paragraph 2

In The Great Gatsby, flowers are a big symbol in the book, they are used to materialise the rich. Fitzgerald has named the characters in relation to the flowers, such as Daisy, Myrtle and Carraway, all from different social classes. They would come into the book in conjunction with the relationships, especially with Gatsby and Daisy, the most superficial characters in the novel.  Before the reunion of Gatsby and Daisy, there was only history between them, that has now caused an imagination for a second chance for Gatsby.  However, when Gatsby “kissed her… she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.” Daisy, a very common flower,  fulfilled one goal for Gatsby, the ultimate goal. Gatsby thought this would be enough, he had imagined over and over again that “At his lips’ touch,” his dream would be complete. But this would never be the case, although Gatsby paid his way towards Daisy, it doesn’t mean one action will complete the transaction. He learnt from Daisy that you can always buy flowers but they will never live forever;  he can’t just buy a life with Daisy and expect it to work out as planned.     The flowers also show the progressive changes of the relationships as they grew and delved deeper into one another’s true personalities. Sadly for Gatsby, he never comprehended Daisy’s one true personality until right before his death. When she never called him back “He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky… and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is…” Gatsby finally realises Daisy isn’t the soft, pretty ‘daisy’ she lets on, she is, in fact, a rose. She is beautiful at first and from a distance, but as soon as you get too close, you discover the dangers it holds; the innocent flower can hurt you with one touch. 

 

 

practise essay

“We cast away priceless time in dreams, born of imagination, fed upon illusion, and put to death by reality.” In the novel “The Great Gatsby”, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, we get an illuding insight into the world of a hectic 1920’s summer in Manhatten. I’ll be explaining the three main symbols of water, flowers and the comparison of yellow and gold the seven key characters fabricated themselves.

Throughout the novel, water is shown as a representation of time. The water exposes the time Gatsby and Daisy spent apart and the struggling currents of water that are keeping them apart. Although Gatsby is persistently swimming against the current of time, we know it is impossible to reverse time. Fitzgerald shows us a clear and in-depth understanding of how time and water has affected the characters in the novel The Great Gatsby. When Gatsby and Daisy finally reunite after a long five years, it is raining heavily as all the time falls apart. However, once the awkward air had passed between the two characters, the sun came out while they were reminiscing old times and remembered the mutual love in each others company. Gatsby mentioned this to Daisy as if she hadn’t already noticed that it had “stopped raining.” Daisy replied with “her throat, full of aching, grieving beauty,” that  “told only of her unexpected joy.” by saying,  “I’m glad, Jay.” This shows how the relationship is more one-sided. They are on unequal footing and Gatsby is only a memory for Daisy, it’s all he ever will be. Her half-heartless reply shows she is less invested in their future together she’s not prepared to give up what she already has just for him.  Although Daisy was trying to deny the past with passion, deep inside she felt an urge to follow along and leave her life with Tom behind. She was torn between the two opportunities in front of her but she was letting her mind overthink the situation at hand. The water shows the struggle of not being able to leave the past behind for a new and ‘better’ life. Daisy needed a rapid, not a current that would allow her to live a double life, but time is never in our favour; we have no control of water and we never will. However, it took Gatsby too long to realise he couldn’t get Daisy until he could cross the water, and to walk on water is undeniably impossible. Even before he discovered his dream of Daisy was irrational, the water was giving him more than one sign that he didn’t have a chance with her. “If it wasn’t for the mist,” that rolled in while showing Daisy the “green light that burns all night” at the end of her dock across the bay on East Egg they could see her house; they would have been able to see Gatsby’s hope together. Fitzgerald was showing us how the hope of a new beginning was getting clouded over by time, by the past five years that have haunted Gatsby for his whole life.

Language Features

  • Fitzgerald uses many allusions throughout the novel. Select one of these allusions and explain the connection between it and the book.

“Her face was sad and lovely(1) with bright things in it, bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth(2), but there was an excitement in her voice that men who had cared for her found difficult to forget: a singing compulsion(3)

    1. juxtaposition- the two adjectives can be compared and contrasted to give a more in-depth understanding about the object being defined. In this case, it is used to show the irony behind Daisy’s persona. It reflects her empty white personality that is hidden or overshadowed by her beautiful and ‘lovely’ appearance. This is the illusion Gatsby fell under, only seeing her as the gorgeous unharmful daisy rather than the true rose that she is. He didn’t realise the melancholy that comes with living in the high status he’s dreaming of being a part of.
    2. Fitgerald refers to eyes a lot throughout the book, they come to this passage when describing Daisy. He says she has bright eyes, even on a sad but lovely face; I feel this means her eyes are easy to read and are the windows to her soul. We can understand a lot through Daisy’s eyes, especially when she’s not truly happy when she smiles. Fitzgerald says she has ‘a bright passionate mouth’ to show she has to put effort into and is passionate about lying through her teeth. She uses her mouth to hide the fact that she is not happy living in her ‘fulfilled’ life, however, her eyes are the downfall to this act. We learn the truth through her eyes, even if she puts on an extraordinary play with her mouth.

 

  1. The tone of Daisy’s voice can change frequently due to the mood she is in or wants to be in. She has a certain way with her voice that can become very persuasive when she wants it to. Daisy uses this ‘singing compulsion’ to allure men in physically and emotionally. This is used effectively against Tom and Gatsby who both fall under the charm of her voice.

 

 

“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes(1) before us. It eluded(2) us then, but that’s no matter — to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther(3). . . . And one fine morning ——So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past(4).” -metaphoric piece

  1. Emotive language- ‘Greenlight’ and ‘orgastic future’ had represented hope. The green light on the end of daisy’s dock was the symbol of hope for Gatsby throughout the novel. We see the progression of it being bright then clouding over until he no longer looked for it. The hope for an exciting future with Daisy ahead began to gradually diminish slowly until it was no longer there for Gatsby.
  2. The dream had slipped out from Gatsby’s firm grasp, it had escaped him, but they will never be able to escape it. Gatsby was just another person who failed to find the past by attempting to restore and transcend their past lives. His unobtainable dream failed because of the impossibility of it all.
  3. ‘Faster’ and ‘further’ are connotative languages to give the reader the impression that they will never give up. That every day, they would push on never losing sight of their dream. Gatsby stayed very optimistic for over five years even though everything seemed to go wrong for him. He always was getting pushed back and never got close enough to the dream that it became tangible. This language shows the dream did not die with Gatsby.
  4. Remembering that water represents time, we know they stayed persistent with fighting the time but struggled to make it to the past. They kept rowing towards the green light of hope, even though they were getting held back by the present. The present was restricting them from turning their dreams into reality, they were too tangled in the illusion they spun themselves to move on. We can relate this line to ‘The American Dream’ as people trapped outside it keep pushing, keep working even though they are making no progress in life and never will until an opportunity springs on them. They keep that one hope of escaping the cycle as motivation to keep going.

 

“His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white(1) face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God(2)… Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch, she blossomed like a flower (3) and the incarnation was complete. 

    1. connotative language- White has many meanings that come with it, which is why it is a perfect colour to assign with Daisy. At first white means pure, beauty and innocence however, he comes to learn that for Daisy, White actually comes with the feeling of emptiness, plain and indecision. When we look deeper into Daisy as a character, these words describe her very accurately. The word white is referenced with Daisy a lot through the novel to help us have a more in-depth understanding of her as a character.
    2. Gatsby had been planning this moment for too long, he couldn’t rush and let it ruin his dream. It had to follow the perfection he saw her as. He knew once the moment had happened, he couldn’t take it back, so he would fully commit his life to her when it did. He would take his crazy and unrealistic visions for their future together with him. Gatsby would stop looking for other girls, changing his antics from before he met Daisy. However, sadly for Gatsby, he was committing his whole life to a perishable soul, one that wouldn’t care to stay around to stick it out to the end.
    3. This is a reference to a continuous symbol and extended metaphor of flowers throughout the novel. The flowers focus on characters and their actions but especially focus on Daisy and her transitions that we slowly understand. With Gatsby, she begins to ‘blossom’ out playing with the hearts of more characters. This was her transition from a harmless and common daisy to a painful rose to Gatsby. She had now become dangerous to Gatsby as he would begin to fall even harder for her, it gave him a larger hope that his dream would come true and Dasiy knew all along it never could.

Allusion-” I bought a dozen volumes on banking and credit and investment securities, and they stood on my shelf in red and gold like new money from the mint, promising to unfold the shining secrets that only Midas and Morgan and Maecenas knew.” Midas is a greek god who was very rich and successful. He was so greedy that his wish was that everything he touched turned into gold, which got granted to him; he regreted his choice very soon after. Morgan was a very powerful banker in his time, he was known as the ‘king of banking and finace.” However, he was accused of exploting the systems for his own benefits.  Maecenas was a very trusted political advisors; his efforts went towards Octavian. Because of this very high role, he was trusted with supreme excecutive control in Italy. All these men can be related to the Great Gatsby because of their high stauses, wealth, fulfulment and greed. Gatsby himself was like Midas and liked to boast about his money by throwing extravangant partes. He could also relate to Maecenas because he liked to tell many stories about his successful life (even if they were false.) Tom could relate them all because he has the high status, wealth and espeacially his greed. Fitzgerald used these three men to emphazise a main idea within the novel The Great Gatsby.

Theme Notes

An illusion is ‘something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality.’ Whereas a reality is: ‘the state of things as they are or appear to be rather than as one might wish they are.’ These two definitions cause conflict in the novel The Great Gatsby, where it has a major theme of illusion vs reality. This is shown through Tom’s great image of himself when he’s actually a cruel and racist man, Gatsby and Daisy’s one-sided relationship, Gatsby’s false image of ‘Jay Gatsby,’ and the false symbols of hope. We can relate this to society today through the relative motives and personalities between the novel and real-life. The generation at the moment has become exceedingly bad at giving themselves a perfect persona of what they want others to see them as. People have grown up with the thought of stereotypes drilled into their minds, they’ve learnt to judge a book by its cover.  Before even meeting a person, they have a picture in their head from speculations and rumours on what they will be like and more often than not, they are wrong. This has become an illusion nobody realises they are under and the problems they are causing. More recently, people have felt as if there is a big expectation on how they should live. Usually this changes due to the people they are around and where they live, it’s no longer about what your personal beliefs are. People are thinking they have to be a certain way or they won’t fit in, or won’t get respected; they are getting too used to listening to what others have to say and following advice rather than their own. They have made two personas for themselves, and nobody knows what one is real anymore, including themselves. This is why there are so many relationships where people don’t love each other, but they stick together due to the expectations people have for them to work, and the social status it may get them in. They forgive each other for horrendous mistakes, like cheating, just for the sake of staying together. “I suppose the latest thing to do is sit back and let Mr Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife.” Relationships are no longer about love or happiness for some people, they have knocked over the base of their relationship and still expect it to stand. This is happening too commonly in teenagers, setting them up for failure in their future love life. Sadly for humans nowadays, if they want to move away for that ‘fresh start,’ they no longer can. There will always be people who have to tear down someone’s life just for the sake of it, people will never forget the past. Without opportunity, you can’t make it into the American Dream no matter how hard you try. Our society won’t forget what’s happened in the past, it won’t let you hide you past failures even with all the effort you put in to make them right. Our whole world has become one big illusion, and we no longer know what is reality and what is fantasy.

Symbols Notes

FLOWERS-

In The Great Gatsby, flowers are a big symbol in the book, they are used to materialise the rich. Fitzgerald has named the characters in relation to the flowers, such as Daisy, Myrtle and Carraway, all from different social classes. All three characters are part of a fake relationship where one takes advantage of the other. Gatsby became friends with Nick Carraway to get closer to Daisy, he used him to execute the final parts of his lifelong dream; Daisy, a very common flower, played with Gatsby’s heart, only to throw it out and walk away; and Myrtle was the victim of Toms  temporary ‘fling’ away from Daisy. The flowers come into the book in conjunction with the relationships, especially with Gatsby and Daisy the most superficial characters in the novel: “Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch, she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.” They also progressively changed throughout the growth of the relationships, as they begin to look deeper into the person’s true personality. For example, Gatsby realises Daisy isn’t the soft, pretty person she lets on, she is, in fact, a rose. She is beautiful at first and from a distance, but as soon as you get too close, you discover the dangers it holds; the innocent flower can hurt you with one touch. “He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky… and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is…” As Gatsby learnt with Daisy, you can always buy flowers but they will never live forever; he can’t just buy a life with Daisy and expect it to work out. Gatsby discovered from the flowers that money will never be able to buy everything in life because people aren’t going to be what they seem at first. Gatsby actually becomes a flower for a very temporary time, however, he can never officially become one as he’s self-made with all his natural beauty hidden behind the lies. He appreciates the ‘flowers’ a little too much that it becomes an obsession, compared to Tom who doesn’t appreciate any part of them. He just likes to collect them, objectify them, and put them on a shelf while expecting they won’t stray away occasionally. The flowers in The Great Gatsby shows the inevitable destruction of something so beautiful. “He broke off and began to walk up and down a desolate path of… crushed flowers.”

WATER-

In the Great Gatsby, water represents time on numerous occasions. Fitzgerald shows how we have no control of the water throughout the book, we’ll never be able to change the time to suit our needs. However, Gatsby is persistent at trying to swim against the current, attempting to reverse time but as we all know, it is impossible to retract the time. The water shows us a clear and in-depth understanding of how time has affected the characters in the Great Gatsby. Water has arrived in many forms during key scenes in the novel, such as when Gatsby and Daisy reunite. It had been five years without seeing each other, so on the day they planned their reunion, they both had extreme emotions going on. The weather reflected their minds, as for the whole day they intended on meeting up, it was raining heavily. It became even stormier when she arrived but once the awkward air between them cleared, the rain began to retreat. ” ‘What do you think of that? It’s stopped raining.’  ‘I’m glad, Jay.’ Her throat, full of aching, grieving beauty, told only of her unexpected joy.” The sun came out while they were reminiscing old times and remembered the mutual love in each others company. Gatsby felt cleansed after the rain and gave him hope for his dream to finally come true after the long five years. Those five years were represented by the bay that lay between   West Egg and East Egg; it shows the long distance between them that is full of currents. However, it took Gatsby too long to realise he couldn’t get Daisy until he could cross the water and to walk on water is undeniably impossible. Even before he discovered his dream of Daisy was irrational, the water was giving him signs that he did not have a chance. “If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay…You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock.” When he looked across at the green light on Daisy’s dock while she was visiting one day, the mist came in heavy clouding their vision of the green light, the hope of a new beginning. He found it to be inconceivable until right before he died in a pool filled with water, it was then that he finally realised his time was up.

 

YELLOW/GOLD-

The colours of yellow and gold show a strong symbol throughout the novel, representing the social, and economic standings alike. Yellow is colour known for jealousy or fake and weakened gold. Gold is the superior and more successful of the two; it is used to portray the ‘old money’ characters, the ones of a higher status. The colour can immediately change your outlook on a person just because they are referenced as gold and “gold makes the ugly beautiful.” Tom belongs to the gold category, compared to Gatsby who is a strong yellow competitor and Daisy kind of hangs in the middle. Daisy has been given an opportunity to become ‘gold’ through Tom, however, she has a hearty yellow soul stuck inside of her. “Her voice is full of money,” he said suddenly. That was it. I’d never understood before. It was full of money — that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song of it. . . . high in a white palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl. . .” Gatsby wants to be ‘gold’ so bad, but even through Daisy, he would never be able to reach that high status of legal and respected success because of money. In competitions, people are heard to say ‘go for gold’ because that is the best and most successful you can get, it is much stronger than yellow. Gatsby has been trying his hardest to win the competition but he did so illegally; he attempted to corrupt the American Dream and failed “…in a moment disappeared among the yellowing trees.” All he ended with was a yellow car to show for it. It is not quite gold, just a wannabe version of it because of the corrupt way he made his gold. Nick isn’t really yellow or gold, he isn’t jealous of the gold like everyone else, he is attracted to it. He is attracted to Jordan  “…I put my arm around Jordan’s golden shoulder” and the life she lives in but doesn’t necessarily want to live it. Jordan is as important to Nick as money is of extreme value to any other man. However, Nick doesn’t want his world to revolve around the money and this is maybe one of the reasons Nick and Jordan didn’t work out.

 

 

 

Setting Notes

WEST EGG- West Egg is one of the peninsulas off the coast of New York City. Both Nick and Gatsby live in West Egg, which is across the bay from East Egg. Typically, it was the home of the ‘new money’ people; ‘new-money’ meaning they have made all their own money rather than inheriting it. However, for some people like Gatsby, to make their ‘new money,’ they had to make it illegally. The West Egg citizens aren’t as respected at the East Eggers, which is why even though Gatsby has money, he will never enter the social class of Daisy and Tom (who live in East Egg); also never entering the social class he needs to ‘win’ Daisy. “I lived at West Egg, the – well, the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them.” Over in West Egg, we only know of two sub-settings, Gatsby’s and Nick’s houses. Gatsby has a gargantuan house where he holds extravagant parties solely attempting to get Daisy’s attention. Sitting near Gatsby’s house is Nicks little cottage, smaller, but just as significant as Gatsby’s as it where Gatsby and Daisy first reunite. West Egg is also the setting where Gatsby sees the green light upon Daisy’s dock that is opposite his house. It’s the symbol that gives him hope that one day he will and can have her.                                                                                                                                               We can relate West Egg to illusion in many ways. One way is the fact it is the main setting where the weather reflects the characters who live in that setting. For example, the mist comes in, clouding Gatsby’s vision of the green light across the bay on Daisy’s dock. “If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay…You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock.” This reflects how when his dream was becoming clear, everything floods in blocking his sights of the end of his dream, where it begins to come true. Also when Daisy and Gatsby first reunite again, the weather is terrible, it’s pouring down rain before and while it is still in the awkward stage between the two. As soon as things start becoming good again between the pair, the sun comes out, the weather matching the plot once again.

 

VALLEY OF ASHES- “This is the valley of ashes- a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke…” It is the halfway point between New York City and the two Eggs, so Tom, Daisy, Gatsby and Nick all have to drive through it when they go to the city. Myrtle and Wilson live in a car garage in the middle of the Valley of Ashes (Myrtle being Toms affair). On the way to New York, Tom always stops in at Wilsons garage to get petrol but is actually secretly checking up on Myrtle. He has a strong connection with her, even though she lives in this depressing and dirty place where the poor are known to live. Myrtle is a few social and economic classes below Tom, just like all citizens of VOA, so she, and many others, are stuck struggling and will take any chance they can get to escape out of their destroyed city.                                                                                                                   We can relate this to illusion the same way we can with West Egg; the Valley of Ashes is the other side of the American Dream we never see. It is the poor people who are struggling in life, the ones who failed to make it into the ‘American Dream.’ However, all the prisoners in the Valley Of Ashes are still trying to push their way into “The dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone.” Unfortunately for them, they will never make it out of the cycle; the poorer get poorer while the rich get richer. “…finally, with a transcendent effort, of ash-grey men, who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air.”  

NEW YORK CITY- The buzz of the city allures the characters in, they use New York as a hideaway from their complicated lives. They became inspired by its natural charm, especially Gatsby. At first, Nick describes the city very positively, almost the perfect flawed city. He gave it a kind of light as if it was part of a different world, standing high above West and East Egg. New York City had the illusion of being part of a different universe; this is why the main characters thought is was such an ideal place to get away from their restricting lives. They would all use the city to hide all their regular overt liaison’s from the people they love and value back on Long Island. They overrated the power the city would have, they thought it could control their secrets forever and keep them all congested in once place; hoping they wouldn’t follow them back to Long Island. However, Nick actually believed that New York was just another one of Gatsby’s parties, just less glamorous; both full of lonely plain people. “At the enchanted metropolitan twilight, I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others – poor young clerks who loitered in front of windows waiting until it was time for a solitary restaurant dinner – young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life.” New York City was a place where people hid away from the reality that is life.

East Egg- East Egg is the nicer one of the two peninsulas on Long Island, where the wealthier people live in their gargantuan mansions, with their extravagant and well-groomed lawns. “Across the courtesy bay, the white palaces of fashionable East Egg glittered along the water.” There lived the people that Gatsby based his own life around, the ones who were part of a “…distinguished secret society to which she(Daisy) and Tom belonged.” A social class Gatsby would never be able to sneak into even with the gargantuan and extravagant lies he told. He was always going to be stuck in the unrefined West Egg that stayed one step behind, hiding in the shadows of the East Egg community. East Egg is full of ‘white palaces’ for the plain and empty souls who were born into the ‘good life.’ 

 

 

 

 

Character Notes

  • Describe three key characters and how they change in the novel.
  • Explain what each character helped you to understand about illusion in the novel.Use quotes to support your ideas.
  • Describe three important relationships in the text and explain what they revealed about illusion. Use quotes to support your answers.

 

ONE   

JAY GATSBY- When we eventually get to meet Gatsby in Chapter 3, we begin to learn more about his past and how he got where he is. Before James Gatz when to war, he was a young man stuck in poverty, who looked like he had no opportunities in front of him. He detested being poor and held a big wish to be a wealthy sophisticated man, so Gatsby took it upon himself to change his life for the better.“His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people — his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all. The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself.He was a son of God — a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that — and he must be about His Father’s business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end” He became that wealthy sophisticated man he always hoped to be, but not for himself, for Daisy; the girl he’s been madly in love with but has never been able to have. He has a big unreachable dream to have Daisy for himself; however, Gatsby was unaware he wasn’t the man made for his dreams. Fitzgerald’s makes his life begin to unravel when his one hope begins to cloud over.“If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay…You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock.” The dream has been the last brick holding his life together and when it begins to crumble, everything comes tumbling down. It had been blinding him and he wasn’t ready for what was to come “He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass. A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about . . . like that ashen, fantastic figure gliding toward him through the amorphous trees.” 

NIC CARRAWAY- “In my younger and more vulnerable years, my father gave me some advice…’Whenever you feel like criticising anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.’ “

 

THREE

GATSBY AND DAISY- Gatsby tragically fell for Daisy and her wealthy lifestyle.He became completely obsessed with her, so much that he committed illegal crimes to reach the lifestyle he thought he would need. He set himself up to fail in what he imagined would be the ‘perfect life’ that turned into an ill-fated love story. Gatsby couldn’t forget the past, he even began to live it. His past held the most hope for Daisy, even though he still pictured her strongly in his future. Jay can’t let go of the memories as it is the only thing Daisy really believes they will ever have. She thought he would be hidden in her past, that she could make a new life for herself. This let Gatsby down immensely, but this just motivated him even more, he had to have her. However, Gatsby was much more invested than Daisy would ever be. “We haven’t met for many years,” said Daisy, her voice as matter-of-fact as it could ever be. “Five years next November.” This shows they are on an unequal footing within their relationship, Gatsby is only a memory for Daisy, it’s all he ever will be. He was so obsessed that he knew the exact dates they met and we reunite again; he even ignored the fact she had a husband and child she loved. This shows how strong the illusion he had put himself under.When the two meet once again, Gatsby’s reaction is very strong, his mood dramatically changed, for his dream looked like it could become a reality. However, Daisy’s was quite dissimilar, she hardly changes, bar from a few overwhelming tears. Daisy shows a soft side for Gatsby in the form of guilt, in the t-shirt scene:”They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such—such beautiful shirts before.” She felt bad that he has put in so much effort for her but she can never commit; Daisy is not strong enough to leave Tom. She believes she can’t live up to the high expectations he imagined they could be. He was so caught up in it all, he unconsciously offers to cover up her murder of Myrtle. Even after rejection he still believes he can get her. However, it’s hard to judge Daisy for her decision as we never see her side of the story as Nick has a main focus on Gatsby.

 

NICK AND GATSBY- There is some contradictory within Gatsby and Nick’s friendship. Gatsby uses Nick in the final steps of his dream. As Nick  is Daisy’s cousins, Gatsby felt that by using Nick, he would be able to get her attention (along with all the gargantuan parties.) While Nick knows and still allows to be benefitted from, he is also analysing Gatsby’s every move. He becomes very intrigued by the life Gatsby lives, and he also realises how fond Gatsby is of him. This is one of the many reasons Nick begins to trust Gatsby, along with “one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance that you may come across four or five times in life.” However, Nick is the narrator of the novel so it would be unfair to make a judgement on behalf of Gatsby as we don’t really get an insight into his inner thoughts. Nick is, however, the first one to see through Gatsby’s fake persona he has been stringing together for so long; Nick’s seen holes in Gatsby’s materialistic life and been waiting for that string to snap. One of the things Gatsby is pursuing the dream for, is the easy happiness he found when meeting Daisy, and Nick discovered this; this is why he has no problem with helping him achieve it. He admires Gatsby, because of he himself, is such a realist and wishes he had an aspiration in life like Gatsby does. Nick looks up to how motivated and determined Gatsby is just for a single dream.

 

JORDAN AND NICK- At first we are led to believe that Jordan and Nick’s relationship is very different and disconnected to all the other relationships in the book. They were the only couple that didn’t know each other before the book’s setting. It was in chapter 3 and 4 that they became very close and Nick thought Jordan could end up being a part of his life. Nick was greatly attracted to Jordan’s full beauty, and also her cool, calm way to life; compared to Gatsby’s attraction to Daisy’s money and lifestyle. However, her carelessness was the trait that he grew to hate, after seeing the real lives of Jordan, Daisy and Tom. Their relationship had been going great, until Daisy and Gatsby, Tom and Myrtle became closer and were becoming the main focus of the story; Nick and Jordan got left behind and forgotten about. By the time that they tried to restart together, they no longer saw each other the same as they used to. Nick had been spending too much time with the East Eggers, and actually discovered he hated their personalities. He becomes disgusted in the way Jordan acts, especially after Myrtle’s death, no one seemed to comprehend that someone had actually died. However, Jordan comes back with saying Nick was never truly honest, particularly to himself. When they first began to see each other, Jordan said to Nick: “I hate careless people. That’s why I like you.” But then Jordan begins to see him as a more careless man and this leads us to believe she followed her word. These two main characters were the only relationship that broke up because two people made a smart but obvious decision and were allowed to walk away. The other two relationships ended with one of the lovers being murdered. He used to love the carelessness and fast paced wealthy life, but now despises the lack of morality and care for others they all hold.

 

Narrator Intro

Fitzgerald makes Nic seem like a very non-judgemental person, which makes him a perfect candidate to tell the story. It gives the reader a kind of guided freedom throughout the book to interpret the hidden ideas of the book their way.  Nick admits himself that he is a tolerant person but that does have a limit, if a topic that Nic feels strongly about, or against, he isn’t going to stay quiet about it. When Nic says “In consequence, I’m inclined to reserve all judgements.” and sais words such as ‘vulnerable’ ‘criticising’ and ‘advantages’ is him using emotive language. He uses this to make us feel a little sorry for himself, but they are also very mature words to be using so makes us feel as if we can judge his opinion. There is a lot of long sentences throughout this piece, which creates a lulling and rhythmic effect. It also gives the opportunity for short sentences to make an impact.

 

 

Chapter analysis’s

CHAPTER 1

  1. ” ‘Whenever you feel like criticising anyone,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.’ ” was a piece of advice that Nick’s father gave him. This makes him a good person to tell the story as he isn’t a judgemental person. It gives the story more freedom to your imagination, to decide yourself what your depth of judgement is. However, as Nick said, there is a limit to your tolerance. This would mean that his judgement would come into effect sometime in the story, most likely when he feels strongly against or for a subject. Nick’s judgement on a topic or person can change our opinion as it is the only side of the story we got. Nick is the one mind in the book and he doesn’t know the deeper thoughts of the other characters.
  2.  In New York, West Egg and East Egg are the names for the two small peninsulas. West Egg was where the ‘new money people lived. The new Money characters were those who earned their money themselves rather than ‘old money’, money that was inherited from family. Daisy and Tom lived in East Egg and didn’t usually like the average new money citizens, they looked down on them believing they were better. In my opinion, I would rather live in West Egg, because I would have the satisfaction of earning my own money genuinely, rather than just following in other people’s footsteps. I would be able to make my own path, control my life choices and I belive the majority of New-money class are happier than those in East Egg. For me, I would rather work for my own money, if it resulted in a successful and happy life.
  3.  I think the colour white/beige would be strong colours that would describe Daisy’s personality. To me, these colours represent plain or blankness. She has grown a vacant mind while being in a relationship with Tom Buchanan, leaving her with a blank space where her vibrant personality used to be. She is now just another plain human in the world with no sense of fulfilment in life. Her soul is trapped, hiding away from the shame that could come from Tom’s community. She’s scared to show her true personality incase it leaves embarrassment for Tom. (White did represent purity and perfectness until you get to know her.
  4. Jordan Baker seems like the kind of person who loves a bit of drama. She has to know every little personal thing that’s going on in people’s life. She wants to be the first person to know everything so she can be the one that spreads the news. **
  5.  During the book, the importance of a green light will become a valuable theme. The colour green represents the thought of new life, a new hope. For Gatsby, this green light that shines over from East Egg, keeps him have high hopes to meet Daisy once more. This light reassures him that there is always hope, although some people would say it gave him a false hope. **

CHAPTER 2

Explore one way that Fitzgerald presents illusion in the chapter and use evidence.

“Then she flounced over to the dog, kissed it with ecstasy, and swept into the kitchen, implying that a dozen chefs awaited her orders there.”

 

The Great Gatsby gives a sense of illusion throughout the book on many occasions. Fitzgerald is showing two different worlds each character lives in, they like to use it all as an act, pretending their lives are perfect. They want to get away from their pure lives that in fact have many flaws. When Fitzgerald says “Then she flounced over to the dog, kissed it with ecstasy, and swept into the kitchen, implying that a dozen chefs awaited her orders there.” , he was making Nic show the illusion and the double life that Myrtle and Tom were living together. Because of Myrtle’s marriage, she was been living in a less fortunate world than what she was expecting. She finds that when she gets away with Tom, she can pretend she lives in a high-status world. This impression is given when she is said to be going to the kitchen to see the  ‘dozen chefs awaiting her orders there.’ It is shown that she is expecting people to be working for her while she’s in this alter-world, she is making the best of being allowed to break the rules and get away with it.

CHAPTER 3

  • Theatrical producer and playwright
  • 1853- 1931
  • was determined to make melodramas more accurate
  • used setting and lighting in extreme detail
  • in the time of realism
  • light – gelatin slides, colour silks
  • settings- so realistic

CHAPTER 4

What is Fitzgerald trying to achieve when he opens this chapter?

Fitzgerald chose to list all the party guests at the start of chapter four to give people an idea of the variety of the excess amounts of people who attended. Out of all the people at the party, most were part of the rich society that resided in both East and West Egg. The vast majority of guests had never seen or acknowledged Gatsby: “But I can still read the gray names, and they will give you a better impression than my generalities of those who accepted Gatsby’s hospitality and paid him the subtle tribute of knowing nothing whatever about him.”

This shows that the party-goers had no intent or need, to get to know Gatsby; they thought it would be better for him to give him his privacy. However, there was a big mystery looming every night of the party, who is this man, why is he throwing these extraordinary parties. Having the list of names gives an illusion that Gatsby has some importance, but they are just in fact characters in his play.

(when you read the names out loud, you realise that their names have some meaning behind them because of the way they sound.)

“There’s something funny about a fellow that’ll do a thing like that,” said the other girl eagerly. “He doesn’t want any trouble with anybody.”

CHAPTER 5

“It had gone beyond her, beyond everything¹.  He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way². No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart³.”

 

  1. Gatsby’s lies have become bigger and more real than first implied. The illusion he has given had begun to extend and exaggerate on the original idea of the perfect life with Daisy. It started so innocent but grew to become a fake reality he was living, he not only was fooling everyone around him, he started to fool himself; Gatsby began to believe in the life he was leading on.  This just began to encourage him to keep adding and adding to his story, ending with people not knowing was real and what was not.
  2. The story he spun, that was so well prepared and practised, had taken over Gatsby’s life. He put so much into it, that he began to lose himself between all the lies he told to create the fake persona that was his only life now. Each time the story was told, extra details were added, making the story seem too perfect to be real; every opportunity to extend the story, Gatsby grabbed, even creating imitations. This was things such as his own Merton College Library.
  3. This persona he’s built up has been protecting his heart that was broken, so long ago when Daisy left him the first time. He has been using the lies to hide from reality. All the passion he has stored in his defeated heart for Daisy is never going to go away, even with all the new opportunities he comes upon.

CHAPTER 6

“His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people — his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all (1). The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself (2).He was a son of God — a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that — and he must be about His Father’s business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty.So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception, he was faithful to the end.(3)” page 99

  1. Gatsby let his imagination take over his life, he let it make the decisions for him. Everything had to fit into his plan, his Alta-lifestyle. Everything was lined up and had a set place in his well-rehearsed story, that couldn’t risk having any flaws.
  2. Plato was a greek philosopher who was concerned with the real world vs the ideal world. Gatsby is a real person; he creates his ‘ideal stuff’ and names it, Gatsby.
  3. The story Gatsby carries on to create himself seems slightly immature and childlike, giving away the feeling that he began making it when he was younger (first met Daisy) and has just had to continue on the story, without tripping up or changing main features. To the making of the story, he couldn’t neglect it and let it fade away, he had already created too big of a persona, so he had to carry it on. He made it such a big deal he had no way out anymore.

CHAPTER 7

how is the scene in the hotel room similar to the scene in chapter 2?

We can relate the scene in the hotel room, where Gatsby, Daisy, Tom, Jordan and Nic venture to a cool hotel room to escape the heat to a similar scene in chapter 2. In the second chapter, we are introduced to the apartment Tom and Myrtle have to get away from their lives. Tom is the character who initiates this activity both times, he is the one that wants to hide behind a different life where, to him, everything is perfect. He likes to put up a facade to shy away from his illusion of a life. Tom takes Myrtle to the apartment for the same reason Gatsby took Daisy to the hotel; they pretend their lives….. how they can have each other

school shooting

A faint echo of an automated bell fired in the dead school halls. The deafening pulse of a conscious alarm rang in her mind; you could see it in her eyes, darting to the occupied yet spiritless desks. In lines, they were army corporals, standing stiffly to attention. All four legs were needed, accommodating the weight of the hefty school books used as pillows for the jaded students. Blank faces stare out the sooty windows; they were smudged by the chalk stained hands, distorting the image below. Four stories up, the miscellany of cars were beginning to look a lot like a colony of sleeping ants’. A dusty red pickup truck parked next to the spoilt girls new BMW, she would be less than impressed to see the rusty farmer-boys intentional joke. An accumulation of absent-minded adolescents’ bikes thrown in the rough direction of the bikes stands. Rushing students attempting to make it through those big swinging doors -twice the size of the juniors-  before the bell sounded. The bells that doubled as an alarm for her, just another day staying alerted; she would gaze towards the time-worn chalkboard, only intaking words that lowered her mentally. Words that force her mind to stay caged in the rotting box; she had freedom trapped in her hands, never releasing. She was getting drowned out by the voices in her head that were never intending to stop; voices amplifying when her body slouches in half, concealing herself inside the plastic chairs that are slowly destroying her. The back of her chair is a bodyguard shielding her from spitballs. Firing with the accuracy of a bullet, metaphorically piercing the complexioned skin of the girl who carries the weight of the world on her shoulders. One at a time, gradually dissipating her faith in humanity, breaking her to the point where these four walls meant nothing to her but confusion and neglect. Those four walls are enclosing her freedom and peace. Those windows, three stories up, bolted shut to “keep us safe”; keep us away from the concrete pavements the football team celebrates their win as they spill out of the bus. Those doors, solid blocks of wood, gave us no way of seeing through, keeping us from the drama beyond the classroom. This school, so innocent. One word can have a big effect, “loner” and she’s gone. Triggered.

Deathly screams devastate the hustling hallways, the ringing in her ears filters out. The gunshot snap quickly escaping, leaving her empty eyes to hang in their sockets. Vacant desks abandoned in a rush, books swiped off leaving random pages left open. Old coffee stains, from the shaking hands of a highly-caffeinated student, contour the page. Alarmed faces were plastered on the classmates who not dared to look up; it was becoming a more distorted image than before. All stories above, windows were smashed from misfired bullets that have become a crime scene to the fusion of people below. Ants no longer asleep, the swarm decamping. The girl more than relieved to see the farmer-boy turn up next to her smashed in BMW, it became her only ticket out of their nightmare. Dumped dirtbikes are ditched for a dreaded desertion from the victims. The doors leading out of the school held open by a lifeless body draped against it. Bloody handprints paint the door, smudged from frantic students shoving each other around. Everyone trying to escape her as her alarms stayed on repeat, those voices in her head instructing her, possessing her. Words scribbled on the board, forever to haunt the school with her thoughts. Her mind finally frees itself, all thoughts stream out drowning the board in everything she’s never been able to release. Stiff plastic chairs have become useless, unable to block the force of a single bullet with the accuracy of a well-placed spitball. A literal stab to the heart for some, because of the shots from the girl with the overflowing mind. It had become uncontrollable, she was unable to carry the weight of the world anymore. Too much pressure, crushing her down; she would sink down into the floors, now stained red and carpeted by broken glass and shrapnel within these four walls that direct her. These four walls that her purposeful wandering destroyed. These windows, bolts blown off, never been safe for us above the concrete pavements that support the tear-stained faces. These doors, the only thing shielding her from the police while they have no clue how close they are to the killer and the drama she’s caused. One surge through the door and she’s gone. Free.