Yeah, I think your suggestion that Fitzgerald is trying to show us that all people are flawed is on-point. Hannah Gadsby described it perfectly when she talked about the problem of “good men”.

Nick thinks he’s a good man. Gatsby thinks he’s a good man. Even the service station owner, who beats his wife, thinks he is a good man. And they all look at everyone else as flawed. Like we all do.

Right now, we’re only allowed out of our houses to exercise and shop due to COVID-19. So, when I’m in the park with my dog and a jogger goes past too close, they annoy me for being too close. But when my kids run too close to the friends that we inevitably run into in the park, they’re fine — because they’re mine. It’s all the same.

Actually, perhaps the point Fitzgerald was making is that we think, “I am right, and everyone else is wrong.” Ha, maybe we’re all good men in our own male gaze!

I read a lot and I don’t often reread books. But The Great Gatsby — even though I find the story depressing — is probably the book that I have re-read the most. It typifies that beautifully simple American literary form of every word being placed on the page with surgical precision. Nothing in the book is extraneous.

I’m a writer and publisher working in Sydney, Australia and London, UK. I specialise in finance, technology, insurance, property, medicine and sustainability.

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