Ruby's Corner The Great Gatsby: My Point Of View Ruby Karp

So this year in sixth grade, I read the classic tale “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was great to read a book that was from another era and not about vampires or kids killing kids. I really liked it, although I have to admit, it was very confusing at some bits. I then watched the 2000 movie version the book  with Paul Rudd (!!!) as Nick Carroway. I can’t wait for the newest version of the movie to come out this coming Christmas; that should be interesting. If you don’t know what the story is about, it’s really a love story, about this man named Gatsby who pines for this woman Daisy. And it’s not your typical The Boy Who Waited story; it’s intense and full of mystery-people and pretty sad, but also, really beautiful. Anyway I wrote some notes about both the movie and the novel and thought I would share.

Daisy, Oh, Daisy

I don’t think any movie will ever capture Daisy perfectly. This movie had her as charming, too flirty, and one of the most beautiful girls ever who knows it. And it’s just not how I see Daisy. She is crazy, and very fake. She is sad one minute and over-the-top the next. She is the popular girl you hate because she’s shallow and still everyone loves her. Daisy is a girl who can make a man want to kill him self and she won’t even care. AND LEAVE TOWN WITH ANOTHER MAN. Ugh. And I think in the movies, they try to make her sweet but she’s not;  she’s kind of mean. She is a truly complicated character which I think nobody will be able to ever perfectly capture.

West Egg, the People Magazine of Long Island

This town is probably the craziest town. Ever. People don’t live their own lives. Their whole town is based off of status. All anyone cares about is how other people think of them “Did you hear about Gatsby’s new party?” “Daisy had an affair!” etc. Like super-gossipy and plastic-y. Meh.

Don’t watch the 2000 movie if you haven’t read the book

Lots of the info in the 2000 versionis paraphrased from the book. It is also very choppy, like doesn’t really connect the way the book does. If you haven’t read the book, you will barely have any idea as to what’s going on.

The Characters

This is very general. I know. But every single person in this book is truly the greatest part even if you don’t like the character him/herself; I mean, each character is their own book! The characters are crazy, but in their own ways. Each character is so well written, its what makes the novel amazing.

Ms. Jordan Baker, the Sporty Spice of this World

When reading the book, I imagined her much different than she is portrayed in the movie where she’s kind of a low key lady; I don’t want to say downer but I feel she isn’t all happy happy joy joy. In the book, she had a little bit of sass to her, and she has a career as a professional golfer (probably the only woman in the book to have a career) and she’s interesting. Her and Nick have a flirtation going on but nothing really happens that is very successful in the end. She lures you in. What was her past? How did her and Gatsby become good friends? Fitzgerald could write a book all about her and we would still want to know more.

The Story

It takes awhile to get to the Big Secret. Fitzgerald likes to focus on the characters a lot in the beginning. While reading it, I thought it was boring. After I thought about what had happened and how the whole book unfolded, I thought, “Wow, that was brilliant!”

Gatsby, the Heart Broken Man

He truly loves Daisy. She is his one and only. He had been waiting for that tea for 5 years. He had planned out every moment. On the other hand, Daisy had completely forgot about him and became someone’s wife. I felt so sorry for him, in the book and the movie. I just wanted him to be with the woman he loved.

Tom and Myrtle, the Weirdest Couple Ever

I don’t know about you but of all people, Tom Buchanan picked Myrtle to have an affair with? In the book, Fitzgerald portrays her as a super-annoying woman and kind of mean to her own husband. And Tom’s a big jerk (he’s married to Daisy and he’s cheating on her and gross). Tom could have any girl he wants and he picks Myrtle? And don’t even get me started on how he slaps her. Ugh. WORST COUPLE. EVER.

Nick, the Man in the Middle

Nick is the narrator and somewhat of a third wheel. He organizes the big date for Gatsby and Daisy and was kind of Gatsby’s wingman. He was there for Gatsby and one of Gatsby’s only true friends. He was also Daisy’s cousin so he was kind of stuck in the middle.

Fitzgerald and His Amazing Work

This book would not be nearly as amazing without the amazing work of Fitzgerald. His way of wording things, his placement of characters, plots and just everything about this book that makes it a classic.

So that’s what I think about The Great Gatsby. A great book. Perfect for a summer vacation read. And every adult you know has read it, so you can talk about it with them. Did you read it? What did you think? LMK  here or on my Facebook page!

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  1. Hey Ruby! I am a high school English teacher and teach this text. First of all, I am impressed that you are reading such a difficult novel in 6th grade. Good for you! I must say–I first read ‘TGG’ the summer before 10th and I definitely didn’t catch everything—the language can be hardddd to grasp. (Four d’s for emphasis.) I certainly implore you to read it again later in life—you’ll have even more to add to your already astute analysis. A quick note on Myrtle—she is such a sad, sad woman. She is trapped with a man who is not what she thought (her husband George) and Fitzgerald repeatedly emphasizes her squelched vivaciousness—-from the fact that she’s a bit overweight, but sensuously curvy—to her pathetic eagerness to be with Tom. (He represents the wealth and luxury that she longs for.) In my opinion (which is not the end-all, believe me) Tom is attracted to the almost desperate way Myrtle wants to ‘live’ life—that part of Daisy is nearly dead because she had to give it up when she married Tom. Myrtle is so desperate she’ll be with a lout like Tom, and Tom is so insecure he can only be with a woman as crazy-desperate as Myrtle. Does that make sense?

    Anyway, it’s awesome to hear of a student who actually likes (and ‘got’) ‘TGG.”

    -Melissa

  2. The Great Gatsby was one of my favorite books I read in high school. A lot of people didn’t like it because it wasn’t romantic or elegant (a lot of the girls in my class liked the old-style Jane Austen novels we read). I loved all the comparisons to old vs. new money and Fitzgerald’s interpretation of the American Dream. I can’t believe you read this in 6th grade! Crazy :)

  3. I have never read the book or watched the movie! I feel AWFUL saying this because I am a great fan of classic novels! I have read so many of them from War and Peace to Wuthering Heights. :-) I must go get this NOW…..and just a side note…is it just me or does the man on the cover of the book look JUST LIKE Peter O’Toole? <3 Always a special place in my heart for Peter ;-)

  4. You absolutely need to watch the Robert Redford edition of the movie. It is absolutely amazing. IT is the best portrayal of Daisy that there will ever be. I promise. I hope when I get my own classroom that my students are as open and intelligent as you.

  5. i did not know there was a paul rudd movie version! to the google!!

  6. I read this once when I was 13 or 14, obviously I didn’t understand what in the world was going on. Then I read it for literature in junior college (17-18), and I came to the realization of HOW BRILLIANT THIS BOOK IS. I totally agree about casting an actress to play Daisy.

    Fitzgerald’s writing is so beautiful and eloquent, he perfectly captures the Jazz Era and people’s drunken states. And Gatsby represents the impossible American dream, while Tom and Daisy represent the Establishment. Lots more themes to explore there!

  7. I’m 16 and I’ve just read Gatsby- optionally!- and I really loved it. Glad you think the same! I couldn’t agree more with your description- except maybe about Nick, he does seem to throw himself into things a bit! And Tom Buchanan? What a loser. Anyway, thanks for posting! :)

  8. I love your maturity level and eloquence for your age. Good pick for a novel to recommend!

  9. You make me want to read this book again! Great (and entertaining!) description Ruby!

  10. You have summed up it up wonderfully! Gatsby is my hands down favorite book of all time and I have never liked a film adaptation because it just never captures the nuances.

  11. This was fantastic! I loved reading it Ruby. I’m an English teacher and have always loved The Great Gatsby. This was so refreshing to read! Thanks.

  12. If you really like Fitzgerald, you should read his collection of short stories Flappers and Philosophers. I really enjoyed it.

  13. At my age I’m amazed I have never read it.. Heard about it, and now with your description about the drama, and details of the people in it I think I’ll give a shot.
    Thanks Ruby..