It starts so young, and I'm angry about that. The garbage we're taught. About love, about what's romantic. Look at so many of the so-called romantic figures in books and movies. Do we ever stop and think how many of them would cause serious and drastic unhappiness after The End? Why are sick and dangerous personality types so often shown a passionate and tragic and something to be longed for when those are the very ones you should run for your life from? Think about it. Heathcliff. Romeo. Don Juan. Jay Gatsby. Rochester. Mr. Darcy. From the rigid control freak in The Sound of Music to all the bad boys some woman goes running to the airport to catch in the last minute of every romantic comedy. She should let him leave. Your time is so valuable, and look at these guys--depressive and moody and violent and immature and self-centered. And what about the big daddy of them all, Prince Charming? What was his secret life? We dont know anything about him, other then he looks good and comes to the rescue.
Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction -- Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn ... No -- Gatsby turned out all right in the end; it was what prayed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and the short-winded elations of men.