Yes, length and plot development are not exhaustive, and the end is fairly predictable. Readers learn the basics of Jay Gatsby’s life but with very little detail. How he earned his fortune can still be debated, although most would attribute his money to some illegal activity. His early romance with Daisy also leaves many unanswered questions.
Readers know very little about Nick, the narrator of the story. But perhaps it is the unanswered questions and the brevity of the novel that make it so majestic. It simply does not fit the mold for what most scholars would require of a great novel. It may not be hefty in pages, but it contains some of the most beautiful sentences ever written. Fitzgerald may suggest that the American Dream is a mirage, but his words serve to make it irresistible. The book’s brevity may contribute to its appreciation and greatness in another fashion: readers often return to it to savor its elegant writing once again.
I read this book in high school and many times since. I have written about the novels and reviewed books about Gatsby. It is one of my all-time favorites.
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Contributors: Stuart Shiffman from Bookreporter