Discuss a work of literary merit that you hated when you were made to read it in school or university. Why did you dislike it?
For me, that book is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Here, I will pause so that everyone can gasp with indignation.
I understood then, as I do now, that’s it’s meant to be a poignant metaphor for the decline of the American dream and that it’s packed full of potent symbolism. That’s all fine and dandy, and I don’t dispute it. But, the story itself is so incredibly asinine and populated with insufferable bores. The closest I came to any emotional involvement was at the end when the titular character is shot and the murderer offs himself. Finally, I thought, I don’t have to deal with these people any more.
So, there’s my rant. I’ve been waiting to unload that for quite a while. All this being said, I do recognize that a forced high school reading doesn’t provide the most conducive environment for appreciating the literary nuances of a novel. I’ve toyed with the idea of picking up The Great Gatsby again to see if my opinions have changed, but I’m not sure I’d be able to be an unbiased reader. And, honestly, with so many great books out there waiting to be read, it’s not high on my priority list.