Hypocrite or Parasite

“Yes, you might as well get paid for the amount of acting you do.” p. 122: Cecilia to Rosalind

This Side of Paradise–Cecilia to Rosalind p. 122

Acting: in Greek its hupokritēs, where we get our word hypocrite. But in one way, Rosalind wasn’t a hypocrite. For her it was really only ever about money. Whatever love she actually felt for Amory—whether she felt any she certainly demanded it as her last words to him were, “Don’t ever forget me, Amory”—was eclipsed by her love for money. She may not have been a hypocrite, but she was a parasite, sucking the life out of Amory and leaving a lasting void. 

But the void didn’t have to be lasting. Yet Amory refused the consolation of God. I doubt Fitzgerald would have allowed that consolation—or if so, only in a vapid shallow way. And herein lies my struggle. I think Fitzgerald may be one of my favorite writers. Yet none of his novels would crack my top 20 books of all time. Nihilism just doesn’t rank very high on my favorite’s list. 

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