Re: Tony Soprano, Holden Caufield, and Jay Gatsby

#11
Lono wrote:In this sense, Tony reminds me of Gatsby more than I initially thought.


I'm sorry to hear that. In the novel, Gatsby is redeemed by the purity of his vision, the innocent desire to go back and be the boy Daisy COULD marry, instead of the one she couldn't. That's what makes him "worth the whole damn bunch put together." BTW, I know there's a school out there that wants to view Nick as an unreliable narrator, but I don't subscribe to it. I think Fitzgerald makes it quite clear that he wants us to share Nick's view of Gatsby which evolves from skepticism to full endorsement over the course of the book.

There's nothing really "pure" or "innocent" about Tony's desires. He's a neglectful parent, an unfaithful spouse, a brutal killer, a criminal in many ways--all in all, he really is a "toxic person," as symbolized by that pile of asbestos-waste polluting the Meadowlands. I'll stop with this post, but I see no similarities between Tony, who commits felonies of all sorts and ruins lives, and Gatsby, who is a bootlegger chasing a pretty girl.

ETA: Since "bad drivers" were mentioned, I looked up a passage at the end of the book and found a description of the Buchanans that seems to fit Tony Soprano much better than any description of Gatsby: "They were careless people,...they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made...."
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