Cambridge-ified classics: The Great Gatsby

How would Gatsby from Girton survive a Curry King swap?


Narrated by Nikki Carraway, Land Economy student at Churchill college (irrelevant degree, irrelevant college, irrelevant narrator).

In my younger and less pretentious years, when I was deputy head girl at a ridiculously expensive private school, my father reminded me that not everyone leads the same privileged lifestyle as I, and warned me to not criticize anyone, ever. As a result, I am inclined to reserve all judgments. Now let me relate all the faults of Cambridge culture, despite being part of a drinking society and spending a grand on May balls and Union membership.

Image may contain: Back, Club, Suit, Overcoat, Coat, Clothing, Television, TV, Screen, Monitor, Electronics, Person, People, Human

Me, a pretentious money-hungry hypocrite? Never.

Only Gatsby from Girton college escapes my quiet disgust. Located in West (Egg) Cambridge, Girton is new money: colossal, tacky and hated for no apparent reason. Across the water (down Huntingdon Road) is the superior East (Egg) Cambridge, with the spires of King's, the majestic towers of John's and the immaculate grasses of Trinity. There lives my cousin Daisy Buchanan and her misogynistic, mansplaining boyfriend, active John's FemSoc member and drinking society president, Tom.

Image may contain: Speaker, Loudspeaker, Electronics, Mammal, Cow, Cattle, Animal, Mascot

Classic new money/old money banter. Photo credits: GG

Gatbsy and Daisy were childhood sweethearts at their local comprehensive in Chichester. But then Gastby got pooled. Tom is a Men's LAX Blues player. Daisy is in first year and no one wants to hear about her gap yah anymore, so she trades having a personality with dating a Blue.

Every Wednesday Cindies' night Gatsby watches over East Egg through Snapchat maps, transfixed on a luminous green VK and Daisy's Bitmoji.

Image may contain: Person, People, Human

The green light symbolises an unattainable dream. The green VK symbolises liver failure and poor taste in music.

Tom drags me through the Valley of the Ashes (Piss Alley) and past the ominous Van of Life Sign which clearly symbolises the judgmental watch of God. That and a banging chicken quesadilla. He takes me to an afters in a Trinity Hall second year's room where I meet Myrtle, a sexually empowered but misunderstood medic he swiped right on on Tinder, while telling Daisy he was 'just on it for the bants don't be a psycho lol.'

Image may contain: Vehicle, Transportation, Motorcycle, Tango, Leisure Activities, Dance Pose, Dance, Person, People, Human

Photo credits: Ben Harris

Gatsby asks me to organise a swap with the John's girls so he can finally be reacquainted with Daisy. They reunite over a curry which is mostly water and questionable meat. Daisy admires Gatsby's collection of drinking society ties.

'Fine if you're finally seeing the love of your life after years of waiting', Gatbsy says through tears and downs his £6 Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Pinot. 'Shit fine', says everyone else.

Gatsby introduces Daisy and I to the decadence that is a Girton ent. I have never seen such opulence. Or such low-budget lighting. They get off sloppily to Mr. Brightside in a corner. It is magical.

Image may contain: Music, Leisure Activities, Person, People, Human

Ain't no party like a Girton ent

Tom is cheating on Daisy with Myrtle and Daisy is cheating on Tom with Gatsby. They think they're being coy, but even the Porters know and its all been caught on Cambridge Kiss Cam anyway.

Tom confronts Daisy and Gatsby on their affair in the Cindies' smoking area. After a heated discussion which exposes Gatsby as not originally being from London but Surrey. Daisy succumbs to her desire to become a BNOC and chooses Tom over her childhood love.

Image may contain: Crowd, Person, People, Human

Wait… so you're not even from Zone 4?

Daisy and Gatsby cycle drunkenly home together and run over Tom's Tinder date, leaving her passed out on King's Parade and covered in cheesy chips.

Gatsby appears dead in Girton pool, having jumped in after being tagged in a scathing Grudgbridge post by Myrtle’s college husband. I attempt to arrange a funeral to commemorate him, but surprisingly, in the absence of booze and scantily clad women, no one shows up. Also ArcSoc was on that night so fair.

Photo credits: Natalie Brierley, Photoshop skills: non-existent

I muse over Gatsby’s demise, attributing his loss of Daisy to the corrupt power of money and obsession with social status which infects Cambridge. I sign at our shallow pursuit of the Cambridge dream of a first, a blue and a marriage.

I give myself a pat on the back for my profound analogy and consider switching to HSPS.