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Aside from the racism....

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  • Renee
    Let s get past the racism for the moment. Regardless of the reason it s there---(was FSF a racist himself, a product of his times, etc), I d like to address
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 2, 2006
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      Let's get past the racism for the moment.
      Regardless of the reason it's there---(was FSF a racist himself, a
      product of his times, etc), I'd like to address the positives---what
      makes this one of the best novels of the 20th century???


      I'm still in a bit of a conundrum over this. I read Tender is the
      Night a few years ago, & FSF prose swept me off my feet in places,
      like I was reading poetry, not a novel. His descriptions, esp of the
      party scenes in Gatsby, are really amazing. The description of the
      girls' dresses as they balloon an the couch & deflate after the
      window is closed---the haughty girl with her chin up, women who
      greet each other as if they were old friends but 'instantly forget'
      the conversation they exchange. It is very visual & captures each
      moment as a picture, really. Of course, the infamous line "her voice
      sounded like money" says so much---the confidence & bearing that
      the wealthy have is reflected by the way they look, act and speak!
      I'm guessing that FSF was an alcoholic himself---does anybody know
      if that's the case? However, I sense an incredible disdain from Nick
      (and therefore the author?) for the endless drunken parties, the car
      accidents associated with drinking, the ridiculous arguments & often
      times violence that ensues after hours of drinking.
      Both Gatsby & Nick were "outsiders" to this 'born wealthy' class of
      people whose lifestyle revolved around all play & no work---
      inherited wealth. Neither of them drank. Therefore much of the
      drunken action was regarded with what began as tolerance, but what
      became disdain---Tom hitting his mistress & bruising her face, & of
      course the brutal accident at the END I will not elaborate on yet.
      I have to admit that the Jewish business partner character confused
      me---of course, reference to him as a Kike is clear enough, however
      there were many times that it seemed he was Gatsby's only real
      friend (old friend, that is---as Nick is new in the picture). The
      only person who had known him from before his newfound wealth (
      other than Daisy). From remarks made by a couple people here in
      group, is it really that obvious that the Jew is a bad guy---I
      thought that even though he had a criminal element he also had
      a 'moral code' about him, and stayed true to his friends/ Gatsby. I
      won't address 'the funeral' yet ---I suspect many of you haven't
      finished yet.
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