Posted by Skook on 27 June, 2013 at 12:07 pm. 9 comments already!

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All right…I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool — that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.

The Great Gatsby

Chapter 1, Daisy on her newborn girl.

There has been renewed discussion of Fitzgerald’s book and the recent movie, The Great Gatsby. Although it would take a beating with a rubber hose to get me to sit through DiCaprio playing Jay Gatz, I consider Fitzgerald one of the great American wordsmiths, not just of the last century but for all time.

In my opinion, Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby to portray the dehumanization and decadence of the entitled or privileged classes during the Roaring Twenties. However, the book has become more relevant in the twenty-first Century if it is applied to our ruling elite class in DC and especially the RINOs who proclaim to represent Conservatism, but seem to be striving to join the ranks of the nouveau riche of perpetual politicians.

Hopefully, most of you have read Fitzgerald’s tragedy; if you haven’t, maybe this essay will convince you to invest a few hours reading a gifted American author’s intriguing story about the vapidity and utter disdain America’s entitled classes have for the welfare of others, and the destructive forces of ill-gotten wealth.

Jay Gatz was a mid-western farm boy with a limited education and no future, but WWI came along and he became an infantry officer, in Europe he became a bona fide hero, and was awarded citations for conspicuous gallantry by numerous countries.

The officer status allowed him limited entry into the world of privilege. During this glimpse into the world of wealth and privilege, he had a brief and tempestuous love affair with the beautiful, wealthy, but typically shallow Daisy.

It excited him, too, that many men had already loved Daisy – it increased her value in his eyes.

The Great Gatsby

Chapter 8.

Jay was smitten and lost in love. Neither of them were innocent, Jay found the many previous lovers of Daisy to be exciting, since she was desired by so many wealthy men, yet his experience seemed limited to with coarser women of the night, who loved professionally on the other side of the tracks.

He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.

The Great Gatsby

Chapter 6, Gatsby on his first kiss with Daisy.

Jay went to war, and Daisy married an extremely wealthy polo player, Tom, who considered people of lower economic status, little more than playthings to be used and destroyed for amusement or pleasure.

The story is told through Nick, another mid-western country boy, who finds it easy to sacrifice his principles for the opportunity to love the beautiful but mysterious Jordan, a woman of extreme wealth who seems to have a soul. Although she is vacuous and incredulous toward Nick and his struggle to “Make It” in the world of finance; sadly, Nick learns after he has given up on his new friends and Jordan’s love, that she was truly falling in love with him.

Nick befriends Tom, Jay, Jordan, and his distant cousin Daisy and we are given a tour among the both the nouveau riche and members of the “Old Money” class of the Roaring Twenties, who, strangely enough, seem vaguely similar to our own wealthy classes of elites.

Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry.

The Great Gatsby

Chapter 5.

Nick suspects, that Gatsby has acquired his extraordinary wealth through nefarious means after meeting Jay’s unscrupulous benefactor, a professional gambler and swindler, who brags about “Making” the Great Gatsby, a suspicion that is confirmed at the end of the book.

Gatsby used his great wealth to throw lavish parties for people who only knew of Gatsby by reputation. Remaining aloof and in the shadows at his own parties, in his own naive way, Gatsby hoped to impress and win the heart of Daisy by showcasing his wealth and extravagance, but Daisy, who was from “Old Money” considered the parties to be contemptuous and beneath her station. After all, his mansion was located on the poor side of town and only contemptible lower class people of dubious breeding attended his parties.

The physically imposing Tom, took Nick on a day excursion and introduced him to his mistress, Myrtle, the wife of a local car mechanic, and a whole new group of friends.

He thinks she goes to see her sister in New York. He’s so dumb he doesn’t know he’s alive.

The Great Gatsby

Chapter 2, Tom, on Wilson and his wife Myrtle, with whom Tom is having an affair.

Later on that day, Tom became irritated with Myrtle’s insistence on being a more prominent presence in his life and as the day and drinking progressed, an argument argument became heated between Tom and his lover. Tom ended the argument by breaking Myrtle’s nose and as Nick comforted the woman, he began to have doubts about the morality of his new friends.

Nick was later coerced into setting up a liaison between Gatsby and Daisy, at his rented house, a small bungalow next to the Gatzby mansion, under a false premise of a private tea party with just Nick and Daisy.

At the tea party, Daisy was introduced to Gatsby and realized he was her former lover Jay Gatz. (Gatz adopted the name Gatzby, because he thought it sounded more aristocratic) Old flames were rekindled, and Nick was once again drawn into a network of deceit and adultery.

Tragedy struck in the form of an argument between the mechanic and his wife. He assumed she had an illicit lover and she looked with scorn at her husband the mechanic. The argument precipitated over the fact that Myrtle was distraught over the image of Tom with Daisy at a fancy party, while she was stuck with her mechanic husband in an apartment over his garage. In desperation, she announced her intention to leave and ran out of their home and into the street.

Daisy and Gatsby had just left the party together, at Tom’s insistence. Tom had confronted the two of them about the affair and their deceit was now in the open.

I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife. Well, if that’s the idea you can count me out.

The Great Gatsby

Chapter 7, Tom Buchanan on Gatsby.

It was Tom’s way of showing contempt for the lovers and their illicit affair in front of their friends by insisting they leave together. Daisy was distraught, and Gatsby catered to her emotional state, against common sense, by letting her drive his car, despite the fact that she was a terrible and inattentive driver.

Fate caused Myrtle and Daisy to meet, but instead of an emotional greeting, Daisy accidentally drove over the hysterical Myrtle and killed her with Gatzby’s distinct yellow car.

It was a hit and run, since Daisy refused to stop. Later that evening, Nick confronted Gatsby with a sense of moral outrage, he learned Daisy had been driving, but Gatsby wanted to take the blame to shield Daisy.

Tom had seen Daisy driving and once he learned of the hit and run car’s unusual coloring, he surmised the real cause of the accident.

The next day, he visited the distraught mechanic, who he knew through minor business dealings, and told him it was Gatzby’s car that had killed his wife.

The mechanic, now in a state of extreme grief, shot and killed Gatzby, and then turned the weapon on himself.

Nick tried to get people to come to Gatzby’s funeral, but the only man who showed up was Gatzby’s father, who told of a son who had shown benevolence to a father who had been abusive in the past.

Nick’s fascination with the lifestyles of the fabulously wealthy began to diminish as he realized the shallowness and inhumanity they exhibited to the people around them. Nick’s realization was written to expose the empty vessels of the Elites of the Roaring Twenties, but our ruling elites in DC have the same disdain and contempt for everyday Americans who aren’t rich and aren’t at the controls of power.

Just as Tom and Daisy resumed their lives of conspicuous consumption and decadence, our own former Secretary of State resumed her life as if nothing had happened after Benghazi; in fact, she even tried to advance her career with photo ops next to the coffins and grieving loved ones. Lies, deceit, unscrupulous behavior mean nothing, for image helps determine power, control, and ill-gotten wealth.

They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money of their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.

The Great Gatsby

Chapter 9, Nick on the Buchanans.

Epilogue:
Fitzgerald provides excellent insight into the psyche of the wealthy and powerful, but he can also inspire us to write more effectively, for in order to write well, it is imperative to read authors who write well.

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

The Great Gatsby

Chapter 9, Nick.

It is easy to visualize Daisy at a court hearing being asked to explain the facts concerning the night of the accident, and under duress to tell the truth blurts out, “What difference does it make now?”

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