Monday, February 18, 2008

The Lure of the Green Light

Okay, the promised (threatened?) Gatsby references are rolling already! Here's an interesting article from Sunday’s New York Times about how the children of immigrants are responding to reading The Great Gatsby in their classes at school. Is the American dream possible? What is the American dream?

Let’s not forget that while Gatsby achieved what seemed to be the “dream,” it wasn’t what he actually wanted. That, he could never get.

Still, you have to love some of these comments from the students who are instantly able to see that true literature is universal and timeless:

“I see Tom as this really mean jock,” said Vimin Lo, a 15-year-old Boston Latin sophomore who is in Kay Moon’s American literature class. “When he was in high school, he was king of the hill. He had it all. He was higher than everyone, even the teachers.”

As for Daisy, in Vimin’s view: “She’s turned into an empty person. Like Paris Hilton.”

Yes, yes, yes. By the book’s end, I can totally see Daisy carrying around a tiny dog in a purse.


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.