Compare and contrast: ambitions

Percy in London Belongs To Me (my current favourite book):

‘If I had a thousand a year, on the level,’ he was thinking, ‘I’d be O.K. I’d know where I stood. I’d know what to do with it. I’d be O.K. I’d get a house out Purley way with a garage. I’d have a radiogram and a cocktail cabinet. I’d stop mucking about with blondes and marry some girl or other. I’d have a home cinema. I’d spend every week-end at Brighton. I’d learn French the easy way by correspondence. I’d buy a ukelele. Then I’d be O.K. in the evenings. If I wasn’t working in a garage I’d have a manicure every week from a different girl. I’d wear one of the new low-curved bowlers. I’d carry a gold cigarette case. I’d make my wife put on evening dress every evening. I’d have a Riley’s home billiard table and have friends in. I’d be O.K.’

vs Gatsby’s list from The Great Gatsby:

Rise from bed … … … … …. 6.00 A.M.
Dumbbell exercise and wall-scaling … … 6.15-6.30 A.M.
Study electricity, etc … … … … 7.15-8.15 A.M.
Work … … … … … … … 8.30-4.30 P.M.
Baseball and sports … … … …. 4.30-5.00 P.M.
Practice elocution, poise and how to attain it 5.00-6.00 P.M.
Study needed inventions … … …. . 7.00-9.00 P.M.

No wasting time at Shafters or [a name, indecipherable]
No more smokeing or chewing
Bath every other day
Read one improving book or magazine per week
Save $5.00 [crossed out] $3.00 per week
Be better to parents

If only Percy had been working in the garage on the way to West Egg, that could have been a very different novel…


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