The Great Gatsby - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

About This Presentation

The Great Gatsby


By F. Scott Fitzgerald Student Notes – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:310
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 96
Provided by: AMc139


Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby
  • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Student Notes

F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • born on September 24, 1896, in St. Paul,
  • Intelligent child, he did poorly in school and
    was sent to a New Jersey boarding school
  • Enrolled at Princeton in 1913
  • Academic troubles and apathy plagued him
    throughout his time at college, and he never
  • Enlisted in the army in 1917, as World War I
    neared its end
  • Stationed at Camp Sheridan, in Montgomery,
  • Met and fell in love with a wild
    seventeen-year-old beauty named Zelda Sayre
  • The publication of This Side of Paradise in 1920,
    Fitzgerald became a literary sensation
  • Most of his work is semi-autobiographical

Scott and Zelda
  • Fitzgerald was considered the spokesman for his
    generation, by extension he and Zelda were
    incredibly famous
  • Zelda came from money, and wouldnt marry Scott
    until he published his first book, put pressure
    on Scott to continue his success
  • The couple lived a lavish lifestyle, sometimes
    wild and reckless
  • Lived in Europe for a period of time
  • Turmoil in their Marriage
  • Constant stress from their drinking,
  • Scott worked continuously to support their
  • Zelda felt neglected

Tragic Endings
  • Scott
  • Zelda
  • Scott struggled with drinking through out his
    life, left him in poor health
  • Went to work in Hollywood, which he found
  • Died of a massive heart attack in 1940
  • Died think he had been a failure
  • After his death his work found a new audience
  • He is recognized as one of the most influential
    American writers
  • In 1930 Zelda was placed in a sanatorium for a
    brief period
  • Diagnosed as a schizophrenic, by 1932 she was in
    a mental institution
  • Scott still devoted to her, but resentful
  • Died in a hospital fire in 1948
  • Now seen as a tragic icon
  • Feminist image of someone oppressed by her husband

Impact on Society
  • Fitzgerald named the 1920s The Jazz Age
  • Wrote screenplays for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
  • Created the The Great Gatsby which is said to be
    the most accurate description of the 1920s

The 1920s
  • Prohibition was in effect
  • Made millionaires out of bootleggers
  • Speakeasies secretly sold alcohol
  • Violence of World War I left America in a state
    of shock
  • The generation that fought the war turned to
    extravagant living to compensate
  • Conservatism and timeworn values of the previous
    decade were turned on their ear
  • Economy was in a Boom
  • Flappers were women who rebelled against the
    fashion and social norms of the early
  • They married at a later age and drank and smoked
    in public
  • Flappers were known for their carefree
  • Dances such as the Charleston were popular

  • West Egg- where Nick and Gatsby live, represents
    new money
  • East Egg- where Daisy lives, the more fashionable
    area, represents old money
  • The City- New York City, where the characters
    escape to for work and play, a place where
    anything goes
  • The Valley of Ashes- between the City and West
    Egg, where Wilsons gas station is, desolate

(No Transcript)
Fitzgerald in Gatsby
  • Nick Carraway
  • Jay Gatsby
  • Thoughtful young man from Minnesota
  • Educated at an Ivy League school
  • Moved to New York after the war
  • like Nick, Fitzgerald saw through the glitter of
    the Jazz Age to the moral emptiness and hypocrisy
    beneath, and part of him longed for this absent
    moral center
  • Sensitive young man who idolizes wealth
  • Falls in love with a beautiful young woman while
    stationed at a military camp in the South
  • Fitzgerald fell into a wild, reckless life-style
    of parties and decadence, while desperately
    trying to please Zelda by writing to earn money
  • Similarly, Gatsby amasses a great deal of wealth
    at a relatively young age, and devotes himself to
    acquiring possessions and throwing parties that
    he believes will enable him to win Daisys love
  • Like Gatsby, Fitzgerald was driven by his love
    for a woman who symbolized everything he wanted,
    even as she led him toward everything he despised

  • Green Light- at the end of Daisys dock and
    visible from Gatsbys mansion. Represents
    Gatsby's hopes and dreams about Daisy.
  • The Valley of Ashes- the area between West Egg
    and New York City. It is a desolate area filled
    with industrial waste. It represents the social
    and moral decay of society during the 1920s. It
    also shows the negative effects of greed.
  • The Eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg- A decaying
    billboard in the Valley of Ashes with eyes
    advertising an optometrist. There are multiple
    proposed meanings, including the representation
    of Gods moral judgment on society.

Important Quotes
  • I hope shell be a fool- thats the best thing a
    girl can be in this world, a beautiful little
    fool. Daisys description of her daughter
  • So we beat on, boats against the current, borne
    back ceaselessly into the past. the last line
    of the novel
  • "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy- they
    smashed up things and creatures and then
    retreated back into their money or their vast
    carelessness or whatever it was that kept them
    together, and let other people clean up the mess
    they had made." Nicks description of Tom and

Major Characters
  • Nick Carraway - The narrator of the novel moves
    from the Midwest to New York to learn the bond
  • Jay Gatsby - Lives next to Nick in a mansion
    throws huge parties, complete with catered food,
    open bars, and orchestras people come from
    everywhere to attend these parties, but no one
    seems to know much about the host
  • Daisy Buchanan - Shallow girl who is the
    embodiment of Gatsby's dreams
  • Tom Buchanan- Husband of Daisy a cruel man who
    lives life irresponsibly.
  • Jordan Baker - A cynical and conceited woman who
    cheats in golf wants Nick to go out with her.
  • Myrtle Wilson - Tom has an affair with this
    married woman, and then abandons her after he
    become bored with her

  • Hope - represented by the light across the bay
    that Gatsby was fixated on. It was the embodiment
    of his sole goal in life, which was a
    reunification with Daisy.
  • Success - Gatsby felt that the only way he would
    win Daisy was through his money.
  • Ignorance - The characters have little
    self-knowledge and even less knowledge of each
  • Judgment - Nick misinterprets the advice of his
    father and tries not to judge people.
  • Disillusionment - Gatsby dreams of getting back
    together with Daisy even though she is married
    and has a daughter.
  • Morals - The morals of people with great wealth
    seem to be less than desirable, but many times
    are more socially accepted than lower classes.

  • Money cannot buy happiness.
  • You cannot relive the past.
  • If dreams are too fantastic, and reality cannot
    keep up with ideals they are usually not
  • Life is paradoxical aspects and attitudes seem
    to contradict

The Great Gatsby Narrator First Person
(Peripheral Narrator) Nick Carraway
  • The story is told in the first person, through
    the eyes of Nick Carraway.
  • The primary and most visible story is about Jay
    Gatsby and his devotion to his dream.
  • Other stories, also told through Carraways eyes,
    include Toms reconciliation with his wife Daisy,
    Nicks own relationship with Jordan, and Nicks
    evolving friendship with Gatsby.
  • Nick Carraway is able to easily become part of
    the wallpaper. His major character trait
    reserving judgment allows him to be almost an
    "invisible" narrator, similar to a traditional
    third-person omniscient point of view.
  • Ultimately, however, if we lost Nicks
    point-of-view, we would never understand the
    evolution of his character. He is the invisible
    man until the end of the book, when suddenly, he
    has opinions about everybody.

Chapter 1
  • "I'm glad it's a girl. And I hope she'll be a
    fool- that's the best thing a girl can be in this
    world, a beautiful little fool.
  • -- Daisy Buchanan

  • Nick has moved from the Midwest to work in NYC
  • His cousin, Daisy, lives close by with her
    husband Tom
  • He meets Jordan and first hears about Gatsby
  • Class is one of them most important themes in the
  • Affects the relationships of the characters
  • Much of the way people are treated can be linked
    to their class and social position
  • Nick is non-judgmental but very much aware of his
  • " I'm glad it's a girl, And I hope she'll be a
    fool- that's the best thing a girl can be in this
    world, a beautiful little fool.
  • The social position of women is criticized here.
  • Daisy is a witty and clever woman, far more so
    than her brute husband. Yet she is the one
    treated as inferior because she is a woman.
  • Nick sees Gatsby at the end of the chapter
  • He is looking out at a green light at the end of
    Daisys dock

Nick Carraway
  • Nick often becomes a confidant for those with
    troubling secrets.
  • The Great Gatsby is told entirely through Nick's
    eyes his thoughts and perceptions shape and
    color the story. The story is revealed
  • Nick is the hardest character to understand in
    the book because he is the narrator and will
    therefore only give us an impression of himself
    that he would like to give. He tells the reader
    that "I am one of the few honest people that I
    have ever known", but we see him lie on several
    occasions. So it is all but impossible to get an
    accurate picture of Nick.
  • By the end of the book he is very jaded, though.
    When he and Jordan break up he says "I'm thirty.
    I'm five years too old to lie to myself and call
    it honor". So the experience with Gatsby and the
    others takes its toll on him. But in the end, the
    reader cannot be certain of who the real Nick is.
  • Nick the Moral arbiter, everything is seen
    through his consciousness. Carraway is the only
    character to exhibit, and hold onto, a sense
    morals decency throughout the novel.
  • Has a backbone he will not be rumored into an

  • Nicks father tells him, Whenever you feel like
    criticizing anyone, just remember that all the
    people in this world havent had the advantages
    that youve had. (p.1) Nick shares this advice
    because he wants the reader to know that he is
    not a man who jumps to conclusions, but has
    learned to give people the benefit t of the
    doubt. Fitzgerald wants to establish Nick as a
    credible narrator and a sympathetic character.
  • When I came back from the East last autumn...
    (p.2) tells reader that Nick has returned to his
    home in the West and is telling the story of
    Gatsby through the filter of time.
  • My family have been prominent, well-to-do
    peoplefor three generations? (p.3) This
    information makes Nicks participation with
    socialites, money, and privilege believable for
    the reader.

  • They books on investments and securities stood
    like new money from the mint. (p.4) The new
    books on the shelf could be there simply for
    show, as much of what happens in East Egg and
    West Egg are. It is interesting to note that the
    books are about investments and securities. The
    fact that Nick has some of these books and
    intends to read them makes one believe that he is
    going to earn his money legally. The author draws
    a comparison (simile) between the books and mint
    condition. Coming from the mint can signify new
    money. Gatsby represents new money, thus
    highlighting the theme of social stratification.
  • Two old friends whom I scarcely knew at all.
    (p.6) The phrase containing the oxymoron Old
    friends is a term used to indicate deep
    friendships, and, yet, Nick states he scarcely
    knows them. Perhaps this foreshadows the fact
    that even though he thinks he knows them, he will
    find out he knows little of them. It also
    suggests the superficiality of the upper class.
    Daisy is a relative of Nicks, and Tom is an old
    college friend. Nick has known them a long time
    (old friends), but he does not know them well.
    Their relationship has always been surface-level
    and superficial

  • Personification is used to make the Buchanan
    palace seem alive. The lawn appears as a runner,
    starting at the beach, jumping over sun-dials,
    running up the wall of the house, drawing the
    reader and Nick towards the house, giving the
    impression things are alive here. (p.6)
  • Tom is described with a negative tone. Tom is a
    straw-haired, bossy, muscular man in his thirties
    with arrogant eyes. Fitzgerald uses words with
    negative connotations such as arrogant, proud,
    hard, shifting, and cruel in describing Tom,
    causing the reader to immediately dislike him.
  • Fitzgerald creates a light, airy mood in the home
    by having the wind flowing through the room,
    lifting the curtains, ruffling the ladies
    dresses. He uses a simile comparing the couch to
    a balloon to add to the airy, light feeling. The
    girls feel paralyzed with happiness.

  • The hyperbole The whole town is desolate, and
    Nicks comment that follows it are used to add
    humor and to emphasize the superficial boredom of
    the upper class.
  • Nick is annoyed that Tom is quick to remark he
    has never heard of the bond company Nick works
    for. It is Toms way of diminishing Nick, keeping
    him in his place.

  • East West Egg
  • One of the most important themes in the novel is
    class and social standing. It is a barrier for
    almost every character. East and West Egg acts as
    a symbol of this in its physical makeup.
  • The barrier that the water creates between these
    worlds in symbolic of the barrier that keeps
    these people apart from one another and from much
    of what they want.
  • The green light shines from the East Egg enticing
    Gatsby towards what he has always wanted. And
    Daisy, the woman that Gatsby has always wanted
    but never gets, lives on East Egg.
  • The Green Light Green the color of Promise
  • The green light is a multi-faceted piece of
    symbolism in the book. It's most obvious
    interpretation is that the light is symbolic of
    Gatsby's longing for Daisy, but that is too
    simplistic. Daisy is part of it, but the green
    light means much more.
  • Gatsby has spent his whole life longing for
    something better. Money, success, acceptance, and
    Daisy. And no matter how much he has he never
    feels complete. Even when he has his large house
    full of interesting people and all of their
    attention, he still longs for Daisy.

  • The effect of wealth wealth is depicted as
    selfish shallow
  • Morals the morals of people with great wealth
    seem to be less than desirable, but the wealthy
    are more socially accepted than lower classes.
  • Hope represented by the green light, embodiment
    of his single goal in life
  • Ignorance characters have little self-knowledge
    even less knowledge of each other

Chapter 2
  • The eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg are blue and
    gigantic their retinas are one yard high. They
    look out of no face, but, instead, from a pair of
    enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a
    non-existent nose.
  • -- Nick Carraway

  • Nick and Tom go to NYC
  • Nick meets Toms mistress Myrtle
  • Nick mentions how shameless Tom is in taking
    Myrtle out in public no matter who may see them
  • Myrtle takes advantage of Toms money by spending
    it on silly things
  • Tom and Myrtle host a small party in their
  • The party differs from the Buchanans because it
    is noisy and wild
  • It is similar because there is an air of boredom
  • Nick hears rumors about Toms and Daisys
  • In spending Toms money, Myrtle becomes very
    arrogant towards the less well-off, even though
    she and her husband have very little money
  • She is in the novel as yet another commentary on
    wealth and class. Her attitude exemplifies what
    money can do to a person
  • Tom's senseless attack on Myrtle goes back to the
    issue of consequence.
  • Tom need not worry about any reaction to what he
    does, so he has no fear
  • Toms allegiance is to Daisy

George Wilson
  • As with many of Fitzgerald characters, the name
    George Wilson is carefully chosen to reflect
    certain traits and ideals.
  • It was President Wilson who took the Americans
    into WWI. During the peace process, Wilson was
    outmaneuvered by England, France, and Italy.
    Unwilling to compromise his ideals, Wilson set
    out across the country working to sell his
    position to the Americans.
  • He worked himself too hard and became ill,
    eventually suffering a stroke.
  • Wilson eventually died a defeated idealist. The
    character George Wilson is also a defeated
    idealist, living in the valley of ashes. He is
    unwilling to compromise his ideals about
    marriage, and has become very ill in the fight.
  • George is the name of the United States first
    president. Just as Fitzgerald intends to
    illustrate how the American Dream has
    deteriorated, George Wilson, in the valley of
    ashes, indicates a waste of potential greatness.

  • Valley of Ashes
  • Represents the modern world
  • Physical desert spiritual desolation
  • The Eyes of T.J. Eckleburg
  • These eyes are from a billboard that looks over
    Wilson's garage. The eyes are always mentioned
    whenever Nick is there.
  • They look over the situation objectively, but
    offer judgment on the characters their actions.

  • Spiritless-ness George Wilson
  • Escape Myrtle Wilson wants to change class
  • Hypocrisy Toms hypocrisy, selfishness and
    brutality, other people are below him, when he
    hurts Myrtle he is not defending Daisy but
    brutalizing Myrtle

  • Fitzgerald uses alliteration to create a musical
    effect. Some examples are railroad and runs,
    fantastic farm, grotesque gardens, cars crawl,
    obscure operations.
  • I think hed tanked up a good deal at luncheon,
    and his determination to have my company bordered
    on violence. (p.24) This statement seems to
    foreshadow the fact that Tom, particularly after
    drinking, may exhibit violent tendencies.
    Perhaps, one of his women may experience the
    unpleasantness of abuse.
  • Shes said to be very beautiful by people who
    ought to know. (p.28)Myrtle refers to people
    who ought to know as though there are some in
    the society who set the standards for others. It
    seems that that thought is acceptable to her.

Chapter 3
  • Nick "Suppose you meet someone just as careless
    as yourself?"Jordan "I hope I never will."

  • Nick attends the party at Gatsbys house, where
    he runs into Jordan
  • The guests all speculate on Gatsbys background
  • No one has a real understanding of Gatsby
  • He is detached from the guests in his home
  • Finally meets Gatsby
  • Gatsby uses Jordan as a go between with Nick
  • Owl Eyes is overwhelmed by the fact that Gatsby's
    library is stocked not with the fake, cardboard
    backs of hooks, but with the works themselves. He
    knows that Gatsby has never read the books,
    however, because the pages have never been cut.
    This fella's a regular Belasco.
  • The reference to David Belasco, the great
    playwright-producer-director of realistic plays.
    Owl Eyes is the first to realize the essentially
    theatrical quality of Gatsby's world. Just as
    Belasco was a technician who wanted to get
    everything right, so Gatsby spares no expense to
    build the material world necessary to fulfill his
    dream. Owl Eyes, as his name suggest s, is one of
    the few to really see and, in some way,
    understand Gatsby.

Jordan Baker
  • New woman of the 1920s, cynical conceited
    woman, friend of Daisy
  • Jordan faces the same problems that Tom and Daisy
    do. She has been born with money and has lived in
    a culture full of money and has been spoiled by
  • She is surrounded by people like the Buchanans
    who perpetuate her indulgent behavior.
  • It can be seen that Jordan has no concept of
    accountability and that has been furthered by the
    people who allow her to go unaccountable.
  • Purpose
  • Jordan, a professional golfer, is one of a rising
    group of athletic stars. In the 1920s, attitudes
    began changing, and athletes, including women,
    were elevated to a higher social status.
  •  Character Flaws
  • Careless unconcerned about her driving
  • She is a chronic liar. She lies in her private
    life as well as in her public life as an athlete.
    The reader has been warned and should not take
    anything she says to heart.

  • Illusion Gatsby is an illusion, difference in
    appearance reality
  • Carelessness accident dont understand that
    actions have consequences
  • Nick describes Jordan as a "careless" driver. She
    seems unconcerned that she drives so poorly. Nick
    asks, "suppose you met somebody just as careless
    as yourself?' and she replies "I hope I never
    will". Fitzgerald uses the word careless to
    describe many of the characters because this
    attitude is so closely tied to the theme of
    consequence and responsibility

  • By holding off on his introduction of Gatsby,
    Fitzgerald knits a closer relationship between
    the reader and Nick. Secondly, Fitzgerald creates
    an air of mystery for the reader, not unlike the
    mystery that Nick and the others associate with
    Gatsby. This technique of delayed character
    revelation is also used to emphasize the
    theatrical quality of Gatsbys approach to life
    that is an important part of his personality.
  • In the opening paragraph (p.39), is one example
    of polysyndenton, with mops and
    scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears,
    and in the second complete paragraph on page 40,
    the word and is used eighteen times. This
    device is used to convey multiplicity, to give an
    energetic enumeration, and to add build-up. In
    this particular case the polysyndenton gives the
    idea that, if it can be found, Gatsby owns it. If
    it can be purchased, Gatsby has it. At Gatsbys
    house, the party goes on and on and on.

  • Nick comments that the people at the party
    conduct themselves according to the rules of
    behavior associated with an amusement
    park.First, the statement draws a comparison of
    the atmosphere at Gatsbys to an amusement park
    many things going on in different places, many
    things to do, many drinks and food items, many
    people who dont know each other. Second, the
    statement highlights the fact that the people at
    the party lack manners, even to the point of
    showing up at a party uninvited their nouveau
    riche lack of breeding is what stands out to
  • Fitzgerald uses the books in Gatsbys library as
    a metaphor to convey the theme of hollowness. Owl
    Eyes is completely amazed that the books on the
    shelves are not simply hollow, cardboard
    looka-likes, but are actual books. They are not
    there just for show someone could actually read
    them. In this class of people, so many of them
    are simply hollow cardboard replicas of people
    with nothing real or useful on the inside.

  • I was looking at an elegant young roughneck,
    whose elaborate formality of speech just missed
    being absurd. Some time before he introduced
    himself Id got a strong impression that he was
    picking his words with care? (p.48)Since we have
    seen nothing ill mannered or rowdy about Gatsby,
    we can assume that Fitzgerald means to suggest
    that, despite Gatsbys elegant dress and
    appearance, there is something hard-looking about
    him. That he is picking his words with care
    suggests he is speaking in a manner that is not
    entirely natural to him, a manner with which he
    is not comfortable, or one which his family has
    not taught to him.
  • Although there are many rumors regarding Gatsby,
    there is a clue given to the reader about what
    the nature of Gatsbys work may be, a butler
    hurried toward him with the information that
    Chicago was calling him on the wire. (p.48)
    Chicago was the seat of organized crime and
    bootlegging in the 1920s. The reader begins to
    see past the rumors and discern that perhaps
    Gatsby came by his money, at least partially, as
    a bootlegger.

  • at intervals she appeared suddenly at his side
    like an angry diamond, and hissed You
    promised! into his ear. (p.51) As a diamond has
    many facets, so does this simile. The diamond, a
    symbol of forever love, a promise of undying
    love, is being challenged by a flirtatious, young
    actress and the husband of the woman speaking.
    His wife was once the diamond of his life and, as
    her position is challenged, the sharpness of the
    diamond, the cutting aspects of the diamond, are
    exposed. The diamond sharply reminds him, You
  • The four motifs of geography correspond with a
    particular theme or type of character
    encountered. West Egg is represents new money,
    like Gatsby, and symbolizes the emergence of the
    newly established aristocracy of the 1920s. East
    Egg symbolizes the old upper class that continues
    to dominate American social life. The valley of
    ashes is desolate and desperate, like George
    Wilson, symbolizing the decay of American society
    hidden behind the facade of a glittering upper
    class. New York City is an example of the chaos
    that Nick perceives in the East. Setting
    reinforces the themes and characters throughout
    the entire book.

Chapter 4
  • those who accepted Gatsbys hospitality and
    paid him the subtle tribute of knowing nothing
    whatever about him.
  • -- Nick Carraway

  • The date, July 5, 1922, is the day after
    Independence Day. It seems to indicate that the
    people are enjoying a freedom they didnt fight
  • Another party at Gatsbys
  • Later Nick goes to lunch with Gatsby
  • Seeing the hearse is foreshadowing
  • Gatsby offers proof of his background, has
    created an image
  • Nick knows he is lying, thread bare phrases
  • Nick is fascinated by Gatsby, begins to believe
  • Wants Nick to speak with Jordan
  • Nick meets Wolfsheim
  • Gatsby avoids Tom
  • Jordan tells Nick about Daisys Gatsbys past
  • Met during when Gatsby stationed in the South
  • Gatsby has followed Daisy, but she had forgotten
  • Gatsby wants to show Daisy he has money

  • Rootless-ness Tom Daisy have no roots, travel
    move from place to place
  • Innocence corruption highlighted by Gatsbys
    better self the unsavory Wolfsheim

Gatsbys Car
  • Gatsbys car is a rich cream yellowish color
    trimmed with bright nickel on the outside with a
    green leather interior. It is monstrous in length
    and has hat-boxes, and supper-boxes, and tool
    boxes. (p.64)
  • Gatsbys car is the symbol of his wealth.
  • It reinforces the theme of the American Dream, as
    the car is certainly representative of that dream.

  • The East Eggs list of names includes names such
    as Mr. Bunsen from Yale, Doctor Webster Civet,
    the Blackbucks who always gathered together and
    flipped up their noses at whoever came near,
    Stonewall Jackson Abrams of Georgia, and Mrs.
    Ulysses Swett reputable, American-sounding names
    from reputable, stuffy places. The West Eggs
    list of names includes the Mulreadys, Don S.
    Schwartze and Arthur McCarty, people connected
    with the movies in one way or another, Da Fontano
    and De Jongs who came to gamble, Gus Waize and
    Horace ODonavan, theatrical people
    ethnic-sounding names from less-reputable
    businesses or places. Fitzgerald meticulously
    names each character to further the motif of
  • Not only does the list offer an explanation of
    the makeup of the two Eggs it is also a
    description of the excessive nature of these
    parties. Fitzgerald wants this book to be
    critical of the materialism of America during
    this time period. The list talks of people who
    were wealthy and acted excessively in all that
    they did.

  • Characterization Fitzgerald first describes
    Wolfsheim using caricature. He exaggerates the
    size of his head and nose, and points out the
    two fine growths of hair which luxuriated in
    either nostril. (p.69) Fitzgerald then alludes
    to the incident with Rosy Rosenthal, a small time
    gambler, involved with the underworld. The
    characterization of this shady fellow further
    develops by drawing attention to the fact that he
    eats with ferocious delicacy and that his cuff
    buttons are human molars. (p.71) After Wolfsheim
    departs from the restaurant, Gatsby informs Nick
    that he is the man who fixed the Worlds Series
    back in 1919. (p.73) Fitzgerald appropriately
    names him Wolfsheim, meaning wolfs home. There
    is no doubt left in the readers mind. This
    Wolfsheim is a shady character, and if Gatsby
    keeps company with him, something about Gatsby
    must be amiss.

  • Metaphor He Gatsby came alive to me Nick,
    delivered suddenly from the womb of his
    purposeless splendor. (p.69) Nick had been in
    the dark and confused about Gatsby, but all of a
    sudden, it all made sense, no longer hidden, but
    delivered and exposed. What had seemed
    purposeless now had meaning. The bright lights,
    big parties, and carnival atmosphere were to draw
    attention to his home in hopes that Daisy might
    attend. The purposeless nights of staring off
    into the sound at a green light now made sense
    Daisy was across the sound. Now Nick understands
    more of Gatsbys actions.

Chapter 5
  • He had passed visibly through two states and was
    entering upon a third. After his embarrassment
    and his unreasoning joy he was consumed with
    wonder at her presence. He had been full of the
    idea so long, dreamed it right through to the
    end, waited with his teeth set, so to speak, at
    an inconceivable pitch of intensity. Now, in the
    reaction, he was running down like an over wound
  • -- Nick Carraway

  • As Nick is driving up to his house, he thinks it
    may be on fire, but turning the corner, he sees
    that it is Gatsbys house, lit from tower to
    cellar, looking like the Worlds Fair. This
    description furthers the mood that Gatsbys place
    is much like a carnival. By continuing the
    development of the carnival like feeling,
    Fitzgerald conveys to the reader a sense that,
    like a carnival, Gatsby or Gatsbys money may not
    be stable, may not be real, may be here today and
    gone tomorrow.
  • Gatsby cant hide his excitement that Daisy is
    coming for tea
  • He offers a job to Nick, who declines

  • Daisy comes for tea
  • Gatsby shows up and gets reacquainted with Daisy
  • They go to Gatsbys house where he shows off his
  • Daisys opinions matter, Gatsby revalues things
    based on Daisys reaction
  • Gatsby points out the green light
  • Symbolic of Gatsbys longing for Daisy wealth
  • Represents all that in the distance that Gatsby
    wants to posses
  • Daisy is a part of the world that Gatsby wants to
    be a part of
  • The rain outside mirrors the storms within, as
    Gatsby and Daisy meet again. When Nick leaves
    Gatsby and Daisy alone to talk, he stands outside
    under a tree and the rain sounds like their
    voices. As the rain stops, signifying the end of
    their conversation, the sun begins to shine. Nick
    perceives that silence has fallen within his
    house as the sun begins to shine, and he enters
    the house to find Gatsby absolutely glowing,

  • Dreams Tour of mansion is culmination of
    Gatsbys dream
  • Pursuit of an ideal Gatsby has a long-sought
    reunion with Daisy resumption of romance

  • The flowers were unnecessary, for at two oclock
    a greenhouse arrived from Gatsbys (p.84) The
    exaggeration (hyperbole) of the number of flowers
    sent over by Gatsby emphasizes both his
    extravagance and the desperateness of his
    questthe lengths to which he feels he must go in
    order to win his lost love.
  • The exhilarating ripple of her voice was a wild
    tonic in the rain. (p.85) is a metaphor that
    compares the sound of Daisys voice to tonic. It
    is appropriate to compare Daisys voice to a wild
    tonic since it is her voice that is intoxicating
    to men. A tonic can also be a medicinal cure,
    and the sound of Daisys voice is a cure for
    Gatsbys longing.

  • The clock is like Jay Gatsby, who, when he
    realized he was poor and would never get Daisy,
    stopped ticking. He is trapped in his dreams just
    as the clock is trapped in a moment. Fitzgerald
    may also be implying that Gatsby stopped growing
    emotionally, and is essentially frozen in time
  • The self-assured, easy-going Gatsby is visibly
    ill at ease. He is as pale as death with his
    hands shoved into his pockets. First, he is
    embarrassed at seeing Daisy again. Then, he is
    filled with unreasoning joy. Next, he is consumed
    with wonder.
  • Daisy cries about the shirts, She says because
    they are beautiful, but, in reality, she is
    mourning the fact that she could have had both
    money and love. Perhaps at this moment she
    realizes the emptiness of her life with Tom and
    is overwhelmed at the thoughts of a dream she can
    now not attain.

  • He had been full of the idea so long, dreamed it
    right through to the end, waited with his teeth
    set, so to speak, at an inconceivable pitch of
    intensity. Now, in the reaction, he was running
    down like an over-wound clock. (p.80) This is
    the second time that Fitzgerald uses a clock to
    compare Gatsby and his dream. The first time, it
    was a broken clock, frozen in time. This time, it
    is a clock that has been wound too tightly. It
    seems the spring will break and uncoil. This may
    be used as a symbol to alert the reader that this
    is the climax of the story, and it is all down
    hill from here. This passage reflects not only
    Gatsbys life and dream, but also reflects
    America in the 1920s. As WWI ended, the Roaring
    Twenties began. The American dream changes as the
    stock market grew. By 1929, the stock market had
    reached an unprecedented level, like an
    over-wound clock, until the spring broke and the
    stock market crashed. It is an uncanny
    predication of what is to come, as Fitzgerald
    could not have known it when publishing this book
    in 1925, but he surely could have known that the
    growth could not continue at this rate for long.

  • Daisy tumbled short of his dreams. (p.83) Much
    of The Great Gatsby, including symbols and
    themes, has to do with, and is associated with,
    dreams. This statement is filled with symbolic
    meaning as well as literal meaning. Oftentimes
    one dreams and builds such an illusion, that when
    the dream comes to fruition, it is often less
    than one had hoped for. This is true for Gatsby.
    The romantic vision of Daisy that Gatsby has
    created, much as he created himself, dissipates
    as the reality sets in that Daisy is only human.
    This statement also reflects the sentiments of
    the American people as the elusive American
    dream, once attained, also tumbled far short.

Chapter 6
  • Nick I wouldnt ask too much of her. "You cant
    repeat the past.Gatsby Cant repeat the past?
    Why of course you can!

  • Chapter VI provides the reader with more details
    regarding Gatsbys past and points out the
    distinction between old money and new money.
    Regardless of how wealthy one is, what matters is
    the source of the money, and how long ones
    family has had it.
  • The reader sees that Gatsby has risen from rags
    to riches through his ingenuity and
    resourcefulness The American Dream
  • James Gatz
  • Jay Gatsby is actually James Gatz from North
  • At sixteen, he left home and became his own man.
  • He met wealthy Dan Cody and joined him on his
    yacht as a personal assistant.
  • Cody becomes a mentor and a link to another class

  • Tom and two friends arrive at Gatsbys
  • Gatsby tries to remain polite
  • Invite Gatsby to go with them, but leave without
  • He doesnt fit in to there club
  • Tom and Daisy attend one of Gatsbys parties
  • Tom questions how Gatsby got his money
  • Daisy is unhappy

  • Creating own identity Nick details Gatsbys
    true identity
  • Illusions shattered by real history party not
    up to Daisys standards
  • Dreams
  • American Dream parallels Gatsbys dream
  • Gatsby wants to go back in time
  • Dan Cody is the American archetype of instant

  • The meaning of the name Dan Cody. Dan is short
    for Daniel, a probable allusion to Daniel Boone.
    Daniel Boone was one of the first frontiersmen
    who headed for the West. Wild Bill Cody is one of
    the last of the frontiersman. Gatsby is fashioned
    by Dan Cody to be a type of frontiersmanone who
    lives and dies in the pursuit of the frontier of
    the American dream.

Chapter 7
  • He put his hands in his coat pockets and turned
    back eagerly to his scrutiny of the house, as
    though my presence marred the sacredness of the
    vigil. So I walked away and left him standing
    there in the moonlight watching over nothing.
  • -- Nick Carraway

  • Foreshadowing Hot weather builds climate for
    the confrontation, shows intensity
  • The group heads to NYC
  • Tom, Nick Jordan are in Gatsbys car
  • Gatsby Daisy are in Toms car
  • Tom wants to take what Gatsby loves, just as
    Gatsby has taken what Tom loves. Daisy slips away
    from Tom and says she will ride in the coupe with
    Gatsby. Gatsby is not thrilled about give up his
    car, but, if Daisy is with him, he will.
  • Tom stops for gas and finds out Wilson wants to
    leave town
  • Argument at the hotel
  • Gatsby says Daisy never loved Tom
  • Tom wants Daisy to say she never loved Gatsby
  • Gatsby Daisy leave in his car
  • Myrtle, thinking Tom is in the yellow car, runs
    out into the street. She is hit by the car and
  • Gatsby is only concerned about Daisy
  • Tom sees an opportunity to get rid of Gatsby

  • Trimalchio is a character in the novel The
    Satyricon by Petronius.
  • Trimalchio is a freedman who through hard work
    and perseverance has attained power and wealth.
    He is known for throwing lavish parties.
  • His background parallels Gatsbys.
  • Trimalchio and Trimalchio in West Egg were among
    Fitzgerald's working titles for the novel.

  • Carelessness
  • Jordan not affected by Myrtles death
  • Daisy treats Gatsby as a game wants the
    security of being Mrs. Buchanan, but like
    Gatsbys attention
  • Dreams Gatsby needs Daisy to have never loved
    Tom to justify his dream
  • Hypocrisy Tom defends marriage family
  • Responsibility
  • Gatsby still wants to protect Daisy keeps watch
  • Nick sympathized with him

  • Im right across from you? (p.118) Gatsby is
    conveying the idea that he and Tom are equals.
  • Her voice is full of money. (p.120) Daisys
    voice has been highlighted throughout the story,
    but it is Gatsby who is able to identify the
    sound. It is full of money. She is a prize to be
    had. Gatsbys lust for wealth preserves his love
    for her
  • I just remembered that todays my birthday.
    I was thirty. (p.135) This statement is
    significant because this is the day that Gatsbys
    dream dies. It seems as though Fitzgerald signals
    the end of dreams as Nick turns 30. the passing
    of youth
  • So we drove on toward death through the cooling
    twilight. (p.136) This statement serves three
    purposes. It highlights the fact that Gatsbys
    dream is dead, foreshadows an upcoming death as
    twilight closes in, and works as a transition
    statement signaling that the climax of the novel
    is over

Chapter 8
  • "They're a rotten crowd. You're worth the whole
    damn bunch put together.
  • -- Nick Carraway

  • The tone is set in the opening paragraph by
    foreshadowing upcoming trouble. Nick says that he
    cannot sleep and feels he should warn Gatsby
    about something.
  • Gatsby finally tells Nick the truth about himself
  • Gatsbys love for Daisy is real to him
  • He has been obsessed with the mystique of wealth
    that she has
  • Wilson is told Gatsby was involved in the
  • The eyes of T.J. Eckleburg
  • Wilson God sees everything
  • The eyes remind the characters of the judgment
    they deserve, even if they never receive it.
  • The eyes make them and the reader conscious of
    the guilt these people should be feeling.

  • Dreams Gatsby wont run away end of a dream
  • Carelessness Daisy over protected
  • Social Awareness Michaelis Wilson the state of
    ordinary man in wasteland
  • Innocence corruption Nick tells Gatsby hes
    better than all of them

  • Jay Gatsby had broken up like glass against
    Toms hard malice (p.148) The simile compares
    Gatsby with a broken pile of glass. Tom has
    broken the image that Gatsby created. All that
    Gatsby says he is, and all that he hopes to
    accomplish, is gone forever. His dreams are
    shattered his image is shattered. There is
    nothing left but a broken, empty life.
  • Nick says, Youre Gatsby worth the whole damn
    bunch put together. (p.154) Although at first
    glance this sounds like a compliment, in
    actuality Nick is saying that even though he
    knows Gatsby isnt the greatest, in comparison to
    the crowd, Gatsby looks angelic. Following this
    statement to Gatsby, Nick informs the reader that
    he is glad he said that to Gatsby although I
    disapproved of him from beginning to end.

Chapter 9
  • After Gatsbys death the East was haunted for me
    like that, distorted beyond my eyes power of
    correction. So when the blue smoke of brittle
    leaves was in the air and the wind blew the wet
    laundry stiff on the line I decided to come back
  • -- Nick Carraway

  • Tom Daisy have left without telling anyone
    where they are going
  • Henry Gatz shows up for his sons funeral
  • Nick learns that Gatsby had always been
  • Nick ends his relationship with Jordan
  • Nick decides that he doesn't want to live in the
    East anymore. He believes that he, and all of the
    others, were not fit to live out in the East and
    that is why they failed there.
  •  The poor attendance at Gatsby's funeral
    exemplifies the ultimate failure of Gatsby to
    ever achieve what he wanted.
  • The woman he loved was not present, she was off
    with her husband.
  • None of the people who frequented the parties
    over the summer showed up
  • Wolfsheim, one of the few people who could be
    called a close friend to Gatsby, refused to
  • This can all be tied into the final quote about
    trying to grasp for that green light. The more
    Gatsby tried to obtain, the less he ended up
    with. Like the green light, it receded before him
    no matter how badly he wanted all of it.

  • Carelessness
  • Tom Daisy are careless people. Tom and Daisy
    escape in the end of the book. They wont be
    bothered by the suffering they cause
  • There was a situation they would have to face and
    they didn't want to.
  • Emptiness of people contrast of parties with
    hundreds of people a funeral with three
  • Hypocrisy Tom saddened by the loss of Myrtle,
    but he cold-heartedly sent Tom to murder Gatsby
  • Pride Henry Gatz is proud of his son, sees him
    as Jimmy the All-American boy
  • Shallowness Gatsbys smile is a social weapon,
    it has no meaning

  • Rain at the funeral the end of a dream Autumn
    setting the end is near
  • Gatsbys schedule hard working ambition
    thirst for adventure
  • Gatsby idealism embodiment of spiritual
    desolation waste
  • Nick hope for moral spiritual growth
    traditional moral codes of America
  • Tom representative of the moral wasteland which
    has replaced American idealism

Key Issues
  • Gatsby uses a corrupt form of the American dream
    to acquire the wealth he thinks he needs to win
    back Daisy.
  • The energy that might have gone into the pursuit
    of noble goals has been channeled into the
    pursuit of power and pleasure, and a very showy,
    but fundamentally empty form of success.
  • Gatsby had been in love with Daisy for a long
    while. He tried every way that money could buy to
    try to satisfy his love and lust for Daisy.
  • Instead of confronting her with his feelings, he
    tried to get her attention by throwing big
    parties with high hopes that she might possibly
    show up
  • Gatsby was actually a very lonesome and unhappy
    man who lived in a grand house and had
    extravagant parties.
  • He did it all for one woman, who initially was
    impressed with his flagrant show of wealth.
  • Daisy was extremely disenchanted after she found
    out how Gatsby had acquired his fortune.

  • The characters in this novel live for money and
    were controlled by money.
  • Love and happiness cannot be bought, no matter
    how much money was spent.
  • Tom and Daisy were married and even had a child,
    but they both still committed adultery.
  • They tried to find happiness with their lovers,
    but the risk of changing their lifestyles was not
    worth it.
  • They were not happy with their spouses but could
    not find happiness with their lovers.
  • Happiness cannot be found or bought.

  • Gatsby bought a house in West Egg, in the hopes
    that he would win Daisy back.
  • He did this so that he could look across the bay
    to the green light at the end of Daisy's dock.
  • He expected her to turn up at one of his parties,
    and when she didn't, he asked Jordan to ask Nick
    to ask Daisy.
  • Fitzgerald stresses the need for hope and dreams
    to give meaning and purpose to man's efforts.
  • Fitzgerald goes on to state that the failure of
    hopes and dreams, the failure of the American
    dream itself, is unavoidable, not only because
    reality cannot keep up with ideals, but also
    because the ideals are in any case usually too
    fantastic to be realized.
  • Gatsby is naive, impractical and
    over-sentimental. It is this which makes him
    attempt the impossible, to repeat the past.

  • Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, and
    literary devices that can help to develop and
    inform the texts major themes

  • Throughout the novel, places and settings
    epitomize the various aspects of the 1920s
    American society that Fitzgerald depicts.
  • East Egg represents the old aristocracy
  • West Egg the newly rich
  • The valley of ashes the moral and social decay of
  • New York City the uninhibited, amoral quest for
    money and pleasure
  • The East is connected to the moral decay and
    social cynicism of New York
  • The West (including Midwestern and northern
    areas) is connected to more traditional social
    values and ideals
  • Nicks analysis in Chapter 9 of the story he has
    related reveals his sensitivity to this
    dichotomy though it is set in the East, the
    story is really one of the West, as it tells how
    people originally from west of the Appalachians
    (as all of the main characters are) react to the
    pace and style of life on the East Coast

  • The weather in The Great Gatsby unfailingly
    matches the emotional and narrative tone of the
  • Gatsby and Daisys reunion begins amid a pouring
    rain, proving awkward and melancholy their love
    reawakens just as the sun begins to come out.
  • Gatsbys climactic confrontation with Tom occurs
    on the hottest day of the summer, under the
    scorching sun.
  • Wilson kills Gatsby on the first day of autumn,
    as Gatsby floats in his pool despite a palpable
    chill in the aira symbolic attempt to stop time
    and restore his relationship with Daisy to the
    way it was five years before, in 1917

  • Symbols are objects, characters, figures, and
    colors used to represent abstract ideas or

The Green Light
  • Situated at the end of Daisys East Egg dock and
    barely visible from Gatsbys West Egg lawn
  • Represents Gatsbys hopes and dreams for the
  • Gatsby associates it with Daisy
  • Chapter 1 Gatsby reaches toward it in the
    darkness as a guiding light to lead him to his
  • Because Gatsbys quest for Daisy is broadly
    associated with the American dream, the green
    light also symbolizes that more generalized
  • Chapter 9, Nick compares the green light to how
    America, rising out of the ocean, must have
    looked to early settlers of the new nation.

The Valley of Ashes
  • The valley of ashes between West Egg and New York
    City consists of a long stretch of desolate land
    created by the dumping of industrial ashes.
  • Represents the moral and social decay that
    results from the uninhibited pursuit of wealth,
    as the rich indulge themselves with regard for
    nothing but their own pleasure.
  • Symbolizes the plight of the poor, like George
    Wilson, who live among the dirty ashes and lose
    their vitality as a result.

The Eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg
  • The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are a pair of
    fading, bespectacled eyes painted on an old
    advertising billboard over the valley of ashes.
  • They may represent God staring down upon and
    judging American society as a moral wasteland,
    though the novel never makes this point
  • Throughout the novel, Fitzgerald suggests that
    symbols only have meaning because characters
    instill them with meaning.
  • The connection between the eyes of Doctor T. J.
    Eckleburg and God exists only in George Wilsons
    grief-stricken mind.
  • This lack of concrete significance contributes to
    the unsettling nature of the image.
  • The eyes also come to represent the essential
    meaninglessness of the world and the
    arbitrariness of the mental process by which
    people invest objects with meaning.

Gatsbys "books"
  • An owl-eyed man at a Gatsby party sits in awe in
    the library, murmuring with amazement that all
    the books on Gatsbys shelves are "real books.
  • The image works to suggest that much of what
    Gatsby presents to the world is a façade for
    example, he wants people to believe that hes a
    well-educated man, an Oxford man, but in fact he
    only spent a short time there after the war.
  • The books may represent the fact that Gatsby is a
    fraud that he has built up an image of himself
    that is not consistent with the facts of his
  • But, you could also argue that the unopened,
    unread books represent Gatsby himself though
    there are many rumors about who he is and how he
    earned his money, the facts remain unexamined,

The Owl-Eyed Man
  • Owls are a symbol of wisdom, but can also be an
    omen of death. Then theres the glasses bit a
    man with large eyes and spectacles would be
    expected to be more perceptive than those around
  • He is the only guest who, in doubting Gatsby, is
    also wise enough to investigate further.
  • Moving right along to the portent of death part,
    did you notice that it was the owl-eyed man who
    had the car accident outside of Gatsbys house?
    And that, shortly after he got out of the car, he
    revealed that someone else was driving? Does any
    of this sound familiar?
  • The scene at the end hes the only former guest
    to come to Gatsbys funeral. Why would that be?

  • Yellow and Gold Money, Money, Money. Oh, and
  • Gold old money
  • "yellow cocktail music" playing at Gatsbys party
    where the turkeys are "bewitched to dark gold"
    and Jordan and Nick sit with "two girls in
  • It seems clear, then, that Gatsby is using these
    parties to try to fit in with the "old money"
  • While Gatsby buys a yellow car to further promote
    his facade, hes really not fooling anyone.
  • Lastly, weve got Daisy, who is only called "the
    golden girl" once Gatsby realizes that her voice,
    her main feature, is "full of money."
  • Yellow is not just the color of money, but also
    of destruction. Yellow is the color of the car
    that runs down Myrtle. The glasses of Eckleburg,
    looking over the wasteland of America, are
    yellow. This dual symbolism clearly associates
    money with destruction the ash heaps are the
    filthy result of the decadent lifestyle led by
    the rich.
  • White Innocence and Femininity
  • Daisys car (back before she was married) was
    white. So are her clothes, the rooms of her
    house, and about half the adjectives used to
    describe her (her "white neck," "white girlhood,"
    the kings daughter "high in a white palace").
  • At the end of the novel, she is described as
    selfish, careless, and destructive. Does this
    make the point that even the purest characters in
    Gatsby have been corrupted? Did Daisy start off
    all innocent and fall along the way, or was there
    no such purity to begin with? Or, in some way,
    does Daisys decision to remain with Tom allow
    her to keep her innocence?
  • Blue Gatsbys Illusions his deeply romantic
    dreams of unreality
  • His gardens are blue, his chauffeur wears blue,
    the water separating him from Daisy is his "blue
    lawn," mingled with the "blue smoke of brittle
    leaves" in his yard.
  • His transformation into Jay Gatsby is sparked by
    Cody, who buys him, among other things, a "blue
  • Grey and a General Lack of Color Lifelessness
  • Then there is the lack of color presented in the
    grey ash heaps. If the ash heaps are associated
    with lifelessness and barrenness, and grey is
    associated with the ash heaps, anyone described
    as grey is going to be connected to barren
  • Wilson "When anyone spoke to him he invariably
    laughed in an agreeable colorless way." Wilsons
    face is "ashen." His eyes are described as "pale"
    and "glazed." It is then no coincidence that
    Wilson is the bearer of lifelessness, killing
    Gatsby among yellow leaved trees.

  • Take a story's temperature by studying its tone.
    Is it hopeful? Cynical? Snarky? Playful?

Cynical Ironic
  • Nick is one cynical little cookie. Even though
    Nick reserves explicit judgment on the
    characters, Fitzgerald still manages to
    implicitly criticize through his narrator's tone.
    (Think about how ludicrous Myrtle seems when,
    although she isn't upper class, she still tries
    to look down on her husband.) The characters are
    sometimes slighted by the ironic tone, and we the
    readers are forced to read with the same cynicism
    that Fitzgerald writes.
  • Nick is all too aware of the ridiculousness of
    certain social circumstances hes also aware of
    the seductive quality of the upper class, even
    though he feels its somewhat empty.
  • Nick also has a good grip on what he thinks is
    righteous or reproachable, and he hands that to
    his audience as the absolute true judgment of a
    person or an act. For instance, take a look at
    this excerpt from the last few pages of the
    novel, when Nick has become disillusioned with
    his former acquaintancesI couldnt forgive
    Tom or like him, but I saw that what he had
    done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all
    very careless and confused. They were careless
Write a Comment
User Comments (0)