It's the final week of Becky's from One Literature Nut Readalong of The Great Gatsby. I want to thank Becky for hosting this readalong, because otherwise I probably wouldn't have made time to reread the book, and it's definitely one where you find something new on every read! I may have a few issues with it, but it's indisputable Fitzgerald wrote a great novel.
I also want to share this interview with Baz Luhrmann on the Colbert Report that kind of made me tear up.
Weirdest line of this section: "...the formidable stroke of thirty died away with the reassuring pressure of her hand." Hold up, is Jordan giving Nick a hand job with Tom right there in the car? Get a room you two!
And now for the discussion questions:
- What do you think happened to Daisy after the "accident" with Myrtle? What conversation do you think happened between she and Tom? I think Tom told her, "Don't worry baby, I know it wasn't your fault. All we have to do is leave because people know that was Gatsby's car. And even if he wasn't driving he's killed people before, so it's not like he won't be getting what he's deserved." And then she made hemming hawing noises but they both knew she would agree because what other choice does she have? To do the honorable thing and confess? Pshaw.
- Was the laser-point focus of Gatsby his own sick fault, or did he ever have a real chance with Daisy? Could they have ever had a life? I don't know, but I think that's the kind of question that would have tortured Gatsby if he'd lived. That DID torture him. That's the curse of imagination: you're always like, "What might have happened?"
- What is it about the past that we somehow can never escape it or relive it? Or can we actually relive parts of it, and so that gives us some sick hope? In my experience, people do get the opportunity to relieve their pasts. Like after grad school I worked a series of temporary jobs that reminded me a lot of high school, only I was able to take more positive things from it. And I've heard that parents often feel like they relieve parts of their childhood through their children. In both those cases, though, I feel like it's more of a catharsis and not an opportunity to relive history. I think whenever you get into shoulda coulda woulda territory you're setting yourself up for disappointment, although I do believe in second chances. But you can't force them.
- What most stood out to you in these final chapters? How freaking long the denouement was. WE GET IT, Gatsby was ALONE! Nobody loved him! Consider my head beaten with this fact.
- What do you most look forward to seeing in the film? The parties!
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