Why Readers Love The Great Gatsby So Much

Apr 26, 2022

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” is an all-time evergreen read that makes you want to read it over and over again. Studied across high schools and universities, “The Great Gatsby” is a short read yet full of meaningful and powerful messages. It’s a thought-provoking novel and film reflecting real-life aspects such as money, power, love, and loneliness. Hailed as one of the greatest literary works of all time, “The Great Gatsby” entangles social, political, and cultural implications reflecting man’s never-ending chase after power and wealth. Oftentimes best-selling books turn into blockbusters that leave the viewer disappointed - the novel was an amazing read, so how could the film be less exciting?

The power of materialism

That’s far from true when it comes to the film adaptation following the lives of Jay Gatsby, his pal Nick Carraway, and sweetheart Daisy Buchanan. Jay Gatsby makes a grand entrance in Long Island’s West Egg disrupting the imposed social order. Gatsby draws attention to himself and his self-made wealth by organizing lavish parties - each more magnificent and awe-inspiring than the previous. It is because of the sparkle and excessive wealth displayed at these parties that he manages to catch Daisy Buchanan’s attention. Perhaps it’s the spark that’s missing in Daisy’s marriage, the lack of affection and display of desire?

Source: The Book Riot

Why do readers love “The Great Gatsby” so much - that’s no mystery. Is Gatsby really in love with Daisy Buchanan? Or has he made a comeback to show off his success and take the forever desired place in society? F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel provides an excellent base for well-written “The Great Gatsby” essays exploring different topics both true to the past and modern days. Does Gatsby represent the American Dream or is he chasing the dream of a madman? Do money and power go hand in hand? Is the gap between poor and rich in society in fact that big?

Giving in to temptation

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s readers witness both the rise and fall of society, the overpowering desire for wealth and riches. Given a second chance at love, Daisy Buchanan ends up choosing a life of loneliness, betrayal, but importantly - a life of wealth. Her character has the reader question how humans prioritze their needs. Do affection, love, and inner happiness come before power and wealth? Are we capable of turning a blind eye on matters that hurt us in one way or another, to live a life of splendor and pampering? The reader can feel Gatsby’s pain and heartbreak disappointment after losing a battle where he never stood a chance.

Unlike Gatsy, Tom Buchanan was born wealthy and into the higher levels of society. The inherited power and wealth entitled Buchanan to being reckless and greedy. Greedy of more power, that is, for a man that has everything can only want more. Disregarding the most valuable possession a man could crave for, the possession Jay Gatsby for one craves for, Tom Buchanan is after a prize that doesn’t belong to him: Myrtle Wilson. But the reader shouldn’t be awe-struck by this for it’s human to desire to possess more than entitled to. 

We strive to stand out in society, impress with material wealth, and live glamorous lives. True affection and feelings are often replaced by greed. As readers, we can easily see fragments of our mirrored reflections in Daisy Buchanan, Jay Gatsby, Tom Buchanan, or even Nick Carraway. Provocative, intriguing, and beguiling “The Great Gatsby” leaves the reader with questions long after finishing the book. The inspiring one-sided love between Gatsby and Buchanan makes one of many essay introductions which can evolve in different directions. Unavoidably, this love story ends in tragedy. Should Gatsby have given up on his dream? Because in the end, it was just a dream. 


It’s easy for the readers to relate to the characters in “The Great Gatsby”. And it’s even easier to identify with them having seen the 2013 motion picture based on the book considered by many as “the great American novel”. A display of wealth, hunger for materialism, unreciprocated feelings, and a feeling of lack of control. Told from the point of view of an outsider - narrator Nick Carraway - the audience has a chance to follow the story of unrequited love between Daisy Buchanan and Gatsby. But is love the main topic of the plot? Are the characters’ intentions as pure as they seem at first glance? A topic for endless essays, “The Great Gatsby” leaves many questions hanging in the air. 

Author’s Bio

John Marlow is a university lecturer with an affinity for literature, especially American literature from the Modernist Period. He is the author of numerous research papers and essays focusing on the utopian vision of human life and society, as well as on belief in progress. Marlow is an active participant in discussions on individualism, symbolism, and numerous contemporary literature topics.


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