I knew it was a standard read in most high school curriculums, but I somehow escaped that requirement.
All I knew was that it ended badly.
I can tell you I cried at the end. I cried in the theatre and whimpered out to the car, through the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru line (for a chocolate shake) and all the way home. The end gutted me.
On the surface, it was sad that Gatsby was murdered and couldn’t be with Daisy.
But underlying that was so much more - so much that left me unable to breathe because it was so much like my own life.
Gatsby’s drive to prove himself.
I didn’t grow up dirt poor and struggle with classism the way he did, but I have always been driven to achieve more than what was expected of me – even when the expectations were high. Maybe it’s a first-born thing. Maybe it’s because I never want to disappoint.
I get what Gatsby was doing, not just for Daisy, but for himself and everyone else.
Twisted relationships and unhealthy love.
Yeah. It goes without saying that this whole movie was a relationship train wreck. Affairs, lies, abuse – it’s all there. Almost everyone has had a relationship we don’t see as dysfunctional while we’re in it. Then afterwards, we look back and think to ourselves “What was that all about?” But these were a way of life in this story, for everyone. Even Nick got sucked in. He found himself keeping other people’s secrets – something more dangerous that one may think. And for what?
I’ve had twisted and unhealthy relationships.
I have kept secrets – not just my own.
Nick was a writer.
He wanted to be successful. He wanted to make money and enjoy a lifestyle he didn’t come from. So, Nick worked on Wall Street instead of pursuing his passion. His soul was tortured by his own denial of his love of writing then that was compounded by his time with Gatsby and Daisy. It wasn’t until he wrote about his time in New York that he gained some peace.
Writing makes me happy. Even if nobody reads it.
She didn’t call.
He wanted Daisy so badly. She wanted him, but didn't want to be with him.
I’ve been Gatsby. I’ve been Daisy.