Prison library. Several cons are being led in a discussion about The Great Gatsby, and as we pan over the group, a guy sitting next to the leader says that Gatsby did everything for Daisy, and in the end, "it ain't amount to shit." The moderator -- who, I have to say, clearly lost his passion for this work a long time ago -- listlessly recites that Fitzgerald said there were no second acts in American lives: "Do you believe that?" "Man, shit, we locked up," says a guy at the other end of the table. "We best not believe that, right?" Everyone chuckles except D'Angelo, sitting next to him with his arms folded; after a moment, D'Angelo pipes up: "He's saying that the past is always with us. And where we come from, what we go through, how we go through it -- all that shit matters." He gets sheepish, looking down the table at the moderator, and mutters, "I mean, that's what I thought he meant." "Go ahead," the moderator encourages him. D'Angelo leans forward: "Like at the end of the book, you know? Boats and tides and all. It's like, you can change up, right? You can say you're somebody new -- you can give yourself a whole new story. But what came first is who you really are, and what happened before is what really happened. And it don't matter that some fool say he different, 'cause the only thing that make you different is what you really do, or what you really go through. Like, you know -- like all them books in his library." The leader actually seems engaged as D'Angelo goes on: "Now, he fronting with all them books, but if we pull one down off the shelf, ain't none of the pages ever been opened. He got all them books, and he ain't read near one of them. Gatsby -- he was who he was, and he did what he did, and 'cause he wasn't ready to get real with the story, that shit caught up to him." He slides back in his seat. "I think, anyway." Man, I certainly sat through many an English seminar much less illuminating than that. But my classmates were a bunch of book-not-reading punks even WORSE than Gatsby because they'd crack the spines to try to fool the prof.
Episode Report CardWing Chun: A | 917 USERS: B-
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