The Great (and Depressing) Gatsby

I reread The Great Gatsby last week in anticipation for the new movie release in May. I’m still trying to work through the message F. Scott Fitzgerald was trying to communicate.

I learned very quickly that while I remembered some of the major points of the novel, it was as if I were reading it for the first time. I can’t decide if this is because I did a poor job reading in high school or because my interpretation and thought processes have changed.

As for the characters, I didn’t really care for any of them except the narrator, Nick, and his fling, Jordan. Of course, Jordan was a bit of a mess.

Tom is an arrogant man who lived in a world of double-standards where he flaunted his money. Gatsby was a stalker who made his money in very sketchy business. He also flaunted his money. And the woman they both loved so much? I can’t even remember her name, I disliked her that much.

I do remember one of the things she said, though, in regard to her daughter. When asked about the you h child, she said that she breathes.

She breathes?

That’s all this pitiful, self-involved “adult” had to say about her three-year-old. I was over her by the end of the sentence.

She did manage to anger me again later when she paraded her daughter in front of her lover like a dog and then sent her away with the maid.

Aside from being terrible parents, the characters were drunks, liars, adulterers, murderers and just bad people.

Was Fitzgerald trying to demonstrate the ridiculous life of the wealthy? Was he trying to say that you can’t chase a dream – once it’s gone, it’s gone?

It’s as if Fitzgerald was trying to say that it’s not worth it. The big adventure, the dream, the whatever will just end in heartache.

It was all quite depressing, and at the same time, I can’t think of a better ending. They don’t deserve a happy ending.

Have you read The Great Gatsby? What are your thoughts on the novel?

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