Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Summer of GATSBY -- No. 1-- Why I am obsessed with this book and you should be too.

Welcome old sport!

Welcome to all things Great Gatsby: chances to explore, chances to learn, and chances to win.

What's all this about? Read the intro to Summer of Gatsby here...

Whether you've read TGG in high school and are revisiting it or rediscovering it for the first time, enjoy our discussion. And warning--HEREIN BE SPOILERS!

So pull up some bootleg hooch, put on your Charleston shoes and we'll get going.

Why I am obsessed with this book and you should be too

So many merely look at this book on the surface level: unrequited love, excess, materialism, booze, lust, ambition, booze, adultery, and did we mention booze?

What Gatsby epitomizes so clearly is not so much the excess of the Jazz Age (though F.Scott does a great job of that as well) but the timelessness of human nature--the desire to want more, not just for greed's sake, but for the sake of love. It also centers around that most American of traits--reinventing oneself. Jay Gatsby seems to be almost a biblical warning to those who would gain the world but lose their souls. For me, what is entirely heartbreaking, is it shows the deep, insatiable love/lust he has for Daisy. While Gatsby's business ventures cannot be justified as ethical, we all wonder what our Daisy, or "green light" is? Is there something you want so bad that you would sacrifice everything for it--but in the process lose yourself? And is this something worth having?

While I do think Daisy truly loved Gatsby, I think perhaps what she loved more was the IDEA of being in love with him. When it came time to make that commitment, dump Tom (who by the way, what the bleep were you thinking on that one, girl,) she goes back to what is familiar.

This underscores something I have said my whole life irt relationships, particularly less-than-ideal ones, when given a chance between change and familiarity, human beings tend to gravitate toward the familiar, even if that familiar isn't what is best. I think it may be geared in our DNA, I don't know.

But hey, don't take my word for how bleepin' awesome this book is, check this out,
Five Reasons The Great Gatsby is the Great American Novel.

The movie is out. Gatsby guys and gals, make your voice heard:

Coming next: Gatsby cartoons.

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