After today, I take that back. The Great Gatsby really is one of the greatest books out there, but that is of course if you take the time to truly understand it. For me, this meant reading the book, reading the analysis in Spark notes, watching the movie in class, and having an in-depth discussion with my peers.
One of the ideas that most stood out to me was how we add value to things that really have no value at all by simply viewing them a certain way. In The Great Gatsby, Daisy is the perfect example of this. While she is not any more special or different to any other bored and rich young woman, she is "beautiful" to Gatsby because he has chosen to view her that way, he has chosen to make her the product of his dreams. If you think about it, this concept applies to our lives in so many ways.
Although money can be conceived as something that buys us happiness, after having read this book, money to me, seems more like something that can make us very SHALLOW. When Gatsby and Tom where arguing about who Daisy truly loved, Gatsby lost his patience and became very aggressive. Although it's not fair to say that all people of low income deal with their problems through violence, violence is a stereotype that is associated to people of low income. And since Gatsby was completely aware of this, he immediately began apologizing for reacting that way because he knew that someone of such a class wouldn't--or better said--shouldn't react that way. Daisy, on the other hand, despite being equally as frustrated, reacted just like one would expect a woman of her socio economic status to react; she kept all of her feelings bottled up within her instead of saying what she truly felt.
One of the reasons I think Daisy acted this way was because she knew that she didn't have to say anything to have her problems resolved. And this is because money makes us feel powerful, it makes us feel as though we can run away from our problems or simply pay a price to have them fixed. This same concept is very visible amongst drivers in Peru's high class. We often think that we can talk on the phone while we're driving, pass a red light, and speed up in areas where pedestrians are walking because we have the money to bribe a police officer once we've been stopped.
One of the main things I feel Fitzgerald was trying to make us readers understand was that if you go for nothing but money you will eventually loose control. If you analyze each of the characters in the story, you realize that none of them were truly content with their lives. Nick left Minnesotta because he wanted to work in the bond business, and although Nick never had as much money as the other characters in the book, simply being surrounded by people with so much money made him loose control. It made him realize that he didn't want to become one of those rich people who didn't speak their problems or who pretended to be someone they weren't. Because in such a society, even if you tried to hide it, everyone knew who you truly where but no one would dare to tell you.
Something Pedro mentioned in our class discussion yesterday was that Fitzgerald predicted the future. And he is completely right. Money has been as much of a vice for people in the 20's as it is for people today. Therefore, The Great Gatsby is a classic that serves to make us realize that money cannot buy us happiness, and the more we make money the focus of our lives the further we are pushing our happiness away.