Jon Chesson Chesson itibaren Texas
A book that layers different realities, which may just be the theme that i picked up because that is what we are discussing in English right now. Journalists are trying to interview a Nobel Prize winning author, who hasn't really written for years. Prétextat Tach, the genius author, is diagnosed with cartilage cancer and only has two months to live. This book plays with every preconceived expectation and will leave you stunned and thoughtful. There is no dull moment and the pages turn themselves.
Loved the first book more, now onto the third installment
How can you resist a title like that?
The True Value of Monopoly Money Capitalism tends towards monopoly. No capitalist welcomes a competitor or rival. Having attained wealth, the desire is to retain it, not to concede it; to increase it, not to share it. A competitor is perceived as a threat, and will be treated like a virus invading an otherwise healthy, but vulnerable, body. The Great American Dream "The Great Gatsby" is often described as a paean to the Great American Dream. This Dream supposedly sustains the average American. It offers the opportunity to achieve success, prosperity and happiness, regardless of class, status, background or wealth. It contains a promise of upward social mobility, a reward that will be ours if we work hard enough. We all have an equal opportunity to transcend our current circumstances. Implicitly, if we fail to transcend, we have only ourselves to blame. We didn't take sufficient advantage of our opportunity. Everybody is responsible for their own failure. The Great American Dream isn't far from the Objectivist Philosophy of Ayn Rand. Stars and stripes and silhouettes and shadows. Jay Gatsby Most readers think of Jay Gatsby as someone who took advantage of his opportunity, and made it. In that sense, he's the epitome of the Great American Dream. He has amassed enormous business wealth. He owns a colossal mansion on West Egg, Long Island. Every week, he holds a lavish party attended by all and sundry. The parties are the ultimate in Jazz Age glamour. Gatsby has achieved everything material an American could want. He has realised the Long Island real estate mantra, "Vocation, Location, Ovation". The Green Light So what's Gatsby's problem? Every night, Gatsby looks across the sound to a green light on a porch, where Daisy lives in her more prestigious East Egg mansion with her husband, Tom Buchanan. Daisy is the one thing for which Gatsby yearns. She is the one thing he has sought after since he met and fell in love with her five years earlier at age 25. "The Great Gatsby" revers that small green light. What we never see is what Gatsby's mansion looked like from Daisy's perspective at home. We aren't expressly offered a vision of Gatsby's fully-lit mansion as a counterpoint to Tom's, but that is what it is. The point is Gatsby's achievement of the Great American Dream was not the end, as it is with most Americans, it was the means to an end, and that end was winning the hand in marriage of Daisy. The most important thing about Gatsby's mansion, from Gatsby's point of view, is what it would look like to one woman across the sound. Love's Labours Retrieved Gatsby has already lost Daisy once, in 1917, when as a destitute young officer during the war, he was unable to marry her, because he could not offer her a financial security that was acceptable to her wealthy mid-west family. Since then, he has acquired wealth, by whatever means necessary, to win her away from Tom and marry her. The wealth was nothing to him, the parties were grotesque bonfires of vanity, designed with one thing in mind: to attract Daisy's attention and bring her, curious, within his reach. Then, having got her within his sphere of influence, he could win her back. "The Great Gatsby" is really about the love a man had for a woman, how he lost it and what he did to regain it. At one point, Gatsby talks about repeating the past. I don't see him as repeating it, so much as regaining it, making up for lost time, retrieving what he felt should have been his. "The Great Gatsby" is not so much about repetition, as it is about retrieval; not so much a remembrance of things past, as a resumption of a journey from a point in the past when the journey was broken. Carey Mulligan as Daisy (Courtesy: The Telegraph) The Pursuit of Another Man's Wife At its heart, Gatsby engages in adultery with Daisy, with a view to convincing her to divorce Tom and marry him. Many might find his conduct objectionable, except that he is young, elegant, good-looking, fabulously wealthy and, most importantly, in love with the slender Daisy. In contrast, Tom is a brute of a man, he is an ex-champion footballer, hard and cruel. Most importantly, he has cheated on Daisy many times and now has a mistress, the stout, but sensuous, Myrtle Wilson. Tom comes from an extremely wealthy mid-western family. Money is no object to him. Daisy might have the voice of money, but Tom has the demeanour and arrogance of not just money, but old money. When Tom learns of Daisy's infidelity and Gatsby's takeover bid, he goes into typical capitalist mode in order to defend his wife, his asset, his marital property. He researches Gatsby's past and theorises about how he has made his new money. He plans his counter-attack. The narrator, Nick Carraway, watches on, not just witness to a battle between Good and Evil, but in reality a battle between two degrees of bad. Black and white portrait of Isla Fisher as Myrtle Wilson Tom's Defence Strategy In the realm of love, as between two rival men, there can be no such thing as a friendly takeover bid. There is no suggestion that Tom can allow Gatsby to have Daisy, so that he can settle for Myrtle. The latter is just a plaything, something he spends time on, because she is available and he can have her without effort. All Myrtle ever wanted from her own husband was a gentleman with breeding. He turns out to be a mere mechanic and car salesman. He doesn't have the right status. Equally, although he is content to have her as his mistress, Tom doesn't see Myrtle as having the right status for marriage either. Ultimately, the role of marriage is not to perpetuate love and happiness. Tom's task is to bond together two wealthy establishment families and their riches. A merger of two capitalist families moves them that much closer to monopolistic power, in the same way that the intermarriage of royal families once cemented international power. Tom's goal is so important that it can accommodate his cruelty and infidelities, at least in his eyes. Moreover, it allows Tom to prevail over Gatsby, who, despite his war record, his partly-completed Oxford education, his wealth, his glamour, and his apparent achievement of the Great American Dream, is not "one of us". Ultimately, coincidence, accident and fate intervene on behalf of Tom, almost comically if it was not so sad, and he resists Gatsby's takeover bid. Nick, the observer, the witness, the audience of this tragedy, is left disgusted. Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker The Great American Paradox "The Great Gatsby" is a short novel. At times, there is more telling than showing. At times, the description is too adjectival or adverbial for the dictates of current style manuals. Take away the mansion, the parties and the glamour, and what remains comes close to the dimensions of film noir like "Double Indemnity". While the novel is perceived as hailing the Great American Dream, the paradox is that it highlights how great are the forces that are lined up to resist the efforts of a man who aspires to the Dream, especially if that man is a trespasser who covets another man's wife, even if he loves her and she loves him. There are flaws in Fitzgerald's writing, but they are tolerable. The story is magificent, even if, when laid out methodically, it might appear cliched. The characters, while realistic, are detailed and larger than life, certainly detailed enough to withstand the scrutiny when they are projected onto the silver screen. They are portrayed acting out their emotions in exactly the same way that we might in the same circumstances. However, in the long run, what makes "The Great Gatsby" great is Fitzgerald's ability to both adulate and perpetuate the Great American Dream, while simultaneously subverting it.