Work: The Great Gatsby
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Line: “He smiled understandingly-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced–or seemed to face–the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that at your best, you hoped to convey.”
Analysis: Yes Nicky C is narrating but make no mistake these three sentences are about you dear reader. The “he” in the first line is of course Gatsby but the “you”, which is used 12 times in three sentences, is you. For the duration of these three sentences you are the center of the universe. Gatsby ( or Leo DiCaprio for that matter) does not just look at us– he blazes a stare that penetrates deep into our very fickle souls– and we lose sense of time, space, urinary retention, and are filled with an absolute wonderment that steals our breath.
In this fleeting moment, Gatsby is looking at us with a sincerity that is hard to find and even harder to forget– which is both awesome and terrifying. And because of the attention and love he gives us– we adore with him and encourage him to fight for Daisy, to chase down his impossible dreams and to close up the pool a day earlier.