Ever since senior year of high school, I've had a thing for The Great Gatsby. It's the first "classic" that I was able to understand without a teacher walking me through each chapter, pointing out important ideas. It's a short read, only nine chapters, so I can finish it in one or two sittings. And every time I read it, I find something new. It gets better every time.
I was so excited when I heard the movie was coming out. Then I was bummed when the release date got bumped from Christmas to May. But then I was excited again when May finally came around and I could see the movie. The three trailers had already made me think carefully about the book (I reread it last summer), and I couldn't wait to see the full movie.
Of course, I loved it! I wasn't sure how I'd feel about the soundtrack (Jay-Z produced it, and I wondered if listening to rap music while watching a 1920s party would feel odd), but for some reason, it just worked. (It's now on my iPhone.) I thought the actors were spot on. Carey Mulligan was perfect, a beautiful and fickle Daisy. And Leo, obviously, was great. He really made me understand Gatsby's motivation and way of thinking.
After seeing the movie, I read the book yet again (and saw the movie again), and I love it even more now that I realize that the movie took pieces of the book and put them word for word into the script. I always appreciate that, especially being a person whose favorite books are always turned into movies.
Why do I love Gatsby so much? Because I comprehend it. Not only that, I identify with it. I think everyone has a little bit of Gatsby in them. His ambition, his hopefulness, his unwillingness to let go of the perfect picture he's constructed in his mind of his future with Daisy. My recent graduation probably strengthens my feelings about this story, because Gatsby spends five years clinging to the past, trying to replicate it. I know I'm going to struggle with my friends who are still in college, as they build new friendships and grow without me. When I go back to visit, things are going to be different, and part of me will want it to be exactly as it was when I left. I have to start preparing myself for this change, because it is inevitable.
Wow, this became more of a psychoanalysis than I intended! It goes to show the effect a book can have on you.