-, Iw " - * - S.11 , . , C lt i.I. . i.t,. .. . 5-. t-.a.y / , - * ,. . - n . o -o ‘ i. to .s oe ,, , , - t z ,‘ t . t t a :u. Gel o-FI--tpnld’ Trth.khIe-46ylis--a4-lrI ("Ra-Gc t") F.rret ad the De Jo.g a Ead LhL--they cme to pam , ad wFeroet w-d dad ito the gnrdn it mant he a deamd eat ad Asocited Trction would heto to Iuctu.te proUbly nost day. , A man nuaed Kliptnp was the o in ud Ion tIb t heat er be knw a "the boMdi" -I doubt II he had any oie hone IO tlWPL al aope there were GO Wlir and iHoner O'Doavas and Ltads MyHr and G;.e. Dltkweed ud Franuis dwn All. f. o New York were theCrn ad the Bickhyla inm and the Demckerm ald RIt Betty and the Comriga and the Kdletabn d the Dewon and the Scllay and S.W Belher ind the SnHrtes ind the yong Qelasa divtroed now, and Henor L PpiUetto, who klled hiWe by itin€ in front ot o iwa y train in Tima Square BInsy McClienhan arrilvd hawys with four pri. They twere icn quite the ime eon tm phy _ ral pir.ni buIt they nwere o inttucl witlam another thlt it inevitably oi€med they bad tbre ln . b belore I hrt Ifooltte their nna--Jlqeli. I think, or ite Ctsuw elr. w Gt r or Judy or June, .ad their lutt nae wre lther the melodlou nmos .of iow ead months a the stoern onef of the grat Aericn citaltlht. whoe cousis, if p~t.ed. Ihc w-ould confne thnetlrese t bhe in iddiiltn to all the I cm remember thot S t tmlher I *tel. ot ac od the o . - ci i >L ., ‘ pi . and loung Brewer. tho hod hhi nao shlt O ‘ sf in the tar, nd Mr. lbnrohalburpve and Mmim --- H.., hi lfncit and itnrdit I -Petee ned Mr u’ SJeIett. ic heed 4d the \hetr.tn Ibgqn, and S .li.. (‘audl Hip, *lih a mrn rtliird to be hb thuoffu r, und a Ipnlre ol omerthinl, whom we S clkI,d uiu, lnd Bht tnm. aiI t er knew it, I 1.lodt/ has lIutw*tmt ll thIb: rote ame it tioGlby's hoene mI the o. 1. , ~t~ i n\t i o..I.k. o ornint lte n Jut). GaitO0 0 osrs In a I ielu tar lunMhd up the -ucky dris to my . , t! ,:::. : doo pand sclt a burlst df Ieell fro . ith .- * "‘ J " n ml hom It w .a t .he l. t hr haJd ia k It .. . nt, thioseh I h twL tI lto il urttnls l onted In hi. hd,lnla.l, Mnt. it hIi. it lit ntilo Lt mn.k frtqu.nl .se" d hiIlhth i to v - . HIh. iAIkl *r l.‘es h eead. us;wrc hsitlnch / withmt in toll tI i lodat..nl . I Ihounhiit ) im0ght iik o likI to rikul ow " 4 d d Iotl onirl iaution thitl en't,htd he c\rr ,oil was . iC lcrnfrytitsk i th. d.la)im. - he .utsd Islitent t n tIhe il.hbonid ol ht ctr he namned its ntlunl. .ficTr ll H. buod, hd about It that \mernc n rtourtnculnr aof mnovement-* sI hraterillt hallt In duc. I .uliWc. to tw dIence , Ins.its Iit,inIt wiiik It sIth aId oneC mte. to hM Ittrnat. g6cit isi Ur ncrtvo.. tonadIC gp i I utI'lMi m.l ‘*I sw mt car’" l - id itn il I’ tritenth td tel n 1t it wa r r.ntii, alr, Itnrht tith nni kl. intlskl herr nd ther in its . nntwon. u Inlgth weth tnrullohlt hat. toeu. ae.l uItIe-Iwri ntii d Itoi t-boin, aod ter traod llth hLabtrinth uo wlnl thildd that mirroed, 1 dooen tuni " Handound, r in ‘ Ve Yut..‘ he inlonrmd te * .know it I rettv I .l but whatl’ the ue of riding roulNl in n bin hnrt>‘‘ Sitting down behdd mens Itlyt ofl gli in t Wot ol gren lelther ronsnettol, we started to tot . ‘tita J - *r ‘tig o i To tuI iyon. old qmort.- °e =‘v i; "=ud I want to inquireone thi ibefor I betin .. ,1L ‘ i .04 I wol to tets air tiq beee. I hqineo itL". At "Allright" di 4tidi 4 Il R44 - ‘f ao .e "Have you "ev hid what’ know.as an aairt 1 .l.e: decu?" o 4t Atj I.4 ‘t. l ts! jil SW. ý"Why-»en nay 0se0uoe, c" I UI I " ant "Never." 4I * ‘ 1s.d .. . o fHe patted the kne o ho iars eeutoloned II "Very wll,." he doried. "I'l bre to be a in *j , .L'J dieetnt way. Let ad yo this: WhLt’.s y) opina tTi e, aniiylow" THl ‘ ‘ l I A ittli ovnrheie.d I bhgn the b manl ed - 1a.a e doten. whith that qtrstions o . tsea l " Bte Ir k,idport, h ur`h d t. ] t <t 4 Brt I dan'tl know what I thouekt ofl Mbe t Ili, , and o a licetiou substitute I pa.ad ai to W Cm na w-: us r well to I t could itghe the enia bhai. JI di" d C SI'l tell you God’. truth " Hi. rightl d ad’ ‘ddenly ondercd divne rnetrtibutio to itend by. "I m the ou of me wealthy people in the hiddl Wet-all daed now I wM hbought up in Aamiro but educited at Oisord. beaout .a sy ua a tn m s haw bOs edu4utd Iher lor mtney year ‘Jt’‘ rt of tndieon." i He looked at me .dewaye-.od I know why jodua Baker bad behievd he wu lying He herried the phre "td ucitd at Oxford," or sw.lowtd it, or choked o, it, s thoudh it had bothcad him bh Galley proof of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby with corrections by Fitzgerald. The galley heading (Fitzgerald's Trimalchio) reflects the rejected title for the book, Trimalchio in West Egg. Copyright 1925 Charles Scribner's Sons. Copyright renewed 1953 Scott Fitzgerald Lanahan. Reprinted with the permission of Charles Scribner s Sons. opposite. That is why we go out of our way to honor the hero and extol him when we think we recognize him, whether his name is John Kennedy or Martin Luther King or Che Guevara. We are Nick Carraway, grown a little solemn with the feel of those long winters of our discontent, grown a little complacent from having been raised in the house of our security. Cautious, politic, wise, meant to swell a rout or two, but not Prince Hamlet. Yet we yearn to acknowledge our Hamlet, not just the Hamlet out there but the Hamlet in us. If Gatsby is the great Gatsby, it is because Nick thinks he is. (pp. 333-34) Disillusioned and lonely, Nick finally meets Gatsby, who clearly represents everything Nick has been taught to scorn, to disapprove of. Gatsby's house is a huge and incoherent eyesore. His tastes run to pink suits and flashy cars. His parties follow the rules of the most vulgar amusement park. He is rumored to be a criminal, a killer. Yet, against all logic, Nick finds himself attracted to Gatsby. He listens to Gatsby's preposterous autobiography with first incredulity, then fascination, and finally belief. He wants to believe Gatsby, wants to believe that this elegant roughneck, this proprietor of the elaborate roadhouse next door, is a person of consequence. And when Jordan tells Nick about Gatsby's five-year love for Daisy, Nick's beliefs are confirmed. Gatsby comes alive to him because Nick wants him to. Gatsby is the antidote to Nick's interior rules which keep him at a standstill, to his fear of involvement which keeps him from living. Contrary to all his principles, he allows himself to become involved, allows himself to be used as a Pandarus to Gatsby's Troilus and Daisy's Cressida. But it is really Nick who uses Gatsby. He uses him as a model. There are only, Nick realizes, the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired. Gatsby is all of these and possessed by intense life. Nick is none of these and possessed by a fear of life. He overcomes his repulsion at life's inexhaustible variety long enough to commit himself to Jordan Baker. But Nick discovers, as James Baldwin puts it, that connections willed into existence can never become organic. Gatsby has thrown himself into his dream of Daisy with a colossal vitality, a creative passion that Nick cannot begin to approximate. Unlike Nick's, Gatsby's commitment is not to a woman but to a vision. That is why, although Daisy is corrupt, Gatsby's dream of her is not. (pp. 335-36) But to understand why Gatsby's dream of Daisy is incorruptible, we must go back to the night Gatsby saw that the blocks of the sidewalk really formed a ladder that mounted to a secret place above the trees. He knew he could climb to it and once there suck on the pap of life, drink down the milk of wonder. He also knew he could climb to it only if he climbed alone, only if he devoted all his energies, all his commitments to getting there. Such a climb could not be made half-heartedly. But there was Daisy standing beside him, breathless, immediate. He knew that once he kissed her his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. Daisy could not be won by halves either. He must choose between the stars and a mortal flower. Against all logic, he weds his unutterable visions to her perishable breath and the incarnation is complete forever. His commitment is to his Platonic conception of himself. To this he is faithful to the end. Gatsby's greatness resides in this vigil, in his protection of an internal flame. His vision comes from an inner light which he sustains and follows. He looks at life from a single window, an isolation that insures his purity. (pp. 336-37) This is the greatness of the visionary and, as such, is inimitable. Nick cannot be Gatsby because he cannot choose to have a vision. And even if he could, he would not. The total commitment to an impossible dream is, of course, insane and very dangerous. Nick is too sensible to ever want to pay the price for living too long with a single dream. As an ideal, Gatsby is unapproachable. He can only be wondered at, not emulated. Nevertheless, he is an ideal we need to recognize and affirm. For Gatsby represents nothing less than wonder itself, the heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, the extraordinary gift for hope, the romantic readiness that makes life something more than an extinction up an alley, that makes life a journey. Gatsby is one with the Dutch sailor whose boat was similarly propelled against the current by a fidelity to an impossible dream. (pp. 337-38) Gatsby's morality may be nothing more than a chivalrous reflex, nothing more than what H. L. Mencken called it, the sentimentality of a sclerotic fat woman [see excerpt above, 1925]. But it is a morality nevertheless and in lieu of any other. In this too Gatsby atones for the world's failure, its failure to provide standards in terms of which human behavior may be measured and judged. Gatsby's moral response has to do with that Platonic conception of himself, with those ineffable dreams that permit him to transcend a brutal and materialistic world. I, Gatsby Nick finds the connection between ideality and morality, between the capacity for wonder and the capacity for responsibility. The price for living too long with a single dream is too high. But the price for living too long without one is even higher, not to the physical but to the spiritual life. Although Nick must disapprove of Gatsby from beginning to end, he is able to recognize and affirm what Gatsby represents. In that recognition and affirmation lie Nick's heroism. He is able to affirm Gatsby in words when he tells him he is worth the whole damn bunch put together. He is able to affirm him in gestures when he erases the obscene word scrawled on Gatsby's steps. He is able to affirm him in deeds when he commits himself to and assumes responsibility for the dead Gatsby, when he invests his intense personal interest to which everyone is entitled at the end. More important even, he is able, finally, to assume responsibility for himself. He left the Midwest without confronting the girl he was fleeing but before he leaves the East he confronts Jordan Baker. No longer able to lie to himself and call it honor, he admits his dishonesty and carelessness. He has learned not to be like the Buchanans who smash up things and people and then retreat back into their vast carelessness, leaving other people to clean up the mess they make. He has learned not to trust some obliging sea to sweep his refuse away. (pp. 338-39) He wants, he says, no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart. He wants, he says, the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever. He is no longer interested, he says, in the abortive sorrows and shortwinded elations of men. But the only sort of moral order the world can create is the order of the inquisition which spares only children and the very old. The only order that is liberating is the one each man must create for himself. The riotous excursions are, at least, excursions, and not extinctions up an alley. The abortive sorrows and shortwinded elations of the human heart are what makes it beat. In the final analysis, Nick knows all that. In telling Gatsby's story and his own, he does create an order, he does affirm the sorrows and elations of the heart. He becomes, in earnest, the guide, the pathfinder he fancied himself to be when he first arrived at West Egg. He captures the elusive rhythm, remembers the lost words, communicates the incommunicable something heard somewhere a long time ago. Gatsby is the hero we need to acknowledge and affirm, but the hero we dare not be. Nick, who is, like us, within and without, simultaneously repelled and enchanted by the inexhaustible variety of life, is the hero we can and must become. (pp. 339-40) Barry Gross, "‘Our Gatsby, Our Nick’," in The Centennial Review, Vol. XIV, No. 3, Summer. 1970, pp. 331-40.