisy is brought back to life in a circle of lies, deception and immorality. As a bystander, Nick tells the story in a way that makes you cringe and yet makes you want to hear the end.
            The disturbing thing about the book is the utter lack of morals and justice. Daisy and Gatsby rekindle their love unbeknownced to Daisy’s husband Tom. Tom, while greatly angered when Daisy’s deception is discovered, has his own mistress who plays a large part in the tragedy of the story. Nick plays the role of “middle-man,” who is used by both parties because of his neutrality. Daisy and Gatsby’s love affair ends quite suddenly, in a terrible, tragic, almost unjust manner that leaves you feeling like you got dropped off at the edge of a cliff. Besides the disturbances of the affairs, Tom often makes reference to eugenic agendas to rid the earth of the inferior people and create the perfect human race.
            One major lesson to be learned from this book is the fact that living a life of selfish pleasure seeking with no morals will end in pain and grief. While the story seems to give the impression that unfaithfulness is a perfectly normal part of life, it ends in the reality that your “sins will find you out.” (Num. 32:23) Gatsby sought out what he thought he needed to have, which was fulfillment in life. In the end, he lost everything; wealth, friends and even his life. If a person, even one who does not believe in Christ, tries to live against the rules and breaks God’s law, he will most definitely find himself in trouble. While to some, the story may be disturbing, it is an excellent example of how you cannot just break one law. One bit of unfaithfulness led to lies, deception, anger, and murder. The choices made by the characters effected many more people than they thought and has lasting effects that no one had ever thought of. Just as in real life, our choices will affect those around us, some for the better and some for the worse. The unfortunate thing in this story is that it all turned out for the worse. Whenever we cease from following God’s law we will find ourselves in a labyrinth of trouble and wickedness. So while some may find this to be a disturbing tale and others may find it to be a timeless classic, I prefer to look at it as an ageless lesson of the destruction that follows when men follow their own sinful desires rather than following God’s law.

1 comment:

Bethany Hartlaub said...


When I was studying for the American Literature CLEP, I too found many of the books that are considered classics to be disturbing! However, it is fascinating to trace the worldview of our culture as a whole through the books that have been produced; as well as movies, music, etc.