The Great Gatsby

by F. Scott Fitzgerald


Fundamentally, to me, this book is a warning. A warning not to be Gatsby, not to fall down Gatsby’s path, not to make the same mistakes he did. Against fraudstery in the name of greatness in the name of limerent love.

Gatsby doesn’t want to be the person he becomes. He doesn’t enjoy or partake in his lavish parties. He’s obsessed with himself, his past self, his fantasy past self, and considers that to be who he is today. His perception of his own existence is not grounded in reality. It’s a dangerous game, self delusion.

He’s too kind and gives up too much of himself. He falls head over heels for Daisy, protecting her from manslaughter charges at the cost of his own life even when she’d spurned him for ages.

It was after we started with Gatsby toward the house that the gardener saw Wilson’s body a little way off in the grass, and the holocaust was complete.

Interesting usage of the word ‘holocaust’ to describe Gatsby’s murder. Notably, this was written and published prior to World War II.

You can also pick up the outsider narrative: Gatsby’s accomplice, partner in crime, is a Jew. He is not of the same class or breed as Tom. Even Nick, Midwestern-turned-Yale Nick Carraway, is less of a class poseur than Mr. Gatsby. He never had a chance?

Don’t lie. Don’t beg. Don’t fake. Greatness for a girl is doomed to fail.