Saturday, September 3, 2011

Abducted by Gatsby

Well, here it is, the long awaited post about why I really didn't care for the Great Gatsby.

But first let me clear some personal things up.

The situation at work has blown over. I can't get into the actual details as to what happened and why it blew over, on the off chance that someone from my company stumbles across this blog. But I will say, with all of its frustrations (and there are a lot) I really do love my job so I'm really happy that I'll get to continue working least for the foreseeable future.

As far as my weekend goes, I had hoped that since my labor day weekend equaled a 4 day weekend from work, I would get a lot of cleaning done, a lot of reading done, and a lot of blogging done. However, my father has landed himself in the hospital so now it looks like I'll be camped out at Norman Regional for the next few days at least. He has something called "shingles" which I guess is the adult form of chicken pox. It is very painful and can cause nerve damage and swelling. At first his swelling was mainly forming over his left eye, but today it has started spreading to his right as well. We wont really know how much permanent damage has been done until the medication is given time to work and the swelling goes down. So please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
Now that picture is of my dad and my little sister because neither I nor my father are very photogenic and it has to be a special occasion to get him in front of a camera, that picture was taken at her engagement party.

Now, on to Gatsby...

Let me start out by saying that one of the main reasons I struggled with Gatsby was because I already knew going into reading the book that Baz Luhrmann was going to be making another film version and had cast Leonardo DiCaprio (Gatsby), Tobey Maguire (Nick), and Carey Mulligan (Daisy) in the picture. And for the life of me, when reading it I could not see these actors in these parts. Tobey Maguire, sure, he would be fine as Nick. But Carey Mulligan as Daisy?

Don't get me wrong, I love Carey Mulligan. I just feel she has grown so much as an actress and has taken on more substantial parts that it is really hard for me to picture her going back to play a character that is childish and superficial. I have no doubt she can do it, but she just wouldn't be my first choice.

And I think Leo will be perfect for the charming Gatsby we meet at the beginning of the book, but when Daisy comes back into his life Gatsby changes and I just can't see Leo as that second Gatsby.

But putting the movie aside. Here is my other issue with Gatsby;

Therapists will say, concerning alcoholics and drug users, that when an person first starts to become dependent on these substances their emotional development stops. So whatever age a person is when they first start to become dependent on drugs, that is the emotional age they will stay at until they come off the drug and get treatment.

I felt like Daisy was Gatsby's drug of choice. He became dependent on her at a young age and maturity wise he never really grew up. Every choice he ever made was looked at as "will this get me closer to her?" He planned his entire future on how to get her back. And the second she showed up and wasn't that impressed, he was willing to throw it all away for a woman he barely even knew! He was blinded by his lust for her.

I did think the language of the book was very musical and I enjoyed the style of writing more then I thought I would. Maybe after I see the movie I'll be so impressed with Leo and Carey's performances that I'll want to reread the book and love it that much more.


fakesteph said...

Ahhhh!!! This is my all time favorite book. I love love love it. And I love your point about not developing mentally, because Daisy totally is Gatsby's obsession. I want to read this again, but I've shipped all my books and it's $10 on kindle and I am way too cheap. Hahaha, sorry, just had a ton of caffeine. So glad things worked out at your job and I'll be praying for your dad. Hopefully everything is okay since you haven't posted an update!

fakesteph said...

PS-- we're going to kill Nano this year! For real!

Unknown said...

Liked the therapist insight. You're very perceptive, Bittner.

Hope your dad is doing well. XOXO

Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

It is so sad to say, but I've never read The Great Gatsby. It's actually one of those books I feel I have to say I've read even if I haven't, but your review of it does give me hope that someday, should I pick it up, that I would enjoy it.

Still praying for your dad and you!

And I agree with Steph- we are soooooo going to kick NaNo's ass this year! Assuming I can settle on an idea, I'm really gravitating to trying my hand at a magical realism book, in the vein of Sarah Addison Allen or Alice Hoffman... but can I pull it off? Does it even matter, so long as I can get the word count in? Stay tuned...

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