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7/13/10 A Literary Analogy
I Read Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night while I was on vacation and I liked it much better than The Great Gatsby, and the best way to explain this is an analogy: The Great Gatsby is like Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men: it is artistic and archetypal and thematic and and lean and memorable and literary . . . Tender is the Night is like Cannery Row: it is ragged and specific and autobiographical in spots and rambling and not as focused-- chronologically or thematically-- and looser and more fun . . . Fitzgerald has time to write lines like "she crossed and recrossed her knees frequently in the manner of tall restless virgins" and though The Great Gatsby and Of Mice and Men will forever be taught in school because they are symbolic and unforgettable, Tender is the Night and Cannery Row are better books, denser and more engaging and easier to get lost in.