A powerful metaphor from the mind of F. Scott Fitzgerald looms large in Shawn Levy‘s review of The Social Network in The Oregonian as well as Ann Hornaday‘s review in The Washington Post:

Levy: “Indeed, as in David Cronenberg‘s The Fly, when a drunken lovers quarrel leads the hero into a rash act that changes him forever, Aaron Sorkin‘s Mark Zuckerberg sets down the path that will eventually lead him to billions while soaking in a beer-fueled snit fit at a girl (Rooney Mara) who won’t have him. In a sense, all that follows — the programming marathons, the less-than-above-board business dealings, the efforts to position the web site and turn it into a phenomenon — is spurred by Zuckerberg’s yearning for this dream girl. She is Daisy Buchanan to his Jay Gatsby, and the green light on a distant dock has morphed into the refresh button on a Facebook page.”

Hornaday: “What ensues is a narrative that hews closely to classic American tales of ambition, ingenuity, competition and betrayal; The Social Network has understandably been compared to Citizen Kane in its depiction of a man who changes society through bending an emergent technology to his will. But with its leitmotif of striving, resentment and cherchez la femme, the story also evokes Fitzgerald at his most longing and elegiac. A modern-day Jay Gatsby, the ‘refresh’ button on his keyboard standing in for Daisy Buchanan’s flashing green dock light, Zuckerberg — or at least Sorkin’s version of him — embodies all those timeless contradictions and of-the-moment tics (the hoodie, those flip-flops) that make for a classic literary anti-hero.”