Literary Criticism

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Literary criticism, Literature Pages: 3 (995 words) Published: March 20, 2012
Literary Criticism
Critics throughout the years agree that F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is one of his most renowned accomplishments in his entire career. Although there are a few who believe this novel was like one of his previous ones. It portrays not only his understanding of the Jazz Age of being happy and having money but also the loss of traditional. Some critics found his novel entertaining, “a real attention grabber”, while others found it a bit negligible. In 1942 Alfred Kazin a highly respected American Literary critic wrote that it was Fitzgerald's understanding of the character Gatsby that enabled him to depict so skillfully his tragedy and, even more consequently, the illusory nature of the American dream(Twentieth Century Literary Criticism Vol 14 151). Fitzgerald always saw life as a glamour, even though he could pierce that glamour to write one of the most moving of American tragedies in The Great Gatsby(TCLC 151). Kazin was not the only critic who thought highly of Fitzgerald's book. Others believed that The Great Gatsby compared to his previous novels, was by far one of his best books. Other critics ,along with Frederick J. Hoffman, throughout the years wondered how Fitzgerald managed to write such a successful novel. In 1951 Hoffman wrote, “The time Fitzgerald spent in the writing of The Great Gatsby was also devoted to a carefulexamination of his weaknesses and a consolidation of whatever formal gains he had made since the beginning. He had, as he said, not only to find the most suitable approach to his materials but also to justify materials to himself...”( TCLC 152). While most critics in the nineteenth century spent their time appraising The Great Gatsby others, seemed to think poorly of this novel. A critic in the Springf'd Republican wrote “A little slack, a little soft, more than a little artificial, 'The Great Gatsby', falls into the class of negligible novels”( Book Review Digest 226). During the nineteenth century many...
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