Becky at One Literature Nut has done a fabulous job with this Read Along.
Here are the final questions for Ch. 7 through the end of the novel:
What do you think happened to Daisy after the “accident” with Myrtle? What conversation do you think happened between she and Tom?
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?
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?
What most stood out to you in these final chapters?
What do you most look forward to seeing in the film?
Gatsby couldn’t escape the fact that he’d been poor and someone else in the society he now entertained. Daisy would never date James Gatz. She’s now settled in her rich life with Tom and even if she’s unhappy with Tom’s dalliances, she’s not going to be with someone who reinvented himself. As cool as Gatsby now is, Daisy cannot accept him. What can’t we often escape about the past? Or former selves. Our regrets. As far as we get. As well as we go, there’s always someone from the past who wants to remind us from whence we came and who wants to take us down.
“He talked a lot about the past, and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy. His life had been confused and disordered since then, but if he could once return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what that thing was . . .” [pg. 110]
love this line:
“Human sympathy had its limits, and we were content to let all their tragic arguments fade with the city lights behind. Thirty–the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning briefcase of enthusiasm, thinning hair.” [p. 135]
You have to feel some empathy for Gatsby and his lack of pedigree in competing for Daisy’s affections with the likes of Tom Buchanan. Maybe things might have worked out for the two of them but Daisy doesn’t seem the type to stick with a guy through thick and thin. She’s about the glitz and glamor. She’s not in it for the long haul, the bad times, merely the good. “he let her believe that he was a person from much the same stratum as herself–that he was fully able to take care of her. As a matter of fact, he had no such facilities–he had not comfortable family standing behind him, and he was liable at the whim of an impersonal government to be blown anywhere about the world.” [p. 149]
Can’t believe that Nick turns out to be as bad as the rest of them. He tells Gatsby: “You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.” He then says: “It was the only compliment I ever gave him, because I disapproved of him from beginning to end.” [p. 154] They seemed to become good friends but I guess we knew Nick wasn’t extremely fond of Gatsby’s ways and he certainly didn’t fawn over him like many others.
Haven’t had a chance to see the film yet. Will see it on Tuesday. Looking forward to the costumes, the party scenes, Leo DiCaprio and Tobey MacGuire and like Baz Luhrman. Not wild about Carey Mulligan.
#1 by One Literature Nut (@mjmbecky) on May 13, 2013 - 03:35
Great points about Daisy not being okay with Gatsby’s “fake” rise to power. I’ve wondered if she was afraid of how he gained his money and power. With Tom, she kind of knew what she was getting into, but with Gatsby, I’ve wondered if she was afraid of the unknown?
I think it’s interesting that you thought Nick was as bad as the rest. I kind of thought just the opposite, especially since he turned his back on Jordan in the process. Nick was definitely more of an outside observer who ended up getting completely sucked in.
I can’t wait for you to see it. I thought it was really good, and DiCaprio seemed born to play Gatsby. He was so darn good looking! 🙂
Thanks for joining in on the readalong! It has been a great time.