If you are like most high school students, the Great Gatsby is on your reading list: why? Is it to experience a masterpiece of literary genius or is there something more to this novel? In 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote this story, which is a staunch example of the frivolity of life without Christ as the foundation. Wealth, power, vanity, and adulterous relationships are the four core elements that drive the characters and plot of The Great Gatsby.
Throughout the story, it is shown how the characters felt secure in their way of life, how they let their own desires and impulses lead them, and how they twisted the morals they did have to fit in with their sinful lifestyle. In the end, they found that their world had collapsed because they did not have a proper foundation. Matthew 7:26-27 says “and everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against the house, and it fell. And great was the fall of it.” [ESV] this verse is the perfect description of the life of Fitzgerald’s main character, Jay Gatsby.
Jay Gatsby is a man who has everything, yet he is not satisfied with his life. He fails to find satisfaction and happiness in the things he pursues. Every night he throws an elaborate party at his house in hopes of gaining the attention of one woman, named Daisy Buchanan. Through secrets and deception, lies and lusts, Gatsby, Daisy and the other characters in this novel, find themselves lost chasing after the fleeting things of this world, ultimately destroying their lives.
JJ Heller says in her song ‘In the End’: “Oh this silly heart of mine, looking for new things to buy. Nothing really satisfies in the end, in the end. Greed is making fools of us, waging war, betraying trust. Empires only fade to dust, in the end, in the end…Build your kingdom all your life, then say goodbye in the end.” Everything that the characters had, their magnificent lives, their riches, their great castles, including those of The Great Jay Gatsby, were made of sand and they collapsed to the ground because they were missing Jesus Christ as their cornerstone for their lives’ foundation. If they had Christ as their foundation, their hearts would have been changed, they would be striving for Him instead of their impulses and desires, and their sins would be forgiven by their faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ who is our Cornerstone.
Content Advisory: The book contains some language.