[RGC 114.] The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

[read: the book you absolutely should read in class]

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This one comes with a slight moral. Let’s go back about 6 years (dear God) to sophomore year of high school. Sneha, lover of books, reader of anything, was faced with reading the classic Fitzgerald novel The Great Gatsby. What does she do? She decides now is the time she will use Sparknotes while *reading the book. {*It’s not really reading the book, it’s reading the Sparknotes reading of the book, which can never replace an original reading.}

That was a dark time. I have no idea why that was the one book I thought I would need Sparknotes for, but it was. Fast forward to sophomore year of college, as Sneha goes back to Pine View to visit her teachers. She has some time to pass (pretty much an entire afternoon) and wanders back into her English class, Ms. Shannon’s room, and picks up a copy of The Great Gatsby. And actually, finally, reads it. Cover to cover.

This book is just stunning. It was striking and I’ll never forget it. Your heart breaks for Jay, wonders for Daisy, considers the ’20s to be more than just ‘roarin’ and still walks away oddly fuller because you’ve read this. I was sitting outside, caught off guard and completely enamored with Fitzgerald’s writing as I was with Tender is the Night the first time I read it. I wish I hadn’t waited another four years to approach this book and give it the fair reading it deserves. The funny thing is it doesn’t even take that long, so what was younger me thinking? By the end of the afternoon, I was walking back into Ms. Shannon’s barely ready to part with the book I should’ve read four years ago. I greatly encourage you to read this without reading aides because though sometimes they may be helpful in enhancing your original thought by providing points to bounce off of, they just hamper the simplicity and energy of this book that you get by sitting down and reading it straight through. Moral of the story: Don’t pull a sophomore Sneha, folks.

10 out of 10 would recommend.

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