Final Word from Monday, May 22, 2023

Part of the brilliance of The Great Gatsby is in the character development. Jay Gatsby is a likeable figure who is gradually shown over the course of the novel to be a liar, an imposter, a representative of organized crime, the frontman of someone who probably fixed the World Series and a participant in insider trading. Yet he remains a positive hero for many readers because everything he does is in the pursuit of a higher ideal - the attention and devotion of the woman he loves. Likewise, the Czech government's austerity package has exposed the likeable Petr Fiala as someone who is willing to renege on his promises in the pursuit of a higher ideal - the consolidation of public finances. The related transformation of ČEZ has further developed his character as someone who is prepared to use gangster-like practices to destroy shareholder value and to provide those in the know with a huge insider-trading opportunity. Without the glasses and beard, Fiala would even resemble the smiling Jay Gatsby. [ Czech Republic F. Scott Fitzgerald fiction deficit reduction mafia-like squeeze-out takeover nationalization ]

Glossary of difficult words

character development - the process of creating fictional characters with the same depth and complexity as real-life human beings;

imposter - a person who pretends to be someone else in order to deceive others, esp. for fraudulent gain;

to fix - to influence the outcome of (something, esp. a race, match or election) by illegal or underhand means;

World Series - the professional championship of U.S. major league baseball;

to renege on - to go back on a promise, undertaking or contract;

pursuit - the act of seeking to attain or accomplish (a goal) over a long period;

devotion - love, loyalty or enthusiasm for a person or activity;

austerity - difficult economic conditions created by government measures to reduce public expenditure;

those in the know - those who have access to special or secret information;

to resemble - to have a similar appearance to or qualities in common with (someone or something); to look or seem like.


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