Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

About Gatsby…

Becky and I took American Lit at the same time in High School, she with the smarty pants 10th graders, me with the regular 11th graders. It was the only class in High School I almost failed.

My problem could be summed up in one representative book: The Great Gatsby. No, don’t get me wrong, it was a great read, and I enjoyed the book. At the dinner table, we compared notes after we had both taken our respective tests. It was almost as if we read two different books. I don’t know what Becky and everyone else was reading, but I read this book about Gatsby, a guy who had an affair with Nick’s cousin; and Gatsby’s subsequent tragic demise.

At the time, I could relay, in detail, the events of the story. But, no, I seriously don’t see any symbolism in the book, and still don’t. It’s really too bad, because Gatsby was one of the two books we read that year that I actually liked. So, what brings this discussion on? Well, Vox Day and others are having a discussion answering the question “What 25 books by 25 should a person read to be a literate person?”

I’m really not that well read. OK, I’m well read enough to enjoy “The Simpson’s” and classic “Looney Toons.” However, I’d like to post my little addition to the discussion. Perhaps it is not enough to merely read a book, but also to understand it. And this is not an ability to relay the plot and details of the story; but the ability to take the story to heart. It was important that I was able to relay the plot and sub-plots of Gatsby, and it was important that I could discuss the evils of adultery and lying about ones identity, but I did not take away everything F. Scott Fitzgerald intended his readers see. So it is with the Bible. It is important that we enjoy the plot and the poetry. It is likewise important that we be able to discuss the evils of the human soul and God’s remedy for these evils and take these issues to heart. There is a great deal of beauty in the details, such as in John 1, the parables of Jesus, and finding all of the Messianic Prophesies in the Old Testament. However, in order to preach the universal gospel, one need not get lost in the details to be able to answer, “What does this mean?” For if one walks away with a heart understanding of Sin and Grace, Law and Gospel, then one has captured the important topic of the Bible.


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