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May 11, 2013

Luhrmann brings Gatsby new life

Sure, you would think that being a college student and having finals rapidly approaching would equate to my growing anticipation for the summer and being done with my first year of college.

Not quite.

No, although I am excited to be able to kick back at the lake and soak up the sun, what I have been most looking forward to is Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel “The Great Gatsby.”

Back in my junior year of high school, my English teacher had us read the book as part of the unit he was teaching on Modernism. It was then that my classmates and I first caught wind of a new interpretation of the book, which was also filmed in 1974 starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.

The most recent film features Leonardo DiCaprio as the titular Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as Gatsby’s love interest, Daisy Buchanan, and Tobey Maguire as narrator Nick Carraway.

Long story short, “The Great Gatsby” illustrates the Roaring ‘20s in New York City as a time filled with short hair and dresses, Prohibition, and unimaginable wealth. However, in Long Island, where the story is set, there is the West Egg and East Egg, which differentiates between “new” and “old” money.

Gatsby and Daisy knew each other when they were younger and fell in love, but were unable to be together due to class differences. Therefore Gatsby determined to earn a fortune and be worthy enough of Daisy. Gatsby, who is part of the “new money” crowd in the West Egg, is considered somewhat of an outcast to Daisy’s group in the East Egg, specifically her husband, Tom Buchanan.

The scene is then set for one of literature’s best love triangles. Will Daisy be able to escape her world, filled with money and unhappiness, or will she stay where she is comfortable?

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