The Great Gatsby
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The Great Gatsby Chapters 6-9
The Roaring Twenties Game http://www.mccordmuseum.qc.ca/en/keys/games/ga me_0_1920s/#consignes]
Chapter 6: Summary Jay Gatsby-the Prince of Enchantmentindeed "sprang from his Platonic conception of himself." Nick tells the reader the “truth” about Gatsby, who is really James Gatz from a North Dakota farm. He attended St. Olaf college for two weeks, but dropped out because he did not like the humiliation of working as a janitor.
Dan Cody While working on Lake Superior, he sees a yacht and after rowing out to it to warn the owner of a storm, he meets Mr. Cody and ends up working for this very wealthy copper mogul. But Gatsby is, in some basic way, made of “finer stuff” than his "mentor"; a romanticist even as a youth, he remains apart from the worst dissipation, and indeed had at this time acquired a dislike for liquor which was to last all his life.
Gatsby and Daisy Gatsby himself, furthermore has a difficulty in "loving Daisy as just a woman.” So completely has she been for him a “Holy Cause” that to accept her for a woman with a real life and a real past--a past complete with a husband and a child—seems no longer possible. In a basic sense, Gatsby has not only idealized reality, but has replaced reality with the “Ideal.” Gatsby, at any rate, does not "want" Daisy as she exists; he wants his Golden Girl, his Golden Dream of five years before. That this Dream has actually lived with another man for five years, and - even more intolerable - had actually borne a child by him - has no part in his vision. His romanticism has blinded him to reality that this “ideal” doesn’t exist. . . .but can he recapture the past?.
Theme of Social Class Extended
Fitzgerald continues to explore the theme of social class by illustrating the contempt with which the aristocratic East Eggers—Tom and the Sloanes—regard Gatsby. Even though Gatsby seems to have as much money as they do, he lacks their sense of social nuance and aristocratic grace. As a result, they mock and despise him for being “new money.” As the division between East Egg and West Egg shows, even among the very rich there are class distinctions.
Read the final two pages of chapter 6, which captures Gatsby’s sense of the romantic ideal. . . .
In many ways I wonder if young Christians maintain a type of “spiritual ideal” when it comes to dating and marriage. . . And in the end, this “idealism” may be detrimental to relationships, and even our own spiritual lives.
Donald Miller page 205 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VhYMdnAsyM Note John Green’s interpretation. . .
For Daisy's relationship to her child is hardly that of a mother to a daughter; the role of Pammy in Daisy's life is all too obviously that of a "darling" little toy - a toy to be "played with" and removed by the hired help when its presence is no longer convenient. Daisy's emotions, of course, are completely superficial; indeed, her very praise of Gatsby (that he looks like a man in an advertisement!) defines the nature of her "emotion" - or rather, her infatuation with the entire gesture of "having" a love-affair. This so-called “love” is merely another “toy,” for Daisy is apparently incapable of deep human commitment or intimacy.
The Plaza Hotel
Gatsby and Wilson
Where Wilson is deeply hurt, however, almost physically ill because of his wife's betrayal, Tom Buchanan is merely angry, furious, like an overgrown infant deprived of "his" property. This is a vital difference between the two men, and is a basic reason why Tom will ultimately survive.
Wilson's "weakness" is precisely the fact that he loves his wife too deeply; for Tom Buchanan, on the other hand, "love" is itself a matter of ego and appetite, and if he is furious that Gatsby has engaged the affections of his wife, he is no less angry that Wilson is planning to deprive him of a mistress. It is men like Wilson and Gatsby-men defined by emotion or Ideals-who ultimately struggle more.
At the Plaza the conflict between Gatsby and Tom over Daisy brings to the surface troubling elements in both characters. Tom uses his knowledge of Gatsby’s illegal activities to disgrace the “hopeless romantic.” When Gatsby attempts to force Daisy to tell Tom that she never really loves him, she balks. . . . Tom invokes their personal history to “subdue” Daisy. Of course he is upset by her infidelity and Gatsby’s immoral activities, but is himself a hypocrite. Tom has won when Daisy can’t openly say she has never loved her husband. . . He has such confidence in his “victory” that he encourages her to ride back with Gatsby. . .
The Tragedy The ride home. . . Myrtle’s tragic death, and Gatsby “gallantly” taking on the blame further confirms his “romantic delusion.” Finally we see Nick discovering Gatsby holding vigil outside the Buchanan’s home, waiting expectantly for Daisy to come to him, or to “rescue” her from an irate Tom. At the start of book he had reached out his arms to the green light; now, physically much closer to his “dream,” he vainly waits on their plush green grass.
“Follow your dreams. . . “ This is what precisely Gatsby did. . . But what if our dreams have been corrupted, or what if they were never real or never consisted of genuine moral content? For Fitzgerald, there is, in fact, no overriding “moral content” that exists in this world. . . No justice, no real love, no higher “purpose.”
The American Dream Are there innate problems with the American Dream, or does this novel simply present a perverted version of that Dream? America was after all founded upon the hope to realize “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Didn’t the millions of immigrants who sacrificed everything to come to this continent have a dream? Didn’t Martin Luther King express the hope of this dream in his famous speech? And isn’t our current President’s “audacity to hope” incumbent upon the reality of that same dream?
Chapter 8: The Great Gatsby Gatsby, back home in the morning, is visited by Nick. Gatsby tells of his relationship to Daisy back in Louisville before the War.
What are some significant aspects of the Gatsby-Daisy courtship we learn in this conversation? How does the weather continue to reflect the direction of the plot in this chapter and the previous chapter? And how is this fact significant?
Baz Luhrmann is looking for the right woman to play Daisy Buchanan in his upcoming adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary gem, The Great Gatsby. Maybe this story was picked up too early in the process, but apparently every single young actress in Hollywood is up for the role.
Why does Gatsby refuse to give up his dream?
What does his dream represent in the broader scope? And what might the author be attempting to convey through these “dreams?”
What is even ironic about where Nick finds Gatsby, having already been shot by Wilson?
How does Wilson, in this chapter, interpret the eyes on the billboard of T. J. Eckleburg?
Nick has come to see America not as just a nation, but as a geographical entity. It has become a land with distinct regions embodying contrasting values. The Midwest, while dreary and simple compared to the “glitz” of the East, does contain an element of moral fiber. The East, for all its glitter is superficial and depraved. This sense of “distortion” that lures and eventually dooms the characters of The Great Gatsby, is repulsive to Nick. In the end he returns to Minnesota.
The failure of Gatsby’s dream: Gatsby, out of all of Nick’s acquaintances, has the ability and the audacity to dream for a radically different future for himself. But it ends in failure largely because: a. His methods are criminal b. He can never gain acceptance into the American aristocracy, and c. His new identity is largely an act, not unlike those to whom he aspires
Creative Group Activity
Learn and perform the Charleston Create a dialogue on the “News of the Day”. . . current events, entertainment, sports etc. In class report on one “infamous” gangster of the Prohibition times; perhaps a monologue or dialogue. Do a short skit on the more “common” folks of the time. . . Workers, servants, minorities, ethnic immigrants etc. Represent the American Dream in an art form
Nick Carraway -
The novel’s narrator, Nick is a young man from Minnesota who, after being educated at Yale and fighting in World War I, goes to New York City to learn the bond business. Honest, tolerant, and inclined to reserve judgment, Nick often serves as a confidant for those with troubling secrets. After moving to West Egg, a fictional area of Long Island that is home to the newly rich, Nick quickly befriends his next-door neighbor, the mysterious Jay Gatsby. As Daisy Buchanan’s cousin, he facilitates the rekindling of the romance between her and Gatsby. The Great Gatsby is told entirely through Nick’s eyes; his thoughts and perceptions shape and color the story.
Jay Gatsby -
The title character and protagonist of the novel, Gatsby is a fabulously wealthy young man living in a Gothic mansion in West Egg. He is famous for the lavish parties he throws every Saturday night, but no one knows where he comes from, what he does, or how he made his fortune. As the novel progresses, Nick learns that Gatsby was born James Gatz on a farm in North Dakota; working for a millionaire made him dedicate his life to the achievement of wealth. When he met Daisy while training to be an officer in Louisville, he fell in love with her. Nick views Gatsby as a deeply flawed man, dishonest and vulgar, whose extraordinary optimism and power to transform his dreams into reality make him “great” nonetheless.
Daisy Buchanan -
Nick’s cousin, and the woman Gatsby loves. As a young woman in Louisville before the war, Daisy was courted by a number of officers, including Gatsby. She fell in love with Gatsby and promised to wait for him. However, Daisy harbors a deep need to be loved, and when a wealthy, powerful young man named Tom Buchanan asked her to marry him, Daisy decided not to wait for Gatsby after all. Now a beautiful socialite, Daisy lives with Tom across from Gatsby in the fashionable East Egg district of Long Island. She is sardonic and somewhat cynical, and behaves superficially to mask her pain at her husband’s constant infidelity.
Tom Buchanan -
Daisy’s immensely wealthy husband, once a member of Nick’s social club at Yale. Powerfully built and hailing from a socially solid old family, Tom is an arrogant, hypocritical bully. His social attitudes are laced with racism and sexism, and he never even considers trying to live up to the moral standard he demands from those around him. He has no moral qualms about his own extramarital affair with Myrtle, but when he begins to suspect Daisy and Gatsby of having an affair, he becomes outraged and forces a confrontation.
Jordan Baker -
Myrtle Wilson -
Daisy’s friend, a woman with whom Nick becomes romantically involved during the course of the novel. A competitive golfer, Jordan represents one of the “new women” of the 1920s— cynical, boyish, and self-centered. Jordan is beautiful, but also dishonest: she cheated in order to win her first golf tournament and continually bends the truth.
Tom’s lover, whose lifeless husband George owns a run-down garage in the valley of ashes. Myrtle herself possesses a fierce vitality and desperately looks for a way to improve her situation. Unfortunately for her, she chooses Tom, who treats her as a mere object of his desire.
Literary Essay: 1. 2.
Use your journals and notes as prewriting Choose a topic of limited focus, and write an introduction (opening paragraph) with a clear thesis. Do an outline that includes at least eight specific points, quotes, or examples from the story to support your thesis.
Sample of Possible Essay Topics The pitfalls of the American Dream Many plays and novels use contrasting places (for example, two countries, two cities or towns, two houses, or the land and the sea) to represent opposed forces or ideas that are central to the meaning of the work. Choose a novel or a play that contrasts two such places. Write an essay explaining how the places differ, what each place represents, and how their contrast contributes to the meaning of the work.
Is Nick a reliable narrator? How does his point of view color the reality of the novel, and what facts or occurrences would he have a vested interest in obscuring? Trace the use of the color white in the novel. When does it falsify a sense of innocence? When does it symbolize true innocence? Do a close reading of the description of the "valley of ashes." How does Fitzgerald use religious imagery in this section of the novel? What does the green light symbolize to Gatsby? To Nick? How does Fitzgerald juxtapose the different regions of America? Does he write more positively about the East or the Midwest?
What is the distinction between East and West Egg? How does one bridge the gap between the two? In what ways are Wilson and Gatsby similar? Dissimilar? Who is Nick more sympathetic to? How does Fitzgerald treat New York City? What is permissible in the urban space that is taboo on the Eggs? Is Tom most responsible for Gatsby's death? Daisy? Myrtle? Gatsby himself? Give reasons why or why not each.