By Caleb Bobrycki
Image Credit: Warners Bros.
9/10 - The Great Adaptation
The Great Gatsby is full of messages, themes, and meaning that have woven into our culture. I was glad, two years ago, to get swallowed up with the rest of so many millions in beholding this wonderfully tragic story. Yet, I had never read F. Scott Fitzgerald's original masterpiece so as to investigate how well of a job Baz Lurhmann had actually done in adapting it. After recently doing so, I am very pleased to say that literally everything Fitzgerald's composition is, so is Lurhmann's, and much more.
The Great Gatsby is the spectacle of two lovers forbidden from each other by wealth, circumstance, and jealousy. It is interesting, however, that such a horrifying story is back dropped with some of the most exciting party scenes in literature and film history. Still, as readers and audiences of both the film and the book watch the impassioned and youthful events unfold, the storytellers’ schemes reveal as satirical poking at the meaninglessness of it all. I think the point is that unintended pleasure is vain, no matter how royal. And, though presented as superior in value, Gatsby's treasure, Daisy Buchanan, is just as meaningless as the 1920’s party-life. Maybe more so.
Merriment for God’s Sake
Some persons are like chickens with severed heads, seeking satisfaction by surviving. Like to breathing water, we misuse creation to our detriment. We do not know how to party and marry. We party and marry as though parties and marriage are gods. And no matter how high are aspiration or dream, we will soon find the goal will always fail our desires. Hung over, fired from a job, or dead on the street, every individual on planet earth will realize the meaninglessness of their dreams.
Our problem is that we do not understand ambition and merriment. Vain aim made Gatsby's death tragic, that’s all. Gatsby's aim was to live happily, ever after with Daisy, and for what? Since his joy terminated on a silly relationship, his life was a waste. The problem is not that he loved Daisy, but that his love was an end in itself. We do not stop seeking pleasure, but look to the one who knows fullness of pleasure in God. Jesus’ merriment was, and is, never an end in itself, but is all found in his eternally satisfying Father.
If death is avoided, it's vain; yet embrace it, and death becomes gain. Who wants to go out like a roach kicking on its back? My heart aches over how many "Christians" live for themselves, for vanity, merely surviving. We must not move for the sake of motion, surprised when gunned down by jealous lovers, but work, fellowship, and partake in merriment with motives for God.