The Great Gatsby is told through the eyes of Nick Carraway, who moves into a small home next-door to the rich Jay Gatsby, directly across the bay from his distant cousin, Daisy, and her husband Tom Buchanan. Other important characters include Daisy’s friend,Jordan Baker, a professional golfer who is also plays a slightly romantic role in Nick’s life. As well as Tom’s mistress, Myrtle Wilson, and her car dealing husband. As Nick finds himself swept up in the complicated web of relationships between Gatsby, the Buchanans, and the Wilsons, Nick finds himself in the position of being the only person who knows everything at the end of the story. At the beginning of his story, Nick says this about his ability to learn people’s truths and secrets.
“In consequence, I am inclined to reserve all judgments a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and also made me the victim of not a few veteran bores… Most of the consequences were unsought– frequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation, or a hostile levity when I realized by some unmistakable sign that an intimate revelation was quivering on the horizon…”
These “intimate revelations” acquired by Nick throughout his time with Gatsby, allow him to see clearly into the life of Gatsby as a young man who is living a fantasy of his own creation. Other interesting critique Nick makes several times, is the way in which money has the power to change people and their behavior.
To some extent, The Great Gatsby is not quite “Young Adult Literature,” especially when defined as a genre that is told from an adolescent’s perspective. That being said, Gatsby is often taught within the high school classroom, where it is both read and appreciated by young adults. When looking for a “classic” young adult novel, this book was suggested several times, and I vaguely remembered bits and pieces from when I read it as a sophomore in high school, so I decided to “give it another go.” I’m glad I did, for in reading through it again, I was better able to pick up on some of the foreshadowing, and connections, that I missed the first time.