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F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby. Advice Nick’s father gives him about judging others? Why did people confide in Nick? What problems did these confidences cause Nick? Nick’s opinion of how Gatsby turned out in the end?

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The Great Gatsby

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F scott fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby

Chapter 1

Advice Nick’s father gives him about judging others?

Why did people confide in Nick? What problems did these confidences cause Nick?

Nick’s opinion of how Gatsby turned out in the end?

What sorts of things do we find out about Gatsby throughout the chapter?

How is West Egg different from East Egg?

Chapter 1

Chapter 11

What are the connections betw. Tom & Daisy & Nick?

What characteristics does Nick give to Daisy’s voice?

What seems to be Tom’s political philosophy? Compare to fear of Black Reconstruction…

What is Daisy’s apparent attitude to Tom’s mistress?

At the end of the chapter what sort of gesture does Gatsby make in the darkness?

Chapter 1

Chapter 1 allusions

  • Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her. . . Thomas Parke D’Invilliers (1): Lines of poetry-Novel’s epigraph actually written by Fitzgerald. D’Invilliers-character in Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise (1920). Based on writer John Peale Bishop, a Princeton classmate

  • Dukes of Buccleuch (7): members of a Scottish dukedom w/origins 17th C

  • Great War (7): World War I, so called until the Second World War (1939).

  • West Egg (9): West Egg & East Egg considered to be Fitzgerald’s versions of Little Neck & Great Neck on Long Island’s North Shore. Fitzgerald owned a house in Great Neck, more affluent of the 2. (Little neck & great neck-types of clams.)

  • Midas and Morgan and Maecenas (8):

    • Midas was a mythical king whose touch turned items to gold.

    • Morgan refers to a prominent American banking family.

    • Maecenas was a wealthy Roman patron of literature.

Chapter 1 Allusions

Chapter 1 allusions1

like the egg in the Columbus story: Columbus answered a critic by challenging him to balance an egg on its tip. When the man failed, Columbus crushed the tip slightly, flattening it so that the egg could stand-proving that a discovery seems obvious only after it has been made by someone w/the vision to imagine it.

Hotel de Ville in Normandy (9): town hall in Normandy, France

nightingale . . . on the Cunard or White Star Line (15): nightingale, famous for singing, identified w/ English poetry: title of the next novel Fitzgerald wrote is Tender Is the Night, taken from Keats’s “Ode to a Nightingale.” Cunard & White Star-2 prominent passenger lines betw. Europe & North America.

rotogravure: section of newspaper containing only photographs.

Chapter 1 Allusions

John green s ch 1 interpretation


John Green’s Ch. 1 Interpretation

Chapter 2

Describe area lying midway betw. West Egg & NYC.

In reality, what are the “eyes of Doctor T.J. Ekleburg”?

Why does Tom insist Nick get off the train w/him?

What does George Wilson want from Tom?

What does Tom buy for Myrtle in New York City?

Who is Catherine? Who are the McKees?

Apparently, why does Tom hit Myrtle?

What is the last thing Nick remembers about evening?

Chapter 2

Chapter 2 allusions

borough of Queens: largest of 5 boroughs of NYC; close to Little Neck & Great Neck.

torpedoes: small fireworks that explode under great pressure.

Versailles: location of spectacular 17th C palace built outside of Paris by King Louis XIV.

ectoplasm: ghostly spirit emanating from a medium during trance.

Kaiser Wilhelm: German emperor (1859-1941) and king of Prussia from 1888 to the end of World War I.

Chapter 2 Allusions

Chapter 3

What goes on at Gatsby’s during the summer nights?

How is Nick’s situation diff. from most other guests?

Who does Nick meet at the party that he knows?

According to one of the girls, why did Gatsby send a new gown to replace the one that got ripped?

What is Lucille’s opinion of Gatsby’s background?

Chapter 3

Chapter 31

What does the drunk in library think is remarkable about Gatsby’s book collection?

How did Nick finally meet Gatsby? What did they have in common?

What is Gatsby’s smile like?

What is Jordan’s attitude toward driving a car?

What does Nick say he thinks is one of the cardinal virtues?

Chapter 3

Chapter 3 allusions

Castile: region of north central Spain known for beautiful shawls.

Belasco: David Belasco (1853-1931), American theatrical producer, famous for realistic sets.

didn’t cut the pages: The books in Gatsby’s library are rare first editions, in which sheets are folded into pages, yet not cut apart

Tostoff’s Jazz History of the World: Fitzgerald may have been punning on the expression “tossed off.”

Chapter 3 Allusions

Chapter 4

  • Why do you think Nick bothered to write down all the people that came to Gatsby’s home?

    • Ethnic/cultural associations?

    • Names on Guest List are grating & cacophonous: Ulysses Swett, Mr. Albrucksburger and Miss Haag

    • Tacky imagery of names themselves

    • Note unseemly associations & pairings-so & so w/someone else's wife.

    • Overdone & tasteless right down to drop-in guests

Chapter 4

Names on guest list

  • This name on the guest list was the antithesis of polite society:

  • J. Bruce Ismay worked for White Star Lines,

    owners of Titanic-sank after striking iceberg-1914.

    • Supposedly disguised himself as a woman & escaped in one of the too few life boats!

    • When reports of his survival hit the news, he was ostracized, hated & vilified for the rest of his life.

      “J Bruce Ismay: doomed the moment he jumped ship: The man who

      built the Titanic lived for ever in disgrace after fleeing the stricken

      Vessel” (UK Telegraph)

Names on Guest List

Chapter 41

  • Describe Gatsby’s car.

  • What surprising question does Gatsby ask Nick while they are in Gatsby’s car?

  • What does Gatsby tell Nick re: himself? Does Nick believe him?

  • College

  • “Middle West”

  • Souvenirs?

  • WWI

Chapter 4

Chapter 4 gatsby s war experience

  • Story mirrors famous war hero Alvin York.

  • Given U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic exploits during battle for Argonne forest

  • Acting alone, York “was credited w/the killing of 25 Germans & capturing 132 & w/putting 35 machine guns out of action while armed only w/a rifle & pistol.”

  • For incredible heroism-given virtually every conceivable decoration for valor, incl. a medal from Montenegro.

    F. Scott Fitzgerald in Context, By Bryant Mangum

    Brought to my attention by AntanasRiskus—WWI expert

Chapter4—Gatsby’s war experience

Chapter 42

5. As they cross the Queensboro Bridge, what does Nick think?

  • “…sugar lumps and built with a wish out of non-olfactory money”

  • reference to "short upper lips" & "the yolks of their eyeballs" signifies a historically specific fear

    • Fear provoked Congress in 1921 & then again in 1924 to pass acts establishing quotas for immigrants. Hit would-be immigrants from southern & eastern Europe particularly hard.

  • “Anything can happen, anything at all. Even Gatsby can happen”

Chapter 4

Chapter 43

  • What does Mr. Wolfsheim look like?

  • Arnold Rothstein--inspiration for Jay Gatsby’s crooked associate Meyer Wolfsheim. Fitzgerald also used parts of Rothstein's life to mold Gatsby into the suave gangster he “might” be.

  • Old Metropole Hotel

  • Cufflinks?

  • “Profession”?

  • World Series

Chapter 4

Chapter 44

  • Why is Gatsby nervous when they run into Tom?

  • What flashback does Jordan tell Nick?

    • Daisy’s social life in Louisville…

    • Where does Gatsby come into the picture?

    • Rumors?

    • Evening of the evening of the bridal dinner?

    • In Ventura, what happened to Tom & a companion?

  • Back to the present, how had Gatsby come back to the situation about 6 weeks earlier?

    10.According to Jordan, why did Gatsby buy his house?

    11.What is the great favor Gatsby asks Nick?

Chapter 4

Chapter 4 allusions

  • bootlegger: seller of illegal merchandise--in this case, liquor outlawed by Prohibition. The term bootleg refers to concealing objects in the leg of a high boot.

  • Von Hindenburg: Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg (1847-1934), commander of German forces during World War I.

  • knickerbockers: short, loose-fitting pants gathered at knee; fashionable menswear during 1920s.

  • Bois de Boulogne: large park just west of


  • Montenegro: small, fiercely independent

    kingdom, now part of Yugoslavia.

Chapter 4 Allusions

Chapter 4 allusion

  • non-olfactory money: untainted capital; not assoc. w/crime.

  • Queensboro Bridge: bridge over East River connecting boroughs of Manhattan & Queens in NYC.

  • Katspaugh: pun on “cat’s paw”; colloquially, a person used by another as a tool (not a major insult)

  • Rosy Rosenthal: Herman “Rosy” Rosenthal-shot outside NYC’s Metropole Hotel on July 16, 1912-murderers later executed.

  • fixed the World Series: “Black Sox” scandal 1919 World Series, Cincinnati Reds defeated Chicago White Sox. 8 Chicago players admitted accepting bribes to lose series; paid $100,000 by a New York gambling syndicate.

  • Plaza Hotel: celebrated luxury hotel overlooking NYC’s Central Park.

Chapter 4 Allusion

Chapter 4 allusions1

roadster: small open car w/1 seat for 2-3 people; earlier version of sports car.

debut: formal introduction of a young woman into society.

Armistice: Nov. 11, 1918-WWI betw.Germany & Allied forces ended.

Cannes . . . Deauville: resort cities-French Riviera & English Channel

victoria: horse-drawn open carriage for 2, named for Queen Victoria.

Chapter 4 Allusions

Chapter 5

What is unusual about Gatsby’s home as Nick comes home that night? What was Gatsby doing?

Offer Gatsby makes to Nick re: bond selling business?

How does Gatsby act while waiting for Daisy?

When Gatsby says “Five years next November,” what does this show about his feeling for Daisy?

Chapter 5

Chapter 51

Describe Gatsby & Daisy’s reactions to each other.

Why do you think Daisy is so affected by Gatsby’s shirts?

While inside the house during the rain, how does Gatsby’s comment about the green light on the end of the Buchanan dock tie up w/something in Ch. 1?

As Nick leaves, what does he notice about Gatsby?

Chapter 5

Chapter 5 allusions

like Kant at his church steeple: Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), German philosopher, said he developed theories regarding reality & morality while gazing at a church steeple outside his window.

Marie Antoinette music-rooms & Restoration salons: elegantly furnished rooms in period style, respectively, just before French Revolution (1789) & brief restoration of monarchy (1815).

Adam study: The Adams were an 18 C. family of British architects. The Adam style is extremely delicate in form & color.

Chartreuse: green or yellow liqueur.

Chapter 5 Allusions

Chapter 5 allusions1

pompadour: style of hairdressing in which the hair is combed back to create the illusion of a puffy bump in the front.

The ‘Pompadour curl’ takes its name from Madame de Pompadour, member of the French court, and the official chief mistress of Louis XV from 1745 to her death in 1764.

Chapter 5 Allusions

Chapter 6

Why is the reporter interested in Gatsby?

Gatsby’s real name?

Parents? Early life? Relationship w/ women in youth?

What did Dan Cody have to do w/Gatsby’s life?

Job? Effect on Gatsby? Ella Kay?

Chapter 6

Dan cody new money

  • Dan Cody=new money

    • Classic believer in the American Dream…

      • Hard work-mining for copper in Montana or gold in Yukon

      • Faith in himself--Emerson's "Self-Reliance" at work (but w/ no mention of faith in God)

      • Luck-final element in formula for success in Amer.

      • =Cody reaches success, but is undone by drink & women

      • Gatsby learns of this danger during 5 yrs w/Cody on yacht.

Dan Cody=New Money

Why wolfshiem hires gatsby

Gatsby does not drink

says little

chooses words carefully

"never so much as look at a friend's wife”

"a perfect gentleman"

went to "Oggsford” College in England.

knows how wealthy behave after 5 years w/Cody

greatest importance to crime boss=has no past.

…Of course, once Gatsby is openly involved w/Daisy, he is of little value to Wolfshiem

Why Wolfshiem hires Gatsby

Chapter 61

  • What are the social implications regarding Mr. Sloane?

  • At the party, what does Daisy tell Tom?

    • What is Gatsby’s main concern about the party?

    • What does Nick realize Gatsby actually wants?

  • What is Gatsby’s response to Nick’s statement :

    “You can’t repeat the past”?

  • What flashback does this chapter end on?

Chapter 6

Chapter 6 allusions

  • Platonic conception of himself: reference to Greek philosopher Plato’s notion that physical items are inferior copies of transcendent ideas.

    • Gatsby’s “Platonic conception of himself” is his fantasy image of his life, as opposed to his actual background.

  • Madame de Maintenon: French marquise (1635-1719) gained commanding influence at court of Louis XIV & later married him.

Chapter 6 Allusions


  • F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby: A Literary Reference ed. by the one man Fitzgerald industry, Matthew J. Bruccoli.

  • The Art and Style of Sara and Gerald Murphy is phenomenal. The Murphys, Sara especially, were Scott and Zelda's close friends.

  • http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/03/teaching-the-great-gatsby-with-the-new-york-times/

  • Reader's Guide to Reading and Discussion to The Great Gatsby: Resources for Reading and Discussion.

  • Studio 360 a NPR arts show on Gatsby-Kurt Anderson

  • Claude McKay, “If We Must Die,” in Harlem Shadows: The Poems of Claude McKay (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1922).




Resetting the Great Gatsby by Bruccoli


 Fitzgerald’s Eras    Social and Political Backgrounds of the 1920s and 1930s

by Matthew J. Bruccoli


American novel—the great gatsby


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