Aside from the racism....
- 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???
SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!
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