Among the whispering and the champagne

Their eyes met from the moment she walked in.
She “came for the party with a simplicity of heart that was its own ticket of admission.”
Jack was his name.
It was an instant connection.
One she’d never felt before.
“[She] was privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown men.”
They slurred their speech together.
They jigged the Charleston together.
He consumed her that night.
Jack was toxic.
His company made her wildly dizzy.
He helped her forget everything she did not want to remember.
“Perhaps his presence gave the evening its peculiar quality.”
Jack’s dark appearance was luring.
Though a man of age,
he was the finest of his kind.
He brought her home.
He wooed her.
“[Jack] made [her] feel uncivilized.”
But he was not a good influence.
Jack turned her night into that of a loss.
She lost her morals through her clumsiness and unladylike conduct.
She lost herself when Jack made her feel unconnected to the rest of the world.
She lost her innocence after tasting the intensity of his lips.
But she was not the only victim of Jack’s contagiousness.
His energy pumped through society’s veins.
Their minds.
Their hearts.
“It never occurred to [her] that one man could start to play with the faith of fifty million people.”
That this man not only ruined her
but began to ruin the rest of humanity.
But maybe Jack wasn’t a person.
Maybe he was a metaphor.
An idea.
An intoxication.
A facade of society’s moral hangover.
Manipulating the human mind.
Demoralizing society.
Responsible for the loss of innocence of America.
“Distorted beyond [anyone’s] eyes’ power of correction.”
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print

Natalie Granville ’16

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