The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald was my first literary love growing up. A large portion of my memories from high school are tied to the novel. Some devour books, but I savored Fitzgerald’s every word. Fitzgerald’s work is a paragon of romanticism. The book’s essence emanated a love for things gone, of things happening, and of things to come. When I read it book I was swept into a world I’ve never experienced but never wanted to leave. There was love, vibrant music, and drama. I might not write like Fitzgerald but he unintentionally revealed my love for literature.
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” – The Great Gatsby
Let’s look at this beautiful rhyme scheme first. “Leaves”, “trees”, and “movies” all pleasantly rhymed within exposition. It’s got a lightness to it, like the sentence itself is reaffirming it’s content. It lilts gently; it’s melodic in the ear. Yet there’s more here. Summer of all times to begin again. Surely that should be the spring but Fitzgerald chose summer I suspect there is a reason for that (surely leads to plot elements) but I’m not certain why. It’s an interesting choice. Nick’s got this conviction as he had before (based only on context) that things were going to begin over. With the way Nick Carraway’s life has been thus far we’re lead to believe that it’s possible this new beginning might be fickle. It’s forshadowing but I doubt Fitzgerald had that in mind, I’m probably just looking too deeply.
“I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”
I don’t have any material for this. I’m impelled to share it each time I see it. I think it’s beautiful. It’s a dead-on depiction of life.
“Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.”
The inexhaustible ways quotes written in the 1900s remain relevant. This isn’t a quote for literary merit but for telling content. Men don’t often display affection for a friend. Many see it as weird, even gay. It’s a silly conception of men that male closeness can only be seen as gay(which makes it seem like being gay is a bad thing, too it’s all around awful). This leads widening gap of isolation. It was only as a man dies that his friends break down the social barriers and displays that friendship. It’s tired and desperately needs to change.
“I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others–young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life.”
I share this because of the self-relevance. Though the loneliness I periodically feel may be different. I understand the emotion. The content rings true to my mind and I know that there a others whose hearts pang in the dark acting as sonar to find another. I know it all to well.
There are many quotes I could have shared from this masterwork. I could easily write an essay on the literary devices employed in the book. The book is refreshing. It’s a reminder to why I write stories. I have only appreciation for F. Scott Fitzgerald.
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”