Monday, May 25, 2009
The Great Jay Gatsby
Dear Sage. I bought this very short booklet before the holy week. When you saw it and read it the first thing you said was it's very expensive (it was P325 but I got in on sale for P285.00). Only recently did I find out why books in the Philippines are really expensive these days. CLICK HERE
F. Scott Fitz, the author of Button, was very gifted. I have yet to read The Great Gatsby but I've seen more than half of the movie.
His novels are mirrors of our urban, Male fantasies. In Button, his character ages in reverse (he grows young, not old) and in Gatsby, it's the story of the man who had everything, except that one woman who got away. So he throws wild parties almost every night and opens his mansion to everyone. His eyes always scanning the horizon, hoping that woman would one day come to one of his parties and make him whole again.
But what happens when you get what you want? When you don't grow old? When you get the girl back? F. Scott showed us that we will find the fulfillment of our most fervent wish to be a tragedy. Benjamin Button lived a full life and grew young and died an infant without any memory of his wonderful achievements as an adult or the love of his life. Jay Gatsby got Mlle. DaIsy back. His world was complete. But only for a short while... And after that there was tragedy. Maybe she shouldn't have entered his life again. She should have been spared. Jay Gatsby should have protected her from the pain of loss instead of wishing with all his strength to have her back.
Going back to Button, reading the original short story made me understand why in the movie, Brad Pitt had to leave Cate and his Daughter. I rebelled against that idea because I thought he was abandoning them. It was a wise decision after all. He knew that had he stayed, he would not be able to stop his march to young adulthood and adolescence. He wouldn't be able to Love her the way she needs to be loved. He had to leave as early as possible and leave a smaller scar in Cate's heart. Or he could leave later when the pain could concievably kill her very soul.