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MGTOW Notes: The Great Gatsby

By David Futrelle

Are you studying The Great Gatsby for high school English? Well, you’re in luck: one thoughtful contributor to the Men Going Their Own Way subreddit has provided this useful short reader’s (or watcher’s) guide to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s more famous work.

Thanks for nothing, Daisy, indeed!

I think that about covers it all, except perhaps for those bits about the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg.

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Anonymous
Anonymous
27 days ago

Admittedly, I recall next to nothing about the book since I read it in high school (didn’t see the movie and don’t care to do so either), but I vaguely recall that I had the impression that virtually all the characters save for the narrator were fools or jerks and that Gatsby could have been so much more if he had just let go of his obsession.

LollyPop
LollyPop
27 days ago

I listened to an audio of Great Gatsby because for some reason I just couldn’t get into the text (I don’t know if anyone else gets this, where you really want to read something but your brain just seems to slide off the page because the words just aren’t kind of “sticky” enough? Had the same thing with Birdsong). It’s not required reading in school here in the UK but even without having analysed Gatsby the MGTOW interpretation of it seems somewhat shallow!

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
27 days ago

For sure, MGTOW guy. It is so true that women are unfaithful. That Daisy character didn’t come to my funeral either. Thank U for 0, Daisy!

Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
27 days ago

This guy’s assessment makes my thoughts on The Great Gatsby – “Holy shit, all these characters are tossers that need to be buried at sea.” – look positively nuanced.

Alan Robertshaw
27 days ago

The copyright on Great Gatsby expires next year so he can write his own version.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
27 days ago

Let’s state the obvious : he dislike the book because Daisy is a woman, someone gave him attention and she refused to reciprocate it. For them, women should alway give themselves as reward if you work enough to get it.

Trying
Trying
27 days ago

Everyone in the book except for Nick and Gatsby is horrible for different reasons. That’s kind of the point. Or a point. The book has a lot of points. It’s very pointy.

Anyway, the mgtow analysis is as surface level as you can get.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
27 days ago

Men writing women.

Ariblester
27 days ago

Hell, I’ve only watched the Family Guy version of The Great Gatsby and even I know that OP’s interpretation is nonsense.

Covered in Cat Hair
Covered in Cat Hair
27 days ago

The Great Gatsby, I always thought, was about a guy who could just NOT move on, once he fixated on a woman, a goal, anything.

Penny Psmith
Penny Psmith
27 days ago

Of course, if Daisy had reciprocated Gatsby’s attention, she would’ve cucked her husband and thus proven to this dude that women can’t be trusted again (just in a different way). He probably would’ve called her a hypergamous gold-digger, too. The problem being, as has been said upthread, that she’s a woman, and he hates women.

Naglfar
Naglfar
27 days ago

@Covered in Cat Hair

The Great Gatsby, I always thought, was about a guy who could just NOT move on, once he fixated on a woman, a goal, anything.

Although I don’t think Gatsby was an incel, he does seem to have that in common with them in that he can’t move on from his obsession. Incels have the same issue, they can’t move on from women they approached years ago, so they stew in misogyny.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
27 days ago

@Trying

Gatsby is also horrible. Nick has a huge crush on the guy, but he’s as fake through and through as all the other rich people – just better at pretending to be a human being.

Turan, Emissary of the Fly World
Turan, Emissary of the Fly World
27 days ago

Cyborgette, Nick is not rich. He is financially well off, but in an upper middle class way (he is planning to become a bond salesman). He is a hanger-on to the rich folk, someone tolerated because he is good company but not quite regarded as an equal. To the extent he has a story of his own and is not there simply as an observer and confidante, it is the story of him figuring out how he fits in this world and whether he wants to be there–and, by the end, he plainly has had enough of Daisy, Tom, and Jordan.

Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
27 days ago

OOOOKAAAAY🙄 I suggest this person read the book again, in 20 years or so. I have a feeling they’re very young. Maybe I’m being too charitable.

It’s too bad this book taught to high school students, in the US. I believe its themes are too mature for the average high school kid to grasp.

Like other commenters have mentioned, just about all of the characters are terrible people. When I re-read the book as an adult, I thought the overriding theme was, “rich people suck”. Isn’t this the Fitzgerald book where the narrator says something about …careless people, smashing up people and things, then going back to their luxurious lives… I don’t remember.

The book’s last sentence is engraved on Fitzgerald’s headstone.

Naglfar
Naglfar
27 days ago

@Turan
I think Cyborgette was saying Gatsby is rich, not Nick.

Alan Robertshaw
27 days ago

For me, Bonfire of the Vanities covers the same themes but in a more accessible way. Maybe because of the relatively contemporary setting? Makes is more relatable.

moregeekthan
moregeekthan
27 days ago

Now that y’all have me thinking about it, I think we should have been shipping Gatsby and Jordan. Sure, they are both horrible, shallow rich people; but they both seem capable of not being directly horrible to other people for extended periods. Maybe they could have become a slightly-less-horrible rich couple. Okay, probably not, but there is not really a lot to root for in that novel.

sarah_kay_gee
sarah_kay_gee
27 days ago

I mean, Gatsby is not a subtle book. Nick pretty much lays it out at the end:

They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—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.

It’s a beloved classic because of the style, because it’s a time capsule of an iconic era, because it’s a great American writer at his peak. Not because it’s puzzle no one has quite managed to piece together. And yet this dummy manages to somehow point out the obvious while also kind of missing the larger point, which is almost impressive in a weird way.

Trying
Trying
27 days ago

@Cyborgette
Fair point. Gatsby is still a lower level of rotten compared to the rest, though.

Anyway, Daisy was written by an ass of a man who ruined his wife’s life and career. She’s not going to come off well.

Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
27 days ago

@sarah_kay_gee:

Yes, those are the sentences I was thinking of, thanks.

@Alan Robertshaw:

Bonfire of the Vanities is more entertaining and amusing, IMO. Maybe because it is relatively contemporary. It’s kind of hard to root for any of the living characters in that book.

Boy oh boy, did Hollywood botch the film versions of both of these books.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
27 days ago

In some way, it criticize things important to Hollywood. I am not surprised that consciouscly or not they botch that.

IIRC, there have been a version of MacBeth with “just the interesting bits”, AKA the witchs and the fights. Which mean it completely miss the point in favor of cheap wow factor. That’s what I expect Hollywood to do with the adaptation of any deep critic, even if sometime they surprise me.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
27 days ago

I never liked this book, but mostly because at the time I was told about it (high school), I decided it was a story about silly careless people who got away with it because they were rich. Since this was during the Reagan administration, I had a very low tolerance for rich people getting away with things.

Moon Custafer
Moon Custafer
27 days ago

I liked The Razor’s Edge. Sort of like Gatsby if Gatsby had moved on and Daisy was the one who’d become obsessed with winning him back; but there are also sub-plots, my favourite being the woman who after twenty or so years as model/mistress/muse to a bunch of famous artists, finally gets her own gallery show (even if it’s been rigged up by her new husband to give the people of his provincial town a less-scandalous explanation of who he’s marrying).

Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
27 days ago

@VP

… a story about silly careless people who got away with it because they were rich.

That’d be part of my dislike too. Though TBH the biggest part of my dislike is probably from reading it to try take my mind off being horribly seasick for three weeks and only having bunk access 8 hours out of the 24. That’ll colour your impressions of any book!

It is well written though.

Mrs Morley
Mrs Morley
27 days ago

I didn’t much like Gatsby, but I suspect that’s because I found Nick and Gatsby both utterly boring. Mind you, I felt that way about most of the characters created by Fitzgerald and Hemingway. (I liked Faulkner as a teen, but that might’ve been because my father did)

I found Bonfire really fun. Perhaps because I knew a few Masters of the Universe.

Chris Oakley
Chris Oakley
27 days ago

@Trying: Calling it “surface level analysis” is giving this jerk too much credit. Guarantee he barely skimmed the book.

Naglfar
Naglfar
26 days ago

@Chris Oakley
He didn’t even do that: he watched the movie, and probably didn’t pay much attention at all. If this was written for an English class, even the most generous teacher would give an instant F.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
26 days ago

MGTOW Cliff Notes

Great Gatsby

Women are horrible.

Anna Karenina

Women are horrible.

Animal Farm

Women are horrible.

Silent Spring

Feminism is cancer.

Battering Lamb
Battering Lamb
26 days ago

If this was written for an English class, even the most generous teacher would give an instant F.

A truly generous teacher would give him two.

I recall reading the book in high school and not much caring for it. Except some snarky descriptions like ‘she yawned in my face elegantly’ the protagonist provided.

Still miles above most literature I read in my native language though (most of that was style without substance IMO). This at least had a story.

Naglfar
Naglfar
26 days ago

@Buttercup
If they read Animal Farm I get the feeling they’d be big fans of Napoleon, instead of that soy boy cuck simp Snowball.

They’d never read Silent Spring, it’s by a woman.

Kimstu
Kimstu
26 days ago

I mean, sure, Daisy in The Great Gatsby is kind of a shitty person (even though her poor-little-rich-girl flashback does make her character somewhat more sympathetic). Some women in real life are kind of shitty people, too. That’s what being a human being means: some individuals in pretty much any demographic category are kind of shitty people.

It takes MGTOW-brand misogynist illogic to leap from “this particular fictional female character is kind of a shitty person” to “oh woes women as a group are all so shitty”.

Jarnsaxa
Jarnsaxa
24 days ago

Let’s not forget that Fitzgerald plagiarized from his wife, but he’s the one who gets taught in English classes and she is not.