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June 14, 2013 • Cee • Letters

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Dear Gatsby (or Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby),

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You made my heart hurt. Your face is a land mine for every emotive expression ever. Pain, nervousness, joy, you know how to easily express it on your face. You left my friend and I to clutch onto each other’s arms as we tried not to let our squeals out in a quiet movie theater. We could not contain ourselves when you filled Carraway’s cottage with an abundant amount of flowers for Daisy’s impending visit and began pacing anxiously, frantically in the living room; when you gave those glances when you thought nobody was watching; when you deluded yourself that everything will be okay if you were rich. It’s not that simple. We were emotional, and you caused that.

Well, maybe my emotions stemmed from my deep seeded love for the 1920s era. I’m extremely biased, you see.

I felt two conflicting feelings when I watched you. The first, you are a hopeless romantic and I’d swoon at the romantic gesture, and the second, you are a sad, delusional bastard, and I feel so sorry for you. (You should know I was feeling the latter.) I didn’t care about you and Daisy. Because let’s be honest, right from the start of the film (before the Daisy connection was made), I felt the love  between you and Nick Carraway aka “Old Sport” aka your oldest friend Tobey Maguire. Every time you peered through your window, down at Carraway’s little cottage, I just knew. You two were meant to be. Why deny yourself? I know I’m being a bit ridiculous.

Let’s not forget that beautiful soundtrack! I have it on repeat, so I can relive the experience of watching the film. Every time I hear the xx’s song “Together,” I imagine your face. That heartbroken puppy-like face. I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS FOR TRAGIC LOVE STORIES (especially if they are set in the 1920s). The entire soundtrack is…haunting. I did not mind its insertion in the film because it worked for me. Lana Del Rey, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Frank Ocean, how can you say no? Go check it out!

I started reading The Great Gatsby for the first time a few weeks ago. I never read it in high school (when I should’ve as a junior). Why? My English literature teacher chose a different group of books that was more culturally diverse. I remember I had vowed never to read this book, but here I am, six/seven years later, reading it.

However, I have stopped. I’ve put the book on indefinite hiatus. The book is just…slow to get into. (My attention span is extremely small.)

I love the analysis of the Great Gatsby being a commentary on the decline of the American dream. In The Great Gatsby, we see this decline through – the greed for money and the need to throw lavish parties and buy expensive goods. I find the portrayal of the upper class in the book/film to be utterly fascinating. The distinction between old money and new money makes me think of this – “Money, money, money makes the world go round.” It’s a true statement, no matter what era it is. Money is a means of purchasing much-needed items (like food) and provides security. It can be used as a weapon. It’s a means to ease yourself/not deal with whatever action you committed, especially if you are the Buchanan’s. Gatsby, you did not deserve that.

The only problem I could remember having with the story was the constant reference to the fucking green light and the billboard with the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg. Fitzgerald, Baz Lurhmann, seemed like they were screaming, “ENGLISH MAJORS, GO ANALYZE THE SHIT OUT OF THAT OBVIOUS SYMBOL.” I get it! SYMBOLISM. Please stop pounding it into my head!

Regardless of other people’s feelings about the book and film, I enjoyed it thoroughly.

You did good, Leonardo DiCaprio Gatsby.

Sincerely,
Cee

p.s. I know this letter is all over the place and ridiculous, but that is who I am. All over the place and enthusiastic. ;D

p.p.s. Now that I think about it, I only like Gatsby because he was played by Leonardo DiCaprio. I have a soft spot for that doofus.