Blogger Widgets Ender-Chan's Thoughts: Hey, Old Sport.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Hey, Old Sport.

Warning: Major Spoilers for The Great Gatsby novel

Now that I have dropped out of the honors institute and read The Great Gatsby, I have now come to wonder what would have happened if I stayed and if I had met all the requirements. Would I have been glad and exhausted? Would I have just pulled through my "phase" or cracked under pressure? I spent my time reaching out to the green light of the designation and, when I took a closer look, I was disillusioned. Somehow, I was not suited to the imposed rigors. I felt like I had to feign someone who I wasn't.

Gatsby is a character that represents the American dream gone awry. He ran away a penniless farm boy known as James Gatz, imitated the mannerisms of millionaire Dan Cody, started bootlegging, and threw parties in the hopes that Daisy would show up. After first meeting Daisy, he wore his army uniform to conceal the fact that he was poor. Five years later, Daisy married a man as careless as herself and had a child by the name of "Pammy".

It is not the present Daisy that Gatsby loved, the careless Daisy who, with her husband, left destruction in her wake. Gatsby loved a past image of Daisy. He rose to greatness, threw parties, and sold alcohol illegally all for this Daisy. Academic performance was the "Daisy" of my life. I strove and strove for better and better grades. I observed the most intelligent people I knew. I emulated them, tried to understand them and be them. However, when I came closer to my goal, I pushed on despite the fact that it was not for me. My stubborn internal casuistry kept me going. If I can pull this off, I will be great, I thought. However, I slipped away from my dream as I trudged on. I failed. I grew to hate it. It was then that I realized that the dream I had intended for myself was not for me.

Gatsby represents the American dream gone awry: having it all and, at the same time, having nothing. He did everything for Daisy. When he had her, he felt an immediate rush. He wanted to pluck Daisy from Tom's hand, succeeded for a moment, and then lost her again. However, that did not discourage Gatsby. He pined in futility after Daisy to the point where it led to him dying in the pool he had never used. If I continued with my quest for academic excellence, my fate would have been similar. I would never have enjoyed the pool called music and ended up either failing, literally dying from suicide, or figuratively dying from this infatuation with high numbers strip away my enjoyment of life.

The basic principle of the American dream is to be better off than you were. For Gatsby, it was having a relationship with Daisy. For me, it was proving that a student like me can achieve academic greatness. However, both of our dreams went awry rather quickly. Gatsby rose to greatness because he wanted someone (and by extension something) he could not have.When he came close to having it, he denied that it was not for him. It ended up costing him his life, which is a reminder that not all dreams should come true, not all paths should be paved, and that "great" in the traditional sense is not always truly great.

Image Description(s):
Leonardo DiCaprio portraying Jay Gatsby holding a drink and smiling. The image has "Old Sport" written on it with what looks like custom strokes in white. 


  1. I'm so glad you realized that the path you were on was not for you. I'm sure getting off that path is a huge a relief to you. I pray that you find your true calling so you can truly be happy. My husband is experiencing something similar concerning his job and wondering if early retirement is his answer!

    1. Thank you. I hope your husband finds his calling too. He sounds like a wonderful guy. I think everyone should have the freedom to say "It's not for me" and "I can't do this". It takes a lot of strength to abandon your path and find a new one when it is one you had in mind. I just want other people to not get into the mess I got into.


Comment! I won't know what you have to say unless you say it.