Insightful Evening (The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Book Review)



The expensive drawn white curtains danced around the room as the ruffles of my dress laid comfortably down on the luxurious velvet sofa. Tom had gone off some time ago, so Jordan and I were left to bask in the sun and wind. The mumble of voices followed the opening of the door. Nick has arrived.

Nick is my dear cousin who recently moved here. He, however, lives in West Egg. I never understood why he would decide to live there. Anyone as educated as I would know that those of any importance would bring themselves to live in East Egg. The houses are grander and more beautiful than anything you could find over in the West. Nick, however, was sweet. He never made me feel as obsolete as Tom makes me feel. Being in his presence makes me feel important. The footsteps got closer and I swiveled my head lightly to see him enter the room.

“I’m p-paralyzed with happiness,” I said as we both laughed. My white manicured fingers clutched his arm and I stared into his eyes. There was something kind about them. Kindness is something I learned to detect. It is not often that I have experienced it in its purest form. Although sometimes I wished I wasn’t so perceptive. It is truly a pity. 

Nick and I conversed and caught up about life. I asked him the standard things about the family and if any of them miss me. I felt a warmth talking to him. One I seldom found in my house on a typical day. Everyone was getting along fine until Tom came in. Tom always has to make things competitive. Poor Nick didn’t stand a chance. 

My back cracked and ached from sitting on the sofa for so long. Jordan experienced the same and let out a low groan.My feet sank into the fur-lined rug, delicately twisting my spine to release the pressure. Everyone began to stand and prepare to move into the dining area. 

“You live in West Egg?’ Jordan asked Nick. ‘I know somebody there.” I tried to chime in,  but Jordan kept going. “You must know Gatsby.”

Suddenly my heart stopped. My porcelain cheeks flushed and went red-hot. Gatsby? It couldn’t possibly be. Not my Gatsby. Years have passed since I have seen him. My eyes filled with white. I could not see, or think, or feel. The memories of the war were coming back to me. I wanted to go with Jay so badly, but he could never give me the life I wanted. A life like this. His family was well, less fortunate than mine. He had very little to give. I did once love him, however. 

“Gatsby?” I cried. “What Gatsby?” However, Jordan never answered. Dinner was announced, and the topic of Gatsby never picked up again. To be quite honest, I could not think straight. During the beginning of dinner, I was lost.  I heard Tom go on and on about race science. He believes he is very profound these days. As someone who is well versed and informed, I believe that he is better off not being profound. It's much more tranquil.

Nick and Jordan were getting on excellently. Talking about West Egg and New York. The unclouded sky shined down onto the beautiful crystal centerpiece. The diamonds shined and glistened as the white cloth smoothly ruffled in the breeze. The back door opened and the butler came out. He slowly walked over to Tom’s seat and bent over, mumbling something in his ear. Tom’s face dropped immediately.

I knew what it was. He knew what it was. His white linen chair screeched as he pulled it out and excused himself. My eyes followed him as he entered the living room and picked up the phone. In an act of panic, I got up too and followed him. It was his “girl” from New York. I personally think that the word girl is too nice when referring to women of her character, but those who are educated do not use foul language. I don’t understand what Tom could see in her. There’s no way she could have more money than me. What else in a person could he want?

Nick and I were not very close, but there was something calming about his presence. He made me feel open to talking to him. I felt like telling him what I was truly feeling, so I did. I told him how alone I felt. How waking up with a newborn baby and no father around was the most empty feeling one could experience. I don’t think he understood. How could anyone understand who hadn’t been through those things?

“You see I think everything’s terrible anyhow,” I explained. I’m sophisticated. I’ve seen things and know what it’s like. It’s not fun being a woman who knows things, everything. I also explained to Nick that I want my daughter to be a fool. With time he will understand that one too. I talked to him for what felt like forever. Shared with him what I knew. I looked out onto the water. It reflected the white brick exterior of the house, giving it the look of diamonds. I peered up across the shore to the other side of the pier. An enormous house with gorgeous granite sculptures and landscaping caught my eye. It was a truly magnificent home. I wonder who lives in it.