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The Flyer

Books That Inspire series sees the green light

Kate O'Hagan

Tempo Editor

Photo by Kate O' Hagan Dr. Wallace Ross talks about The Great Gatsby in the Books That Inspire series.

For seven years, Dr. Wallace Ross has been discussing books that have inspired him.


In the latest event in the Books That Inspire series, Ross discussed F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ”The Great Gatsby.”


As one of the most well-known novels of the century, “The Great Gatsby” sparks the wonder and awe of the true American dream.


Titular character Jay Gatsby tries to make something of himself to get the girl of his dreams, but whether that is something of good morals is up to question.


“The genius of this novel is that to this day, people don’t know if it’s a satire or a romance,” said Ross when discussing the irony of Gatsby wanting to achieve greatness.


Ross did not only talk about the novel, but also Fitzgerald’s personal life and how his history has been reflected in his works.


Fitzgerald’s love affair with his wife Zelda is similar to the one discussed in the novel, as while Gatsby was happy with Daisy, he longed for the happier moments in their relationship. This also applied to Fitzgerald, as the author constantly tried to get back to the better days of his relationship with his wife.


Due to this theme of desire of getting back what you once had, Ross suggested that it’s best to read Gatsby after “you lost something you really want to go back to.”


This is one of the many books Ross has discussed since 2009, which is when he started the Books That Inspire series.


While deciding which books to bring to the series, Ross tries to include his personal interests along with what would be popular and relate to everyone of all ages.


“I try to not necessarily give it a youth theme, but make it something worth exploring,” said Ross. “I mean ultimately that’s point of the series – to get students to explore that book, and books in general, so they can find something they can appreciate.”


The next novel featured during the spring semester in the series will be Bruce Springsteen’s “Born To Run.”

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