This week, during my search to figure out what Western students are reading, I found a sophomore who’s reading The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, another book for this blog that was coincidentally on my reading list from sophomore year of high school.
Emilie Han is on a quest to read the classics; The Great Gatsby is currently the book helping her accomplish that goal.
The Great Gatsby is about a group of wealthy people in the roaring ‘20s striving for the “American Dream,” all while partying even crazier than college kids on Halloweekend.
“To be honest, one of the reasons I like it is because it’s a classic, so I feel important when I read it,” Han said.
Han finds it amusing because of its portrayal of American society in the 1920’s, she said. She also says it’s way better than the movie that came out somewhat recently.
While I can’t speak for the movie, the book was definitely interesting. It’s a book that I begrudgingly read because I had to when I was 15 and in the past few years have been wishing I could read again in hopes that I’d really catch the symbolism this time.
The Great Gatsby is full of symbolism. Below the surface of the dramatic affairs, extravagant wealth, and exciting parties full of rich men who say “old sport” annoyingly often, it examines our obsession with progressing and achieving the American dream.
“It’s part of the American canon of literature that people should read,” Han said.
If you want to know more about American literature, the 1920’s or if you want to get dressed up as a flapper for Halloween in order to understand the context, reading this book may be a good place to start.
If you want to know more, you can watch John Green talk about The Great Gatsby and all of its symbolism here:
Meanwhile, if you’ve read The Great Gatsby or have even just seen the movie, let me know what you think!