Why You Should Read (or Re-read) the The Great Gatsby

Wondering what book you should put on your reading list next? I recommend The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Even if you’ve already read it before. Why? Because even if Mr. Fitzgerald’s work is already past the ripe old age of 85, it is extremely relevant to the situation we have today. (If you have not read The Great Gatsby, beware, there are major spoilers below.)

 

 

 

The Great Gatsby is a timeless novel
The Great Gatsby is a timeless novel

Wondering what book you should put on your reading list next? I recommend The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Even if you’ve already read it before. Why? Because even if Mr. Fitzgerald’s work is already past the ripe old age of 85, it is extremely relevant to the situation we have today. (If you have not read The Great Gatsby, beware, there are major spoilers below.)

The Great Gatsby, in its essence, is a commentary about society during the Jazz Age (the 1920s), and that age is becoming more and more of a parallel to society today. While nowadays might not exactly have a booming global economy, the moral situation in both ages is very similar. Both times place an extreme emphasis on the importance of money at the expense of morals. For example, society’s belief about what the American Dream entails are very similar in both ages. In The Great Gatsby, the society of the Roaring 20’s touts the American Dream as getting rich and becoming high class, as demonstrated with Jay Gatsby’s obsession to attain the American Dream by striking it rich and being “high class” at the expense of his morals. Similarly, at the beginning of the year, when some young adults were asked to explain the meaning of the American Dream, the overwhelming response was that the American Dream is about making the big bucks and becoming high class. Both times’ views on what the American Dream is demonstrates both society’s obsession with materialism because the true creed of American Dream is not striking it rich, it’s about having the opportunity to fulfill one’s true potential.

Also, the major themes of Fitzgerald’s magus opus can all be reinterpreted in the paradigm of how society today should not be so centered around materialism, but instead on what truly counts: morals, love, family, and changing the world for the better. For instance, Gatsby’s frenzied chase after the 20’s sense of the American Dream, making the big bucks, leaves him with absolutely nothing when he passes on. The devastation that ensues because of people who value the materialism over everything else: morals, love, family, making the world a better place, all send the message that we as a society should place much more emphasis on these values (which we aren’t really doing so today).

Ultimately, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a true classic in that it can be always be re-interpreted so that it always stays relevant to society today. And that’s why you should read (or re-read) The Great Gatsby.

 

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