Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Great Gatsby Book and Movie Review

Rating: 5
Truly a great classic.  


Now that's how you introduce Gatsby: with glorious fireworks
and a dashing smile!

Hi everyone!  I was going to wait until June 1st to get this up and going, however, I only have 9 days until my due date and doubt I'll have much time to get anything done once the baby is here.  Also, with the film still in theaters, I wanted to get a head start for those of you who have been able to read the book and see the movie, as well as those of you who don't know if it's worth seeing in theaters.  Stand back.  Huge opinion coming:


 DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO CRITICS' REVIEWS.  GO SEE THIS FILM!!!

I just finished reading The Great Gatsby for the second time, and honestly, I didn't remember much from my high school reading.  I must say that I am loved it this time around! (If we have any teenage viewers, please tell me how you see this book from your eyes.  I'm 36 with too much experience to remember that far. haha!) Fitzgerald writes such a simple story (only 179 pages) that is completely engaging and written with such prose.  Written in 1925, he had much to draw from as his story takes place in 1922.  As for the films, I watched the 1974 version on netflix the other day and saw the Baz Luhrman adaptation opening day. Um, yeah...it's like comparing a nice, cozy sailboat for a pimped out yacht.
Before I get to the book, let me just comment on the two films.

Trailer 1


Trailer 2


Sorry Bob, but I could barely watch this trailer and skipped through a lot of your film.  It about put me to sleep.  I remembered watching it in high school but didn't have any strong feelings one way or another for it.  However this time, it was a total snooze-fest.  No, it's not just because this newer film is more vibrant and alive, but it stayed extreeeeeeemely close to the source material and really put the ROAR in "roaring 20s".  That is poignant in my opinion because it gives us more insight into the times, life, and personalities of our characters.

Since I mentioned Luhrman's version staying very close to the source material, let me just give you two examples:

1) the parties.  Holy crap, what were those parties Redford was throwing?  There were so many old people (honestly no offense to the older generations, but let me explain).

In the 20s jazz was really coming alive and the country was living high on the hog and changing socially.  the older generations, much like now, didn't approve of the music, fashion, or other "vulgarity" that was taking place.  When someone throws a party that goes till dawn and the music is throbbing, I don't think you are really going to see many people 60+, unless they are dirty old men who are looking for that young thing.  Then yes, I can believe why they are there.  The older Gatsby parties seemed like such a bore.  Here is how Fitzgerald described Gatsby's parties:

"...a whole pitful of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and piccolos, and low and high drums...the cars from New York are parked five deep in the drive, and already the halls and salons and verandas are gaudy with primary colors, and hair shorn in strange news ways...The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter...People were not invited--they went there...they conducted themselves according to the rules of behavior associated with an amusement park." (TGG, pg. 40-41)

Um...not a party.


Now THAT'S a party!  Yowza yowza, whoopdee-doo!


2) minute detail that came straight out of the text:

"As we crossed Blackwell's Island a limousine passed us, driven by a white chauffeur, in which sat three modish negroes, two bucks and a girl." (TGG pg 69)



Cast
I love Robert Redford, but I think Leonardo DiCaprio was the true embodiment of Jay Gatsby.  Redford's character seems flat next to DiCaprio.  For example, when Gatsby is getting ready to see Daisy for the first time, book version Gatsby is a wreck.  I didn't get that from Redford.  I felt DiCaprio had a better sense of the different range of emotions.  Redford also seemed old and mature for Gatsby.  He seemed too in control of his feelings and I didn't get that "dreamer" and great sense of hope from him as Gatsby.  I emotionally connected with Leo and my heart went out to his Gatsby.

I also liked Carey Mulligan's take on Daisy.  Mia is very sweet, but her Daisy seemed more flighty and shallow than Mulligan's.  Mulligan's Daisy was still shallow but you understood why she was the way she was.  I felt more of an emotional/sexual connection with the the newer Daisy and Gatsby.  I wanted it to work out so badly for them even though I knew it wouldn't.  There was enough chemistry for me where I was willing the ending to change. hahaha!!!  (To be perfectly honest, I think Gatsby was too good for Daisy.)



I will discuss the other cast members in the discussion.

As for costumes, set design, and music: gorgeous, beautiful, and surprisingly pleased!

Costumes
Call me picky, but I felt the earlier version felt more 30s than 20s despite finger waves being popular in the 20s.  I also liked the bold colors of the recent version

Meh.  Looks like two people to old to be playing late 20s.

Yeah! 

The two "white suits with gray shirt and gold tie"
Again, I am completely biased to costumer Catherine Martin's interpretation.


I won't clutter up this review with anymore costume photos, but please check out this video and go see the film!

Music
As for the music, I was surprisingly pleased as I stated because I am NOT a hip hop person.  HOWEVER, the combination of 1920s jazz and hip hop was put together exceptionally well for my taste.  So much so, I downloaded it from itunes and have been listening to it ever since.  And talk about a fantastic group of artists coming together!  Wow!  The songs are strategically placed in the film and give feeling to emotions when words cannot.  I actually can see the exact scene in mind when listening to particular songs and it's very  moving.

Some of my favorite songs from the soundtrack:

Over the Love: Florence & the Machine








I'll reserve further discussion for the comments as I'd love to discuss with you and not just myself.  Please check out our The Great Gatsby article at LIH for additional comments.  






46 comments:

  1. "I love Robert Redford, but I think Leonardo DiCaprio was the true embodiment of Jay Gatsby. Redford's character seems flat next to DiCaprio." This is the truth! But seriously Leonardo captured Gatsby. He has the look... and I mean boy, does he have the look. It was fantastic!
    " I wanted it to work out so badly for them even though I knew it wouldn't. There was enough chemistry for me where I was willing the ending to change." I never finished the book, I started it like 4 years ago and id didn't catch my eye right away so i didn't finish it, so i really didn't know what was going to happen, but everyone had already told me, but I really wanted them to be together. I was praying the entire time that they were going to throw a plot twist at us.
    The cast, the way it was done, the freaking soundtrack..... beautiful it was all beautiful. It was so good that I wanted to be there. I wanted to be in the party.

    --Tara

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    1. Almost done with my rant I promise. Watching the trailers, there is no emotion in the 1974 version. This one captured everything. Yes it is about the mystery of Gatsby, and the love story, but it is also about the times. The parties, the drinking...... the 1920's as a whole, i mean come on it was right after the prohibition, and they nailed it with this one

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    2. Hi Tara!

      Thanks for your comments! I think Leo should always be introduced in a tux with fireworks. haha!

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  2. OH MY WORD! You have no idea how much I loved him in this. SOO HOT. Gah words.... i have none. He was sooo dapper and just freaking wonderful.I think the cast was PERFECT! It was believable. I know many people do not like Leonardo Dicaprio, but I love him and thought this was the perfect role for him. Better than anything else he has done. I personally hate Tobby Maguire, but dang he was awesome.











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    1. I'm not a Toby fan either but he did the character justice and he wasn't annoying. I thought the use of "old sport" was over used, but crap, that man can act. I've always been a fan. I loved him as Calvin Candie. One of my favorite moments is when he's waiting for Daisy at Nick's house and then leaves and then shows up outside in the rain. The emotions he was able to convey without words...very well done. I really felt his nervous tension.

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  3. Also the freakign soundtrack! I think my favorite is the trailer song, "No CHurch for the Wild" by kanye and Jay-z love it! and the "Young and beautiful" Lana Del Rey




RIGHT! So much emotion in that one moment.

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    1. Tara, those are great songs. I really have been listening to it so much and the more I listen the more I appreciate the music.
      There is a scene in the book/movie where the party is near it's end and one of the girls is playing the piano in a yellow dress...I'm pretty sure that Florence's song used that information. I would like to think that aside from culture shock to the hip hop, Fitzgerald would have really enjoyed the film.

      You really need to read the book again to appreciate just what Baz did with this film. Seriously.




I hate when a great book gets thrashed for the screen. I mean even the whole clock falling down was in the book!




What was your favorite part of the film (scene, production design, etc...) and what was your least?











      I think word of mouth will definitely be what gets this film seen. The critics were brutal.











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    2. I know I really loved how they messed the hip hop. I feel like i caught a bigger audience because of it.




I will read the book again! And seriously I was crying. I wanted it to work out sooo bad.











      My favorite part had to have been the parties! Dang those were fantastic! I also really loved the first interaction with Gatsby and Daisy. In Nicks house. So well done and the emotions captured in the scene we incredible. My least favorite, wasn't really a part is was just how the movie was done. Some parts felt a little to animated for me, but other than that, it was Perfect









. I saw it in 2D

      The critics suck. Whenever they say something was bad it usually is the best movie ever

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  4. The person i hated the most was Daisy's husband, Tom




He pissed me off. I think my favorite line from him was in the hotel at the end he said something like, I love you yes i have my sprees but i always come back. SERIOUSLY!!!!! Gahhhh he makes me mad











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    1. Tara,
      
Me too and Joel's interpretation was SOOOOOOOOOOOO much more spot on than Bruce Dern's. Dern was not as macho or as chauvinistic as Tom should be.I never felt any real anger from him. I figure if an actor can really make you hate a character, they are doing it right!

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  5. The music was such a brilliant choice for this film. It's a major cultural reference and the juxtaposition with the roaring 20s and everything that stands for and what hip hop and Jay-Z the icon stand for, just brilliant. Baz Luhrmann is a fucking genius. He's always been one of my favorites and he's completely outdone himself. Catherine Martin is another brilliant artist and I just love the creative partnership they have. They create so much beauty and a world of their own. The level of production is immense and beyond spectacular. Her aesthetic is amazing and the attention to detail is mind blowing. This movie is a work of art. I didn't read any critic reviews because I knew once Baz was going to take on Gatsby not everyone would get it. I loved this movie before I even saw a single trailer or still because Bazmark is just that good. Once bts came out, and pictures of costumes I just knew this was going to be huge and game changing.

    Let me tell you I wanted jump out of my seat during those parties, man! Gatsby's party, Myrtle's party, LOVED IT!

    Leo's entrance, with the fireworks and the champagne and Nick fanboying over him, LMAO OMG best scene in movie history!

    The scene where Gatsby prepares Nick's cottage was hilarious. When he sees Daisy for the first time, one of Leo's best scenes.

    I love the organ, OMG can I have it please!

    His library, ugh *drools*

    The soundtrack is KILLER, I've been listening to it over and over again.

    Everything about it was awesome. There was nothing I disliked. I saw it in 2D and it still felt like 3D, crazy. I'm going to see in 3D this week. Very excited!

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    1. Hi Beefpatty!

      Thank you for posting. I'm so glad you enjoyed the film. it really breathed new life into this classic novel. I think Baz has gotten better with each film. As for the party sequences, I think he would be thrilled to know how affected many of the audiences were by their vitality and grandiose nature. I wanted to jump out of my seat and party too. Isn't that what a "party" is all about anyway? :)

      Catherine does excellent work and I hope she will at least be nominated for her costumes. She used color and texture very well with each character and scene. She really made Gatsby so dapper. Between his outfits and physical stance, he was the epitome of 20s swag. If you take a look at the costume BTS on the LIH article, you will see how she detailed everything down to the types of pantyhose the different women wore! Such attention to detail really adds so much more to a character and storyline.

      Yes, I loved the music as well. I didn't think I would, but I did. Yes, you can have the organ! haha!! I hope you enjoy the film in 3D as well. :)

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    2. Email from our reader OB:

      Hello Everyone!

      It's nice to see new and old faces commenting. My review is a bit long and somewhat negative so u can ignore it if u like.

      Baz Luhrmann did a fantastic job capturing the lavishness of the ROARING 20’s. The film really ROARED from music, costumes to production design it brought to life F. Scott Fitzgerald’s vision much more aggressively than the 1974 version and why its worth seeing twice. However, the heart and soul of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel was extremely marginalized in this film. IMO Luhrmann missed an opportunity to show the tension that co-existed between the social classes during this period and its resemblance to today. The combination of jazz and rap was a clever attempt at it but it was far too subtle. Instead that same cleverness needed to be fully realized and acknowledged in the plot. I did love Carry Mulligan’s portrayal of Daisy versus Mia Farrow’s. Mulligan makes you fall in love with her but the undeveloped plot and rushed ending robbed her of a great performance. Mulligan hits a home run while Luhrmann drops the ball at the end. Audiences
      were robbed of the "smoking gun" Fitzgerald so cleverly had hidden with Daisy, which was intended to rip your heart out and leave u empty. Up until the end Daisy’s character is so unassuming we believe she accepts Jay as an equal and hope she finds the courage to leave her abusive husband but in the end (the smoking gun) we learn she is unwilling to sacrifice her social class and status for Jay. And in the end Nick realizes Daisy & Tom clearly believes the working class has no value and that's what made Gatsby’s story so tragic.

      This story was so progressive for the 1920's and it pushed the boundaries on how we view social and racial equality in America. Fitzgerald asked the question what makes a person GREAT their external or internal qualities? What made Jay Gatsby great was his internal quality to transcend his circumstances with imagination, courage, faith and determination. Fitzgerald shines the spotlight on hypocrisy, classicism and elitist’s ideas of old money versus new money. After the civil war people who earned their wealth on slavery tried to get distance from the negative stigma associated with it. To clean up their image they married their daughters off to Aristocracy in Europe to create the illusion they acquired their wealth through royalty.

      The roaring 20’s blurred the lines between classism and race. Tom more than likely was still using slave labor to sustain his fortune. What the stock market, illegal gambling, alcohol and nightclubs offered blacks and the poor was an opportunity out of slavery and poverty. The huge migration north for blacks meant less slave labor for the south. The elitist attitude Tom exhibited toward Jay was the hypocrisy. Jay earned his wealth on gambling and liquor and Tom on slaves. Fitzgerald posed the question, which one is more ethical? All this was marginalized in Luhrmann's film and why it missed the heart and soul of the story IMO.

      Performances:
      Leo Dicaprio-His performance was palpable he embodied Gatsby in ways that were endearing, mysterious and comforting. DiCaprio’s Gatsby allowed his faults and emotions to show and felt it was a closer depiction than Redford who always seemed in control.

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    3. Hi OB!

      Aside from waiting for this kid to pop out, I've been highly anticipating your review of the film! Thank you. You bring up some excellent points and I think your criticism is very valid. Between your review and the novel, I've got so much to say!

      First, yes, there wasn't much depiction between the social classes, however, at least Luhrman included African Americans in his film. The '74 version didn't have any! I loved the "secret" speakeasy and the use of AAs in Tom's home. There is the scene when Nick visits Daisy and Tom for the first time and here are AA servants working behind Tom as he discusses how everyone needs to read the book, "Rise of the Colored Empires". On page 13 he says, "The idea is if we don't look out the white race will be--will be uterly submerged. It's all scientific stuff; it's been proved." Now in the book it doesn't say anything about AA servants, but I thought that moment in the film was brilliant to show just what a douche he is.

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    4. Hi LB-It’s going to happen any day now I can feel it….. :0) Are u ready?

      Back to Gatsby!

      U Said: “First, yes, there wasn't much depiction between the social classes; however, at least Luhrman included African Americans in his film. The '74 version didn't have any! I loved the "secret" speakeasy and the use of AAs in Tom's home.”

      Me: ITA Baz. Luhrmann’s version had much more authenticity visually than the 1974 film for much of the reasons you’ve just illustrated. Luhrmann did visually try to honor the source material which I very much like. Taking on this story was not easy, even the subtext is complex and required a ton of historical research to understand at least visually how to tell this story in 90 minutes.

      U Said: “On page 13 he says, "The idea is if we don't look out the white race will be--will be uterly submerged. It's all scientific stuff; it's been proved." Now in the book it doesn't say anything about AA servants, but I thought that moment in the film was brilliant to show just what a douche he is.”

      Me: ITA Luhrmann did an excellent job illustrating what a “douche bag” Tom was. IMO Luhrmann failed to show (at the end) what a “douche bag” Daisy was by rushing through the ending. Luhrmann had and new all the ingredients but failed to emphasize certain ones to really show he understood the heart and soul of this story. For example the reason Nick at the end is so disgusted with himself because he recognized just like Gatsby he too believed Daisy was different and respected the working class. Then only to find out Daisy is no different than Tom and sees the working class as inferior and disposable.

      Let me focus on the quote for a second. The reason Fitzgerald wrote this IMO was to show “old money” paranoia. During this period blacks were told (by whites) they were intellectually inferior to justify blacks being enslaved to do manual labor when in reality blacks were being denied opportunities to demonstrate their intellectual capacities. Old money feared if blacks got opportunities like whites than they would have to accept blacks as equals and therefore lose their free manual labor workforce.

      Anyway, this is my take I hope it made sense.

      Q: Why do u think Fitzgerald wrote Tom & daisy never stayed in one town too long?

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    5. Hi Beefpatty:

      U Said: "The music was such a brilliant choice for this film. It's a major cultural reference and the juxtaposition with the roaring 20s and everything that stands for and what hip hop and Jay-Z the icon stand for, just brilliant. Baz Luhrmann is a fucking genius."

      Me: The music definitely compliments the story and visuals really well in this film. ITA it was very clever to marry 20's Jazz with hip-hop in an effort to parallel this story to whats going on today between the social classes.

      What is your favorite song and scene in the film?

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    6. so I'm just chillin in L & D and thought I would get caught up,

      OB, you said:IMO Luhrmann failed to show (at the end) what a “douche bag” Daisy was by rushing through the ending. Nick atht the end is so disgusted with himself because he recognized just like Gatsby he too believed Daisy was different and respected the working class. Then only to find out Daisy is no different than Tom and sees the working class as inferior and disposable.

      Me: Yes, and yet I also think she just wasn't emotionally strong enough to walk away from her marriage. As for Tom, he is having an affair with someone from the working class. What did Myrtle represent to him and if he could leave Daisy would he have gone with Myrtle? Or would she become less interesting to him?

      As per your other question, I think it was his affairs that kept them city hopping. maybe the ladies just started making more and more demands.

      What is interesting is that the people who truly loved were the ones who died in the end.

      Oh one more thing! I think Gatsby hung onto the idea of Daisy because she was his first true love and he knew he was going to fall for her the moment he kissed her. He wanted to catch that moment of euphoria again but you never really can. I would love to know what conversations Fitzgerald would have shown us of Gatsby and Daisy's afternoons together...

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    7. U Said: "I think Gatsby hung onto the idea of Daisy because she was his first true love and he knew he was going to fall for her the moment he kissed her. He wanted to catch that moment of euphoria again but you never really can."

      Me: I love this quote:

      “There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice.”

      ― F. Scott Fitzgerald

      Do u agree or disagree? What do u think Gatsby and Daisy believed 8 years later?

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    8. Great quote! I tend to agree simply because we are always evolving and changing emotionally. We are never the same age twice and we can't look at the same experiences twice as once you have it experienced it one time, you can't look at it through unknowing eyes again. I think you can experience "similar" love, but not the same love. I will never forget my first love and based what I wanted in a future husband off of the qualities of this first love relationship.

      I think of poor Gatsby who wasted 5-8 years of his life obsessing over someone when he could have found another young woman and been happy. He was obviously very impressionable and she must have been the cat's meow to LEAVE such an impression. I think Gatsby really believed he could recapture that romance. I think Daisy still loved him, but she wasn't has obsessed. I don't think she sought to recapture what they had THEN, as she said he expected too much. I'm not quite sure what she thought to be honest.

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  6. Ok, no baby yet, so I can finally get to the book review portion of our discussion! :)

    What is the most important part in the title THE GREAT GATSBY? mmmm...good question. I think GREAT represents a lot about Jay Gatsby. He was so hopeful and lived for that hope. He was extravagant (but really only for the girl) and lived large. He wanted to reach for the stars and never did anything half-assed. of course what he really wanted was unattainable. He couldn't get back the past no matter how much he tried. But he never gave up. He was suave and "cool".



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  7. I like how Fitzgerald introduces Gatsby to us. He's an enigma to most people, particularly those who attend his parties. He lets rumors swirl about him and doesn't seem to really care about meeting people. His main purpose of living where he does is so he can be as close to Daisy as possible. His main purpose in hosting parties is in hopes that Daisy will attend. At first I think his main purpose of becoming friendly with Nick is because of Daisy, but eventually I think Jay needs him as a friend as he is the only friend/person who seems to be loyal to Jay. Nick is honest with him.

    Ok, back on point. I like how Fitzgerald introduces Gatsby: in the middle of a crazy, wild party. And not the kind of intro where he is announced. He just appears. Again with purpose: to talk with Jordan about getting Nick to invite Daisy to tea. Of course I loved how Baz created fireworks to encase Gatsby. haha! Brilliant! Subtle but not!

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    1. Come on! This story was really a Bromance. hahahaha! No, seriously.

      I loved Tobey's/Nick's expression when he finally meets Gatsby. BRILLIANT! Also, I loved how Nick brags about getting an invite from Gatsby at the party. He was completely smitten. IMO Nick liked Gatsby because he saw himself in him. Gatsby gave him hope that he too could achieve greatness.

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    2. Yes yes he did. I like that the story was written from Nick's POV. I think it gave us a more unbiased look into the lives and relationships around him as well as the times,

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  8. TGG has a lot of different themes: greed, wealth, immorality, hope, the American Dream, death, corruption, power, love, and so on.

    One that struck me was the build up of what life would be like with Daisy from Gatsby's point of view. He was completely smitten and in love with her when they first met, so in the five years without her, he had time to build this version of Daisy in his head that she could never achieve. I think many of us have done this with some relationship in our past. I think it's natural. However, this consumed Gatsby and his career choice to give him the wealth he needed to have her wasn't fabulous. In the end he still doesn't get her and my heart really went out to the man. He just wanted to love and be loved by the woman of his dreams and in the end he loses her and his own life.

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    1. U Said: "He was completely smitten and in love with her when they first met, so in the five years without her, he had time to build this version of Daisy in his head that she could never achieve."

      Me: When he first meets Daisy he was in the military. He was surrounded by other military men who came from wealthy families so Daisy assumed he too was wealthy. IMO Jay thought their love was strong enough to withstand distance and time. It really makes u wonder. How long would u wait for someone? Would u wait 5 years?

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  9. MMMmmmmm...5 years is a long time. Probably not unless we had spent ample quality time together. Plus I believe if something is going to work out it will.

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    1. U Said: " 5 years is a long time. Probably not unless we had spent ample quality time together."

      True! So Gatsby was gone for 8 years and he only dated Daisy for a month. She was 17 and he was 18 when they met. So 8 years later???

      I remember my first serious boyfriend at 17 but I was so immature and he was 5 years older than I was. My point is my interest at 18 are nothing like today. I'm patient buttttttt 8 years?

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    2. Oh my gosh, if I had ended up with anyone I had "seriously" dated in my early twenties????...aaahhhh!!!!!! I was mature and yet immature at the same time. I needed to use my twenties to discover myself and really get to know ME. I wouldn't have had opportunities to do that if I had a long term or married relationship with anyone from then. I know some couples that HAVE done that and they are very happy. It just wasn't for me.

      Again, too bad Gatsby didn't use those years apart to "grow up" and experience other relationships. maybe he would have realized there were women better than Daisy. Maybe not.

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    3. AH HA! I love what Fitzgerald writes here because I believe it is absolutely true, and goes with what we were just discussing:

      "As I went over to say good-by I saw that the expression of bewilderment had come back into Gatsby's face, as though a faint doubt had occurred to him as to the quality of his present happiness. Almost five years! There must have een moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams--not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart." pg. 95-96

      First, here we have some beautiful imagery by Fitzerald. Second, yes, our imagination can be much more powerful than the "real deal".

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  10. Old Owl eyes. Loved it/him! He was another character in the story off in the distance but ever present. Like Nick he saw everything going on. Why was he included in this story? What was his significance?

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  11. I just have to say I am loving this discussion and I haven't even gotten to the writing style or quotes!

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  12. Beefpatty,

    Why are you a fan of the novel? What is it that you love?

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    1. It's been one of my favorite books since high school. I love Fitzgerald's writing and how he creates such rich imagery. There's so many different themes jam packed into such a quick read and it really transcends time. There's something Leo said in an interview during Gatsby press junket that I related too as well. Reading it as an adult versus reading it as a teenager is a totally different experience. You can draw so many more parallels to the world we live in today compared to when we were naive kids. I definitely relate to both Gatsby and Nick more but I still can't stand Daisy (even though now I have more of an understanding that she's a product of her upbringing).

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  13. This seems to be a book people either love or hate, however, I've noticed on other sites, those that hated it as a youth, enjoy it or at least appreciate it more as an adult. I think you really need to have some life experience and maturation to appreciate some of the literature your high school mind is required to read.

    I think Fitzgerald does a beautiful job describing the settings and characters. It's not overly flowerly, but it does have a beautiful flow to his prose. You know, it would be interesting to sit down with him and see just how much what we've analyzed from the story is what he was really thinking or not. haha! I think a great author may not consciously write particular ideas or themes into a story for one grand purpose, but what they DO write gets the reader to start thinking and discussing concepts.

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  14. Question:

    At the bottom of page 33 (at least in my book), Catherine is telling Nick how much Tom and Myrtle can't STAND the people they have married, but it's daisy that keeps them from getting a divorce because Catholics don't believe in divorce. Nick tells us Daisy is not Catholic. So do you think Tom told Myrtle that because he does love Daisy and just wants a fling with Myrtle? I mean Tom is sad when he finds out Myrtle is dead, but it seems like she was just another notch in his belt. And wherever he and Daisy ran off to, he was just going to find some other floozy to shack up with on the side.

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    1. I have an answer but I will come back and answer this tomorrow. Great, Great Question!!

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    2. U Said: “Question: At the bottom of page 33 (at least in my book), Catherine is telling Nick how much Tom and Myrtle can't STAND the people they have married, but it's daisy that keeps them from getting a divorce because Catholics don't believe in divorce. Nick tells us Daisy is not Catholic. So do you think Tom told Myrtle that because he does love Daisy and just wants a fling with Myrtle? I mean Tom is sad when he finds out Myrtle is dead, but it seems like she was just another notch in his belt. And wherever he and Daisy ran off to, he was just going to find some other floozy to shack up with on the side.”

      Me: This is my character analysis on Tom.
      Tom had an inferiority complex, which he overcompensated by discussing (in public) books he’s read to create the illusion he was cultured when the truth was he had more lowbrow interest. He dislikes being introduced as a polo player because it further highlights his shallow, careless manners. Tom never served in the military and didn’t go to war and doesn’t care about social issues. He dislikes when Daisy calls him "hulking and a brute" because it magnifies his lowbrow behavior. He’s attracted to working class married women (Mrytle) because he because it reaffirms his superiority over working class men. Daisy tells Nick "the rich never marry the poor" and only have affairs with them. That should have been the tip off to Nick, Daisy really believed in race supremacy. In the 19th & 20th century old money believed in Nordicism an ideology of racial supremacy that claims that a Nordic race, within the greater Caucasian race, constituted a master race. This ideology was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in some Central and Northern European countries as well as in North America, and it achieved some further degree of mainstream acceptance throughout Germany via Nazism. If you were apart of the working class it was believed u weren’t 100 % Caucasian. Old Money believed poor whites, immigrants and blacks were uncivilized and intellectually inferior. Gatsby’s wealth and accomplishments clearly shows his great intellect, which further highlights Tom’s intellectual inferiority. So when Tom insults Gatsby in the Hotel and Gatsby nearly punches him. Tom is trying to show Daisy Gatsby achieved his wealth by being uncivilized not smart. I hope this answers some of your questions?

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    3. Wow! What a great analysis! Did you study history, OB? You have such a great knowledge. It's sad that Daisy turned out to be a lop in the end as well.

      It's sad they would rather be wealthy than be with someone they truly loved.

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    4. Hi LB! U are too kind. However to answer your question. Costume Designer's need to be somewhat historians in designing for different periods. In recent years I've had a few graduate history courses in literature, fine art, architecture and costume design. Also, the Victorian era, 20's, 30's and 40's are kinda my favorite periods with the 20's being my most fav.

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    5. LB-

      U Said: "It's sad they would rather be wealthy than be with someone they truly loved."

      Me: True! I think it takes work to challenge yourself and grow. Both Daisy and Tom didn't challenge or try to improve themselves. That's why they had to move so often so they didn't have to face any consequences which would require them to change.

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  15. OB,

    help me out here. How did Gatsby know that Jordan knew Nick who knew Daisy? She'd been to his parties before, but until Nick showed up, Gatsby never talked to her. Did I miss a part where Gatsby somehow knows who Nick is?

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    1. IMO F. Scott left a lot of unanswered questions like this in an efforts to build mystery, wonder and suspense into Gatsby's character. For example Gatsby, kept a book with News clippings of Daisy. So its more than likely he investigated Nick and Jordan before even meeting them. Also, did u ever wondered how Nick just so happened to land a house right next door to Gatsby? Was it coincidence or did Gatsby arrange that too?

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    2. Duh! Makes total sense! :)

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  16. I love this quote by Jordan,

    "Anyhow, he gives large parties...And I like large parties. They're so intimate. At small parties there isn't any privacy." pg. 49

    At first I thought, Huh? but then I thought more of it and it's true. when there are lots of people, it's easier to find seclusion. There is enough to distract everyone else. However with small affairs, it would be obviously noticeable if you went hiding. Anyway, I just really liked that quote.

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    1. Yes! I love that one too. This quote reminds me of the saying "its easy to hide in a crowed."

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