“I believe that on the first night I went to Gatsby’s house I was one of the few guests who had actually been invited. People were not invited–they went there.”
Inspired by the trailer, I decided to revisit my favorite book. I hadn’t read the novella in a while, and after reading the first chapter, I realized that it had been too long.
The Great Gatsby is the most accurate and famous account of 1920s America, which became known as the Jazz Age. A term coined by Fitzgerald. The Jazz Age was a period with a booming economy, and a new romanticism of an American dream. Because of prohibition and their newfound wealth, people had extravagant parties. They were also a generation living in the aftershock of WWI. Many a man was looking to live their lavish dreams in big and beautiful cities, like New York, where the book is set. Gatsby is an icon of this phenomenon.
Generations after Fitzgerald have been seduced by the opulence of the 1920s to this day. One of my favorite movies, Midnight in Paris, pays special attention to the romanticism of this luxurious life in the context of another city filled with iconic American expatriates of the time. Fitzgerald himself is a prominent character of the movie.
However, many realized the moral dilemmas of their lifestyle, driving to their beautifully tragic downfalls. Gatsby is prey to the very life he built chasing his dream of the perfect woman. The Great Gatsby has a very universal quality within Gatsby’s conflict.
When watching the trailer for this extremely anticipated film, I couldn’t help but to get chills when the extremely powerful “No Church in the Wild” started to play while beautiful people in beautiful cars party on screen. The music is perfectly fitting for the fast paced high life of the opulent and decadent. Anyone watching this trailer can’t help but be mesmerized by this enthralling picture of their desires. I mean, who doesn’t want to be wealthy and powerful?
We accept that this lifestyle is enchanting, we desire for it, and we act on it. Some become predators, and some become prey. In the end, does it really matter?
“So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight.”
The moral of the story is: Go read this fantastic novel, and watch the film this winter. You will feel for this beautiful story, without fail.