Friday, 13 January 2012

The Great Gatsby read-a-long - week 2

After meeting the writer of this book, Nick, after disliking the main couple of Tom and Daisy, witnessing Tom breaking Myrtle's nose and Daisy wishing for her baby to be a fool, it was only time to meet the main character:  Mr. Jay Gatsby.  

Reading through this part of the novel, I discovered the many, way too many levels of Gatsby's personality.  A person trying to hide his past, or rather trying to reinvent his past, his connections with the wrong side of the law that have contributed to his fortune, his lavish parties with guests from the old and new money, all this showcases a person who has a purpose in life:  prove his worth (to Daisy?) and ... to the rest of the people around him.  And yet, I cannot call him "pompous", I cannot dislike him.  His actions rather show how disconnected he is with all this showing off, how he feels as if all this is expected of him, but not actually "him".  Reading this part, I remembered the remark made by Nick in the very beginning of the book: "Gatsby turned out all right the end".  This perpetual restlessness that characterises him, the little mistakes in geography that call off his bluff, cannot be evidence of a naturally mean man.  I want to find out more about him - why is he so infatuated with Daisy?  I know I'm a cynic, but even objectively speaking, he cannot have gone through such a transformation within 5 years for her alone - can he???

Two other points left an impression on me in this part:  the insight into the characters of Nick and Jordan, two of the characters I had not particularly paid attention in the first part.  Nick makes a heavy statement in the book
 "I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known"
Now, whenever something like that is being said, I'm almost certain that this person is lying.  I know from now on that I will not get to like Nick, just by this statement.  I know there will be circumstances where he will prove that he's dishonest.

And then there's Jordan, who up to now I regarded as a semi-silly girl and who, even though met with people that did not make her a better person, still knew where she stood.  While driving, however, she proves how careless she is, and actually considers that any person hit by her car is also to be blamed.  This lack of responsibility just drives me mad!  I can imagine that Fitzgerald was not only talking about driving at this instance, which makes me even angrier!  Why do some people think the world belongs to them??

I can't wait until the next instalment... but I will not cheat and read ahead...

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