The Great Gatsby

By F. Scott Fitzgerald

Journal 2

I walked away from this book with a feeling that I have never felt before after reading a book. I wasn’t just sad for the characters, but I also felt a great amount of pity. They try so hard, especially Gatsby to win back a life and time where they were happy, and they weren’t able to do it. Myrtle ends up getting run over by a car while Daisy was driving, and Gatsby ends up getting shot in his pool by Myrtle’s husband, Wilson. The way all the problems were solved was by death. Daisy doesn’t even have the heart to even go back to Gatsby and let him be happy for some time. She could care less about what he feels, and she completely disregards him. He tries so hard, and after everything she’s done, he still wants her back. Does he not understand she’s not worth it, and doesn’t she understand, there’s love waiting on the other side of the river? He dies at the end, and she’ll never care for him again. She’s back with her husband, and he’s back with her because his mistress gets killed.

After Gatsby dies, the day of his weekly party comes around. Most people come, and then when they see that there’s no one in the house, the grunt and then leave. They don’t ask where Gatsby is, and they don’t seem to care. He’s tried to make these people happy by holding parties every week, but he gets nothing in return. No one comes to his funeral either, except for Nick, and of course a minister. During the funeral it rains. That is a very classical cliché that portrays separation and detachment. Many authors and poets use rain as a setting for pain and sorrow. Gatsby’s death represented his detachment from life, and also Nick’s detachment from him. They were able to become good friends, but were never able to find the light at the end of the storm. The story goes back in time where there was light, when there was love between Daisy and Gatsby. “I can’t describe to you how surprised I was to find out I loved her, old sport. I even hoped for a while that she’d throw me over, but she didn’t, because she was in love with me too. Well, there I was, ‘way off my ambitions, getting deeper in love every minute, and all of a sudden I didn’t care.” This was Gatsby speaking about his last moment with Daisy before he went off to fight in war. He might not have cared then, but he certainly started to afterward after he realized how much he missed her. He was truly happy at this moment in history, and he works to go back in time or to find a place where he would be happy again. He never ends up finding it. He looses Daisy forever, not that she was even worth the treasure in the first place.

Out of all the characters, there are only two good ones: Nick and Gatsby. They were honest people just wanting to be happy, and they were true to themselves. Neither of them was corrupted by money even though Gatsby had a lot of it. Both Daisy and Tom lived in the lap of luxury and did what they felt like because they had the money to mend for their mistakes. “They were careless peoples, 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.” This means that others had to pay for their mistakes, for instance the life of Gatsby and all the suffering he had gone through, and then just to end up dead at the end.

Nick does try to pursue a relationship with Jordan but in the end it never happens. He says he walks away halfway in love and regretting it, but he does it anyway. This I don’t understand. Why can’t he go back to her and fall wholly in love with her, and why do something you’re going to regret? Maybe this is also part of the story where happiness can not be achieved. It turns out at the end that Tom and Daisy aren’t even happy, but they make do with what they have. In my opinion which is not a lot. They have no integrity or self-worth, and they are just considered trash.

There were many parts of this book that I did not understand. It was one of the most difficult books I have ever read, and I’ll probably read it again to make sure to catch the things I missed the first time around. But I know there will still be points that I will miss once again, and I’ll just have to read it again. It was a very short book, but the content was definitely not missing anything. I absolutely agree that this book should be number two on the list of best literature written in the 20th century. Number one was Ulysses, but that book is way too long for me to read now with all this work! I’ll read it one of these days. I would recommend The Great Gatsby to anyone, and he truly was a great man.