The Great Love Affair?

A statistical anomaly is present in my reading life. If I were to plot my progress on a graph, there would be a huge drop in the last 6 weeks of school. It has taken me over a month to finish my in-class book, as I have had no opportunities to read outside of school. My free time has considerably diminished since the beginning of the school year. With AP tests and my audition in orchestra added to the original homework, study, review, dinner and sleep schedule, it has been hard to take a break. This, however, is no excuse for my lack of performance in reading, I have come to the conclusion to take action and start reading in abundance after my audition and AP test. I will also be able to read continuously during the Summer. During the period of a seemingly endless struggle, I have taken the time to read a challenging AP book known as The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The Great Gatsby is a narrative story of Jay Gatsby but is told by Nick Carraway. Nick moves to New York and meets his cousin, Daisy Buchanan, who lives on the other side of town. He learns of her husband, Tom, and his adulterous affairs with Myrtle Wilson, who is also married. As time passes, his neighbor, Jay Gatsby, invites Nick to one of his fabled parties. Gatsby becomes exposed to the real reason for each extravagant party, Gatsby wants to show his love for Daisy and impress her. The parties are a way for Daisy to come to him. Nick incites the growing affair between the two, and calamity seems imminent. 

Jay Gatsby is portrayed as an extremely wealthy man from all his excess luxury in every party. He became something from nothing, but it doesn't sate his true desire: love. Jay Gatsby became rich and "After that I lived like a young rajah in all the capitals of Europe-Paris, Venice, Rome-collecting jewels, chiefly rubies, hunting big game, painting a little, things for myself... (65). He has everything anyone could imagine, however, all the wealth he has accumulated doesn't satisfy his hunger for Daisy, as he "He hadn't once ceased looking at Daisy, and I think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes. Sometimes, too, he stared around at his possessions in a dazed way, as though in her actual and astounding presence none of it was any longer real. Once he nearly toppled down a flight of stairs" (91). All Gatsby wants is Daisy, his wealth is nothing compared to her value to him.

The lesson is that no abundance of money can buy you happiness. As we see in The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby is a millionaire with everything, except that's not the case. He is madly in love with Daisy Buchanan. He even goes as far as having unnecessary, lavish parties just to woo her. Gatsby's true dream was to have a future with Daisy, but nothing could help him attain that goal. This relates to the world today, children these days have gotten increasingly competitive. Each student strives to be at the top of their class to escalate their GPA and rank. We only do this to get into a prestigious college, which will aid our journey in the real world of employment, and income. We seek wealth and benefit from all this work in school, but is it truly worth it? The Dalai Lama once said "Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never lived." What is the point in all this wealth if we are unable to attain our true desires? In this world, we learn that wealth isn't everything, and shouldn't be our main goal. We should learn from Gatsby and his life that he had desired to live. 


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