What I learned from “The Great Gatsby”

greatgatsby111

At some point in your life, you were probably forced to read The Great Gatsby in high school or college, and while you may have thought it was a waste of time to read because you may not enjoy reading, it had some good lessons to learn from. What F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel, The Great Gatsby taught me:

1. You can’t repeat the past.
“Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can!”
No matter what Jay Gatsby may think, you cannot repeat the past. While he was a firm believer in being able to repeat the past in order to change decisions and circumstances that took place, it wasn’t a realistic outlook. Though you cannot repeat and change the past, you can essentially start over and leave the past in a trail of dust behind you.

2. Money is a disguise.
Many elaborate parties, excess amounts of alcohol, classy dinners, shimmering dresses, bright cars, large houses… the list goes on. While money may resemble happiness on the outside, it’s a mask for what’s really hiding on the inside.
-Jay Gatsby can throw as many parties as he wants and put on a sophisticated smile, but Daisy is not there… he is not happy.
-Daisy has more than most young wives yet she is absolutely miserable.

3. You cannot hide the details of your personal life from others forever.
Sugar-coated on the outside, dark on the inside… everybody has their secrets. Daisy’s husband is having an affair with a lower class woman, Nick Carraway is becoming an alcoholic, Jay Gatsby is running an interesting operation in his free time and tends to have anger issues deep down.

4. Your lies will often lead you to be alone.
Twisting the truth to sound better, richer, and more intelligent may sound nice in the moment but the repercussions may not be as nice. Gatsby elaborated a lot of his life story to impress the crowd and in the end, he was found out. When Gatsby died… he was left alone, no one came to visit him and this has a lot to do with the media thinking he had done criminal acts but also because of the lies he became tangled in throughout his lifetime.

In retrospect, The Great Gatsby is an enchanting, yet tragic tale of love, heartbreak, young money, and social upheaval during the roaring twenties. While it all sounds so beautiful and fun, like any story there are obstacles everyone must attempt to get around.
The past is the past.
Money does not bring happiness.
You can’t hide your secrets forever.
Lies unfortunately equal loneliness.

Life is a beautiful struggle, old sport.
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

Advertisements

25 “Must Read” Books for Your Summer Reading List!

Whether you are a writer, a business man or woman, a scientific genius, or a professional couch potato, this list of “must read” books is sure to make a mark on your life, and summer reading list! These are dearly loved books that have been read by millions of individuals over the years, add yourself to that number!

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
“You have bewitched me body and soul.” – Mr. Darcy

2. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
“He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” – Cathy

3. The Plague – Albert Camus
“But what does it mean, the plague? It’s life, that’s all.”

4. My Ántonia – Willa Cather
“That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep.”

5. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
“The mind of a man is capable of anything!”

6. The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.”

7. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald (“Gasp, there is a book!?’ You ask. Why of course there is old sport, sometime before the ever so popular new release of the movie, try 1925!)
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

8. The Scarlet Letter – Nathanial Hawthorne (Unfortunately, “Easy A” only touched the surface… there’s nothing like being called a harlot!)
“She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom.”

9. The Autobiography of Malcolm X – Malcolm X (History at its finest.)

10. Death of a Salesman – Arthur Miller (Sure, maybe marrying Marilyn Monroe wasn’t one of his best ideas, but he wrote phenomenal plays!)
“The jungle is dark but full of diamonds, Willy.”

11. The Horror and Mystery Tales – Edgar Allan Poe (Is that a heartbeat I hear thumping underneath the floorboards?)

12. Call It Sleep – Henry Roth (The struggle for Jewish immigrants in America.)

13. Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
“If a girl looks swell when she meets you, who gives a damn if she’s late?”

14. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.”

15. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain (or Samuel Clemens if you will…)
“Human beings can be awful cruel to one another.”

16. The Red Badge of Courage – Stephen Crane
“It was not well to drive men into final corners; at those moments they could all develop teeth and claws.”

17. Lord of the Flies – William Golding (Who has the conch?)
“The thing is- fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream.”

18. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley (Smoke a little Peyote Cactus and you’re good to go…)

19. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
“I am no bird, and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

20. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller (Is your life full of “Catch-22’s?”)

21. Emma – Jane Austen
“I may have lost my heart, but not my self-control.”

22. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.”

23. Steppenwolf – Hermann Hesse
“Solitude is independence.”

24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
“Nothing is so necessary for a young man as the company of an intelligent woman.”

25. Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse (You may need to look to Buddha for this one!)
“Your soul is the whole world.”