The Great Gatsby is one of those keystone novels I use in my senior level AP Literature and Composition class. It is an excellent novel to use in a discussion of symbolism, historical context, point of view, the tragic hero, etc. And, more often that not, this is one of the assigned books the kids often like. I’ve had students return several years later to tell me Gatsby is still their favorite book of all time.
For myself, I didn’t enjoy it in high school. I thought it was boring. But then, anything that didn’t involve swords and magic didn’t “catch my interest” as some of my students would say now. It wasn’t until I reread it before deciding to use it in my AP Lit class that I saw Fitzgerald’s brilliance. Funny how growing up will do that. I don’t reread it every year with my students, but since it had been a while, I decided to do it again this year. And yes, I still find new phrases and images and descriptions to get excited about.
If you didn’t like it in high school, consider giving it another chance. If you’re never read it, you’re missing out on a true American classic.