Tag Archives: The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby Is… Duuuuuuh

I read the book fourteen hours before the movie, remembering suddenly around 2:30 AM, while working on this cute little number (a Fire Emblem fanfic), that my sister wanted to watch “The Great Gatsby” after her physical yesterday. I remember her telling me that when she had to read it for class, it was slow in going at first, and she was considering something wretched like Sparknotes, but she definitely liked it in the end.

I’ve yet to come across a classic or some sort of bestseller that I disliked- sure, there may have been things I’ve disliked about it. “Crash” was too dramatic, anything by Dickens is outrageously wordy, and Debussy really starts running together after about three pieces or so. Still, I had no doubt in my mind that I would enjoy reading The Great Gatsby. I ended up bringing it, and finishing it, to my sister’s appointment (I found some teenager playing Fire Emblem, too, though he was a bit antisocial… That may be putting it lightly… Maybe autism?).

I gasped variously as the people came in and out of the office, squealing here and there, and whining in despair towards the end. Spoilers, spoilers, spoilers- though I’m sure most people on WordPress has probably read many greats.

Gatsby book

I had always looked forward to The Great Gatsby. In Tennessee, American Literature is covered in the 11th grade. But when my class read the the book, I was in Vanderbilt’s psyche ward, getting over another mental breakdown. My teacher, I still remember, Mr. Viscusi said I would have liked it, since I never had problems with any of the assigned reading (I think he meant I was easily pleased).

Joining Johns Hopkins, and I felt that I would come across the book since my major allowed for room for so many electives. Surely, I would come across the book eventually- and I was close many times.

What got me was the uncanny language. It didn’t feel like it was written over eighty years ago. The language of Nick Carraway could be seen in any contemporary piece of literature, but it was without the pedantic and superfluous Special Language for dialogue that so many authors use. I felt Fitzgerald felt what that was, and made light of it, and made characters (except Tom) that convinced me that they were making light of themselves.

In this rushed reading, I was mostly in tune with the plot and the exuberance of the characters. Not so much Nick, though… Or Wilson… You know, the ones that got… *cough* carried away. Wait, is that something? *google* Hm… Carraway is a seed… So not a play on being swept up in all this?

gatsby nick What I liked most about the writing was that it definitely felt like I was being told a story. I felt that it was for my entertainment, and mine only- I know, so selfish! It radiated story first, and, as with all great stories, dozens of lovely lessons on the way.

The lesson that too many people look after themselves, even when they are helped and loved by others, even when they are comfortable. The lesson that people make mistakes, terrible mistakes, permanent mistakes. The lesson that people will choose the wrong thing when very, very, very clear of the right one- there is no grey area, there’s no talking yourself out of it. The lesson that sometimes you know you’re in the wrong and you charge ahead anyhow, knowing your cowardly ass will make it out okay.

The lesson that leading someone on is… Is a very real thing. Honestly, I thought it was a victim-blaming phrase so that men feel better about raping whomever. That you can lead someone too far, and have them hanging so goddamn dry that forty days wouldn’t be enough to resuscitate.

The lesson that not knowing everything about someone still means nothing if you love them enough, and it is still wrong to hang them dry and to kill them, and they can still be pitiful people, and I’ll hate you with your highborn, legal money because you’re a hypocrite and a coward and you, her, and the whole lot of them will never equal Gatsby! (etc.)

Gatsby- Gatsby I was certain he would turn out rotten. I was certain that they would make him rotten in the movie. More selfish, more supercilious, more hateful, more jealous, more greedy- anything to keep the sweet, despairing, pitiful, hopeful Gatsby from dying again. From me hating Daisy for drying him in that fucking pool, from me loathing Tom more than for his misogyny and cumbersome racism, and from so many others that made his funeral such a lonely affair.

Neither the book nor movie did any such thing.

The movie was so much worse as it heightened my senses with the sights and sounds almost unbearably stark. All throughout the movie, as the feeling set in that Gatsby would be gorgeous until the end, sweet until the end, hung until the end- and then I will see it in such vivid color, surrounded by a hushed crowd, my sister squeezing my hand, and the music either mournful or silent (which would be so much more terrible), how could my heart take it?

What would Daisy and Tom look like? I was so angry at them, I couldn’t even think!

And when I saw them, I knew it was real. Yes, that was how they would like. I’ve seen that look on the uncaring and comfortable, the tail-tuckers and escapers. How I despised them both.

As that scene dragged on and Tobey slept on the steps and DiCaprio rested in the casket, possibly thinking that that would be a real thing someday, I wheeled my mind through the covers played around the many scenes, the familiar melodies over vivid roaring dancing- “Is Beyonce covering Amy Winehouse?” I remember asking as I searched my mind as to whether ’20s bathing suits really looked like that. Later on, would men really object to a man wearing pink? And how I wanted someone to break the ice some more. Like, literally, the sound of that chipper breaking all that off was lovely (or that might be my iron deficiency talking. It’s getting so bad that I eat ice wherever I find it at work. If I don’t, the lymph nodes in my neck hurt so bad I can’t move, and I end up eating the ice that’s formed between two slabs of plastic-encased T-bones thawing in cool water… I might want to get that checked out).

I absolutely loved Tobey’s expression in so many scenes, scenes I read hours before where I knew poor Nick was just so caught. You know that look.

Nick expression gatsby 2

 

nick expression gatsbyPretty much identical, right? I felt the movie did the book justice. Initially, I guessed it would be a lot more boring, but they didn’t go that way at all. Ya’ll know freakin’ Jay-Z was the executive producer? Like, huh, what?

It was fantastic, great, everything that I could ever hope for. Entertainment at it’s very finest.

Your husband doesn't deserve even a mention. Gr.
Your husband doesn’t deserve even a mention. Gr.

 

Advertisements

“642 Things to Write About” and The Great Gatsby

I watched the movie today. More on that later. Or right now, with terribly cynical words for 642.What would Fitzgerald say about boxers or briefs? #76?

Also, I had a rough conversation with my dearest brother, that highlighted all the differences between us. #78

Actually, really great entries from us today. Yes, I’m tooting our horns like nobody’s business.

Prompt #74- The greatness of sandwiches

My response:

Not including hamburgers (as I’m sure many don’t), I found sandwiches the bane of my existence, avoiding it at all costs. They seemed to represent all that was wrong with being less than wealthy. Sandwiches now, and forever. Jelly, baloney with cheese and mayo, bacon-egg-cheese- hell, even Nutella.

Towards the time when I realized that I could starve myself with idiotic discontent, I noticed that every sandwich I made was out of desperation. I was hungry, and in order to fill me up, it was quicker to put that jelly or baloney or egg on bread.

Now, I usually skip the sandwich deal. It reminds me of being poor and hungry. But I eat the bread alone, the ‘deli’ ham between my fingers rolled up like a burrito, and shredded cheese is sprinkled into my mouth. I don’t remember the last time I’ve had mayo, but no part of that can go without a sandwich, and that, too, has been buried.

Sister’s response: 

Sandwiches can really describe the person who’s eating it. You can learn a lot from sandwich. For example, the creativity of it. How the person organizes it or what they put on it. There are thousands, maybe millions of variations you can do to make a sandwich. Not too mention that you can organize it in your own special way that no one will get. And, it tastes good.

Prompt # 75-Parades

My response:

I remember only one kind of parade that happened from year to year. The Martin Luther King Parade in Beaumont, Texas. For some reason, it was always a huge affair, something I always looked forward to. The people in the great slow line would throw beads and candy, so, so, so much candy. One year I lost a tooth to a Tootsie Roll from the parade; that Halloween I lost another to another.

It always gave me great anxiety to see it winding down, and the way it so concretely began to make outward signs that, yes, it will be over.

One year, it rained. Not many people came, and my elementary self had been close to tears at the disappointment. No candy was thrown, or beads, since there was water everywhere and it was slippery. Dancers and bands and performers had canceled, so there were gaps and it was quick. Too quick. I remember thinking that parades were fast enough, and the rain had hastened them all away.

I made a note early never watch parades on TV- like the Macy’s one, or the New Year’s one. To hear it thrillingly from articles and people who had visited kept it alive far longer than if I had been there.

One time I had gone to a Christmas parade in Beaumont, on Crockett street, closed down now. Our class was on our way to a grand, grand, grand theater to see a magnificent rendition of A Christmas Carol. We were watching the parade beforehand, to pass the time. It is still bright and glorious, with horses dressed in red and green lights and a thousands Santas marching. It’s been neverending.

Sister’s response: 

Parades to me are like bubblegum. The first ten minutes of it s good, but after awhile, it’s bland. There are times when I just be happy about it but deep down, I just want to go home. I remember the MLK parades when they passed beads and stuff. I did enjoy that part, like any other kid would. But, I’ve been in parades like five times. Tiring, tiring stuff. Marching up hills while playing music. I do love festivities, so my feelings about it are neutral.

(MY! We are just on a blaze, aren’t we?)

Prompt #76-Boxers or briefs? Discuss.

My response:

Depends on the character. You can’t just put boxers or briefs on a man or woman and pretend it’s always going to be so. That’s like saying someone should always wear sweaters, while another always V-necks.

Cupping a nice package in briefs is all I think about with briefs. The package can be in the front or the back, but it should be well-formed and fulfilling. Briefs for my attractive people, the muscular and shapely, the curvaceous (and BBWs). It just won’t work with men, unless their erections can fill as much as their stomachs covers.

Boxers are mostly for style and comfort- oddly enough. Free-falling and airy, with much more room for decoration, which is always good if your pants go down to your thighs.

Boxer-briefs, mostly.

Sister’s response: 

I prefer boxers because whenever I see guys wearing briefs, I tend to stare by accident. It’s like, right there… Like, a girl with big boobs. A lot of times I see sexy men wearing briefs, so I really can’t help staring (look up Ian Somerhalder).

(Perverts! The both of us!)

Prompt #77- Screw you.

My response:

Whenever I hear someone say that some book I like was boring, I have the extreme urge to say “Screw you”. I find the word in league with phrases like ‘too-PC’ or ‘hyperfeminist’ or ‘Obummer’. It’s a word to say towards something that has a lot more to it, most of the time. In essence, it’s one of those words many use without really trying to say anything. It’s somewhat dismissive.

Ah, screw you!

Sister’s response: 

I find it rude. But then again, they could say worse, like f-off or something. I still don’t like it though. Seems kind of hurtful and mean.

(It is!)

Prompt #78-Write about a difficult conversation you’ve had recently. Then rewrite the conversation, saying what you couldn’t say at the time.

My response:

My brother came to visit for Mother’s Day. And when the rest of the family went to church (except for my youngest brother and my niece- and brother, of course) I asked Brother if he could take me to the gas station so I could get me some Dr. Pepper.

I couldn’t find my debit card in my wallet or anywhere, and I asked Youngest Brother to ask my parents if they’ve seen my card. I was sure they had taken it without my permission, for I had recently given my mom my pin number so that she could withdraw money to buy some… uhm… medicine. I had already checked my bank account, and it recorded a transaction for that day that I didn’t do.

My parents sent a message back saying ‘Didn’t no one touch your card’.

Incensed at the cowardly display of fibbing, miles away at a cultish church, I told Brother I no longer wanted to go, and he asked if I was mad and of course I was.

He soon went on a familiar rant about how I needed to leave the house, get my life together, be successful, go somewhere, anywhere than my parent’s place. He remarked how I shouldn’t be surprised about that charge, how I probably wasn’t, and shouldn’t be, again.

As his voice radiated in the house, my niece froze in place. I could see in her eyes the nervousness she always displayed when someone was angry, for her shitty father would get like that and be unkind to her.

I could see father in my brother’s eyes. They may have wanted what was best, but it came off so patronizing, so agonizing. But I couldn’t tell my brother who had PTSD from my father that he was anything like him. I couldn’t tell him that I was, obviously upset, but, on the whole, my sister and niece was making this the best place to be in the world right now. I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to stay with them.

He told me how I shouldn’t be working at Denny’s, how I needed my own place, how I needed to take out loans, and make plan B’s and C’s just in case Temple University didn’t accept me.

Where should I work at? How would I get my own place? Should I go back and be miserable at Johns Hopkins?

Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to, thinking that I can’t get into Temple University?

did immediately get defensive with that. I don’t know if he noticed; but he’s sensitive. He might have. I told him I would like to live on my own, somehow, and he was quick to say that things didn’t just happen that way, and I was careful to say that I had no choice then.

But I didn’t say, simply, that I didn’t want to. Unfortunately for him, whenever he visits he is addressed by panic attacks, tearful fits, triggers from Dad- Dad with his fake laugh, and passive aggressive way of asking for favors (He works in Murfreesboro, and he told my brother that he might need to hang at his house one day. Ugh.) and all that crap. Fortunately for me, my subconscious deals with this and I deal with it all subconsciously. But consciously I immerse myself in my grand imagination, my sister’s wit, and my niece’s laughter, the narrator from Far Cry or the NPCs of Skyrim. I’m also perfectly confident and complacent in my superior wit, intelligence, and empathy (but not diligence to the seriousness of this world, my world) to anyone who tries to come against me.

Where the hell do you get off thinking I can’t get into Temple University? That I can’t be successful just because I bide my time collecting money so that I will be able to pay my way through just a few more years of college and the great beyond. You with the PTSD with the many boyfriends of all types, and hundreds of followers, and forty likes for a status on an imaginary snippet on closing an elevator on a group? You who have always had friends and the love of so much of the family, who no one would ever just call cute so that they can’t honestly say that I’m unattractive in the general sense?

I’ll stay here. I’ll go to Temple. I’m fine.

Sister’s response: 

My sister versus my brother and me on God. She’s an atheist and we were figuring out why she doesn’t believe. She made some valid points and so did my brother, but I ran out of things to say. At one point, she said that, there’s no proof that God exists and that she lives for fun.

I wanted to say that I wish I can die and see heaven so that I can come back and tell her about it. I felt doubtful if God exists or not, but I know in my heart that I do believe.

(so heartfelt…)

Prompt #79-Write the copy for a cereal box so that someone would actually want to buy this exciting new flavor

My response: (Hilarious, since most new flavors aren’t new at all)

Trix Cereal now made with REAL FRUITS! That’s right, lemony yellow and raspberry red are now tinged with luscious lemons and riveting real raspberries. Try these delightful swirls in your favorite type of milk- try it with some vanilla soymilk and let the creamy goodness bathe your receptors with an almost yogurty wave!

Sister’s response: 

Kix! Now with flavor! Go on… Add sugar to it… Keep going… Pour all that sugar in it… The whole Kix will still taste like the box it was made in… Buy new Kix now!

(I love Kix!)