The first time I read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” I hated it. Now you should know that I rarely use the word “hate” because it’s such a strong word. However, I really, really disliked the book. I guess I wasn’t prepared for a book exposing all of the 1920s immorality. However, as this book was on my required summer reading list, and since I’d have to take a test on it for my high school college credit English course in the coming fall semester, I read it for a second time. And the second time I read it was the time I fell in love with “Gatsby.” Everything just came alive to me. The lavishness of Gatsby’s parties, the Jazz Age music and dance, the heat of the air conditioning-less summer in New York, the intensity among Nick, Jordan, Gatsby, and Tom as they sat in a parlor in the city, the ever-omniscient eyes of Dr. TJ Eckleburg – I immediately understood why this book is considered an American classic. Now, my copy of “Gatsby” sits in a prominent place on my bookshelf among my other favorite books such as “Jane Eyre” and “Como Agua Para Chocolate,” aka “Like Water for Chocolate.” (But, in case you’re wondering, I have the Spanish version of that book because it’s a Mexican folklore/romantic tale and because I was super into learning Spanish when I first read it.)
About a year ago, I heard that this book was going to be made into a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby. I impatiently waited to see it. And last night, I saw the movie for the second time. I went with my friend, and we had an absolute blast. Everyone in the theater with us was very into the movie, and, at various points throughout the movie, you could hear the entire audience gasp, sniffle, cry, and laugh.
If you haven’t yet seen the movie, I definitely recommend it. And if you’ve never read the book, I recommend that you read it at least twice. It’s totally worth it.
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into