F. Scott Fitzgerald
"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." - F. Scott Fitzgerald
The final line of The Great Gatsby, the Fitzgerald novel that defined the jazz age. It was the era that ushered in modernity, a time of material excess, liberation, and intoxication. But even in the midst of the party, Fitzgerald could sense the toll such decadence takes on the human soul.
Like so many other Fitzgerald fans, we adore this quotation and its kaleidoscopic meanings. Gatsby, surrounded by unimaginable wealth, prestige and fanfare, dreams only of a future with Daisy that will recreate their past. And yet, his past is what prevents him from attaining that bright future. All pomp and circumstance aside, Gatsby is deeply relatable. Everyone, in their own way, aspires to their own vision of “one fine day.” Everyone is reaching toward the green light. And like Gatsby, we are all eventually borne, against our will, into the past.
In our illustration, a figure rows toward an ethereal, glimmering girl as her dress forms the bay. Her belt resembles a shining city, and a green jewel dangles from a string of pearls.
With one hand she sets the sun, with the other she lifts the moon.
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