Thursday, May 1, 2008

Gatsby - Chapter 9 - Wrap Up

It's the final chapter and we finally get to meet a sympathetic character - Gatsby's father. The poor old gent never did anything to hurt a soul, and was so proud of his son...

It also gave us a touching look at Gatsby as a youth - that pathetic "To Do" list.

It was interesting hearing about Gatsby actually clawing his way up the ladder in the underworld lifestyle he chose to help realize his dreams. And, not to sound like a prig, his funeral illustrated the inevitable results of the choices he made.

In the novel, do you think that anyone actually learned anything from Gatsby's life and death? True, Nick is bagging New York and heading home to Minnesota, realizing that his home is actually not such a bad place after all. Did Nick truly learn anything, however? Is he living some dream, as Gatsby did?

If you could choose the life of someone in the novel, who would you choose?

Have you read Gatsby book before? Many of us had to read it in high school. If this is your second reading, what did you think of it the second time? Was it better than you remembered? Worse? Different?

Is this a book you would read again for pleasure? Why or why not?

Many people claim this book is a classic because it illustrates the decadence of the 1920s. I was discussing this point with Joyce, a Virtual Book Club Member. She pointed out that the world Fitzgerald illustrates in this novel just really hasn't changed much today. Is Gatsby a classic because it illustrates the unchanging nature of humanity? What from the novel has changed today?

If you could have a long lunch with anyone from the novel, who would it be? What would you ask them? What answers do you think you'd get?

If you needed describe the novel in one sentence, what would you say?

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