10 Books of Summer 2013- Wake Up Call for The Great Gatsby
“In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.”
-The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
F Scott Fitzgerald’s self-proclaimed masterpiece, written in 1925, is often considered one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century. In prose that glitters and dances before your eyes, in a very short nine chapters, Fitzgerald proved his comprehension of the darker desires of the human heart, and wove a story that still remains a favourite. Quintessentially American (although famous and loved all over the world) and set against the irresistible backdrop of New York in the 1920s, it is a high school teacher’s friend, and recently burst onto our screens in multicoloured splendour courtesy of the hopelessly romantic film director, Baz Lurhmann.
So with all those things in mind, why bother with the Writing Gooder 10 Books of Summer at all?
Well, because it’s going to be fun.
We’ll be starting proceedings for The Great Gatsby on June 22nd. A PDF of the book, for those of you who don’t own a copy or, like me, would like to make notes without defacing your copy, is available here: http://www.planetebook.com/ebooks/The-Great-Gatsby.pdf. For a week, I will be leading discussion on the book, each day having its own theme for discussion:
22nd- The Roaring Twenties– how The Great Gatsby was influenced by the times in which it was written, and how the history might just be one of the most important things in the story
23rd– The Mystery of Jay Gatsby- the man whom nobody really knew in his lifetime, yet as the story goes on we figure him out. What do we really think of him?
24th- Both Without and Within- Nick Carraway- the hero of the book lets his limelight be stolen by his rich neighbour- why was Nick so involved in other people’s lives? What effect does he have- and what effect does it have on him? In the end, what do we think of Nick Carraway?
25th- Their Vast Carelessness- Carelessness is a repeating motif throughout the novel, a mainstay of the “old money” rich in the book. But why? How harmful is it, and why do you think they adopted such morals?
26th- The Few Honest People- Nick is eternally shocked by the secrets and lies of those around him. Just how many are there, how thick is the web? How are lies and secrets returned?
27th- A Sudden Emptiness- Gatsby, always surrounded by interesting and celebrated people, is, at the heart of it, utterly alone, waiting for Daisy. Isolation is a huge theme of the novel, and one that begs further inspection.
28th- The Green Light- one of my own favourite things about this novel is the language used, how we are enveloped in beautiful prose. We will look at the language, as well as the imagery, used to tell this story.
Hopefully, if you’re reading over the next few days, those will be some food for thought. Even if you’ve read the book a hundred times, it would still be great to have you on board for discussion!
I hope to see you back here on Saturday ready to discuss this beautiful book in all its debauched and dog-eared glory.