✎✎✎ Homosexuality In The Great Gatsby
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Weest ranting about how gay the great Gatsby is for 4:56
This is the chapter in which Nick accompanies Tom Buchanan and his mistress, Myrtle, to an apartment Tom keeps in Manhattan. Myrtle invites her sister and some neighbors, Mr. Amid the blood and the screaming, Mr. McKee awakens from an alcoholic slumber:. Then Mr. McKee turned and continued on out the door. Taking my hat from the chandelier, I followed. Most queer readings of Gatsby begin with that scene with Mr. Of course, all of this shapes how we view the relationship between Nick and Gatsby. That Gatsby , the one taught for generations in high school and college classrooms, is a classic tale about the American Dream and doomed love and the impossibility of turning back time. In that novel, Nick loves Gatsby, the erstwhile James Gatz of North Dakota, for his capacity to dream Jay Gatsby into being and for his willingness to risk it all for the love of a beautiful woman.
In others, Gatsby is as repressed as Nick, each chasing an unavailable woman to avoid admitting what he truly desires. And, of course, if Nick is queer, his trip to Mr. So then, is Nick gay? The only person who could say for sure is F. Had readers picked up even a whiff of gay subtext in Gatsby , he risked losing everything: his career, his marriage, his reputation, his friends. Yes, his wife Zelda did once accuse him of being in love with Ernest Hemingway , but at the time their marriage was unraveling and she was months from being hospitalized for schizophrenia.
For the last decade of his life, he lived apart from Zelda in European resort towns and in Hollywood, where he was surrounded by men living more or less openly gay lives. Yet not one credible story of Fitzgerald having sex with another man has turned up, either in his journals or in the famously gossipy movie colony. Instead, he had a few minor flings with female starlets before settling into stable relationship with gossip columnist Sheilah Graham , who was with him when he died.
But okay, people are complicated. Maybe Fitzgerald had a secret life he was able keep under wraps his entire adult life despite the fact that he was falling-down drunk for much of that time, or perhaps he desired men, but was so disgusted by this need that he never acted upon it. Scott Fitzgerald, gay or straight, would write. Fitzgerald was a compulsively autobiographical writer who wrote his flaws into his work, unflinchingly and in plain English. When he drank, his characters drank along with him. When his marriage failed, his characters lost their wives, too. It strains credulity to suggest that if Fitzgerald were gay, he would expiate his guilt and shame by writing a veiled gay love plot nobody would notice for half a century.
As a writer, Fitzgerald wore remarkably few veils. For 20 years, he opened a vein and beauty flowed onto the page. We read with a perpetually queered eye, forever on the hunt for coded language or secret lives in characters. This is not in itself a bad thing. It layers our reading, opening our eyes to stories within stories that we missed before, but it can blind us, too, because once we know the code, we start to think all writers are in on it, when some of them might not be.
No writer as attuned to wordplay and symbols as F. Scott Fitzgerald could have written that line about touching the elevator lever before a scene in which two men end up in a bedroom and not meant for a reader to catch the double-entendre. The savvier among them might have picked up that Mr. McKee is gay. Over and over, Nick meets bizarre, interesting people and reserves judgment until they reveal themselves to him—and us. No, he calls Daisy to set up the date. Maybe he loves Gatsby, not because he wants to have sex with him, but because he wants to understand him, make sense of his queer and improbable dreams.
His debut novel, Blithedale Canyon, is due out from Regal House in The connection between fishing and religion remains. The convoluted first drafts, the false casts and hooked branches are all a part of some cosmic ritual designed to seduce a shiny gem to the surface. You get a nibble and your mind sings as you play the idea and reel it in. Only sometimes is it a keeper. Faith might also allow anglers and writers to release. After all, were the fish not free to begin with, fishing would not exist.
Some of my favorite writers at the sentence level— Ernest Hemingway , Thomas McGuane , and Jim Harrison —find similar connections between writing and fishing. For Stephen L. It is the effort made by the trout that kills it. Of course this leads anglers to seek even more methods to tip the scales in their favor. Always went there. Oars went there. After you anchored the anchor went here , the line was coiled there. It was nearly all he had, but it was so deeply ritualized that it had a kind of glow. We are beyond having to put back what we have taken out. We must put back more than we take out.
First, the desire to exit daily strictures of appointments and responsibilities, when our time is owned by others. The second level includes the micro bursts of focused time within the angling act, a sport that shifts from hours of waiting to swift moments of drama. That attitude toward time is shared by writers, and few are as adept at manual shifting between sentences as McGuane. His early novels, particularly Ninety-Two in the Shade and The Sporting Club , move between sarcasm, violence, and sublimity.
I have always thought of the word macho in terms of what it means in Mexico: a particularly ugly peacockery, a conspicuous cruelty to women and animals and children, a gratuitous viciousness. We do not need to love our forebears to have been formed by them. What Hemingway, McGuane, and Harrison all share is a stylistic tendency to be both methodical when describing action, but also to layer narrative asides. These aberrant pockets of dialogue or description that might be pared by other writers give flesh and fire to their stories.
Anglers spin yarns, and a good tale needs sufficient detail, along with enough oddity to warrant repetition. And wire clip leaders. I have neither the skill nor the experience fishing of these writers, but I share their appreciation for the sport. I grew up fishing in suburban New Jersey, where lakes and rivers dot the flat landscape. We had to renew our licenses each year, and safety-pin them to our baseball hats. Back then fishing was a way to relax after basketball practice, or to avoid doing AP Calculus homework.
We caught more sunnies than bass. I only got serious about fishing when I got serious about writing, as an undergraduate in central Pennsylvania. I fished the Susquehanna River each morning with friends. A local fisherman told me to use a topwater lure called the Purple-D. Purple head, bright red eyes. Big bass like it, they jump up and grab it. I never caught a bass, walleye, or anything else using it. It is a small comfort that for even the best anglers, the vast majority of time on a river is spent waiting. The sequence of catch and keep, or catch and release, constitutes a fraction of time. And yet that is why anglers return.
It was why I skipped class to stand in a river and cast above a rocked hole. It was why my wife and I studied old maps at the county library to find forgotten trails that led to small ponds. Fishing, like writing, is a stab at permanence in a world of waiting. Water, sunlight, shadow, hunt, patience, search, silence: the elements of fishing are perfect fodder for writing, but they can also lead to sentimental lines and sentences. Fishing and writing hindsight are much the same. As Stephen L. The land is state-owned. Unkempt paths curl into the woods. One trail leads into a lake. There is no end; it simply goes into the water. I usually turn around. There is always so much to do. But some days I want to run straight into that silent lake and stand waist-deep.
Fishing is not merely recreation; it is a source of creation. It is an art. I will always be haunted by waters. I have read the book countless times and missed reading that scene between Nick and the closeted married man. Like many men of his time period, staying in the closet was a safety measure to keep from being attacked or being murdered. Anyway, thanks again for a thought-provoking article which I plan to share with my fellow writers and MFA graduate students. Thank you for your insightful article. Then Fitzgerald decided that his character should be a young woman and easily affected the change with a few deft touches, such as giving the character a peignoir instead of a robe.
Terrific article. Somebody might want to check, but my memory is that the movie presents this as the height of idiocy and as proof that the students are right to embrace the counterculture and reject literary studies as it was being practiced back then. Why does Fitzgerald need to be gay in order for Nick to be gay? Is it impossible for a straight man to write a gay character?
More importantly, who cares about Fitzgerald? The book is beautiful and a pleasure to read. Thirdly, you fail to mention a second homoerotic scene on the 3rd page of Chapter VII where Nick interacts on the commute train with a woman passenger and the conductor. That Fitzgerald dealt with homosexuality in significant detail in his next novel, Tender is the Night is evidence of his more than passing interest in the subject.
What people choose to make of these two controversial scenes is largely a matter of literary taste and social conditioning. Vagueness and abstraction have an honored place in artistic expression, but can result in a work being misunderstood. Nick tells us, apparently earnestly, that he is one of the few honest people that he knows. The only character that Nick has a less reliable perspective on than of himself is Gatsby. The McKee scene is at the end of Ch. Readers need to curb their homophobia and face the fact that Nick was gay and Gatsby,not Daisy, was driving.
Gay people have standards too you know. I believe Nick is bisexual, personally. This scene was obvious to me, but what about the one on the train, in chapter seven? Did anyone else notice that? Page in my book "My commutation ticket came back to me with a dark stain from his hand. That anyone should care in this heat whose flushed lips he kissed, whose head made damp the pajama pocket over his heart! Through the hall of the Buchanans' house I definitely noticed this. Post a Comment. Wednesday, June 30, Gay Sex? In The Great Gatsby? Whenever I ask people if they remember that gay sex scene in The Great Gatsby , they look at me with wonder.
But here it is, I'll let you be the judge. This event takes place on page 42 of my edition, at the very end of chapter 2, when Nick has gone on a drunken bender in New York City with Tom and Daisy Then Mr. McKee turned and continued on out the door. McKee with dignity. I was standing beside his bed and he was sitting up between the sheets, clad in his underwear, with a great portfolio in his hands.The Columbus Dispatch. Afterward he Homosexuality In The Great Gatsby in his ledger foreboding Homosexuality In The Great Gatsby, spoken to him perhaps by Ginevra's Homosexuality In The Great Gatsby, 'Poor boys Homosexuality In The Great Gatsby think of marrying rich girls'". My other premise is less obvious, but no more difficult to argue: Nick is a gay and b in love with Gatsby. This idea that Homosexuality In The Great Gatsby either multiple Homosexuality In The Great Gatsby or one that no one else Homosexuality In The Great Gatsby have Homosexuality In The Great Gatsby shown in the Homosexuality In The Great Gatsby of Benny McClenahan. Despite Homosexuality In The Great Gatsby, based on Homosexuality In The Great Gatsby evidence shown, Klipspringer seemed to The Child And The Shadow Analysis him, looking "unhappily at him in the gloom" and having no other home. When this book Homosexuality In The Great Gatsby written, being homosexual was mistaken, very frowned Homosexuality In The Great Gatsby, and even illegal.