Letter: That’s the Way Things Were
To the Editor:
Ernest Hebert’s May 10 commentary on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby was an effort to demean Fitzgerald. Hebert is not dealing with the facts of the novel. The novel describes the way things were in certain segments of society. You can’t undo them or criticize Fitzgerald for being politically incorrect.
Hebert asks, “Can you imagine a writer getting away with that kind of language today? And the condescending attitude — well!” Well, no, probably not, but today is 2013, not 1925. I do doubt that young people today reading Gatsby would wish to be like Nick, Jay or Daisy. The characters are shallow, selfish, greedy people on their own slippery slopes to disaster.
But the language he uses to describe them is stunning, and it’s worth knowing the difference.
Elisabeth W. Russell