“If it wasn’t for the mist we could see you home across the bay…You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock.”-The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This fiction book has impacted my life from the lessons that are taught in it and influenced me to favorite the roaring 20’s as the best decade. I first read this book in the middle of high school for a class and then recently I saw the movie that did a really good job depicting the novel. The quote above has a deeper meaning behind it; it shows how Jay Gatsby cannot stop focusing on his past and looking back on it.
Jay Gatsby is the main character of the book and was very emotionally attached to another character named Daisy. They were in love years ago but Gatsby went off to war and years later when he came back, Daisy was already married to another man. It was too late but they lived across the bay in Long Island (West Egg and East Egg) and he would reminisce and stare across to her house every night. He wanted to go back to the past so badly and thought that he could still live in it. The only problem was that he wasn’t in the past anymore, Daisy is married and her thoughts about Gatsby have changed. Gatsby thinks that time can heal everything and put it back to the way things were but he soon learns that it does not work like that.
There was a middle man in the movie named Nick (played by Tobey Maguire in the movie) who is there to mediate and help Gatsby think straight and see where he is coming from with what he was thinking. Gatsby never really opened up to anyone besides Nick which made it hard for people to like him because they didn’t understand him and he only had one person standing up for him. “Actions speak louder than words” and although Gatsby was really good and careful with what he said to people, he was barely seen at his parties and was just known in the community as a wealthy guy that throws great parties.
Without spoiling the end of the book, the reader really does get to know who and how people cared about Gatsby. Relating back to the first quote mentioned, Gatsby believed in that green light and kept reaching out further and further towards it until he could not reach anymore. He had used all his strength.
I believe that everyone has a green light they are trying to reach or hold on to. It is really hard to let go of the past and this book portrayed a guy that was facing that challenge of not being able to let go of what he once had. I thought it was very relatable to my life just based of letting go of things or people to overall benefit yourself. As stated in the book “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
The Great Gatsby taught me that the past can be messy but in order to be happy you have to move on with your life. I think this book had such a strong impact on me because it made me think more about going forward. This book made me think about other books I will read in the future. I am not much of a reader but when I do read it is fiction or non fiction books that are relatable or teach me a lesson. Everyone needs to look beyond what has happened in their past and just focus on the present and not worry about anything else.