Of Reading and Reflection

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I finished my second read through of American Gods, or well, a listen as I borrowed the digital audio book from the library. And upon completion it got me thinking. And looking at it in conjunction with The Great Gatsby – I’m currently reading So We Read On about how Gatsby can to be the classic it is today. You are probably wondering what these two books have in common and I’ll tell you: an attempt to recreate the past.

Gatsby wants to completely recreate the past and be with Daisy like they were when first they met. He does everything that he does from making something of himself, to throwing the lavish parties for her with the hope that she will show. While the old gods of America realize that they cannot bring the past back. Those immigrants to American that worshiped them and brought them to the New World are dead and gone. All they want from the past is a remnant of the power they once had when before they were brought to the land.

“Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!”

― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Beyond that both of these books a very American. The Great Gatsby looks at class issues and the juxtaposition of the old money and the new. What it means and what it allows one to do while looking at how the old and newly rich are viewed by each other. While American Gods looks at the immigrants – especially in the Coming to America portions of the text.. The expansive projects and growth in the New World may have been funded by the Robber Barons but it was built by working class people who came for a new life.

What do you think about these two books and looking at them in conjunction? Also, please remember that this is not a research based post, it is simply observation while reading the two. Happy reading.

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

– F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby