"Then it was all true. I saw the skins of tigers flaming in his palace on the Grand Canal; I saw him opening a chest of rubies to ease, with their crimson-lighted depths, the gnawings of his broken heart"(67).
Regardless of whether or not Nick was being sarcastic with his newly found belief in the history Gatsby shared, the concept of image based reality is poignantly displayed in the passages where Gatsby shares pieces of his past with Nick. At first Nick was skeptical of Gatsby's story, just as Jordan had been. Nick was firm in his belief that gatsby was making his past up. As soon as Gatsby brought out a photo, though, Nick was quick to believe. He began creating images in his head of the majestic events of Gatsby's past, and as soon as he creates the images, he believes that facts to be true. Viewed through a modern lens, complete trust in a photo is absurd. Thanks to photo-shop, just because a photographic image tells a certain story, does not mean the story is true. Photo shop makes trusting an image absurd, just as creating a reality based entirely on the image of something should be as well.
Gatsby is known as a well-known powerful man. His image is based on rumors. No one knows the real Gatsby. No one knows what's the truth. In the first few chapters there's a rumor that he is a bootlegger and he killed a man. Why would people associate themselves with a person who may have killed someone? He's just a rich, mysterious person who throws lavish parties. We know that he does care about his image because he asks Nick for his opinion of him. His "past" which may not be true just poses more questions. He even tries to provide proof of his past for Nick. Was it all a plan? Who carries around an old picture and a medal?
He is a quiet guy. It is said in Chapter IV that "he was a person of undefined consequence, had gradually faded and he had become simply the proprietor of an elaborate road-house next door"(64). What does this mean? His fortune was just handed to him by his well-off family and nothing more? Then we learn he has romantic history with Daisy which he has yet to get over. The location of his house and the parties were for her. He must've been hurt in the past. It also mentions in the book he wanted to die. All this and maybe more has made him the man he is today. His depression caused him to acchieve great thngs but also changed him. Perhaps, he had more of the personality he has at the moment and he wasn't always so sinister.
No one knows the reality of Gatsby. Who is he? Is there more than what he says? Could the rumors be true? What is he not telling? Will image always rule reality?
Up until chapter four, Gatsby was depicted as a being whose stature was far superior to that of any other man. However, Gatsby revealed that the life he had built in New York was simply to meet up with a girl he hasn't seen for some time. With that confession, Jay Gatsby became a little more mortal and was suddenly not so great after all. It's understandable for him to miss a girl he was in love with, but after a certain amount of time passes he should be able to move on. Even so, if he did have such a strong desire to see her once more, he could have done a little more to meet up with her. Rather, he left it up to chance by throwing lavish parties and hoping that they would happen to run into each other. He wasn't even able to personally inform Nick of his situation or to ask Nick to invite both him and Daisy to tea.
I feel that if a man is to be held in such high regard he should take a little more control of his life and not wait for things to just happen. It's possible he is used to this kind of treatment, though. According to Gatsby, he is as wealthy as he is because his family left him a significant sum of money. They also went to Oxford, which could have contributed to his admittance and graduation from the school. What are some of your updated opinions on Gatsby? Do you still think he is as great as he was previously portrayed?
I have a job where I take care of a flock of racing pigeons. This might sound like an odd job description but the man who owns them is not physically capable of doing so anymore. He really got into pigeon-keeping and racing after he finished service in WWII, but he had them as a smaller hobby since he was about 15. He was born in 1917. This means that while the events of the Great Gatsby were unfolding, he was five years of age. Even thought the characters are halfway across the country from where he grew up in Illinois, (not to mention the fact that they aren't real) the idea that the man I work for could have possibly met these people or befriended any children they had is pretty incredible.
This isn't even taking into account that he could have met the author of this book, F. Scott Fitzgerald. I'm sure that this wasn't an interesting idea to the five year old version of Ray Zotti (the man I work for). Even though he probably couldn't have appreciated it in his early childhood, in 1940 when Fitzgerald died Mr. Zotti would have only been 23 years old.
That is very imprssive to me, the fact that he was alive at the same time as a man who was born almost exactly 100 years before I was. What I find even more impressive is that Mr. Zotti has the potential to remember a time when women did not have the right to vote. It seems like such a strange thing to say that you were alive and can remember the first time your mother was allowed to cote for the president of the United States. It seems unimaginable to me that not everyone was equal as a citizen at that time, and that I know someoe who was a young child back then. I live in a family that is dominated by girls and women, the fact that back then I would have been one of the only people able to vote is ridiculous to me. But to Mr. Zotti and F. Scott Fitzgerald, that was their reality.
I could ask Mr. Zotti about life back then and he could probobly tell me about it, all of it. When his mother earned the right to vote, growing up in the roaring twenties, going through the great depression as a teenager and then serving in WWII as a young adult. The fact that he is in possession of firsthand experience of all of these things is mind-blowing to me. I love being my age and I know eventually I will miss being as able-bodied as I am now, but part of me can't wait until I am able to tell people who are much younger than me that I was alive during world changing events. It will be so interesting to see their reactions when I tell them that, Yes, I was alive when 9-11 happened or how proud I was when I helped raise money for the earthquake that devasted Haiti when I was only thirteen. Who knows what else will happen in our lifetime that we get to experience first hand. Most likely in our lifetime there will be a woman president, gay marriage will be legalized and any number of ground breaking things that we will get to see with our own two eyes. The idea of growing old excites me for this reason.
While I was looking for some books in Mr. Zotti's basement, I found a certificate to him for advancing the field of railroad engineering. I just hope that when I'm his age, I'll be able to say that I had such an affect on the world around me. It would be nice to be known as the person who stopped global warming, or cured cancer. I know that if I accomplish anything it probably won't be quite as momentus as those two ideas. The best part is that it doesn't have to be.
"He didn’t say any more, but we’ve always been unusually communicative in a reserved way, and I understood that he meant a great deal more than that. In consequence, I’m inclined to reserve all judgments, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and also made me the victim of not a few veteran bores. The abnormal mind is quick to detect and attach itself to this quality when it appears in a normal person, and so it came about that in college I was unjustly accused of being a politician, because I was privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown men. Most of the confidences were unsought — frequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation, or a hostile levity when I realized by some unmistakable sign that an intimate revelation was quivering on the horizon; for the intimate revelations of young men, or at least the terms in which they express them, are usually plagiaristic and marred by obvious suppressions. Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope. I am still a little afraid of missing something if I forget that, as my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat, a sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth."- Nick Chapter 1
This is from the beginning of the chapter, when we first meet the narrator. Nick, a young man from the midwest, decides to move to New York and experience the city life. After finishing the Great Gatsby, it was nice to go back and analyze a paragraph that talked a little bit about Nick and his personal life. This paragraph helps the reader understand why Nick does what he does in the book. Nick has an extremely reserved, and shy personality. He becomes others confidants, but rarely tells others about his problems. In this paragraph, Nick talks about the problems he faces after hearing other's conflicts because he stays up all night worrying about them. He seems very "chill" in this passage, meaning that he does not have to be in the spotlight all the time. This differs from the individuals he meets in the East and West Eggs, because the wealthy always want the attention on themselves. The behavior Nick describes in the paragraph above is how he is throughout the rest of the story- trying not to get in the way of fate.
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Ben, Emily, Heather
Women in "The Great Gatsby" pose an interesting dilemma in the analysis of the current state of women in America. The women in the novel do not match many of the stereotypes mentioned when discussing modern women. Yes, Daisy stayed at home to take care of her child, and Myrtle was severely emotionally conflicted, but that's about where the stereotypes end regarding the women of "The Great Gatsby". Jordan Baker golfed, Daisy proved to be strong willed and independent, and Myrtle's willingness to abandon her husband and her household ended in a bang.
The 1920's in America saw an immense increase in the the independence of women and a change in the role women played in society. Women went out, drank, smoked, revealed their bodies. Why, then, has it taken over 80 years for women to fully develop, in the eyes of society, as equal to men? Although women have come a long way in the workplace, in sports, and outside of the home, their progress has not increased at the same rapid pace that it did during the 1920s.
I believe that the explanation for this phenomenon, illustrated by the women of "The Great Gatsby", can best be explained as trending. The movement for women's rights comes in phases. These phases occurred during the American Revolution, the 1920's, World War Two, and still occur as I write this paragraph. Women need a "phase" that doesn't die off in ten year. One last push for women, much like the push observed in the 1920's, should just about do it.
I really liked The Great Gatsby.
Well no that's not exactly true. I really liked the last three chapters of The Great Gatsby. I've got to say, the book didn't really catch my attention up until the "Myrtle-gets-run-over-and-dies-horribly!" part of the book. After that, it was FANTASTIC.
I feel like virtually nothing happened in the first, oh, six chapters of the book. It was simply kind of... stale. Very stagnant, as though everyone were trying to accomplish something specific to only them, and by doing so ground the entire operation of life to a halt. And then their issues catch up to them, and everyone ends up dissatisfied, or dead. But it was very dramatically carried out, the way everyone got their not-so-just desserts, and I think that was the primary reason for my fondness.
Though I must admit, I'm a sucker for pretty writing, and those last couple of chapters were nothing but.
All in all, my Professional Opinion is that one should slog their hardest through the beginning of the book, and much of the middle, because the payoff at the end more than makes up for the stagnant beginning.
In The Great Gatsby, our class noticed that Gatsby seems to think that he can relive the past. The past five years of his life are evidence of this: he moves to the West Egg in hopes that Daisy Buchanan will show up at his party, disregarding the fact that Daisy is married, which means she is not available to Gatsby and no longer attends parties like she used to. Gatsby seems too ambitious for his own good - while his ambitions made him rich, he now seeks the impossible: going back in time.
A passage that brilliantly shows how Gatsby is trying to fight the time that has passed is in chapter 5 on page 86. While Gatsby and Daisy are awkwardly meeting for the first time in five years, "the clock took this moment to tilt dangerously at the pressure of his head, whereupon he turned and caught it with trmbling fingers and set it back in place." In this passage, Fitzgerald uses the clock as a symbol for time itself. It is not so easy for Gatsby and Daisy to pick up where they left off. This realization is crashing - literally - on Gatsby's head. He brings the clock back upright, but with trembling fingers, showing that he is struggling to overcome the space created by the time that has passed. Since he is able to put the clock back, it shows that he has temporarily defeated the obstacle of time, and in fact he and Daisy manage to click later on in the chapter. But it is only temporary, because nothing will prevent that clock from falling once again.
Through the chapters of The Great Gatsby, the audience follows Nick's feelings towards Gatsby. From the beginning, Nick seems to be somewhat fasicinated, but somewhat stricken by the things he's heard from Jordan, which, perhaps polluted Carraway's thoughts towards to the almost-bootlegger, and towards the end of the book, he is constantly seeing the James Gatz that he is familiar with, and the Gatsby that he knows not. Could it be Jordan's fault that Nick looks to Jay as a vessel of intense mystery-- someone almost not to be trusted? Is it because of his love affair with the athlete that Nick seems to look at one of his best friends with uncomfortable feelings? But to what extent do his thoughts really decode the demeanor of the young and rugid Gatsby?
Like our opinions on most of the characters, they became to transcend during the heated events of chapter seven, when Mrytle is ranover tragically. True feelings are shown as Gatsby is going back and forth with the dainty love of his life, Daisy. Not only does he show a sensative, starry-eyed side for his pretty flower, but a side of pungent, sharp and somewhat cruel words are displayed as he argues with Tom. Gatsby, someone so sure of his heart, seems to be at a crossroads with himself, not only in chapter seven, but in chapter eight. He has no life of his own, only a life of Daisy. But really, what is Daisy? What is a flower to a man? The "nouveau-riche" thirty year-old throws himself like a fool for the this girl under what I would call false pretenses. Tom loves her for the fact that she is what he adores the most, money and reputation. So does Gatsby. Nick looks at Gatsby like a complex puzzle, but honestly, I think both Tom and Jay are somewhat very similar, they love the ideal of her. Gatsby claims that he was only himself when she was around, claims that she's his true love, claims that he's better than Tom ever was...Yes, the two have had their quiet moments, perhaps the moments that one would say "define their love", but I feel like Jay's love for her is not romantic, but in a form of admiration. Gatsby desired to be like her, though not said, it's quite obvious. His house, it's grandeur. His reputation, his status. As for Tom, he doesn't look to her as someone to define his future and his goals, but someone that shows it off. He's aware of what he has, he wants others to be too-- these are the lengths Tom goes to in order to prove his superiority.
In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald proudly tackles the themes of spirituality and moral decay. His attack is remarkably hidden because his message lies in what is missing, rather than what is there. The world presented in this story is one of excess, folly, and pleasure, a world where people are so busy living in the moment that they have lost any sense of morality. In fact every one of the seven deadly sins (pride, lust, gluttony, envy, sloth, avarice, and wrath) is well represented. None of the characters, including honest Nick, are free from these deadly devices which, surprisingly enough, have traditionally marked the downfall of a community. And it is even more interesting to note that although the seven deadly sins are depicted over and over again by the people in The Great Gatsby, their theological counterpart, the seven cardinal virtues (faith, hope, love, prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance) are quite honestly invisible. Gatsby certainly has more hope than all the others put together, but, in the end, that one thing, no matter how strong, can't save him.
Now Fitzgerald may not be advocating a severe Christian message, but rather he is encouraging readers to stop and take inventory of their lives. Although some may see Fitzgerald as implying a return to God is necessary for survival, the text supports something far more subtle: a reconsideration of where society is and where it is going.
Throughout the book it is clear that Gatsny represents people who have worked for their own wealth, while Tom represents those who have inherited their wealth. When these to characters are viewed like this, it seems that when they are both trying to be with Daisy they are really these two types of people competing in America. The Great Gatsby is a commentary on the wealthy in the 1920's. The message that it is really trying to send is that while most Americans say the opposite, American society actually sides with those who inherit their wealth. I think that Gatsby's death shows that those who worked for their own wealth eventually lose what they worked for to those who inherited their wealth.
Finally, Daisy is left with Tom and Gatsby's dream was gone. This shows that people who inherit their money do hold more power in Ameican society. In the end, this book seems to suggest that american society at least tries to favor people like Gatsby over people like Tom, when Nick says that Gatsby's worth all of them put together.
"As I watched him he adjusted himself a little, visibly. His hand took hold of hers, and as she said something low in his ear he turned toward her with a rush of emotion. I think that voice held him most, with its fluctuating, feverish warmth, because it couldn’t be over-dreamed — that voice was a deathless song.
They had forgotten me, but Daisy glanced up and held out her hand; Gatsby didn’t know me now at all. I looked once more at them and they looked back at me, remotely, possessed by intense life. Then I went out of the room and down the marble steps into the rain, leaving them there together."
I really love this passage. It is at the end of the 5th chapter if anyone was interested. I just found that there were so many different emotions and ideas happening all at once in these two paragraphs. The first emotion that came to mind was happiness. Gatsby and Daisy seem to be doing much better now. They truly seem to be reconnecting. The next emotions I felt in the first paragraph were peace and relief. Gatsby was so nervous and jittery at the beginning of the chapter, and it was nice to see that his anxieties decrescendo-ed. The peace also came with that beacuse of the fact that Daisy's voice is consered feverish warmth. It sounds inviting. It's almost as if we can see Gatsby filling up with emotion and pure joy.
The second part made me a little sad. I feel that Nick constantly seems to remind himself of his lonliness. He has Jordan, but not really. He is alone, he feels that Daisy and Gatsby are so wrapped up in their reunion that they forget him, better yet, they don't even know him. I feel bad for Nick. He always seems lonely and seperated. It's as if it's being rubbed in his face. Though he likes Jordan Baker, she isn't always around him, and I'm assuming things get pretty lonely for him. I think this is the third or fourth mention of Nick's lonliness.
Do you think he will pursue his relationship with Jordan?
After reading almost all of the The Great Gatsby, I have come to a monumental conclusion. I believe that Gatsby has transitioned from a simply mysterious yet admirable man into a hysterical figure in American Literature. We already understand the relatively respectable qualities and characteristics of Gatsby. As a successful war veteran and a charming personality, Gatsby grabs the attention of all readers. But by the final parts of chapter seven and into chapter eight, Gatsby appears tangled in his fantasy of Daisy. He boldly defends Daisy and later commands her to assure him that she never loved Tom. Gatsby, while hidden in the bushes, believes he must take the role of a noble man who will come storming in to Daisy's rescue as Tom returns to punish her after the altercation earlier in the day. Nick truly expresses to the reader of his almost disgust with the drama of Gatsby. The next morning, as Gatsby recounts his relationship with Daisy five years ago, he believes that the only reason Daisy remained with a penniless man was for her true love of Gatsby. He assumes that Daisy will call later that afternoon, as if he undoubtedly won the heart of Daisy yesterday. Does this development from an honorable war veteran, Oxford graduate, self-made man to a shady bootlegger, love-drunk with the Daisy of five years past not seem remarkable? Maybe it is a component of the 1920's America that this book represents. I hope that some others may have noted this strange development and could point out some other developments of Gatsby within this book.
Do you have dreams? I do. I dream of going to college and after graduating, getting myself a real fine job, one that pays well!!! After a couple of years, I might start a family and buy a nice big house, maybe in the suburbs or near the city. Maybe take a few vacations and after working 25-35 years, I'll retire with a good pension. When I'm retired I'll play some golf and them become a grandfather and be able to see my children's children. This is a pretty general idea of today's American Dream. Many people just care about getting a nice job, regardless of whether they like it or not. Don't forget a family and a nice pension. So you may ask, "What is the current state of the American Dream?" I believe that the state of the American Dream depends on the three following conditions: 1. The individual. 2. The generation in which the person grew-up in. 3. The environment in which the individual is surrounded by. These three ideas play a key concept in determining the American Dream.
It really depends on the person, and what they considered to be successful. It depends on the person's wants and desires. For example, a person who comes from a family who's never graduated from high school, would set that up to be his/her main goal, they're dream. On the other hand, a person may come from a very wealthy family and may have dreams to graduate from medical school(4 more years of education after college) and become a doctor and may want to own a private firm one day. These dreams as you can tell, are very different. Yet, society would regard the second choice as a more fulfilling American Dream. Why? Well almost everyone today is expected to graduate from high school, and the majority are expected to go to college as well. However, in the end, it is the person that determines the American Dream.
In addition to, the environment in which the individual is surrounded by also plays a substantial role in depicting the American Dream. For instance, in Oak Park and River Forest, people are expected to graduate from high school and college as well. 90% of all OPRFHS seniors go on to college(oprfhs website). We believe that education is important to become successful in life, which it is. Particularly, in the poorer countries around the world, many children would kill to go to school because they know that it offers them a future. Yet not all communities value education as much as we do. As Mr. Heidkamp has said in class before, 70-75% of Americans only have a Associate's degree(2 years). It is the lowest in the hierarchy of postsecondary academic degrees. We were all shocked by this because we expect everyone else to behave in the same manner as we do. The environment is just as important if not more than the individual in determining the American Dream.
Last but not least, the generation in which the person grew-up in plays a key role. For example, the American Dream has never been the same, after WWII, many people wanted a house with a white picketed fence and a job at a factory. It really wasn't too much about money or education. Many of the people only had high school diplomas. Yet as our economy got better, we started to consume more, wanting more. This lead us to our current state of our American Dream in which, everyone wants to be a billionaire and have beautiful wives and tons of sport cars. In conclusion, there is really no official American Dream. It depends on many factors and thus keeps changing.
When inspecting the state of the American dream I don’t know what’s more frightening, our unobtainable standards set at a level of apotheosis? Or the way we live according to that goal that we know only a minute percentage of the American population will accomplish and refuse to change it?
Typically one would say that the state of “the American Dream “ represents our nations affluence and opportunity, because where a dream lives and thrives, many would assume, so does the possibility of reaching it. But in a country where debt is towering, unemployment is at a record high, and we have declared an economic recession, one can find that ”dream” unblemished by those who have money stack big enough to it upon and reach it. It is no wonder that so many Americans file for bankruptcy and debt, when they feel inadequate with out the latest technology or a new car. Right now the American Dream is like the technologically advancing products that are symbols of it, cheap, easy to break, and set at a high price. We allow ourselves to worship a façade that ensures contentment when reached, while most Americans know that reaching this dream is impossible. The only aspect of the American dream that we have not come to understand, and possibly the most important , is the fact that the cloud upon which “the American Dream ”sits may be full of money and relief, but the interior of the dream does not always hold fulfillment.
Many American would be happy with a car and a house. Our american ambition to be the best discourages that and replaces it with the ideas that one can not be happy without certain symbols of wealth.. Are we really this naive? Have we really been so wrapped up in the consumption and drive for wealth that we forgot that simple things could make us happy too? that is what the dream we have crafted says. A dream like the one we have set today, can not stay alive if people can’t obtain, so every time we feel an urge to splurge on material goods, it distances the dream from us. This dream would be more appropriately titles “the American discouragement," and i think we forget that it is a dream, and simply just that and ,being americans, can erase it and change it whenever we want.
We have let this false potential of “the American dream” lead us into a recession, and while the vision of the American dream may hold comfort for many Americans , the bridges to obtain it are being burnt by this economic crisis and our mishandling of money. Because we have yet to refigure or personalize the “American dream,” its sends the message that we would rather be buried in debt and with out a job, than appear to not have luxuries.