Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms further … 

I just finished rereading The Great Gatsby, which I haven't read since I was a second year in high school. It was tedious for me at the time; now I read it in three days and I feel filled with thought. 

Why does Daisy not acknowledge Gatsby's death? Fitzgerald goes to such extents to describe her as someone and something alluring and charming in the most sincere ways --- a voice which sings when she speaks, whispers to you, and is playful with those around her. Daisy is a constant breath of fresh air, intrigue, and innocence, but then she suddenly disappears in the second half of the story, after Gatsby tells her husband Tom that she is leaving him. She obviously decides to stay with him, but why? The comfort of time and experience? Why does she ignore Gatsby's death altogether…. She never even tells her husband that it was her driving the car; instead she allows him to tell Wilson that it was Gatsby driving it. 

Nick has got to be one of my favorite narrators in all of literature. I love that when he sees Tom at the end of the novel, knowing that he is the cause of the recent grim events and that he is a gross coward, he still shakes his hand. 

"I couldn't forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy -- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money and their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made …. I shook hands with him; it seemed silly not to, for I felt suddenly as though I were talking to a child." 

There are so many times where I have thought this to myself. Sometimes you want to change people, but you can't, and you have to just accept their mentality. 

In the end, Nick is left alone. The woman he thought he loved left him after a small quarrel, his friends are not what they seemed, and the one man he doubted but couldn't help but feel bound to was Gatsby. It reminds me that even if we live our lives honestly, like Nick does, that we can lose what we have around us like a drop of a hat. And you can't change that. You can only keep moving forward, stretching your arms out, looking to the green light of the past and searching for something more in the future … 

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