Gatsby’s American Dream Meets Pinterest

 Written by Tom Cioni, vice president

This weekend, one my favorite American novels “The Great Gatsby” turned up on my new favorite place for ideas, Pinterest.

Actually, I didn’t find the connection – Pinterest knew my interests and sent me a picture of a letter written by F. Scott Fitzgerald to his daughter, when she was 11-years-old showing a list of things “To Worry About” and “NOT to Worry About.” The list is quite telling, showing how much drive and ambition the author possessed, even when writing to his daughter.

Of course, I quickly pinned the picture to my “Books I Love” board.

This simple iPhone transaction renewed my faith in social media to remain relevant to my life. I was a junior in college when I first read The Great Gatsby and it made a huge impact on my life then and has continued to over the years.

The fact that The Great Gatsby is back in the spotlight on Pinterest and on TV and at the theaters is no surprise to me. The Great Gatsby is a hugely significant novel and has enduring relevancy, in many areas of American life, consider:

  • List making: Fitzgerald’s letter (see the Pin) to his daughter, shows he shared list making as a planning tool with his character, Gatsby. In the book, we saw how Gatsby made lists to plan out his goals in business and celebrity. To me, as a young person starting his life, the fact that Gatsby the millionaire playboy made lists was cool. I’ve never stopped.
  • American Dream: The Great Gatsby’s often regarded a cautionary tale of the American Dream, it has great lessons about America nonetheless. A decade of booming business , the glitter of New York City, a Midwestern kid goes east to make it big – these are all relevant now like they were then.
  • Jay Gatsby: The Great Gatsby himself is a larger-than-life character, who embodies the American Dream. He’s self-made man with a mysterious past who dazzles as bright as New York City. His character would now fit in into many Hollywood dramas, and already has as Don Draper on Mad Men.

One of the most amazing qualities of Fitzgerald’s novel is not its ability to stand the test of time, but to outlive its cinematic adaptations. The story has been restaged on television and film now five times and according to various reviewers, some of them haven’t been that good. It’s probably time to see the movie and see how this iteration turned out.

Here’s to hoping it lives up to its fan hype on Pinterest!


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