” The lawn and drive had been crowded with the faces of those who guessed at his corruption—and he had stood on those steps, concealing his incorruptible dream, as he waved them goodbye. ” [8:162]
Second review. Jay Gatsby purchases the most luxurious mansion in West Egg and throws lavish parties to which guests self-invite with a simplicity (and vanity) of heart that is its own ticket of admission. Neither do the guests know of the tycoon’s murky past, nor does Gatsby care for the rumor abuzz as to what abject lives he had led. The house, which commands a view of the Buchanans’ home in East Egg, and parties belong to his meticulous plan to reunite with his first and only love, Daisy, Buchanan from five years ago before he left for war. He is hoping she would be at one of his parties.
I could see nothing sinister about him. I wondered if the fact that he was not drinking helped to set him off from his guests, for it seemed to me that he grew more correct as the fraternal hilarity increased. [3:54]
The narrator Nick Carraway, a Yale graduate and bond salesman, acts as Gatsby’s go-between to Daisy, who has married to the arrogant, conceited alpha male-type Tom Buchanan for security in Gatsby’s absence. She wanted her life shaped and the decision was made by some force—mainly of money and of practicality. Unbeknownst to her, Tom has a mistress in Manhattan and their affair incredibly plants the seed for Gatsby’s fall later in the novel.
I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue dawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. [9:189]
It’s indisputable that Gatsby creates a mystique of himself and chooses to live in an imaginary world. The goal to to give emotionally and physically to have Daisy back. He has taken a romantic view on what happened between him and Daisy; but his unrestrained desire, which boils precariously when he confesses his love for her in Tom’s presence, also dooms him. Not for once do I doubt Gatsby’s love for Daisy, by any affection between them is only preserved by his lust for wealth and possession, for Daisy has a profound on his thoughts about wealth.
[Gatsby] hadn’t once ceased looking at Daisy and I think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes. Sometimes, too, he stared around at his possessions in a dazed way as though in her actual and astounding presence none of it was any longer real. [5:96]
The Great Gatsby is a tragic love story that takes place in a society of which the values have gone awry. Gatsby is a man of desperate love who has been blinded by rotten values. He doesn’t know that while pursuing his dream, it’s already behind him and that Daisy will always be like that green light at the end of the dock in an unreachable distance. In breath-taking lyricism, with sensitive insight and keen psychological observation, Fitzgerald discloses in these people a meanness of spirit, carelessness and absence of loyalties. He doesn’t judge them, nor hates them, for they are dumb in their insensate selfishness, and only to be pitied.
216 pp. [Read/Skim/Toss] [Buy/Borrow]