Comments on Classics posts often contain spoilers,
so go read the book first and then come back. It’s ok, I’ll wait.
The Great Gatsby – 1926 – F. Scott Fitzgerald
In a nutshell:
Gatsby acquires immense wealth to impress a girl.
Things go badly.
I was going to do some research on this book for this post, but then I decided against it. The whole point of my comments on classics section is for me to share my opinions and thoughts on a book, not the thoughts and opinions I’m supposed to have. I’m not one to hunt for symbolism and obscure themes in literature. Either it hits me or it doesn’t. I read for fun, though I have no problem with a little learning rubbing off on me now and again.
So, what did I glean from this classic work? Rich people suck. Ok, perhaps that is a little ungenerous, allow me to rephrase; these rich people suck. Better?
The main characters are all horrible people in their own special ways, with the exception of our narrator, Nick Carraway; there may be some hope for him yet. Gatsby himself is either second best or the worst of them, I can’t seem to decide. He has a pure(ish) heart and was willing to go to such lengths to be financially worthy of the woman he loves. The thing is, if you have to be ridiculously wealthy for the girl to love you, then, she’s probably not worth it in the first place. Not to mention the fact that Gatsby got his money through many a shady business deal, hurting who knows how many people. Doing something for the one you love is a noble thing. Accomplishing it by any means necessary isn’t so noble.
The characters are unbelievably selfish. Daisy’s husband cheats on her regularly, driving her into Gatsby’s arms, only to completely abandon Gatsby’s memory in the end, because it was inconvenient. Nick was the only one with any sense of loyalty, and if anything, he felt sorry for Gatsby, as did I.
The moral of the story? Money won’t buy you love or happiness, it’ll just get you killed. Until next time…