Like Smith, Cain first encountered the novel as a pupil. It was a special period – the Nineteen Sixties – besides, little consideration was paid to Nick. Cain remembers as an alternative discuss of symbolism – the legendary inexperienced mild, for instance, and Gatsby’s fabled vehicle. It is a reminder that, in a means, the schooling system is as a lot responsible as popular culture for our restricted readings of this seminal textual content. It might be a Nice American Novel however, at fewer than 200 pages, its sublimely economical storytelling makes its examine factors very simple to entry. Sarcastically, on condition that this can be a novel of phantasm and delusion, during which surfaces are essential, all of us too typically overlook the feel of its prose. As Cain places it, “I believe after we contemplate The Nice Gatsby, we want to consider it not simply as a novel that’s an event or some extent of departure for us to speak about massive American themes and questions, however we’ve to essentially enter into the richness of Fitzgerald’s precise page-to-page writing. We’ve to come back to Gatsby, sure, conscious of its social and cultural significance, but in addition we have to return to it as a literary expertise.”
Cain re-reads the novel each two or three years however steadily finds himself fascinated about it in between – final summer time, for example, when US President Biden, accepting the Democratic nomination on the DNC, spoke of the fitting to pursue goals of a greater future. The American Dream is, after all, one other of Gatsby’s Huge Themes, and one which continues to be misunderstood. “Fitzgerald exhibits that that dream may be very highly effective, however that it’s certainly a really laborious one for many People to understand. It feeds them nice hopes, nice needs, and it is extraordinary, the efforts that so a lot of them make to fulfil these goals and people needs, however that dream is past the attain of many, and plenty of, they provide up all an excessive amount of to attempt to obtain that nice success,” Cain factors out. Among the many obstacles, Fitzgerald appears to counsel, are hard-and-fast class strains that no sum of money will allow Gatsby to cross. It is a view that resonates with a temper that Cain says he is been selecting up on amongst his college students – a sure “melancholy” for the American Dream, the sensation fanned by racial and financial inequalities that the pandemic has solely deepened.