Considered by many to be the Great American Novel, The Great Gatsby is a story of deception, betrayal, and loss. Fitzgerald is indeed a master of words. The story is narrated by Nick Carroway, who, while involved with the characters, seems to be almost a complete outsider to the story. He takes the reader through one emotional summer in the lives of socialites Daisy and Tom Buchanan as well as the enigmatic Jay Gatsby. Carroway is befriended by Gatsby, who seems to him to be a repulsive character. He subsequently becomes Gatsby’s only champion as the various characters expose to him their weaknesses, passions and propensity to drown their problems in alcohol and illicit love affairs.
The Great Gatsby is the most widely-read novel in schools nationwide, and certainly provides a rich landscape for symbolism and hidden meaning. It also provides students with the opportunity to experience the craft of writing at its best; however, as a story I found the characters unlikeable and insipid, and the story depressing. As a cultural and literary experience I recommend The Great Gatsby unreservedly; as an entertainment or morality play I recommend looking elsewhere.
Profanity/Language: 5 religious exclamations; 4 mild obscenities; 2 religious profanities; 3 derogatory names.
Violence/Gore: A male character assaults a woman; a character is found murdered; a character is found to have committed suicide; a character graphically describes a hit-and-run accident resulting in death.
Mature Subject Matter:
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Excessive social drinking.