Chapters 3 4
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Chapters 3-4. Characterization Gatsby: In chapter 1, Nick referred to Gatsby’s “extraordinary gift for hope.” This gift now inspires similar hope in Nick, but Gatsby’s charm dims with the absurd “old sport” affectation (artificial).

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Chapters 3-4

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Chapters 3 4

Chapters 3-4

  • Characterization

    • Gatsby: In chapter 1, Nick referred to Gatsby’s “extraordinary gift for hope.” This gift now inspires similar hope in Nick, but Gatsby’s charm dims with the absurd “old sport” affectation (artificial).

    • Gatsby’s biography is a strange mixture of truth and fiction, although Nick seems to buy it.


Chapters 3 41

Chapters 3-4

  • Jordan: Nick feels she has used deception most of her life; she fits right into Tom’s dishonest world.

  • Daisy: Through flashback, we learn about Daisy’s indecision to marry Tom. Wealth and proximity seemed to be his main attractions.


Chapters 3 42

Chapters 3-4

  • Style/Mood

    • Notice how chapter 2 ended with the party at the apartment; chapter 3 begins with party at Gatsby’s.

    • This is done to emphasize the contrasts between social classes.

    • Myrtle’s party is cramped, closed in; Gatsby’s is huge and formal.


Chapters 3 43

Chapters 3-4

  • Both feature heavy drinking and a superficial air of camaraderie; both end in physical damage.

  • Both reinforce the mood of false gaiety overlying potential tragedy.


Chapters 3 44

Chapters 3-4

  • Techniques

    • Flashback: Jordan recounts Daisy’s wedding.

  • Symbolism

    • Cars reflect status, with Nick’s old Dodge contrasting with Gatsby’s “gorgeous” car.


Chapters 3 45

Chapters 3-4

  • Symbolism: What’s in a name?

    • Daisy: startling beauty and superficial purity; white flower

    • Buchanan: power name, perfect for Tom

    • Myrtle: homely, plain, unworldly.

    • George = common; simple.


Chapters 3 46

Chapters 3-4

  • The party-goers

    • Whitebait, Hammerheads, Belugas: all sea-related names. Familiarity with the ocean and coast; implies wealth. All from East Egg

    • Orchid, Duckweed, Bull: plants and animals; of the earth; common. These men are from West Egg.

    • Catlip: “catty”; gossipy, insincere. The Catlips are from West Egg.

    • Belcher, Haag (pronounced “hag”); undesirable, substandard; also from West Egg.


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