Magazine August 26, 2019, Issue

Mow Your Own Lawn, Man

(Roman Genn)
Notes on a chore that should not be outsourced

Whether or not one is supposed to, I’ve always admired Jay Gatsby, the eponymous hero of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece. Yet I never fully understand the character until I come to the scene in which he arranges to have his neighbor’s yard mown, lest the visiting Daisy Buchanan lay eyes upon an unkempt blade of grass. The gesture is meant to reveal Gatsby’s insecurity and materialism, as well as the working-class striving that prevents his ever truly joining the aristocracy. But I sympathize with the man. The lawn next door is a disgrace and ruins the prospect of Gatsby’s flawless

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