The movie made me cry, which surprised me (and likely the people sitting beside me too...) It was some combination of Lana Del Ray's voice and Fitzgerald's words and the theme of the book and the space I was in. How easy it is to fill our lives with Buchanans and their associated money, power, and prestige. I first teared up when Nick sees Tom and Daisy for who they are:
They were careless people, Tom and Daisy - they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made....
I pulled out my high school copy of Gatsby. As an English major and voracious reader who has moved too many times, I have given away hundreds of books. But I kept Gatsby and as I flipped through it I saw that I'd both underlined and asterisked that particular passage in the book. Although most of the ink has faded over the years, the asterisks remained bold.
I was glad I filled my weekend with good people. I have a new life now, one devoid of the glitter set. What most people consider a major reversal of fortune has been my biggest blessing. And ultimately, that's where Gatsby gets it wrong. Yes, we beat on, boats against the current, but nothing is beyond redemption. There is life - amazing life - beyond the green light. And for this I am so very grateful.