Thursday, May 30, 2013

[Review] The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald

Titile: The Great Gatsby
Author: Scott Fitzgerald
Publisher:  Alma Classic Ltd
Published: July 2012
Pages: 213p
Borrowed from Astrid Lim

BBI’s reading schedule this month introduce me to The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald. Suddenly everyone is talking about Gatsby, in my whazzap, facebook, twitter, Gatsby was the topic. So i challenge myself to join and read the book that actually scares me because all the metaphor and the unusual way of storytelling. I began to read the indonesian version and i don’t understand it. So thanks to Astrid who allow me to borrowed her book, an original version. 

The novel took place in the early 1920s when the first world war just ended. So it portrays the life of American people during the Roaring Twenties, the period of sustained economic prosperity. Nick Carraway, the novel’s narrator like everybody else seeking for wealth and freedom. He moves to West Egg, a suburb of New York, Long Island that full of “new money” people - people who have made their fortunes recently. He rents a house, next to a huge mansion belonged to Jay Gatsby. One night, Nick drives to East Egg, the other side of the island to have dinner with his cousin Daisy and her husband Tom Buchanan. There he meets Jordan Baker who tells him that Tom is having an affair. When dinner was over and Nick got home, he sees his mysterious neighbour for the first time, but didn’t have a chance to say hello.

One day, Nick attends one of Gatsby’s extravagant parties. He meets Gatsby and slowly learn about his past and his relationship with Daisy Buchanan before the first world war. He knew about Gatsby’s obsession, but when Gastby request him to arrange a meeting between him and Daisy, he can’t say no. So, before he realize it, he already jump into Gatsby’s mysterious life and obsession. Will Daisy and Gatsby soon rediscover their love? Nick will watch it all.  

This story fully represent the American Dream after the war. At the time, there are three classes in the society, old money, new money and no money. Fitzgerald divides each character to represent every classes and relationship between them. Thanks to Nick, the only positive character in this novel, i got a clear understanding about the other character and their relationship to Gatsby. Nick was describe himself as the person who upholds moral values. He is the only person who truly care about Gatsby and adores him. At some point, his way of interact with Gatsby makes me think he’s gay. The whole center of this love story was a man named Gatsby or Jay Gatz. He is a great man if you see his hope, struggle to climb from no money to new money, care for his father and his love for Daisy. But other than that, he is just a dreamer who is blinded by love or maybe an obsession and a fool person, because with everything he’s already has, he still can’t move on from a girl like Daisy. Daisy interested only in riches and beauty. She doesn’t even care about her own daughter, so don’t imagine that she will care for Gatsby. The only thing that might draw her attention to Gatsby was his wealth. So, you can imagine how stupid Gatsby for put Daisy as an icon of perfection. This is really bothers me. I hate Daisy. She just like Scarlett from Gone With The Wind. And sadly, Gatsby realize it but he overlooked it. The other character is Tom Buchanan and Jordan Baker who represent the old money people. Fitzgerald also put character like George Wilson and his wife Myrtle to represent no money people. I think that is the reason why George Wilson live in the Valley of Ashes.

This book was worthy to read. Difficult yes but still great. This is the most difficult book i have read. When i read it, i have to browse all the metaphor to understand it. I list some metaphor that mostly appear :
  • The Green Light or the color Green. I browse about it and find that it represent everything that haunts and beckons Gatsby, the emotional distance between him and Daisy, the gap between the past and the future, the promises of the future, and of course it also represent money.
  • The Eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg. At the beginning i imagine it as just a billboard standing in the Valley of Ashes. But at the end of the book, as George Wilson says, i think it also represent God that sees everything.
  • The Valley of Ashes. The area between New York and West Egg, it stands for the dismal ruin of the people caught in between.
I used more efforts to read this book, but at the end i found myself love it very much. So, i planned to reread this book just to learn the metaphor and things that i may not see when i read it. And is Gatsby Great?

I appreciate the hope, struggle to reach the “new money” level, and how he treated his father. Imagine you have to struggle alone, there is no friend who really cares about you. When the world was so hard to you, it whispers and infuses all the bad value to you and unfortunately you have nobody to remind you about the other way to live. However He still has the positive values within him. But i hate his foolishness about Daisy. So, i don’t want to say black or white about him. I think he is great in some part and fool in another part. Don't we have the black and white side within us? I think everyone has a little Gatsby in them.

But Scott Fitzgerald is definitely GREAT.

PS: i know my grammar is bad, sorry for that, i hope you can understand it. 

Submitted for 
This review made for Read Along Blogger Buku Indonesia (BBI) 
2013 TBR Pile Challenge by Roof Beam Reader
Classic Club Project


  1. belum selesai baca ini, terjemahannya agak membingungkan :(

    1. Kayaknya emang akan selalu lebih enak baca versi Eng-nya daripada versi terjemahan untuk buku ini.

      Btw, banyak ya metafornya, Sy?

    2. Iya sulis, terjemahannya memang membingungkan banget. Mending baca original version aja.

      Metafornya banyak phie dan harus sering browsing biar ngerti :D

  2. resensi-resensi buku yg menarik sobat :)
    jgn lupa follow balik blog baru kami ya d

  3. yeaaay hidup gatsbyyy :) aku belum nonton filmnya nih sampe skrg, sebagai fans berat bang leo aku cukup malu si :D btw iya, baca buku gini awalnya beraaat, tapi lama2 malah nagih ya... cobain buku2 lain yg penuh metafor juga si, seru lho (apalagi ada sparknotes hahaha)

    1. aku sudah nonton loh dan aku suka filmnya, gak bisa dibantah bang leo memang kece bgt dahhh

      apalagi dong buku yg banyak metafornya?

  4. Aku masih nunggu kiriman buku ini dari Bookdepo >.<
    Tapi kayaknya baru akhir Juni sampe di tanganku .-.

  5. heboh bnaget ya buku ini di perjagatan BBI, gara2 Leo dan filmnya ya :)

    1. iyaa gak tau juga gara-gara apa tu awalnya mastez..tau2 booming aja gitu, mungkin emang dipengaruhi sama bang leo kali :)