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“For the wages of sin is death”- Romans 6:23

A response to the blog prompt for English III AP at consolapiii.wordpress.com….

Perhaps the most interesting fact about The Great Gatsby –even more intriguing than the fact that it was as popular as pin-up girls during the sausage-fest of World War II –is the fact that the now-infamous book was considered a “dud” when it first came out in 1925. On a superficial level, one can assume that the aristocrats of the roaring ’20’s were too caught up in the glory of superfluous parties to pay attention to a book written by a has-been. However, upon closer introspection voices of repression and underlying fear can be heard in the micro-aggression that is the avoidance of one of few books of its time to unveil the façade of the gilded age.

It’s quite possible that The Great Gatsby was simply too basic and uneventful for the dynamic folk of the 1920’s. In the same way, it’s quite possible that the book was interpreted immaturely in the same way that some of my colleagues have interpreted it: a juvenile love story that never really gets anywhere (if you know what I’m saying). Despite these confounding variables, the principal of my message remains the same. In a similar way to how many of us juniors failed to appreciate The Shallows by Nicholas Carr, a book essentially blaming our generation for all the world’s problems, the people of the jazz age found it neither interesting nor enjoyable to read a book foreshadowing their doomed lives. Whether they acknowledged it or not, when word spread of The Great Gatsby’s message, people subconsciously surmised negative connotations of the book and, as I would imagine, tried to pretend that the problems with the embellished society were merely to remain fiction. Thusly, few people chose to read the book and the few that did most likely failed to grasp the message at hand.

I promise I’m not a member of The Illuminati (or am I…?), but I really do find the conspiracy of The Great Gatsby foreshadowing the Great Depression woah it’s even in the name almost comical. If more people prior to the 1940’s would have taken a moment to hear the late F. Scott Fitzgerald out, who knows where our society would be today? Would the Depression have been so devastating? Would we have a society more capable of understanding the everlasting threats of lust and gluttony? Would I even exist?

The world will never know; but unlike Nick Carraway, I don’t plan on reserving any judgments of the world to come.


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