By Wanda Stuardo, Guest Blogger July 18, 2015
The Great Gatsby is popularly known as the great American novel and whoever reads it will agree that Scott Fitzgerald's writing is outstanding. The book is filled with beautiful quotes that not only get deep into your heart, but also make you question things about life that you thought were settled. One of my favourite quotes is the final passage,“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” If someone asked you about Gatsby's main objective, the answer would be this specific quote.
Jay Gatsby was obsessed with the idea that the past was better, and don't we all? Who has never wished to return to their golden years, to that utopian golden age when everything seemed to be better, when you seemed to be better? I will excuse myself now, because here comes another quote from a novel called The Best of Me, and this is actually a mother's advice: “What the younger generation didn't understand was that the grass was greenest where it's watered” referring to the quote “the grass is always greener at the other side.”
image via masterfulebooks.com
The grass at the other side is the past, and the grass that you have here, at your side, is the present. As much as I love Gatsby, we can not rebuild the past, we can not copy the grass on the other side. On the contrary, we can work with the present, we can take care of our garden for it to be even better than the previous one.
Because of his obsession with rebuilding the past, Gatsby was completely unhappy, because it was and is impossible to do. We have to be happy with what we have now, since that's what we have to work with.
I'm not saying we should forget our whole life and memories and mistakes and so on. The past is the past and we can learn from it, and we can love things that happened, people that appeared, but we cannot live there anymore.
That past was good only because it was our present and we enjoyed it, didn't we? We were thinking back then only in that moment and we had fun. That’s how we have to view the future, as something to look back on and say, those were golden years and so will be the years to come.
The past is the past and we can learn from it, and we can love things that happened, people that appeared, but we cannot live there anymore.
Do not idealize your past. If it was good, that's amazing and if it wasn't that good, more reasons you to make the best of the present!
Never forget your past but do not get too attached either, don't let it turn into your present, don't copy-paste your life. Enjoy the present present and love the future future and remember the past past, but enjoy your days, don't torture yourself thinking that you were happy once. Be happy now, old sport.
What is the best advice that you've gotten from a work of literature? Tell us below!
Wanda is a high school student. Theater and writing have helped her the last few years to discover her own voice and not be afraid to share it. Reading, musical theater, and TV shows are her guilty pleasure. Her biggest goal in life is to become the best version of herself she can be and help other people to achieve it. She is passionate about gender equality and women’s rights.
Every girl is a work in progress. If you need more help, click here.