*SPOILERS WITHIN THIS POST. IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK OR SEEN THE MOVIE- DON’T READ THIS*
The relationship I have with this story goes way back in the day, like seventh grade then my eighth and finally, now (my junior year). Hopefully it’ll be the last time I ever have to read this cursed book again. The Great Gatsby written by, none other than my most beloved-and-hated author, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Countless times have I cursed his name and then, as I continued to read his wonderful crap, I came to respect him. It’s a frenemy bond that I’ve come to establish with this particular book, and please, let me tell you why.
First time reading it, I found it romantic and absurdly tragic. In my elementary-state-like-mind I thought of Daisy and Gatsby’s relationship on the same level as Romeo & Juliet’s. It was sweet, maybe too dramatic and unnecessary, but I couldn’t say I would not love a man like Jay Gatsby, Ha. HAHAHAHAHA! All lies.
Second time reading this book, my perspective changed completely. Instead of the focus on how much Gatsby loved Daisy, or vice versa, I found myself criticizing the characters surrounding the two; especially Nick. Although the book is told from his sole perspective, I tend to trust the narrative in story telling, simply because the story wouldn’t be anything at all without them. Just how much could Nick be useless, was all my attention focused on. He pretty much claimed that he “disapproved” of Gatsby throughout the entire end of the book. I’m certain he meant his lifestyle, and maybe self-consciously, his effort into winning Daisy back. So many different theories about Nick took a majority of my collective thoughts to just give it a rest. I did pretty well until the movie came out (ugh. Someone give DiCaprio an award, please) and when my English teacher doomed this book upon my class.
Hopefully my last time reading this book, I’d have to say I had a much deeper insight into the story. I still think Gatsby’s a fool with the rest of the characters, but I’ve realized just how much it signifies what, perhaps, Fitzgerald was trying to say about (and here’s where I can’t draw the line):
– Humans: Our tendencies to have certain instincts or prone-behavioral actions. The capacity of what our minds can make us do and the extent to what control we have over it. Last but not least, the selfishness we tend to possess.
– Class Structures: Need I rant on this? West Egg -> not the rich, so not important. East Egg-> the Rich. VERY IMPORTANT AND BETTER THAN EVERYTHING ELSE BENEATH THEM. Valley of Ashes -> extreme poor, the slums/hood, where we bury our secrets. NYC-> like the valley of ashes but filthier and rich with things to do, like cheat on our wives. A second chance at life that we probably shouldn’t have.
– Life: Just so many I could list here, too many, that I don’t even want to go into.
And that’s the very long and complicated history of Gatsby and I. We had a good run, and we might run into each other again, but I sincerely hope not. As much as I hate and love the book, I don’t think I can handle another perspective change. I just want to leave it’s place in my mind now, as it is. Getting too deep into a book is never healthy; it’s like digging straight down as a dwarf. At some point, you have to realize to just let it go. (errm, cough, Gatsby, cough).
So, now that I’ve given the down low on my book dirt, I’d love to rant with fellow love-haters of Gatsby and all it’s grief. Other than that, keep reading, not living in the past, and loving someone unconditionally even if it’s a little bit mentally distubed.