Throw Your Own Great Gatsby Party! ...Unless You Actually Read the Book

Spoilers for The Great Gatsby ahead!

The Great Gatsby is a staple of American high school literary education.  As it should be!  It's a fantastic novel with complex characters wrought from F. Scott Fitzgerald's genius.

My class read the book this past month.  When we finished it, we had a "Gatsby party".
My sister was in high school when the Leo DiCaprio Great Gatsby movie came out.  Her prom theme that year was The Great Gatsby.
The internet is littered with recipes, decorations, posts for Great Gatsby parties.  Not 1920's parties- parties specifically themed "The Great Gatsby."

Has anyone actually read the book?

One of my favorite parts about the book is that the narrator is not the main character.  Nick is swept along in the events of the book, but he only watches, never interferes.

The real main character (I am hesitant to use the word protagonist), Jay Gatsby, throws elaborate, lavish parties in a flashy display of his wealth.  Gatsby doesn't care about his guests, and his guests don't care about him.  The parties are pointless, senseless, and vapid, just like the people that attend them.

All the grandeur and gaiety that Gatsby puts into the world is drawn to an end in one short chapter of short sentences.  F. Scott Fitzgerald holds a trinket in his hand.  It is a very pretty trinket, but look how easily he crushes it between his fingers.

I'm not saying festivity is pointless!  I couldn't possibly say that, when I write a blog where I post frilly foods and decorative crafts; or when I spent last Saturday dancing to '90s music with my friends in my living room strung with Christmas lights.  Celebration is necessary and wonderful.

The parties Gatsby threw offered fleeting pleasure like the instant gratification one gets from snapping an unnecessary, childish insult.  When we liken ourselves to the recently wealthy attendants of a lavish party at Gatsby's mansion, we liken ourselves to frivolous, selfish, materialists.  We prove we don't understand Fitzgerald's haunting message: careless prosperity destroys hope and leaves us hollow.

But hey, if it makes you happy, go for it. 

Do you think I would get extra credit if I showed this post to my English teacher?

World peace and love,

Heather <3

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