I was struggling to write a post today because I am tired and ill and the school work is starting to pile up. But I wanted to do another post tonight so here it is. I read The Great Gatsby around a year ago and watched the film not long after it came out on DVD. Not to sound pretentious but this book is in top position on ‘my best books list’. It is one of the most beautifully tragic novels I have ever read. I shows the human condition in both its best and worst lights.
The first thing Gatsby taught me is that hope can uplift you and pull you down. The key to surviving is to hope not for hoping’s sake, but for your own sake and when the time comes and some of your hopes and dreams don’t come true accept that you did all you could – if you didn’t, stop hoping and start doing. Gatsby hoped and dreamed and eventually he push he dreams to become realities. Had he accepted that Daisy was not his to hope and dream about then there is a possibility that he might not have died.
The second thing it taught me was to always observe. Nick is an observer, never directly involved in the action. He sees many peoples true colors. As the book ends he starts to see that Daisy and Tom were careless people and that Jordan isn’t the most sporting person. He – as he claims at the start of the book – reserves his judgement right until the end.
The third thing it taught me was that you can’t and shouldn’t change the past. Even if Gatsby could go back and change what had happened, could he and Daisy have really been together.
The fourth is that very few people are truly bad. Tom appears to be the villain in this book, but he isn’t. The ‘bad guy’ is fate. Tom never intentionally kept Daisy and Gatsby apart. What kept them apart was society, money and circumstances out of their control.
The fifth is that no one is as together as they seem. Under the exterior perfection of each character is a mind filled with worry, guilt, hate and love. Gatsby appears so cool in his suits, but underneath he longs for Daisy and a life he can never have.
The sixth and final thing is that love is never straight forward. As a child I always had this weird belief in my mind that when you met the right person the relationship would be a smooth ride, with all the pieces falling into place. But the truth is that you have to make the best of your situation, that there might be more than one person out there for you and only circumstance will decide whom you end up with.
Laugh til you cry, love til you die.