Friday, May 10, 2013

The Dream Has Gone: The Great Gatsby Chapter 8 – 9

I do this chapter post for WEM project; see also previous chapter 1, chapter 2 – 3, chapter 4 – 5, and chapter 6 - 7.

The revenge

Gatsby told Nick how he met and fell in love with Daisy; apparently Gatsby loved the ideas of Daisy more than the girl. He courted her and gave her false hope that he was at the same level with her. Gatsby went to war and tried to make him rich, but before he could come back, Daisy had decided to marry Tom Buchanan who could give her security. Nick is finally breaking up with Jordan Baker who he includes in the ‘rotten crowd’ together with Daisy and Tom. Meanwhile Wilson, who is still shocked from his wife’s death, finally concludes that it’s the yellow car’s driver who has killed Myrtle; he goes to Gatsby’s mansion and shoots him before killing himself.

The American dream

Despite of the crowd that always comes to Gatsby’s parties every weekend, nobody seems to care about his death except Nick, who takes care of the funeral preparation. Gatsby’s father comes, and completes the story of how Gatsby was always discipline and focus since he was very young. Nobody attends Gatsby’s funeral except his father, Nick and another person. Few months later Nick meets Tom, and from him Nick gets the final piece of Gatsby’s murder mystery. Apparently Wilson has come to Tom, as he thought Tom was the driver of the yellow car. Of course Tom said that it was Gatsby who drove the car, and that’s how Wilson had found Gatsby. Being disgusted of the Eastern moral decay, Nick finally decides to return home to the West, but not after he reflects Gatsby’s faith, in which Fitzgerald concluded how he thought about the American dream.

Illustration of Carey Mulligan as Daisy

Buchanans the cowards

It is so annoying to see how the Buchanans just ran away from the crime scene, and not even saying anything to Gatsby. I’m wondering whether Daisy told Tom the truth, that it is she who had driven, not Gatsby. I believe so, and that’s why they ran away so quickly (when Wilson came, they were just about to leave). And how could Daisy did not even call Nick to at least say her sympathy for Gatsby’s death? So, I’m very glad that Nick refused to shake hand at first when he met Tom; just let him know that he is a low-disgusting creature! 
They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made….

Favorite passage

This passage from The Great Gatsby has been one of my favorite ending quotes…

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning— So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

It is full of cynical expression and irony, yet melancholy and, in a way, beautiful. It is confusing at first, with the contradictions—future that recedes; we beat on but borne back ceaselessly. But in the end I realized that that was what Fitzgerald wanted to point out. I think it expressed how Fitzgerald saw his country at that moment. Just like Gatsby, Americans have been struggling to reach their dream, and when they thought they were about to reach it, it suddenly eluded them because they dreamed something pure that was already in the past; they did not realize that everything has changed to the worse. They pursued prosperity, but on the other hand, their moral have been corrupted.


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