Friday, April 26, 2013

Gatsby's American Dream

With the new movie almost out it is fitting to reflect on the American Dream once again as put forth by Jay Gatsby. I assume you read the book and know Gatsby's story of bootlegger turned landed gentry and ready to secure the girl of his dreams Daisy Buchanan. Ah the green light at the end of the dock that means so much. Gatsby's dream. The American dream. That beacon in the Long Island night that represents all we want but cannot obtain.

And of course Gatsby is done in by the darkness of the American Dream. It is the price right? We know now the high price of the dream because we have been living it for the last five years. Only a few can hit such heights and those that do usually lose some part of themselves as Gatsby did. Fitzgerald put forth the idea that this dream comes with too high a price and in fact it can kill you which of course it did with Gatsby.

And we are  now at a point where the American dream has turned upside down. Our houses worth less than we owe, jobs still scarce, money not abundant. And we are looking now for something we might have missed and left behind us. And of course there is nothing new as Fitzgerald says at the end of Gatsby in the most eloquent line in American literature. "So we beat on, boats against the current, born back ceaselessly into the past."

Still so true.

Rocket Man...the American Dream upside down

Books by William Hazelgrove