The Great Gatsby

Notes by Erika Assabayeva


Living through a global pandemic for two years certainly wasn’t the way many of us envisioned experiencing the 21st-century equivalent of the Roaring Twenties. Instead of lively social gatherings and exuberant celebrations, our only “roar” came through binge-watching Tiger King.

However, amidst the challenges of isolation, I found solace in revisiting a beloved classic – The Great Gatsby (many would recognize it from the iconic film adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio and featuring a soundtrack by Lana Del Rey).

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece captures the essence and the disillusionment of the Jazz Age with its blend of romance, extravagance, and moral decay. Set against the backdrop of 1920s America, the novel centers around the mysterious Jay Gatsby and his relentless pursuit of the American Dream in hopes of winning the heart of Daisy Buchanan, a married socialite.

Gatsby’s enigmatic past is intricately intertwined with Daisy’s, and his extravagant parties serve as both a spectacle and a desperate attempt to draw her closer. Fitzgerald masterfully explores themes of love, wealth, and the hollowness of materialism through Gatsby’s lavish lifestyle and his unwavering quest to reclaim Daisy’s affections.

As I immersed myself in the pages of The Great Gatsby during those challenging times, I found its timeless commentary on human longing and the pursuit of fulfillment hitting particularly close to my heart. Despite the vast differences between our world and that of the Jazz Age, Fitzgerald’s portrayal of the complexities of the human experience remains as relevant and captivating as ever. So, if you haven’t had a chance to read The Great Gatsby, take the opportunity to do so before the twenties are over and see if you can find the similarities between the Jazz Age of the twentieth century and the way our society is now compensating for the time lost during the pandemic.