Kayla: This week we’re going to talk GATSBY! Episode 9 had a brief scene of the classroom with a teacher lecturing on The Great Gatsby while Tan, Young Do and Chan Young all stared meaningfully at Eun Sang’s empty seat (find the scene in Ep 9 starting at 22:18). Gatsby’s world of wealth and privilege just begs to be discussed in the context of the world of Heirs’ chaebol kids!

Mary: Wait, who’s Gatsby? Is it Eun Sang? Kim Tan?

Kayla: I think an argument could also be made for Young Do. They’ve all got elements of Gatsby in them! I keep thinking of Myung Soo as our Nick Carraway though. He’s got that laid-back outside observer vibe.

Erica: Or Chan Young could be Nick Carraway - he fits the bill as someone who’s not nearly as wealthy as the rest of the characters and dabbles in high society without really being a part of it. He plugs into the higher ups through the women in his life - his girlfriend (Bo Na/Jordan Baker) and his friend/relative (Eun Sang/Daisy Buchanan).

Erica: As for Gatsby, I agree that it could be Kim Tan, Eun Sang, OR Young Do, but I’m thinking that Tan is our Gatsby. Gatsby’s shady background could very easily be Tan’s illegitimate parentage. But does this mean that Tan will die at the end?! 0_0

Mary: Agree with Tan being the possible Gatsby at this point. But for him to be Gatsby, first he needs to be compelled to join the world he professes to hate. Right now he’s just doing nothing. Which is why I was initially confused with the Gatsby reference. It doesn’t seem like a parallel story so much as a (possible) hint of what’s to come in the latter half of the drama.

Kayla: What about Secretary Yoon? Esther Lee is totally his Daisy marrying a Tom Buchanan figure (Young Do’s father). I think we’ve got several options. For me, though, the parallels to Gatsby come more from the themes. The Great Gatsby examines the brutality of social politics. We’ve certainly seen that with Heirs! The rigid class system at Jeguk High and bullying of the social care group come to mind. There’s also the theme of starting over- Tan wants a fresh start at Jeguk just like Gatsby wanted to start over as a wealthy man- but hopefully Heirs won’t have the same tragic ending!

Mary: I can totally see that tragic ending happening to Tan. Once everyone finds out he came from a “plain” social class, everyone is going to leave him behind. Hopefully, he could patch up his bromance with Young Do by then.

Kayla: Abandoning Tan because of his illegitimacy certainly draws parallels to Gatsby’s funeral that no one who “cared” about him attended.

Erica: Let’s not forget the moral ambiguity of the rich - what’s seen as “moral” and “right” is what’s financially sound and not necessarily something that ascribes to any virtues. To me the biggest example of this is how concerned the parents (the Chairman, Esther Lee, etc.) are all about who they are married to and who their children marry but turn a blind-eye to affairs, illegitimate children, and the like.

Mary: Another thing I noticed about Gatsby’s and Heirs’ “rich class” is their obsession with labelling people and assigning them to a level in the social hierarchy. Like they can’t sleep well at night unless they can safely determine who’s above them, below them, on the same level, etc. See how everyone was speculating about Gatsby’s and Eun Sang’s origins.

Kayla: Lots to think about as we go into the second half of Heirs this week! Can’t wait!!

And check out Drama Club members on their on their own pages:

Mary: Kdrama Laws

Kayla: Freckles in April

Erica: North Meets South