I May Be Broken As A Lit Major, But I Just Don’t Care About Gatsby

As I’m sure most of you know, the long awaited The Great Gatsby movie opens this weekend. Because I am a literature major, I’ve heard a lot of talk amongst my peers about their feelings toward this production, ranging anywhere from “OH MY GOD I LOVE GATSBY I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE MOVIE” to “Leonardo DiCaprio is going to ruin this wonderful, magical book.”

But I’m going to confess something, internet. I just don’t really CARE about Gatsby. I know, I know–it’s literary blasphemy to say such a thing, but I’ve read and studied the book twice and I can officially, definitively say that I am not in love with The Great Gatsby.

This is not to say that I don’t think Fitzgerald was a great writer. He definitely was. There are some paragraphs in that book that are full of beautiful prose. And I love a good, healthy dose of disillusionment a la “rich people aren’t actually happier than anyone else.” I do. But I’m just not in love with it, and that kind of makes me sad. I feel like it’s this requirement of being a lit major that I’m supposed to ooze enthusiasm at Gatsby. And I just can’t play pretend when it comes to one of the greatest pieces of literature to come out of America.

I’m a character driven sort of girl. And yes, even my lit professor admits the plot is largely irrelevant next to the examination of society and of Jay Gatz himself, but the fact of the matter is I just don’t LIKE any of the characters. They all kind of suck. Which, I know, is kind of the point. But that’s just not the sort of thing out of which I get any particular joy.

So am I in a panic about the possibility of Leo not “pulling off” his role as Gatsby? No. Am I excited to hear the voice of Toby Maguire narrating and think to myself “SPIDERMAN”? Yes, yes I am. Will I see the movie? Of course I will. It feels like a requirement. But at the end of the day, all I can say about The Great Gatsby is that it’s certainly great in terms of writing, but it is no great love of mine.

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