The Serious Superficiality In The Great Gatsby

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The lull of turning pages sound as students read from identical books in their hands, uncomfortable and uninterested with a mandatory novel that is several years past its expiration date and relevance to them. The conditions in which a novel was read can have a lasting impact on the readers’ perceptions, in which many are blinded by the emotions from their first impression. Many Americans and students forced to read the book argue that The Great Gatsby is not as great as the American education system and society laud it as. The story of a man’s journey to attaining the love of his ex-girlfriend seems vapid and undeserving of its status as the greatest American novel ever. More accurately, however, the novel depicts a man’s journey in finding himself …show more content…

The Great Gatsby understands the intricate struggle citizens possess with their desire for wonder and fantasy, particularly in American society. As Gatsby had with Daisy, fantasies for the future are a universal experience. The search for wonder and fantasy occasionally leads to the point of self-destruction, of which Joshua Rothman in his New Yorker article “The Serious Superficiality of The Great Gatsby” states is “most appealing about ‘Gatsby’; its mood of witty hopelessness, of vivacious self-destructiveness… This atmosphere of casual, defiant, disillusioned cool is the novel’s unique contribution to literature. It’s the reason the novel’s endured.” The Great Gatsby reflects Americans and the ultimate risks that will be held from their ideals. The novel serves as a cautionary tale of the costs of fantasy. Though unlikable and difficult to relate to, the main characters of the novel show an issue all bear. The characters had aspirations and dreams, but were left helpless against the progression of life as their ideals and fantasies became corrupted. Part of the issue was due to how impossible their fantasies became. Daisy became Gatsby’s

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