With The Great Gatsby and other works, F. Scott Fitzgerald chronicled the Jazz Age of the 1920’s. But, he also lived the life. He and his wife, Zelda, embraced it — which may be part of why his novels have such a real-life sense. He captured all the glitter and glamour, the Big money and the lifestyle; but he also shows us all that’s rotten: the moral decay, lies, deceit… and even the hypocrisy.
Nobody is who they appear. They all invent themselves (Jay Gatsby is just the most prominent example.)… They let it all hang out, in their pursuits of the American Dream. It turns out that their lives are huge “smash” up disasters. Then, they “let other people clean up the mess they had made.”
From Nick: “I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”
Do you ever feel “within and without”? What do you think it means? Do you ever wonder?