The Great Gatsby Reflection Paper

Powerful Essays
I believe the first time I read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby was when I was in high school. The novel was never assigned or studied in any of my English classes and so, out of sheer curiosity because I knew it was considered a literary masterpiece, I decided to read it for my own pleasure. The only information I had about Gatsby was that it was set during the 1920s and that it was an American classic. However, since it is a fairly short novel, my reading was extremely quick and seemed to not have any lasting impression on me. In fact, years later when I tried to recall the events of the story I realized that I could hardly remember anything about it. The only aspect that I could remember was that it was a love story between…show more content…
I think because I am older and now familiar with critically reading texts that I am able to understand and interpret the novel on a deeper, more intellectual level. Instead of labeling Gatsby as only a love story, I can now analyze and discuss the various themes and topics that the novel explores. I believe that this is one of the aspects that makes The Great Gatsby a classic, that when read at each stage of life, from adolescence to adulthood, the novel is able to take on a different meaning. As a high school teen, I understood the novel to be a romance, however, now I understand it in a completely different…show more content…
This emotion seems to preside over every character in the novel, however it seems to be most prevalent in Jay Gatsby. His desire to be with Daisy Buchanan dictates every aspect of his life, he moved to West Egg to be across the bay from her, he throws extravagant parties with the hope that someday she may wander over, and he does all of this because he believes that he can recreate the past to when he and Daisy were first together and in love. Fitzgerald writes about Nick Carraway’s reaction to Gatsby’s belief in the recreation of the past, “He talked a lot about the past, and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy” (110). However, I believe that Gatsby’s intense preoccupation with the past does not seem to be motivated by his enduring love for Daisy, as he claims, but rather for the brief intense feeling that he had the first moment he fell in love with her. He wants to experience again the profound sensation he felt when he kissed Daisy for the first time, to recover the idea of himself as an innocent and pure man on the brink of knowing true ecstasy, as Fitzgerald writes, “He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God… Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed for him like
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