Of course this book is beautifully written. Fitzgerald writes painfully beautiful characters who are flawed to the core. The faithful narrator Nick Carraway says it best at the end of the novel:
“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made…”
Although Jay Gatsby is neurotic and beyond obsessed with the love of his life, Daisy Buchanan, I wanted him to succeed from the moment he is casually introduced in the book. He is a self-made man with high ambitions and an unhealthy obsession with a woman he can’t really have.
As for Daisy, Fitzgerald portrays her as all perfect harmony and beautiful moments. He writes about her sultry voice throughout the book and seems every bit as enamored with her as a character as his protagonist Gatsby. In the beginning if the novel I saw Daisy as a lovely girl who married Tom Buchanan only because she couldn’t be with her true love. As the book moves forward I get the distinct impression that she is playing Gatsby for a fool. By the end, I see her as careless and cruel.
For a novel full of such decadence and beauty, it is awfully sad. What becomes of Jay Gatsby is a terrible fate that left me feeling empty. I wanted more of a conclusion with his ill-fated relationship with Daisy as well.
If you haven’t read this classic piece of American literature, you should. The prose is gorgeous and it’s a wonderful story detailing the pitfalls of excess.
***On a side note- I am headed to see the latest film adaptation of the novel in the theater and will follow up with my thoughts on the film next week.