Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Act I
GUIL: Consistency is all I ask!
ROS(quietly): Immortality is all I seek….
GUIL(dying fall): Give us this day our daily week….
POLONIUS (aside): Though this be madness, yet there is method in it. WIll you walk out of the air, my lord?
HAMLET: Into my grave.
This Side of Paradise
Amory talking to Monsignor Darcy
“Why do I make lists?” Amory asked him one night. “Lists of all sorts of things?”
“Because you’re a medifvalist,” Monsignor answered. “We both are. It’s the passion for classifying and finding a type.”
“It’s a desire to get something definite.”
“It’s the nucleus of scholastic philosophy.”
“I was beginning to think I was growing eccentric till I came up here. It was a pose, I guess.”
“Don’t worry about that; for you not posing may be the biggest pose of all.”
“But do the next thing.”
After Amory returned to college he received several letters from Monsignor which gave him more egotistic food for consumption.
“There was no God in his heart, he knew; his ideas were still in riot; there was ever the pain of memory; the regret for his lost youth yet the waters of disillusion had left a deposit on his soul, responsibility and a love of life, the faint stirring of old ambitions and unrealized dreams.
But oh, Rosalind! Rosalind!…
“It’s all a poor substitute at best,” he said sadly.
And he could not tell why the struggle was worth while, why he had determined to use to the utmost himself and his heritage from the personalities he had passed….
He stretched out his arms to the crystalline, radiant sky.
“I know myself,” he cried, “but that is all.”
Not one of Fitzgerald’s best book, but I read it because a friend recommended it to me. He claims it’s relatable, but I find the characters to be shallow in both their characterization and development.
All the characters are extremely concerned about material wealth and status, especially Rosalind who rejects Amory and proclaims that she is “simply too beautiful to bear the ugliness of life.” All of Amory’s relationships begins superficially and ends superficially because his relationships are doomed when it only features two self-absorbed lovers. Only through Rosalind that Amory loses his dreams and hopes, becomes extremely cynical, and expresses all the disillusionment of his generation.
Moreover, the character’s development was extremely shallow because I felt they all lacked depth, even Amory. By the end of the book, he finds his “personage,” renounces beauty and accepts himself as he is. The plot moves from Amory’s childhood to adulthood, which was VERY tedious to read, but I had to be patient to understand how Amory develops from his naivety, disappointment, and disillusionment to self-acceptance. Given that this is Fitzgerald’s first book, the writing style was artificially literary and the characters were extremely cliche, but of course, relatable. Plus, it taught me the tragedy of wasted human potential in pursuit of the wrong dreams, which reminds me that I’m still fucking around in college and haven’t found a major I am 30% interested in. Perhaps, my friend is right. I suffer from chronic disinterest.
“A mind not to be chang’d by Place or Time.
The mind is its own place, and in it self
Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what I should be, all but less than hee”
Reading Paradise Lost is difficult, but this quote (as popular as it may be) struck out to me.
“What does it matter where I am? What matters is that I am and shall remain-?”