I planned to re-read The Great Gatsby upon hearing the news that it’s going to be made into a movie and for the sole reason that I don’t remember a darn thing about it. Plus, I’ve entered a phase in which I think I’ve experience enough of life that I could go back and re-read classic novels and finally understand what they mean. That’s not to suggest I wasn’t a deep reader as a teen, but now, in the case of Jay Gatsby, I totally know what its like to harbor a dream and have life shatter said dream into a million jagged little pieces. To quote Fantine from Les Miserable the musical: “Life has killed the dream I dreamed…” The bitter examination of the American Dream, folks. Doesn’t get more depressing than that.
I like the idea of Gatsby more than I like the character. This has got to be said and the literary purist might burn me in effigy, but it was super hard for me to get involved in this book. It was descriptive, sometimes beautifully so (“The exhilaration of her laughter was like a wild tonic in the rain” anyone?) yet why do I not care? Why do I care more about the cast of characters in a romance novel than the Great American novel? Is there something wrong with me? Anyway, empathy…I have none. But the idea of Gatsby, the rich yet lonely man staring at the green dock lights across the bay is oh so romantic. He bought a mansion across from Daisy’s mansion just so he could watch her, which is kind of an expensive way to stalk somebody when the ole bushes n’ binoculars method would suffice.
My parting random thought:
“He dispensed starlight….” What does this mean? I was quite perplexed and this sentence found its way into conversation at work. Combined with all the twinkling that goes on when Gatsby’s around, we likened Gatsby to Edward Cullen and Daisy to Bella. Ha! How do I dare make such a blasphemous analogy! I bet F. Scott Fitzgerald is rolling over in his grave.