Fitzgerald s Masterpiece
F. Scott Fitzgerald s The Great Gatsby is an enchanting novel, which tells an exquisite story through various techniques characteristic of a gifted author. The story has elements of deceit, high hopes, fallen dreams, and false intentions which make it thrilling to read. However, the true genius of the novel lies in the character description, setting of the novel, and the structure and form used. It is these literary devices that set The Great Gatsby apart from other novels.
Life in the 1920 s was much different than that of life during any other era and Fitzgerald depicts this in The Great Gatsby very accurately through the characters. One critic stated that The only bad of it is that the characters are mostly so unpleasant in themselves that the story becomes rather a bitter does before one has finished with it (Wilson 149). Where as one may take this as an insult, it can also be taken as a compliment. This shows that Fitzgerald described the character and their action so realistically that the reader developed strong opinions of the characters.
Fitzgerald s use of the setting is also another incredible technique used in The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald s description of Gatsby s mansion is a perfect example of this. The one on my right was a colossal affair by any standard- it was a factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool and more than forty acres of lawn and garden. It was Gatsby s mansion. Throughout the novel Fitzgerald uses this type of description to put the reader into the story and give them a realistic sense of the time period.
Not only do the words themselves paint pictures, but also the structure and form used is a delight. Every line of hard and intelligent effort (Mencken 148). The incredible part about this is that Fitzgerald does not do it too elaborately where the reader will get lost, but written in sentences one can understand which is a comfort (Stein 149). Fitzgerald has written a complete novel which is his best planned, best sustained, and best written [of Fitzgerald s works] not a whole in it anywhere (Wilson 147).
The Great Gatsby is one of the few novels that is able to incorporate a wonderfully crafted setting and a very realistic set of characters that depict the young people of the time all in a smooth flowing well written novel. Fitzgerald has written such a great novel in The Great Gatsby that often we fail to find the brains and the cleverness (Kenny 149).
Kenny, John M. Jr. The Great Gatsby Commonweal. (1925):110. Rpt. In 20th Century
Literary Criticisms. Ed. Dennis Paupard. Vol 14 Detroit: Gale, 1988. 147-149.
Mencken, H.L. The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Man and His Work. Ed.
Alfred Kazin. (1962):89-92. Rpt. In 20th Century Literary Criticisms. Ed. Dennis
Paupard. Vol. 14. Detroit: Gale, 1988. 147-149.
Wilson, Edmund. Letters on Literature and Politics: 1912-1972 Ed. Elena Wilson, Farrar,
Straus and Giroux. (1977):121-122. Rpt. In 20th Century Literary Criticisms. Ed.
Dennis Paupard. Vol 14 Detroit: Gale, 1988. 147-149.