The Barbarian Book Club’s Book of The Month (May): The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

 Greetings Barbarians! Long days and pleasant nights!

This may come as a surprise to you but I’m no optimist. Sure, I may radiate with brilliant optimism in my posts, but I am a realist. I observe the facts presented to me and plan a sound and reasonable hypothesis. 

I measure success by the distance that you have covered and the number of the people you rubbed the wrong way. We all have different views and sometimes those views don’t align with each other. To be honest, I was quite surprised that it took 222 posts before someone started calling me out. I don’t know about you but I call that success and to celebrate that success, I would like to write about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic, The Great Gatsby. 

I will not give you a review because I think it is pointless to review a classic. It stood the test of time and has been adapted in various media including two films. I will, however, write about why it shaped my outlook in life. 

The Great Gatsby is a novel written in 1925 by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The novel is about the life of its protagonist, the mysterious millionaire, Jay Gatsby. The book has plenty of wisdom to impart to its reader. 

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As I said the book made a huge impact on my life and I suggest everyone read it. Here are the few things I learned from it:

Do not be Critical of Others

You have the right to think about what’s best for you and that sometimes includes judging people. Yet, avoid being critical of a person because it is dangerous to assume. You have no idea what they’ve gone through. Not all have the advantage you had in life. Judge what is good for you not judge others on what you think is good for them. 

Money Can Solve Most Things But Not Everything

To be honest, I wanted all the money in the world so then I could only worry about the things that money can’t solve. Money is great, it buys you food, it pays the rent but it can’t buy everything. Have profound respect for money and know its limitations. 

Optimism is Great But Don’t Be Stupid

Throughout the book, Gatsby is optimistic about his love for Daisy. All Gatsby ever wanted was to win back Daisy only for that to end in tragedy. Optimism is great, seeing the silver lining is a skill required in life. Yet, you cannot hope and wait for things to get better. Don’t waste your time sitting around and hoping for things and your woman to get any easier. Put in the work and act now. 

Always Keep Yourself In Check 

If you’ve read the book, you’ll know that Daisy is married. Gatsby’s love towards Daisy is noble but I’d be honest, even I wouldn’t stoop to that level. I may love women so much but I would never even think about sweeping off a married woman from her husband. If only Gatsby kept himself in check. Any passion if not kept in check is dangerous even if it is as simple as singing. Ever saw those contestants in American Idol who loved to sing only to find out they can’t? Keep yourself in check. 

Looks and Money Fade

The lavish parties and exquisite mansion nor Gatsby’s good looks did not matter at his funeral. No one went to Gatsby’s funeral. Not even Daisy whom he saved from a terrible fate went to bid him goodbye. All there was, was his friend Nick. 

Embrace Your Past and Learn From It 

Learn and embrace your past, no matter how bitter or tragic it was. You cannot use your present to move forward to the future without your past. You cannot say you did great today when you did the same thing as yesterday. Your past is as important as your present and future, don’t squander its lessons. 

So there you have it, the precious lessons I learned from The Great Gatsby. If you still haven’t read it, is one of the profound literature of the 20th century enough to make you read it? 

To Courage and Freedom and The Great Gatsby!

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18 thoughts on “The Barbarian Book Club’s Book of The Month (May): The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

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  1. Mr. A, you amaze me with your nearly “unbarbarian” look at these life applications from this classic novel. While I have never read Fitzgerald’s work, I have caught many scenes from the film with Robert Redford, which never really caught my fancy. Sometimes my morning optimism to wake-up early to take a walk is dashed by the realism of hitting the “snooze” button .

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I still haven’t seen Robert Redford’s Gatsby. I hope it was as good as Di Caprio’s. I love the pink suit in the intense dinner scene of the movie!


  2. I have not read the Great Gatsby as of yet. I have seen the movie (was Leonardo DiCaprio in it?) maybe I am mistaken.
    I loved your post today and have learned something from you. Thank you. Sending you lots of love ❤️
    I have learned from you to be more of a realist and not waste my life wanting someone who doesn’t want me.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, there are two movies actually. The first one stars Robert Redford and the latest one with Leonardo DiCaprio. It is a great book and one of my favorites. I’m that you learned something from this post. Cheers! 🍸

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I read The Great Gatsby a few decades ago on the recommendation of a teacher I met through my work at the time. I was a Welcome Wagon hostess. Unfortunately I cannot remember one thing about the story. I should reread it I suppose. I have read so many books that it’s hard to remember a lot of them. I’m sure if I pick it up again I will remember it as I go along.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have not read the book, yet, but I saw the movie a couple of times. I know the books are always better. The synopsis for tips you wrote is EXCELLENT, and words of great wisdom.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well written, Mr.A! I wonder if rubbing many people the wrong way can be indicative of someone who marches to his own beat. I really enjoyed reading The Great Gatsby! So did my brother and my father really enjoyed the movie. There were many themes I loved. I also read about the editor that reviewed his work and helped Fitzgerald get his work published which was very fascinating to learn about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Theresaly! Thank you for the late reply. I love The Great Gatsby! Even the DiCaprio movie didn’t disappoint. It was faithful to the book.


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