The Great Gatsby is a novel about a man who wants to saturate his life with meaning. Some people may argue that this book is irrelevant and no longer connects with our time, but the use of themes and writing make Gatsby still relevant in the world we live into today.It’s true that people argue that the book is too old to be applied today, but full of life and lavish writing this book never fails to impress. Cluttered with new technology and a formation change of class and race our new century may not seem comparable to Gatsby, nevertheless the feeling of love resonates within us all and the will to make any change to make our ends meet. This book exquisitely describes some of the most important life lessons, unparalleled to that of today’s writing culture. Gatsby was a man of riches and the past but he let his dreams intertwine with his reality. This can be said for any of us, we all have dreams and this book teaches us what Gatsby went through and what struggles he had to overcome. Life is about struggling and overcoming, The Great Gatsby is the only piece of literature that can get this message through.
James E. Miller an English professor said in his article about Gatsby being in the classroom: “to snatch something precious from the ceaseless flux and flow of days and years and preserve it outside the ravages of time. This is obviously a theme that is not confined to the 1920s or to America”(86). Throughout our world’s history there have been very few pieces of literature to capture such strong themes that apply to everyone. In The Great Gatsby a main theme stands that Gatsby will do anything to preserve this perfect idea of love, including even sacrificing his own life. Yet despite his efforts and just like the American dream it will come to an end. Something no other book can do is teach us that the want of something will not always determine whether or not you will receive it. A quote from Gatsby explains Fitzgerald’s fascination with preservation: “I glanced seaward and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock. When I looked once more for Gatsby he had vanished, and I was alone again in the unquiet darkness.”(Fitzgerald 25) The green light at the end of the dock represents Gatsby want of getting Daisy back, but just like the green light, he can’t acquire her. Gatsby still stuck in his own world blurts out to Nick “Can’t repeat the past?… Why of course you can!”(106) Gatsby is far past the point to getting Daisy back despite her shell-like appearance, but the power of want overcame Gatsby and eventually led to his death. It’s a powerful message that’s seeped through the seams of the book and poured into the reader’s head. Gatsby seemingly was “living the American dream” he had money and power, the issue was that he had no happiness. Thomas Daniel Young explains: “Fitzgerald not only eliminates all unnecessary details but he maintains a unity of tone and texture.”(1) what’s he’s conveying is that Fitzgerald wrote this short novel with the idea of having the reader to imply things. “Though barely Fifty thousand words long, includes everything necessary to tell Gatsby’s story.”(Young 1) Gatsby is the perfect read to teach students about the need to make inferences in life. The Great Gatsby is still relevant because of the power the themes hold over Gatsby and the reader.
There are also some small underlying themes like this one from James E. Miller Jr. “He lurks in the shadows behind throughout, and when he emerges briefly in the restaurant scene in New York to have lunch with Gatsby and Nick, we glimpse something if his career in his short sweet tale…”(84) This quote was related to the now by how it’s describing its similarities to that of a drug lord in today’s society. We never see drug lords in regular society just like how Wolfsheim lurks in the shadows. This quote provides how Gatsby is still relevant in today’s society with a small theme that connects to a time outside Fitzgerald’s timeline. Marius Bewley also explains something very interesting: “because Gatsby does, that you can have it all: love and money, in a society controlled by the Buchanans of the world. However, in the conflict between romantic love and all too….”(98) I think that this is a basis of a love conflict. There will always be that one person that wants to take the person you love away from you. Sometimes they will succeed and sometimes they won’t succeed. In this book love still applies and it went down in a bad way, a tragedy occurred. One of the main reasons we still read this book is because love is a huge part of the world we live in today and we always have to make a tough choice.
Fitzgerald has a way of offering his novel to the world by his very interesting use of diction and syntax. John Donne originally talks about how “F. Scott Fitzgerald originally used the word “transept” instead of “transit” when his editor Max Perkins questioned the word choice, Fitzgerald replied in an April 10, 1925 letter that “transit” would do, but, he adds, he “really meant a compass.”(55) John donne understands how in depth Fitzgerald wants his book to be, he recognizes that Fitzgerald really wants to make every word count proving that this book is important to teach the students of this generation. There is ls also a passage describing Gatsby’s house: “Their house was even more elaborate than I expected, a cheerful red-and-white Georgian Colonial mansion, overlooking the bay. The lawn started at the beach and ran toward the front door for a quarter of a mile, jumping over sun-dials and brick walls, and burning gardens finally when it reached the house drifting up the side in the bright vines as though from the momentum of its run. The front was broken by a line of French windows, glowing now with reflected gold and wide open to the warm windy evening, and Tom Buchanan in riding clothes was standing with his legs apart on the front porch.”(Fitzgerald 12) This passage includes very vivid imagery, it prints me right into the words of the book with Tom and Daisy I can feel every image and see every flaw. It’s this passage that intrigued me with the writing style and as a student I can say that It makes the novel one of the most interesting i’ve ever studied. Steve Birkerts has a very interesting description of Fitzgerald’s writing: “like a flashbulb, freezing a bold array of images on the retina.”(87) Fitzgerald’s descriptive writing really does this to a reader, it keeps them enveloped in the writing and makes the book a page-turner. Perhaps one of the reasons students are interested in the book is because of this reason. Gatsby speaks to us through the writing and imagery of the events that take place, which in-turn makes this book still relevant.
Fitzgerald’s use of themes and writing style makes this book one of the best novels of all time. As a student i can say that this book is still relevant in the world we live in today.