Week 2: Gatsby! (due Wednesday 6/16)

UNIT 4: THE GREAT GATSBY - THIS MORTAL COIL

Welcome to the Gold Coast of Long Island, the beaches of the French Riviera, the nightlife of Paris, the glitter of New York. Welcome to the world of F. Scott Fitzgerald, one of my favorite authors.

With any luck you’ve had the chance to start reading chapters 1-3. This is admittedly a heavy lift to discuss in one week, but we will manage it! This week we’ll take through Monday to post responses.

1. Here are helpful and fun links relevant to the book; I highly recommend checking them out, and maybe even learning how to dance the Charleston. You can teach your coworkers, friends, relatives, and pet companions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3G4voRdLANM

2.   Here is my video lecture. Discussion questions are at the end (you can pause it) and are also attached here. Gatsby
Please comment below with 1) a response to one of my discussion questions and/or an idea from my lecture; 2) your own response to the novel after finishing it. Anything you want to say here is fine, but be sure to reference particular characters/ quotes/ plot points. What do you think this novel is ultimately about– not what you learned or didn’t learn in high school, and not what  internet commentators may have to say– what do you as a reader get from the novel?  Do Fitzgerald’s ideas apply almost 100 years later, or are they extinct?

I ask that before you post, you read what classmates have already written about, so we try to cover as much territory as possible and avoid repeating focus on the same things. But if a classmate has posted on say, the Valley of Ashes  and you have something to add, go for it.

3. Start thinking about Project 1 due 6/20. Let me know if you have questions.  You could also choose to talk about storytelling devices in Fitzgerald’s novel vs. Luhrmann’s film.

TRIGGER WARNING: THERE ARE SOME VIOLENT AND DISTURBING SCENES (excerpts from movies)  IN THE SHOT TYPES AND CAMERA MOVEMENT video. Just FYI!

Here are some helpful links: Visual Storytelling 101 and How A Director Stages and Blocks A Scene ; Introduction to      Shot Types and Camera Movement

 

41 Comments

  1. Promit Roy

    1. Describe the attributes of one of the main character:

    Nick – Nick Carraway is the protagonist of the novel The Great Gatsby. We explore the story through the eyes of Nick. Nick is the symbol of morality and decency that seemed to be missing in this 1920s story. Nick is a young man who grew up in Minnesota and recently moved to New York in 1922. Nick learned to be non-judgemental, a wisdom that he learned from his father. His father gave him advice of “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”(p.5). Nick did not appreciate how his cousin Daisy and her husband Tom’s world revolved around wealth, power, and using people to only serve their purpose. As Nick mentioned, “Their interest rather touched me and made them less remotely rich — nevertheless, I was confused and a little disgusted as I drove away”(p.24). There is an element of contradiction in Nick’s character. Throughout the novel, Nick seems to be a great admirer of Jay Gatsby, even though Nick knew Gatsby earned his wealth with corruption and he was obsessed with Daisy and tried to win her over Tom with his money. “They’re a rotten crowd,” I shouted across the lawn. “You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.” (P.155). Even though Nick knew that Gatsby earned his money illegally, he felt sympathetic to him. Part of it could be that Gatsby was lonely, and Nick was his only true friend.

    2. Response to the novel. What do you as a reader get from the novel? Do Fitzgerald’s ideas apply almost 100 years later, or are they extinct?

    The novel mirrors the jazz age, fast-paced lifestyle of the 1920s. “New York, the racy, adventurous feel of it at night, and the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and women and machines gives to the restless eye” (p. 59). The novel also depicts the moral decay of society. “they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated 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. . . .” (p. 180). It was intriguing to see how different symbols convey more profound meaning in the story. For example, Gatsby was fascinated by the green light across the bay. Nick first saw Gatsby stretching his hand towards the green light. For Gatsby, it was the dream he was chasing of getting Daisy back in his life. As Nick mentioned,” It eluded us then, but that is no matter — tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther” (p.182). It is noteworthy that the characters are not always living black and white life in the story. The novel embraces Nick with its moral values that were missing in the society at that time. “I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known” (p.62). However, he is a great admirer of Gatsby, who is arrogant and corrupt. Gatsby left his family; he was ashamed of his parents because they were poor. Gatsby wanted to gain Daisy with his money. Nevertheless, Nick sympathized with Gatsby. “I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever. I wanted no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart. Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction” (p.6). As mentioned earlier, Gatsby earned his money illegally during the 18th amendment prohibition period. However, he was sensitive to Daisy, and his dream was to get her back in his life. Even though Daisy rejected him in the end, he did not seek revenge on her. Gatsby took the responsibility for Daisy’s crime. He expected at the very last day of his life that Daisy would eventually come to him. “I suppose Daisy will call too.” He looked at me anxiously, as if he hoped I would corroborate this” (p.155).
    On the other hand, twice Daisy chooses Tom over Gatsby for his wealth and social status. Even though she knew that Tom was cheating on her, she stayed with Tom. As she said, “I’m p-paralyzed with happiness.” (p.12). As Nick mentioned about Daisy, “It seemed to me that the thing for Daisy to do was to rush out of the house, child in arms—but apparently there were no such intentions in her head” (p.24). Nevertheless, Daisy was sensitive enough to realize how women were perceived in society (unfortunately also in today’s world) when she was telling Nick about her daughter. “I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool” (p.21).
    Fitzgerald’s ideas from The Great Gatsby are very much relevant in today’s world. Every weekend hundreds of people came to Gatsby’s party, but hardly anyone attended his funeral. “they used to go there by the hundreds” (p.176). We have hundreds of social media friends nowadays. But during physical and emotional crises, how often our social media “friends” would help us. Gender bias is still relevant in our society. When we glimpse fashion magazines or billboards, we see how women are stereotyped with particular body shapes and colors. There is still the concept of Barbie Doll in our society, where the human body is portrayed unrealistically. There was an excess of wealth in Fitzgerald’s story, yet people could not overcome their temptations. We have vast technological advantages in today’s society, but we are still fighting our inner demons; as Nick said, “Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry” (p.90).

    3. Storytelling devices in Fitzgerald’s novel vs. Luhrmann’s film.

    Luhrmann’s film The Great Gatsby illuminates the book’s theme, where human values and morals fall short of wealth and social status, where wealth is unevenly distributed. Class differences are prominent in society. The film starts with the green light and Nick’s voiceover about his father’s advice. The green light depicts the goal or dream that everyone is chasing, including Nick. However, Nick adopted his father’s wisdom and did not sacrifice his moral integrity in the race. In the beginning, the director lets us know that Nick is the protagonist and he is a person with moral integrity. There needed to be a setup where Nick could share his experience. In the book, it was described that Nick was mentally distressed and returned to the Midwest. So in the film, we saw Nick returned to the Midwest, he was mentally devastated, became an alcoholic, and his physician suggested writing a journal to vent out his emotions. As Nick started writing, he described his experiences and observations in the East. From 03:00-04:00, to portray New York City’s fast-paced lifestyle, fast-cut editing was used with Jazz music in the background as the 1920s was called the Jazz Age.

    At 03:52, Nick mentioned how moral decay took place in society at that time. “The shows were bigger, the buildings were higher, the morale was looser.” In order to portray the class discrimination in society, Nick mentioned Valley of Ashes as a “Grotesque Place” and the “dumping ground” of New York. At 14:53, an interesting color effect was applied when Valley of Ashes was first seen in the film. Since it was the place of railroad construction and coal was a crucial resource of power, that scene was gloomy and foggy. However, when we see Nick and Tom on the train, vivid color effects were applied to illustrate that Nick and Tom were not part of the oppressed group. Nick also mentioned that “…the burnout coal that powered the booming Golden City”. At 01:33:30, there was a scene when two cars were entering the city. One was driving Gatsby alongside Daisy, and another one was driving Tom. The scene was mounted as two cars were in a race going side by side, where Gatsby was a little ahead of Tom at that moment. The scene represents the chase between Gatsby and Tom for Daisy, where Daisy was having an affair with Gatsby. Towards the end, when Nick visits Gatsby’s house one last time, he imagined Gatsby was standing on the deck, and we see he was stretching his hand towards the green light. The green light was seen in the opening scene and the ending scene as if it is a complete circle of chasing the dream and the price the characters had to pay in between the journey. As we hear Nick’s voiceover at 02:08, “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. And one fine morning So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past”.

    • Caroline Chamberlin Hellman

      Hi Promit,
      Good job here with the extra credit especially and paying attention to color and pacing in the film adaptation. The beginning of the movie in its transition from the grim aftermath and Nick writing from the sanitorium, to the fast pace of colorful New York and the airplane diving down at breakneck speed, is pretty stunning. Maybe someone else here will explore the soundtrack, a whole other issue…

      The quote “They’re a rotten crowd…” has always felt very poignant to me, as these are Nick’s last words to Gatsby. Why do you think he feels this way about Gatsby?

  2. Justin Giongetti

    Describe the attributes of one of the main characters

    Nick is very observant, understanding and can be described as an omniscient character. Although he is the narrator, he can understand the characters in the novel better than they understand themselves. Because he is so trusted, he can see the characters how they are and their truths. For instance, Tom exposes his mistress to Nick, although Tom’s cousin is in a relationship. Nick’s ability to be trusted and be observant adds to how significant he is to understand the characters.

    Gatsby is hardworking and obsessively determined but also blind. Although Gatsby had always wanted to live comfortably (reason for going to the army), the overall reason why he was able to acquire such wealth was because of Daisy. He was able to work his way up by both legal and illegal means to impress his love, Daisy. In the end, his love for her caused his death and made him lose the American Dream. Although Gatsby was able to square so much in life when coming from new money, he ended up blowing it all to be with his love.

    Describe the different settings of the novel and how they are important

    West egg is significant to the Novel because it represents New Money, and what this means is that people who are newly rich come across wealth reside there. Therefore, Gatsby lives there. In states, “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” (Chapter 1 page 9. This quote shows that, while West egg is not as glamorous or adequate as East egg, it is still a wealthy community. On the contrary East egg represents old money wealth and the people who live there like Tom and Daisy, which they didn’t have to work for because it came easy for them with inheritance.

    SIGNIFICANT QUOTES

    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.
    (Chapter 6; Nick on Gatsby’s true life story)

    This quote is important because it references the persona that was created (Gatsby). We learn that Gatsby’s real name is James Gatz, who was created by his 17-year-old self. This is also significant because we can infer that Gatsby didn’t like where he came from (poverty) and didn’t want his past to be known, so he created a new persona when he started his new life. For this reason, he changed his name and left his past behind.

    “I couldn’t forgive him 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 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.” (Chap. 9)

    This quote is significant because it shows a shift in Nick’s attitude towards Tom and Daisy. Although Nick primarily looked up to Gatsby, he had some respect towards Tom and Daisy. In this scene, Nick begins to realize who Tom and Daisy really are. He begins to see how “careless” they both are and how they never receive the reproductions for the things they do because of their wealth. With this realization, Nick begins to detach himself from the two.

    • Caroline Chamberlin Hellman

      Hi Justin,
      How has reading the book a second time, post high school, changed your perspective? Are there ideas or details you notice that you didn’t before, or themes from my lecture with different emphasis?

      • Justin Giongetti

        Reading the book the second time was way different from high school because the theme was morality first to me. After all, mostly all the characters were scared to face death and didn’t want to face reality, for example, Gatsby. Reading the book the second time taught me my new idea for the theme: unhappiness. I say this because it teaches you that money can’t buy happiness, can’t buy a friend, and can’t buy love. You can all the money in the world and still be unhappy. From learning what happens to Gatsby, he threw these fantastic wild glamorous parties, and nobody barely showed up to his funeral, and that comes to show nobody was his friend.

    • rahel lehar

      I like that you point out the perspective of someone who is observant of others. I relate to that because I’m observant and I also cut people out of my life when I realize they’re no good for me. In Covid a century later after this novel, most rich people in power remain inconsiderate and don’t think about actions and consequences.

  3. Sammy Biberaj

    Describe the attributes of one of the main characters:
    One of the main characters I will be describing is Daisy Buchanan. Daisy which we all should know is Nick’s cousin. And she’s also the woman Gatsby really likes so much. Her and Gatsby both fell in love with one another, but do they? She is a mocking person and behaves in a very seemingly way towards her loved ones. I really enjoyed having Daisy as one of the main characters.
    Describe the different settings of the novel and how they are important
    New York City is important in this novel because we have many of the wealthy characters who are Daisy, Tom, and Gatsby. Them three all live there. In this novel New York City is located near EAST and WEST EGGS. Nick then moves to the east coast and finds his job in NYC and plans on gaining more of his fortune.

    • Caroline Chamberlin Hellman

      Hi Sammy,
      Can you expand on the “Eggs” on Long Island vs. NYC vs. the Midwest (Minnesota)? How does Fitzgerald define each place, and what do you think he is trying to say?
      I’m interested in your comment about Daisy and enjoying her as one of the main characters. Tell us more!

    • Justin Giongetti

      I noticed when you were describing Daisy how you said Gatsby and her were “in love,” I think he was more in love with her than she was with him because she was still married to Tom and loved him. Still, she love for Gatsby but not in love even though they did have love once with each other. I explained more the difference between the two in my post, West Egg is for new money, and East Egg is for old money for East and West Eggs. West egg is for new money and represents newly rich people and has wealth that resides there. East egg is for old money, and it represents old money wealth and the people who live there like Tom and Daisy, which they didn’t have to work for because it came easy for them with inheritance.

  4. Chaoqun Pan

    1) Significant Quotes:
    5. “Civilization’s going to pieces,” broke out Tom violently. “I’ve gotten to be a terrible pessimist about things. Have you read ‘The Rise of the Colored Empires’ by this man Goddard?”

    “Why, no,” I answered, rather surprised by his tone.

    “Well, it’s a fine book, and everybody ought to read it. The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be — will be utterly submerged. It’s all scientific stuff; it’s been proved.”

    “Tom’s getting very profound,” said Daisy, with an expression of unthoughtful sadness. “He reads deep books with long words in them. What was that word we ——”

    “Well, these books are all scientific,” insisted Tom, glancing at her impatiently. “This fellow has worked out the whole thing. It’s up to us, who are the dominant race, to watch out or these other races will have control of things.” Chap.1, at Dinner.

    The setting of this quote is at Nick’s cousin house in East Egg, Daisy. Daisy, Jordan, and Nick were having a conversation about Gatsby who is popular in West Egg, where Nick lives. Tom grabs the attention of them by introducing a book that he recently read. The significant of Tom’s explanation of the book is explicitly shown in this quote. As Tom explained the book is about how Caucasian or white people is dominated over the other race. The idea of racism is introduced in this quote and is certainly a problem during 1920s, while still an ongoing issue in the 21st century. An interestingly notion is also embedded that white dominance is “fact checked” or “scientific” as Tom believes. It is often a misunderstanding that things or ideas that are quoted “scientific” are true and undoubtable and this quote certainly shows it.

    2) Response to the novel. Do Fitzgerald’s ideas apply almost 100 years later, or are they extinct?

    The book “The Great Gatsby” gives an interesting description of the 19th century. Specifically, the 1920s where World War I had just end and everyone is still confused about who they are and what they can do. Nick, the narrator, came back from war work at a bond business at West Egg. While Nick classified himself as an honest man and he reserves his judgement of others as he was taught by his father, others at that time were all constrained in conventional or societal burden that being rich or becoming rich is the goal of their life. Daisy, for example, chose to marry Tom over Gatsby even though she was in love with Gatsby during her early ages. When Gatsby became rich and own properties than her husband Tom, Daisy started going on an affair with Gatsby. Although Daisy claims that she loves Gatsby during their first meeting after separating for 5 years, she only stated that when Gatsby showed her his palace-like-house. For example, in Chapter 5, after observing the enormous palace, the first thing that came to Daisy’s mind was “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. “(p.70) She was draw into Gatsby’s newly established wealth, instead of the person Gatsby. She was in love with the wealth, he obtained. It ironic how the reason that Daisy chose to marry Tom was the same reason that she chose to go on an affair with Gatsby. This book “The Great Gatsby” illustrated how society has always revolved around the idea of money, the more wealth one possesses, the more valuable he/she is. Like Daisy, Gatsby might have not loved the person Daisy, but the label that Daisy has, a rich girl. Gatsby wanted to prove to the public and to himself that if he possesses wealth, he can obtain the “heart” of a rich girl like Daisy.
    Fitzgerald’s idea of wealth further extends to modern day in the 21st century. The convention ideologies that you can obtain anything if your wealthy is well demonstrated in this book. Gatsby did regained Daisy for a period of time after he became rich. But it did not last long as Fitzgerald also raise up the question of paternal society. Wives cannot betray their husbands while husbands can. For example, the very beginning in Chapter 1, Daisy knew that Tom is going out with Myrtle, but she did not expose him instead she let him slide. However, in Chapter 9, when Tom found out that Daisy was having an affair with Gatsby, he immediately exposes her and told her to go home. Although Daisy did agree with Gatsby and decided to leave Tom, but at the end she still stayed with Tom. This book, thus, shows the gender inequality, which presented heavily in the 19th century and early history, but it further extends to the modern society that we are in right now. Though women have more privileges and rights today, many women still suffer from the traditional ideologies that wealth is everything. Marrying to a wealthy family who she/he does not love can better promise a flourishing future than marrying to a poor family who she/he does love.

    • Caroline Chamberlin Hellman

      Hi Chaoqun,
      You’ve included a really important quote here at the top of your comment, discussing Tom Buchanan’s reading habits. Great observation about the way racism is excused here. Why do you think Tom expresses this view? Can you expand on the connection between this quote and today, 2021? This could potentially be a powerful Project 1 topic if you’d be interested in taking it on.

      • Chaoqun Pan

        Tom expresses this view for several reasons. First, he is part of the dominant race, he’s white. Second, the setting of this book is around 1920s, which is the start of a major shift of racial ideologies change. Tom wants to emphasize that the white is and should always be the dominant race and those who believe differently is wrong and he uses the book “The Rise of the Colored Empire” to support his own opinion. Tom’s belief is also shown today, 2021. Although today’s racial discrimination has lessen and segregation has end between African American and Caucasian, black and many other races are still being mistreated.

  5. Katy Phan

    1) Responding to a quote
    The quote “I hope she’ll be a fool — that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool” are words by Daisy found in the first chapter of the novel. In response to the statement, I would say that the girl should not be a fool for the world to accept her. Instead, Daisy should learn that gone is when women were disrespected and meant nothing in society and should focus on enlightening her daughter and making her understand her rights. Besides, being a fool will only add to females being ignored and thought of as meaningless beings in society. The world is changing and realizing the rights of everyone, and therefore, I would wish that Daisy hopes her daughter becomes educated and sound at fighting for women’s rights instead of falling for the values of society and pleasing the world.
    2) Responding to novel
    The Great Gatsby is mainly about American life and how wealthy, poverty, and love work. The novel also has something to say about social values and culture. From the novel, I understand that social values in a community are held but only followed by the poor because the rich can buy justice. However, I also learn that money is not everything that a person needs because it cannot buy love and happiness. For instance, the case of Gatsby committing suicide shows that despite all riches, he could not buy love and happiness hence found no reason to live. As a reader, I get to learn more about friendship and family and how both operate. Fitzgerald’s ideas still apply almost 100 years later. Some of the ideas he had about family and culture are valid, and we see societies following certain morals despite being odd. For instance, when people have ideas for changing their lives, social values come in and destruct them.

    • Caroline Chamberlin Hellman

      Hi Katy,
      To be clear here, Gatsby doesn’t commit suicide- how does he die? Why is that significant?

      I’m interested in your last comment that some of Fitzgerald’s ideas about family and culture still apply. Can you say more about this? Which ideas are you thinking about here?

  6. Ashley Mora

    1. Describe the attributes of one of the main characters.
    Daisy Buchanan
    Throughout the story Daisy Buchanan is described as a wealthy, beautiful woman who seems to have been fancied by many. She demonstrates the behaviors of someone who is driven by wealth and luxury. We learn about her marriage to Tom who is someone that is just as wealthy as her and runs in the same social circle. We also read about her quest with Gatsby who shares a romantic history with Daisy, which ultimately ended in heartbreak as a result of him not being up to her standards. Now that time went on and Gatsby has returned with wealth and power he believes that with his money he can win her over. This depicts an extremely negative image of Daisy who appears to be superficial and selfish. Even more so by the end of the book Daisy’s character is shown as someone who has no remorse due to her abandoning her friendship with Gatsby, which she demonstrates by not attending his funeral. Although Daisy is described as a woman that is poised and polished she is someone who exhibits empty beauty.

    2. Response to the novel.
    To me the Great Gatsby was a great read. It serves as a reflection of the class systems which exist in society. Even if one can look like someone else and act like someone else there is still something inherently in them which puts them higher on the totem pole. We see this with the introduction of the East egg and the West egg in which the West egg stands for the new rich and the east egg embodies old wealth which holds more merit. Jay Gatsby made his wealth through bootlegging and he is not like the inhabitants of East egg who possess a certain arrogance about them. Gatsby tries to use his new-found money to impress Daisy whom he once had a romance with. His dream is to be with Daisy. However, the hollowness of her character doesn’t reciprocate the same love back for Gatsby. The book touches upon the theme of materialism and how it is the only motive to get ahead in life. Tom and Daisy’s marriage is an empty nuptial agreement to keep their hierarchy in place as we see that both of them cheat on each other. At the end they are not touched by the death of Gatsby or Myrtle and do not face any consequences as they simply move away. We see that their class keeps them untouchable which we still see in our times as the rich and the famous can get away with practically murder. Ultimately, I believe this book is about the class system in America. Some people are born into wealth and others have to work hard to get it. At the end of the day the new comers will never be considered as equals to the established elite despite their assets. The old aristocrats are described as having elegance and grace as shown by the white flowing dresses of Gatsby’s love interest. On the other hand, the new money is described as being flashy and showboating their wealth seen in the extravagance of Gatsby’s parties, attire and cars. They are looked down on by the Buchanans. The moral character of both classes is also shown as we see that Gatsby and Nick are driven by other motives besides affluence, that being love. Daisy on the other hand is an empty shell who doesn’t even attend Gatsby’s funeral. She is not emotionally connected to anyone and is only motivated by her own greed. Similarly, Myrtle married George because he was a better fit for her financially. Both unions were made to solidify their class in society. Wealth has corrupted their pursuit of happiness and love.

    The ideas presented in the Great Gatsby still resonate today. We continue to have hierarchies and cast systems which are subtly perpetuated in different neighborhoods. There are rich established neighborhoods which frown down upon a newcomer coming into the mix. For instance, if a winner of the Mega Millions was to move to Beverly Hills there would be a dislike with the neighbors. Old generations of wealth want to stick together and keep their breed on top. Inherited wealth people act differently. They feel like they have an inbred superiority over everyone else. They feel entitled to more than everyone else. While a person who works hard to get where they are is going to be more connected to their blue color heritage. Their motives more honest and their heart purer. We see a perfect example of this in the media with Meghan Markle who married Prince Harry. A girl who had no connection to royalty has come to richest overnight. She was seen as an outcast and subsequently had to move away due to the disdainful treatment she received from the royal family. Unfortunately, there is always going to be an untold barrier between classes as it has been for generations.

  7. Caroline Chamberlin Hellman

    Ashley,
    Very strong work here- and astute connection between Gatsby and Meghan Markle, centuries-old class systems, old and new money. These parallels could potentially be something to explore further in your Project 1 paper. Do you think class is still the most prevalent divide in America? What other divisions are present in the book that still exist today?

  8. Tsering Lama

    Describe the attributes of one of the main character

    Well, there are several main characters in the novel, and Jay Gatsby is one of them. The novel revolves around his life. He is someone who has worked hard and refers to himself as a self-made man. More importantly, he is the personification of what most people dream of the American dream. He didn’t get all his fortune from his family, he started with very little by his dedication and reinvented himself to be more successful. He has disclosed much of his background in this novel so he seems mysterious. He convinced Daisy that he was rich and good enough for her. Daisy promised to wait for him when he left for the war but married Tom Buchanan. Jay bought a lavish mansion on West Egg and threw lavish weekly parties to win Daisy back. In the novel, Gatsby’s background is shrouded in mystery and only revealed later on. He is presented as the aloof enigmatic host who throws spectacular parties every week. The initial persona of Jay is but an illusion. Jay pursues Daisy with a passionate zeal that blinds him to her faults. His zest to attain Daisy directs all his other actions. Despite Jay’s power to change his life and the lives of others, he fails to attain his goal. He dies without having won Daisy back from Tom. Jay Gatsby’s presence led the couple to become closer which was the opposite of what Jay Gatsby wanted.

    Respond :

    The Great Gatsby exhibits the story about Jay Gatsby and his life incidents take was taken place in twenties. This self-made man Mr. Jay’s struggle to reunite with his girl that was lost five years back, Daisy Buchana has added a very interesting plot to this. It tries to convey the American Dream that Gatsby was living from Nick’s point of view since he is the narrator of this story. Nick seems to trust Jordan’s ideas about Gatsby because, when Jordan mentions that Gatsby had told her that he went to Oxford but she doesn’t believe him, he is reminded of another girl’s comment about Gatsby having murdered someone in cold blood. He is not yet sure as to what to make of the guy but he thinks that it is possible that Gatsby came from nothing.

  9. Caroline Chamberlin Hellman

    Good points here, Tsering. I am not sure if you’ve finished the book yet, but a question for everyone: why does James Gatz change his name to Jay Gatsby? And What do you make of James Gatz’s resolves?

  10. Yaseer Elkhou

    1. Describe the attributes of one of the main characters?

    – One of the main characters in the novel is Meyer Wolfsheim. Meyer Wolfsheim is a friend of Gatsby who lives in New York. He is a business partner of Gatsby, and their partnership starts when Wolfsheim helps Gatsby make illegal liquor. As their relationship continues it is seen that Gatsby is still in business even though what they are doing is illegal. Meyer Wolfsheim is introduced as a 50-year-old when he met Gatsby who has connections with gangsters, associated with Jewish gangster Rosy Rosenthal, and is in some type of corruption. His relationship to Gatsby is important to the novel because he shows the past of Gatsby and his criminality and how he became so wealthy.

    2. What do you as a reader get from the novel? Do Fitzgerald’s ideas apply almost 100 years later, or are they extinct?

    – As a reader what I get from the novel is that “The Great Gatsby” written by Francis Scott Fitzgerald is a classic novel written in 1924. As the novel begins to unfold, the story shows a quite number of themes that begin to play out. One of the main themes is the idea of the American dream. The idea of the American dream would include aspects of success, life, and love. The story shows how a poor farm boy can make changes in his life to become a successful, wealthy, and revered by his peers. The novel also shows aspects of unconditional love that Gatsby has for Daisy. His love for Daisy is so strong and idealized that it almost feels fabricated. Fitzgerald also shows us that love isn’t always as easy as it seems. Gatsby struggles to get the love of his life back. As I was reading the novel money can buy luxuries possessions, but it cannot truly buy happiness or in this case love. Gatsby is a wealthy and successful man but is unhappy with the life he lives. No matter how much money he can accumulate that amount of money will never buy him Daisy’s love. Which leads us to the main message of the novel which is chasing after an unworthy dream can lead to a tragic loss of inner peace.

    – Yes, Fitzgerald’s ideas do apply almost 100 years later because he shows that no matter how much wealth one obtains and tries to show others that you have it all figured out and have come out on top if they are not happy with themselves their inner peace isn’t at ease.

    • Caroline Chamberlin Hellman

      Hi Yaseer,
      What do you think is the “unworthy dream” in the novel? Are there a couple of scenes that you find most interesting, that support your idea here?

      Finally, do you think Gatsby is revered by his peers? Can you find a scene that supports this? I’m interested in your thoughts on these questions.

  11. Yennifer Cepeda

    1. “I hope she’ll be a fool — that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” (Chapter 1)
    When Daisy said these words to Nick and Jordan, I believe she meant that a girl living back then would just be criticized and characterized based on her looks and not on how smart she is. By being beautiful and a fool she would be able to get to be someone important, or marry someone important and rich, but if she was smart she wouldn’t be valued living in that society where women are only seen based on their beauty, which means she would not be happy. Daisy wants her daughter to be somewhat like her, charming and beautiful, someone that would captivate any man only by their beauty, but also ignorant, and only think about herself.

    2. Response to the novel.
    This novel is very interesting because it shows how different life could be when you live in a society where women are categorized based on looks and intelligence and men’s goal in life is to be rich and marry a beautiful woman. In Chapter 5 when Daisy arrives at Gatsby’s mansion, she sees all his clothes, his shirts to be more specific and she was fascinated by the sight of it because she knew those shirts were very fancy which represents how rich Gatsby is and how big is Daisy’s interest for wealth.
    Also, a very interesting character in the novel is Tom because of how arrogant, aggressive and sexist he is portrayed in the novel. He was a wealthy man with a beautiful wife (Daisy), in a very unstable and unhappy relationship. Tom cheated on Daisy and was very aggressive towards her, which demonstrated how he did not care about Daisy’s happiness or wellbeing.

    As a reader, this novel showed me how hard women’s lives were back then when they lived in a society where men were better than women, as well as demonstrated how many women preferred money over happiness and were blinded by it just how Daisy was. Also, it showed how people are categorized by how much money they have. The ideas presented in this novel still apply 100 years later, this is because there are many cities and neighborhoods where people who look like they do not belong are criticized. The idea that men are better than women is not completely gone, there are still many places of work for example where they rather hire men because they believe they are more fit for the job.

    • Caroline Chamberlin Hellman

      Yennifer- excellent focus here on gender in the novel. Daisy is often lumped in with Tom- both considered careless people who smashed up things and people— but you’re pointing to something important: the lack of options for many women and Daisy’s bitter awareness. Ultimately class wins out in the novel, and Daisy is unwilling or perhaps some would say unable to leave her class. The connections you’re drawing with today’s world and exclusion and discrimination of different ethnicities, religions, gender identities, sexuality— all very relevant.

      Gender constructs could be something to explore in your Project 1 paper, potentially.

  12. Shafi Ahmed

    Responding to The Great Gatsby
    ​F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby during the “Roaring Twenties”. The 1920s were a period of social, financial, and musical evolution in American history. As a result, the society became addicted to entertainment and leisurely activities. It grew dysfunctional in terms of morality, law, social hierarchy, love and marriage, and beliefs. After interacting with the book’s characters, themes, settings, and quotes, I was able to reflect on the society in Fitzgerald’s time and its resemblance to the modern age.
    The society during Gatsby’s time is biased, flawed, and inconsiderate of the woman. In Chapter 1, I disliked the woman’s subordinate role in the community. Daisy Buchanan, a main character, says, “I hope she’ll be a fool – that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” She makes this remark after the birth of her daughter. After giving birth, she cries when she learns that her baby is a girl. Daisy’s words display how her role in society makes her dispirited and pessimistic. I noticed how women are perceived as objects of beauty, child-bearing and child-rearing, with low intelligence, no authority, and overall negligible significance. The quote from The Great Gatsby helped me understand the society’s biased and flawed perception of women.
    I think that The Great Gatsby generally talks about societal dysfunction. Apart from their misconceptions on the role of women, the society is significantly flawed. Nick, one of the main characters in the book, narrates about several events he witnesses that depict this dysfunctionality. His ordeals relate to how the present time is full of immorality, bad decisions, and general flaw. In his conclusion, he hopes for a better and more habitable future. Nick acknowledges that the future he hopes for might be unachievable, but he still shows optimism and encouragement. Jay Gatsby, another main character in the book, reminisces about simpler times and wants to “repeat the past.” He recollects how his past was full of love, happiness, and content and how time has deprived him of those privileges. Both characters acknowledge the dysfunctional society by recalling a better past, and hoping for a healthier future.
    Additionally, Fitzgerald talks about how money corrupts the affluent in society. While reading The Great Gatsby, I was surprised by how wealth makes individuals become selfish and inconsiderate of others in society. They also use their power to avert the repercussions of their actions such as punishment. In the book, Nick narrates how Tom and Daisy are reckless and disregard other people’s property and emotions. The affluent and dysfunctional couple destroys items and creatures that do not belong to them for entertainment. They then return back to their fortunes and normal life, leaving lower class individuals to rectify their messes. Fitzgerald uses the two characters to illustrate the corruption that results from money and hierarchy.
    Fitzgerald’s ideas still apply in modern society. His use of several characters, themes, settings, and quotes has motivates his readers to criticize their community for nearly 100 years. In modern society, it is evident how individuals still portray bigoted opinions on different genders, races, cultures, and financial backgrounds. Additionally, wealthy individuals misuse their power to conduct illegal activities and escape corporal punishment. Currently, people acknowledge that the modern world has several flaws that affect their relationships, values, and beliefs. They consider the past as a simpler time and portray hope for a more favorable future.

    • Caroline Chamberlin Hellman

      Hi Shafi,
      Good points about gender roles here.

      Can you think of a particular current event that we can relate to Gatsby?

  13. rahel lehar

    Describe the attributes of one of the main characters

    Gatsby is one of those “charming young man” types that appears to have all the potential for a bright future. He shows how a person can be their own undoing because of how far they will go to get what they want. He is unrealistic because he is stuck in the past and he doesn’t move on doing everything including organized crime to attain status and wealth for a girl who is not willing to leave her current situation. Despite what his goal is, he is determined to succeed in life.

    Response to novel

    I like that the novel is realistic in how life and situations are difficult for the main character and other characters. It shows that not everything in life is easy and people like daisy won’t always react the way you wanted them to. I like that it shows people struggling to move on from the past because sometimes I think of the past and what could’ve happened if i did things differently. A quote I like is “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone . . . just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” It’s ok to criticize people but its also important to recognize what you already have when you’re in a better situation than others.

    • Caroline Chamberlin Hellman

      Hi Rachel,
      Good. What do you think Nick has that the other characters might not possess?

  14. Shawn Gurung

    1. Describe the attributes of one of the main characters

    Tom Buchanan : Tom Buchanan is the main antagonist of “The great Gatsby.” Tom as described in the novel is an egoistic person who is powerful both physically and financially. He is married to Daisy Buchanan who is on the same class as him financially. Beside Daisy, He also have an affair with Myrtle Wilson. Tom Buchanan is a power driven person who like to show his dominance over others. He is a sexist and does not hesitate to be violent against his women. In chapter 1, Tom is reading books who promotes racism and claims white race should maintain control over others in the society. Tom when he meets Gatsby highly doubts that Gatsby was from the upper class. He investigates on Gatsby and finds out that he is a bootlegger. Knowing that Gatsby is an outsider or lower class, he gets the feeling of power above Gatsby. This can be seen on Chapter 7, when Tom tells Daisy to ride home in Mr. Gatsby car demonstrating his power over both and he no longer believes Gatsby can win over Daisy and Daisy will not leave him. He is the main reason behind Gatsby’s death. He is a cold-hearted person who has no remorse in his girlfriend Myrtle’s death or Gatsby’s death and is also untouchable by law despite both murder’s having connections to him.

    2. Describe the different settings of the novel and how they are important?
    The Great Gatsby is novel around the 1920’s where most characters are from Midwest and East coast. The main settings in the novel are the East and West Eggs. Gatsby Giant Mansion is located on the west egg and Tom and Daisy Buchan’s lies in the west. The novel shows that there is a big difference in the Riches too. The east eggs are for the people who were born rich and are from upper crust of the society whereas the west egg each for the self-made rich people who are born on a working class but then earned money enough to buy a mansion beside the upper class people. The setting plays an important role in the novel because Tom Buchanan considers Jay Gatsby as an outsider even though Jay acts and shows up like an upper class people and in fact very rich. Daisy Buchanan choosing Tom’s wealth over the true love to Gatsby shows the big gap between the two classes in the novel. Also in the end, no one shows up to the funeral of Gatsby making it clearer that the upper class have hard time taking an outsider as their own though they have drinks and parties together.

    3. Significant Quotes
    “Well, it’s a fine book, and everybody ought to read it. The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be — will be utterly submerged. It’s all scientific stuff; it’s been proved.”
    Tom tells as he proclaims that the white race should remain superior, and no outsider should share control. Tom lives his life with this motto, and this can be seen when he meets Gatsby. He doubts Gatsby’s wealth and class but is also jealous of him. Tom never hesitates to show his superiority in his relationship with Myrtle. He also investigates Gatsby before accepting as his upper class and later even manipulates George to murder Gatsby.

    • Caroline Chamberlin Hellman

      Hi Shawn,
      Thanks for these observations. What else do we learn from Gatsby’s funeral?

  15. Cgerman

    1) Describe the attributes of one of the main characters.

    Jay Gatsby, also known simply as Gatsby or Mr. Gatsby is the character the title gets its name from and is the protagonist of the novel. From the moments we first meet Gatsby, he is portrayed as a wealthy individual, who is famous for throwing extravagant parties every Saturday but has a mysterious background that none of the characters know. Through the eyes of Nick, Gatsby is a corrupt man, who through sheer dedication and optimism is able to manifest his dreams of becoming rich. As the reader, we see two sides of Gatsby. On one hand, after learning of his past we can see that Gatsby is a very ambitious, persistent, and optimistic person. As he came from humble beginnings and persevered to become a fabulously rich man. Furthermore, we also see that he is a very loyal man as he still was ready to rekindle the relationship he had with Daisy despite Daisy leaving him and marrying Tom. On the other hand, we also see that Gatsby is a dishonest and possessive man as he would constantly lie to others about his background and humble beginnings as well as his actions and mannerisms displaying the desire he had to have Daisy tell Tom that she doesn’t love him.

    2. Response to the novel. What do you as a reader get from the novel? Do Fitzgerald’s ideas apply almost 100 years later, or are they extinct?

    This was the first time I ever came in contact with the Great Gatsby. I never read the novel or saw the movie, but it was very impactful. Throughout the reading, I constantly saw a correlation to daily life and America now through the characters, their actions, and lifestyles. Put simply I felt this novel was very poetic in the ways it was written and the messages it tried to convey. For example, the very last sentence of the novel says “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” Not only is there a wave of alliteration. I also found this sentence to have multiple meanings behind it. The word borne in this final sentence could be taken as a “heavy burden” or “given birth. If the final sentence is understood under “heavy burden” then the readers would believe that the author is trying to say that our past is an anchor that will hold us back no matter how much one may try to move forward. When we focus on a point or moment in the past to the point of obsessing over it we will end in ruin because we can move forward. Just like it did to Gatsby. However, if the final sentence is understood under the meaning of “given birth” then the reader will be under the idea that the message that was trying to be conveyed was that we must maintain an optimistic outlook because even though we are constantly weighed down by our past, by persisting through those struggles we are able to continue moving forward. I thoroughly believe Fitzgeralds’ ideas still apply. The mindsets and ideologies found in this novel are human nature and not limited to a certain time period. Through Gatsby, we can see a generalized mindset that applies to all those in the past, present, and future. For example, the novel states “But I didn’t call to him for he gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone—he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and far as I was from him I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward—and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock. When I looked once more for Gatsby he had vanished, and I was alone again in the unquiet darkness”. From these lines, we can see Gatsby stretched out arms toward the dark water as a comparison for when we promise ourselves daily that we will try harder or do more. For our daily lives, it’s all about maintaining an eternal optimistic outlook on life in the face of the mysterious and possibly scary future that awaits us.

    • Caroline Chamberlin Hellman

      This is stellar, German, and plumbs the existential wanderings of the novel. The language you chose here is some of the most beautiful in prose, I agree— and Fitzgerald leaves us with this idea that all is possibly just out of reach…or just around the corner…

  16. Nathalie Diaz

    A. Describe the attributes of one of the main characters

    Daisy- Gatsby lied about his background to Daisy, claiming to be from a wealthy family in order to convince her that he was worthy of her.  Gatsby left for the war and Daisy promised to wait for Gatsby, but in 1919 she chose instead to marry Tom Buchanan, a young man from a solid family who could promise her a wealthy lifestyle and who had the support of her parents.  Gatsby however still wanted to be with daisy however, he thought she was shallow and boring. Nick characterizes her as a careless person who hides behind her money.

    Nick is a man who moved to New York and rents a beautiful house located in the West Egg. The west egg was considered to be a wealthy neighborhood. Gatsby lived at the west egg as well “I lived at the west egg, the-well, the less fashionable of the two” Nick however was set aside from the other residents. He was educated and was raised with guidance. His father instructs him in the beginning “whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had” this quote shows not only great advise but humbleness. It gives Nick a better understanding of the world around him. The West egg on the contrary is where Daisy and Tom resides. That was were the people who were born into fortune lived. People who didn’t have to work for their money such as Nick who worked hard and earned his income.

    In todays society we can see how people tend to judge us based on how we look, where we live. We see celebrities and their net values, how big their houses are. Are their personalities different because they have a lot of money? Daisy was perceived by Nick as a shallow woman. She cared about the money being offered that she failed to see the love that Gatsby had for her.

    • Caroline Chamberlin Hellman

      Hi Nathalie,
      Can you say a bit more here about Gatsby’s feelings for Daisy and if/how they might ebb and flow from the beginning of the novel to the end?

  17. Tamiris K

    Describe the attribute of one of the main characters
    Gatsby, who was the main character in the novel, is being shown as a wealthy and intelligent individual who throws parties every Saturday with the hopes of seeing his lover, yet she never comes. An individual who has made his unrealistic dreams into reality yet still lives and tries changing his past. There are two sides to Gatsby in the novel. His actual life story and the story that the people in the community know. Gatsby himself came from a low-income family yet had the potential to become wealthy. The second side that was made up for the people was that he comes from a wealthy household, and all of his family had died and left all the money they had to him. Gatsby made his parents dead in a made-up life story because his parents’ living did not fit into the image Gatsby had created in his head. Fell in love with Daisy before leaving for war but did not come back because he wanted to create a better future for himself and Daisy. In the story, we see the loyalty of Gatsby to Daisy because after becoming wealthy, Gatsby had returned for Daisy even though Daisy was an indecisive woman who caused Gatsby’s death by not loving him.

    Significant quote

    “I hope she’ll be a fool that’s the best things girl can be in this world, a beautiful fool”

    I clearly remember this conversation that was between Nick and Daisy and Daisy’s daughter. On the balcony when Tom’s mistress Myrtle was calling. The look on her face gave her genuine emotions away, which was her being unhappy with Tom. The context of this quote is what the role of women in society was, mainly through the process of women in society. Women had to be beautiful fools that had to choose their lifestyle by being fools and letting others fool them. Women like this become important by getting married to important people. They become essential by being cheated by their husbands and their mistresses. If a woman were not willing to be a beautiful fool, their value of becoming significant in society would decrease since a smart woman wouldn’t want to be seen as an object. Daisy wants her daughter to be naive enough to live a life with a wealthy man but careless enough not to love the man but love his money.

    • Caroline Chamberlin Hellman

      Hi Tamiris,
      Thanks for your observations here. Question: are any of the women in the novel likable? What do you think?

  18. David

    1. Describe the attributes of one of the main characters

    I want to describe the attributes of Tom Buchanan and Mr. Wilson, who are main character in this novel. Tom Buchanan is the husband of Nick’s cousin, Daisy. In chapter 2, Tom is described as, “the most powerful ends that ever-played football at New Havens – a national figure in a way, one of those men who reach such an acute limited excellence.” Nick Carraway description of Tom goes back to when they were in school and gives complimentary descriptions, such as a national figure. Later, Tom would be describing as a man with a hard mouth, arrogant eyes and buff. Not only did Tom physical changed, but he was born in a wealthy family and needed not to worry about his financial status. After reading more of Tom, I see him as arrogant and selfish, due to him having a mistress in the West. On chapter 2 (page 29), ““I’ll meet you by the news-stand on the lower level.” She nodded and moved away from him just as George Wilson emerged.” Myrtle who is another main character, is the mistress of Tom who is interested in Tom for his money even though she is married as well. Transitioning character, I would like to speak about Mr. Wilson, the husband of Myrtle, I believe to see him the opposite of what Tom is. As Nick and Tom go through the valley of ashes, they met up with Wilson. Wilson is an owner of a garage, Repair. George B. Wilson who basically buys and sells cars to make a living. While Tom is a rich man, Wilson has a business for a living and plans on buying Tom’s car, but from the reading, it seems like Tom can be intimidating to Wilson. In Chapter 2, “Get some Chairs, why don’t you, so somebody can sit down.” “Oh, sure,” agreed Wilson hurriedly, and went toward the little office.” Moreover, Wilson seems to be a soft guy for him letting his wife boss him around. I state this because, in the time of the early 20th century, women were not in demand as they are currently now. I used these two characters because, from the reading, I felt that these two characters had opposite attributions. Tom was more of a buff, rich, and in control man, while Wilson was not.

    2. Response to the novel. What do you as a reader get from the novel?

    Based on the novel F. Scott Fitzgerald, use of modernism had change my perspective from when I read this book back in high school. Fitzgerald did not just create a straightforward story but allowed the reader to process what was read. Furthermore, most I have enjoyed from this reading would be his use of imagery to help the reader understand the settings. Basic uses of imagery that Fitzgerald used was to describe character appearances that met with their attributions, such as Tom Buchanan (page 9), Jordan Baker (page 14), Mrs. Wilson (page 28) and other main characters. Additionally, the use of describing setting, such as the valley of ashes (page 26). The valley of ashes was more of a setting from the low class as it was where ashes grew and here is where Fitzgerald describes the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg to be above these valleys. Lastly, when Nick was first invited to Gatsby “little” celebration, the narrators use of imagery to describe and help the reader understand how Gatsby’s parties began, with all the cleaning and setting up. From page 17, it states, ““This idea is that we’re Nordics. I am, and you are, and you are, and ——” After an infinitesimal hesitation he included Daisy with a slight nod, and she winked at me again. “— And we’ve produced all the things that go to make civilization — oh, science and art, and all that. Do you see?” Last, modernism can be seen as soon as in the beginning of the novel, Tom speaks of despair that we must be the dominant race after so much reading he has done on scientific ideas.

  19. Caroline Chamberlin Hellman

    Hi David,
    Thanks for this. Can you say a little more about how understanding modernism changed your perspective of the novel and its plot/characters?

  20. Mikel

    A. Describe the attributes of one of the main character:

    The attributes of the character that I’m going to describe are Nick’s. Nick was a positive character with the right mindset . He always tried to do well and decent things. The quote given to him by his father, “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had”, gives us an idea of the way Nick was brought up by family. It tells that from an early age he was taught not to judge others and always treat everyone with respect.

    B. Response to the novel. What do you as a reader get from the novel? Do Fitzgerald’s ideas apply almost 100 years later, or are they extinct?

    I as a reader get from this novel a few things. One of them is that different individuals have different mindsets and different goals in life. Not everyone is who they say they are and people can easily be corrupted by wealth and materialistic things. There are a few ideas that we as readers can get from the novel. One of the ideas is that even someone from humble beginnings can work hard and smart and make their way to the top. One of the characters in the story Gatsby is a great example to look at. Gatsby was a poor man who became very successful and reached the top. We can see that in the story where it says that he was living in a big house and was throwing these huge extravagant parties. Another idea we can get from the novel is that money and wealth corrupts the souls of individuals. An example from the story is Daisy. She is married to a man named Tom but she has an affair with Gatsby because Gatsby is more successful and wealthier than her husband. Fitzgerald’s ideas still apply to today’s society, people still go after materialistic things , don’t always do the right thing, and their souls are easily corrupted by riches and wealth.

    C. Significant Quote

    “In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since”.
    “ Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told ne, “ just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had”
    (Opening of the book; Chapter 1)

    By this quote the narrator Nick is telling us the reader about his upbring. He’s telling us that his father from an early age taught him values and decency. Nick’s father taught him that never to judge anyone in a negative way because you never know what the other person might have gone through in his or her life . He was taught to always respect others and treat them all. From this quote we can get a lesson that the things that parents tell their kids will have an huge impact on their mentality and the way they think

    • Caroline Chamberlin Hellman

      Followup: I’m also interested in your opinion of Nick. Do you think he always does the right thing throughout the book?

  21. Caroline Chamberlin Hellman

    Thanks for these comments, Mikel. What do you think Fitzgerald is ultimately saying about class in America, and are there any related specific current events parallels you can think of for today?

  22. fengling

    Many excellent books often get adopted into a film, and The Great Gatsby is no exception. Usually, the film embodies the originality in plot and other literary aesthetics such as narration style and characterization. Such is the adaptation of the film The Great Gatsby.  Like the book, a first-person narrator who is also a character in the film, Nick, narrates the film.  Nick introduces the audience to the film with the verbatim narrative device with a compelling mise-en-scene aesthetic of non-diegetic sounds, a timbre that taps into the audience’s emotions to emphasize concentration. The narration is told in both internal and external sounds. For instance, it is external when nick is speaking to the psychologist at the beginning of the story. However, it is internal after he is told to write a book about it; hence, he narrates the story about The Great Gatsby. The narrator does his best to make the narration resemble the original book as much as possible. For instance, just like the novel, the film does not introduce the great Gatsby immediately into the film. In the book, Gatsby is not introduced until chapter three. This aspect is essential in retaining the poetic importance accrued to the character. His presence demands attention even though the author of the movie gives him very little at the beginning, aesthetically to create the necessary suspense and glue the audience to the film. For example, when Nick speaks of Gatsby, his new neighbor, he cites that he noticed that a figure had emerged on his neighbor and that something told him that it was Mr.  Gatsby However, as he looks at him, Mr. Gatsby acts oblivious of the presence behind him. Catherine, Daisy, and the psychologist Nick is talking to at the beginning of the film mention Mr. Gatsby several other times. In general, the film’s adaptation was a success because it employed mise-en-scene, cinematographic, and literally, aesthetics as much as possible to ensure the storyline retains its originality.

  23. Caroline Chamberlin Hellman

    Fengling:
    Can you clarify some of these observations?

    How does the film depart from the book, in the beginning and in Nick’s character?

    Please explain what you mean here: “Nick introduces the audience to the film with the verbatim narrative device with a compelling mise-en-scene aesthetic of non-diegetic sounds, a timbre that taps into the audience’s emotions to emphasize concentration?”

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