The Past

“You can’t repeat the past.” “Can’t repeat the past?” “Why of course you can!” – The Great Gatsby

In the Great Gatsby, the main character, Jay Gatsby, is constantly living in the past. He cannot move on from Daisy,  a girl he loves. He constantly is trying to repeat the past and constantly trying to bring back the love he lost long ago.

Gatsby goes so far just in hopes of gaining the love of someone who will never truly love him back. Gatsby knows that Daisy was and is rich, while he was poor. So to gain her love, Gatsby thinks that glamour and money will convince Daisy to love him. Let’s take a moment to think. When has buying someone’s love ever worked out for someone? Never? That’s what I thought. Gatsby is stuck in his own fantasy of what Daisy is, and he has to have Daisy and his dreams. Eventually, however, he turns to crime, bootlegging liquor (the novel takes place during the Prohibition) to be exact, to amass his fortune. Eventually this fake rich person persona is broken down and Gatsby is murdered trying to pursue the dream he had sought after for so long.

The question still remains: can the past be repeated? Like Gatsby said, the past can be repeated, but the mistakes that came along with it will also be repeated. Like the first time, Daisy leaves Gatsby. Yet Gatsby, the dreamer, still holds on to his love for Daisy, which eventually causes his own demise.

“Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.”

So, Gatsby did not learn from his past, but will you?  Sometimes, letting go is okay. Moving on is okay. It’s not going to be an easy journey, but moving on will help you in the long run.

Don’t regret what has happened in the past. There is nothing that can change what has already happened. It has been written; it has been set in stone. If you spend your whole life looking to the past, or looking towards the future, how will you be able to enjoy the present?

“You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.” -John Green, Looking for Alaska

This life is the only one you get. There are not redos in life. You get one shot and one shot only.

Which path will you take?


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