The Great Gatsby读书笔记(三)

作者: 阮一峰

日期: 2005年7月13日





It was this night that he told me the strange story of his youth with Dan Cody--told it to me because "Jay Gatsby." had broken up like glass against Tom's hard malice, and the long secret extravaganza was played out. I think that he would have acknowledged anything now, without reserve, but he wanted to talk about Daisy.


She was the first "nice" girl he had ever known. In various unrevealed capacities he had come in contact with such people, but always with indiscernible barbed wire between. He found her excitingly desirable. He went to her house, at first with other officers from Camp Taylor, then alone. It amazed him--he had never been in such a beautiful house before. but what gave it an air of breathless intensity, was that Daisy lived there--it was as casual a thing to her as his tent out at camp was to him. There was a ripe mystery about it,a hint of bedrooms up-stairs more beautiful and cool than other bedrooms, of gay and radiant activities taking place through its corridors, and of romances that were not musty and laid away already in lavender but fresh and breathing and redolent of this year's shining motor-cars and of dances whose flowers were scarcely withered. It excited him, too, that many men had already loved Daisy--it increased her value in his eyes. He felt their presence all about the house,pervading the air with the shades and echoes of still vibrant emotions.


But he knew that he was in Daisy's house by a colossal accident.However glorious might be his future as Jay Gatsby, he was at present apenniless young man without a past, and at any moment the invisible cloak of his uniform might slip from his shoulders. So he made the mostof his time. He took what he could get, ravenously and unscrupulously--eventually he took Daisy one still October night, took her because he hadno real right to touch her hand.


He might have despised himself, for he had certainly taken her under false pretenses. I don't mean that he had traded on his phantom millions, but he had deliberately given Daisy a sense of security; he let her believe that he was a person from much the same stratum as herself--that he was fully able to take care of her. As a matter of fact, he had no such facilities--he had no comfortable family standing behind him, and he was liable at the whim of an impersonal governmentto be blown anywhere about the world.


But he didn't despise himself and it didn't turn out as he had imagined. He had intended, probably, to take what he could and go--but now he found that he had committed himself to the following of a grail.He knew that Daisy was extraordinary, but he didn't realize just how extraordinary a "nice" girl could be. She vanished into her richh ouse, into her rich, full life, leaving Gatsby--nothing. He felt married to her, that was all.


When they met again, two days later, it was Gatsby who was breathless,who was, somehow, betrayed. Her porch was bright with the bought luxury of star-shine; the wicker of the settee squeaked fashionably as she turned toward him and he kissed her curious and lovely mouth.She had caught a cold, and it made her voice huskier and more charming than ever, and Gatsby was overwhelmingly aware of the youth and mystery that wealth imprisons and preserves, of the freshness of many clothes,and of Daisy, gleaming like silver, safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor.


"I can't describe to you how surprised I was to find out I loved her,old sport. I even hoped for a while that she'd throw me over, but she didn't, because she was in love with me too. She thought I knew a lot because I knew different things from her. . . . Well, there I was,'way off my ambitions, getting deeper in love every minute, and all of a sudden I didn't care. What was the use of doing great things if I could have a better time telling her what I was going to do?"


On the last afternoon before he went abroad, he sat with Daisyin his arms for a long, silent time. It was a cold fall day, with firein the room and her cheeks flushed. Now and then she moved and hechanged his arm a little, and once he kissed her dark shining hair. The afternoon had made them tranquil for a while, as if to give them a deep memory for the long parting the next day promised. They had never been closer in their month of love, nor communicated more profoundly one with another, than when she brushed silent lips against his coat's shoulder or when he touched the end of her fingers, gently, as though she were asleep.



I think what Gatsby feels for Daisy has nothing to do with love. It's just she
*is* everything he want to be and to be with. In other words, she represents the life, the social status, the social accepantce and everything he wants to achieve. She is Gatsby's dream. He loves her as a never-could-touched, always-out-of-reached dream. Call it silly, call it pathetic, call it whatever you like. But there *she* is, deeply rooted in his heart. And maybe in every one's heart.