by F. Scott Fitzgerald
If the age-old adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover” were the law of the land, I have incriminated myself countless times. Guilty as charged. When I was younger, I remember standing on my tiptoes trying reach the books on the top shelf of the bookcase, jumping a little in order to give just enough force to a book’s spine to make it tumble down. One by one I would repeat the process: tumble a book down, examine the colorful cover illustrations, and set it aside until I found just the right one. Time after time I came across the foreboding and mysterious cover of The Great Gatsby, the gleaming eyes of a faintly-outlined female face against a lavender velvet background staring into my own. The image was simultaneously tantalizing and terrifying. Every time I returned to the bookshelf, I paused over it, wondering what lay behind that magnificent cover. It wasn’t until several years had passed that I finally garnered the courage to open to page one. I am ever so glad that I did.
Immediately I was whisked back to the luxurious 1920’s and introduced to Nick Carraway, new kid on the block in the West Egg neighborhood of Long Island, New York. Nick and I became friends as we were simultaneously introduced to Fitzgerald’s mysterious and captivating collection of characters. There was Jay Gatsby, rich host of many lavish West Egg parties; Daisy Buchanan, the woman he loves who lives just across the bay; Tom Buchanan, her jealous and wealthy husband; and Jordan Baker, Daisy’s friend and a forward-thinker. Through tender wishes and scandalous affairs, Fitzgerald paints a marvelous portrait of the social and economic climate of the Golden Era. His luscious writing strung me along page by page, and the startling ending remains firmly embedded in my memory. The Great Gatsby became, and still remains, one of the most beloved books in the bookcase.
Images that remind me of The Great Gatsby are: a Rolls Royce, a green light, a decadent party, flapper dresses, and a billboard advertisement for Dr. T. J. Eckleburg.
Contributor: KateAshley C.