The Great Gatsby. By F. Scott Fitzgerald Student Notes. F. Scott Fitzgerald. born on September 24, 1896, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Intelligent child, he did poorly in school and was sent to a New Jersey boarding school Enrolled at Princeton in 1913
The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald Student Notes
F. Scott Fitzgerald • born on September 24, 1896, in St. Paul, Minnesota. • Intelligent child, he did poorly in school and was sent to a New Jersey boarding school • Enrolled at Princeton in 1913 • Academic troubles and apathy plagued him throughout his time at college, and he never graduated, • Enlisted in the army in 1917, as World War I neared its end • Stationed at Camp Sheridan, in Montgomery, Alabama • Met and fell in love with a wild seventeen-year-old beauty named Zelda Sayre • The publication of This Side of Paradise in 1920, Fitzgerald became a literary sensation • Most of his work is semi-autobiographical
Scott and Zelda • Fitzgerald was considered the spokesman for his generation, by extension he and Zelda were incredibly famous • Zelda came from money, and wouldn’t marry Scott until he published his first book, put pressure on Scott to continue his success • The couple lived a lavish lifestyle, sometimes wild and reckless • Lived in Europe for a period of time • Turmoil in their Marriage • Constant stress from their drinking, • Scott worked continuously to support their lifestyle • Zelda felt neglected
Tragic Endings Zelda Scott • In 1930 Zelda was placed in a sanatorium for a brief period • Diagnosed as a schizophrenic, by 1932 she was in a mental institution • Scott still devoted to her, but resentful • Died in a hospital fire in 1948 • Now seen as a tragic icon • Feminist image of someone oppressed by her husband • Scott struggled with drinking through out his life, left him in poor health • Went to work in Hollywood, which he found degrading • Died of a massive heart attack in 1940 • Died think he had been a failure • After his death his work found a new audience • He is recognized as one of the most influential American writers
Impact on Society • Fitzgerald named the 1920’s “The Jazz Age” • Wrote screenplays for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer • Created the The Great Gatsby which is said to be the most accurate description of the 1920’s
The 1920s • Prohibition was in effect • Made millionaires out of bootleggers • Speakeasies secretly sold alcohol • Violence of World War I left America in a state of shock • The generation that fought the war turned to extravagant living to compensate • Conservatism and timeworn values of the previous decade were turned on their ear • Economy was in a “Boom” • Flappers were women who rebelled against the fashion and social norms of the early 1900’s. • They married at a later age and drank and smoked in public • Flappers were known for their carefree lifestyles. • Dances such as the Charleston were popular
Setting • West Egg- where Nick and Gatsby live, represents new money • East Egg- where Daisy lives, the more fashionable area, represents old money • The City- New York City, where the characters escape to for work and play, a place where anything goes • The Valley of Ashes- between the City and West Egg, where Wilson’s gas station is, desolate wasteland
Fitzgerald in Gatsby Nick Carraway Jay Gatsby • Thoughtful young man from Minnesota • Educated at an Ivy League school • Moved to New York after the war • like Nick, Fitzgerald saw through the glitter of the Jazz Age to the moral emptiness and hypocrisy beneath, and part of him longed for this absent moral center • Sensitive young man who idolizes wealth • Falls in love with a beautiful young woman while stationed at a military camp in the South • Fitzgerald fell into a wild, reckless life-style of parties and decadence, while desperately trying to please Zelda by writing to earn money • Similarly, Gatsby amasses a great deal of wealth at a relatively young age, and devotes himself to acquiring possessions and throwing parties that he believes will enable him to win Daisy’s love • Like Gatsby, Fitzgerald was driven by his love for a woman who symbolized everything he wanted, even as she led him toward everything he despised
Symbols • Green Light- at the end of Daisy’s dock and visible from Gatsby’s mansion. Represents Gatsby's hopes and dreams about Daisy. • The Valley of Ashes- the area between West Egg and New York City. It is a desolate area filled with industrial waste. It represents the social and moral decay of society during the 1920’s. It also shows the negative effects of greed. • The Eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg- A decaying billboard in the Valley of Ashes with eyes advertising an optometrist. There are multiple proposed meanings, including the representation of God’s moral judgment on society.
Important Quotes • “I hope she’ll be a fool- that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” – Daisy’s description of her daughter • “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” –the last line of the novel • "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made." – Nick’s description of Tom and Daisy
Major Characters • Nick Carraway - The narrator of the novel; moves from the Midwest to New York to learn the bond business • Jay Gatsby - Lives next to Nick in a mansion; throws huge parties, complete with catered food, open bars, and orchestras; people come from everywhere to attend these parties, but no one seems to know much about the host • Daisy Buchanan - Shallow girl who is the embodiment of Gatsby's dreams • Tom Buchanan- Husband of Daisy; a cruel man who lives life irresponsibly. • Jordan Baker - A cynical and conceited woman who cheats in golf; wants Nick to go out with her. • Myrtle Wilson - Tom has an affair with this married woman, and then abandons her after he become bored with her
Themes • Hope - represented by the light across the bay that Gatsby was fixated on. It was the embodiment of his sole goal in life, which was a reunification with Daisy. • Success - Gatsby felt that the only way he would win Daisy was through his money. • Ignorance - The characters have little self-knowledge and even less knowledge of each other. • Judgment - Nick misinterprets the advice of his father and tries not to judge people. • Disillusionment - Gatsby dreams of getting back together with Daisy even though she is married and has a daughter. • Morals - The morals of people with great wealth seem to be less than desirable, but many times are more socially accepted than lower classes.
Lessons • Money cannot buy happiness. • You cannot relive the past. • If dreams are too fantastic, and reality cannot keep up with ideals they are usually not fulfilled. • Life is paradoxical – aspects and attitudes seem to contradict
The Great Gatsby Narrator: First Person (Peripheral Narrator): Nick Carraway • The story is told in the first person, through the eyes of Nick Carraway. • The primary and most visible story is about Jay Gatsby and his devotion to his dream. • Other stories, also told through Carraway’s eyes, include Tom’s reconciliation with his wife Daisy, Nick’s own relationship with Jordan, and Nick’s evolving friendship with Gatsby. • Nick Carraway is able to easily become part of the wallpaper. His major character trait – reserving judgment – allows him to be almost an "invisible" narrator, similar to a traditional third-person omniscient point of view. • Ultimately, however, if we lost Nick’s point-of-view, we would never understand the evolution of his character. He is the invisible man until the end of the book, when suddenly, he has opinions about everybody.
Chapter 1 "I'm glad it's a girl. And I hope she'll be a fool- that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.“ -- Daisy Buchanan
Nick has moved from the Midwest to work in NYC • His cousin, Daisy, lives close by with her husband Tom • He meets Jordan and first hears about Gatsby • Class is one of them most important themes in the novel • Affects the relationships of the characters • Much of the way people are treated can be linked to their class and social position • Nick is non-judgmental but very much aware of his class • " I'm glad it's a girl, And I hope she'll be a fool- that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” • The social position of women is criticized here. • Daisy is a witty and clever woman, far more so than her brute husband. Yet she is the one treated as inferior because she is a woman. • Nick sees Gatsby at the end of the chapter • He is looking out at a green light at the end of Daisy’s dock
Nick Carraway • Nick often becomes a confidant for those with troubling secrets. • The Great Gatsby is told entirely through Nick's eyes; his thoughts and perceptions shape and color the story. The story is revealed gradually. • Nick is the hardest character to understand in the book because he is the narrator and will therefore only give us an impression of himself that he would like to give. He tells the reader that "I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known", but we see him lie on several occasions. So it is all but impossible to get an accurate picture of Nick. • By the end of the book he is very jaded, though. When he and Jordan break up he says "I'm thirty. I'm five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor". So the experience with Gatsby and the others takes its toll on him. But in the end, the reader cannot be certain of who the real Nick is. • Nick the Moral arbiter, everything is seen through his consciousness. Carraway is the only character to exhibit, and hold onto, a sense morals & decency throughout the novel. • Has a backbone – he will not be rumored into an engagement
Analysis • Nick’s father tells him, “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” (p.1) Nick shares this advice because he wants the reader to know that he is not a man who jumps to conclusions, but has learned to give people the benefit t of the doubt. Fitzgerald wants to establish Nick as a credible narrator and a sympathetic character. • “When I came back from the East last autumn...” (p.2) tells reader that Nick has returned to his home in the West and is telling the story of Gatsby through the filter of time. • “My family have been prominent, well-to-do people…for three generations”? (p.3) This information makes Nick’s participation with socialites, money, and privilege believable for the reader.
“They [books on investments and securities] stood like new money from the mint.” (p.4) The new books on the shelf could be there simply for show, as much of what happens in East Egg and West Egg are. It is interesting to note that the books are about investments and securities. The fact that Nick has some of these books and intends to read them makes one believe that he is going to earn his money legally. The author draws a comparison (simile) between the books and mint condition. Coming from the mint can signify new money. Gatsby represents new money, thus highlighting the theme of social stratification. • “Two old friends whom I scarcely knew at all.” (p.6) The phrase containing the oxymoron “Old friends” is a term used to indicate deep friendships, and, yet, Nick states he scarcely knows them. Perhaps this foreshadows the fact that even though he thinks he knows them, he will find out he knows little of them. It also suggests the superficiality of the upper class. Daisy is a relative of Nick’s, and Tom is an old college friend. Nick has known them a long time (old friends), but he does not know them well. Their relationship has always been surface-level and superficial
Personification is used to make the Buchanan palace seem alive. The lawn appears as a runner, starting at the beach, jumping over sun-dials, running up the wall of the house, drawing the reader and Nick towards the house, giving the impression things are alive here. (p.6) • Tom is described with a negative tone. Tom is a straw-haired, bossy, muscular man in his thirties with arrogant eyes. Fitzgerald uses words with negative connotations such as arrogant, proud, hard, shifting, and cruel in describing Tom, causing the reader to immediately dislike him. • Fitzgerald creates a light, airy mood in the home by having the wind flowing through the room, lifting the curtains, ruffling the ladies dresses. He uses a simile comparing the couch to a balloon to add to the airy, light feeling. The girls feel paralyzed with happiness.
The hyperbole “The whole town is desolate,” and Nick’s comment that follows it are used to add humor and to emphasize the superficial boredom of the upper class. • Nick is annoyed that Tom is quick to remark he has never heard of the bond company Nick works for. It is Tom’s way of diminishing Nick, keeping him in his place.
Symbols • East & West Egg – • One of the most important themes in the novel is class and social standing. It is a barrier for almost every character. East and West Egg acts as a symbol of this in its physical makeup. • The barrier that the water creates between these worlds in symbolic of the barrier that keeps these people apart from one another and from much of what they want. • The green light shines from the East Egg enticing Gatsby towards what he has always wanted. And Daisy, the woman that Gatsby has always wanted but never gets, lives on East Egg. • The Green Light – Green the color of Promise • The green light is a multi-faceted piece of symbolism in the book. It's most obvious interpretation is that the light is symbolic of Gatsby's longing for Daisy, but that is too simplistic. Daisy is part of it, but the green light means much more. • Gatsby has spent his whole life longing for something better. Money, success, acceptance, and Daisy. And no matter how much he has he never feels complete. Even when he has his large house full of interesting people and all of their attention, he still longs for Daisy.
Themes • The effect of wealth – wealth is depicted as selfish & shallow • Morals – the morals of people with great wealth seem to be less than desirable, but the wealthy are more socially accepted than lower classes. • Hope – represented by the green light, embodiment of his single goal in life • Ignorance – characters have little self-knowledge & even less knowledge of each other
Chapter 2 “The eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic – their retinas are one yard high. They look out of no face, but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a non-existent nose.” -- Nick Carraway
Nick and Tom go to NYC • Nick meets Tom’s mistress Myrtle • Nick mentions how shameless Tom is in taking Myrtle out in public no matter who may see them • Myrtle takes advantage of Tom’s money by spending it on silly things • Tom and Myrtle host a small party in their apartment • The party differs from the Buchanan’s because it is noisy and wild • It is similar because there is an air of boredom • Nick hears rumors about Tom’s and Daisy’s marriage • In spending Tom’s money, Myrtle becomes very arrogant towards the less well-off, even though she and her husband have very little money • She is in the novel as yet another commentary on wealth and class. Her attitude exemplifies what money can do to a person • Tom's senseless attack on Myrtle goes back to the issue of consequence. • Tom need not worry about any reaction to what he does, so he has no fear • Tom’s allegiance is to Daisy
George Wilson • As with many of Fitzgerald’ characters, the name George Wilson is carefully chosen to reflect certain traits and ideals. • It was President Wilson who took the Americans into WWI. During the peace process, Wilson was outmaneuvered by England, France, and Italy. Unwilling to compromise his ideals, Wilson set out across the country working to “sell” his position to the Americans. • He worked himself too hard and became ill, eventually suffering a stroke. • Wilson eventually died a defeated idealist. The character George Wilson is also a defeated idealist, living in the valley of ashes. He is unwilling to compromise his ideals about marriage, and has become very ill in the fight. • George is the name of the United States’ first president. Just as Fitzgerald intends to illustrate how the American Dream has deteriorated, George Wilson, in the valley of ashes, indicates a waste of potential greatness.
Symbols • Valley of Ashes • Represents the modern world • Physical desert = spiritual desolation • The Eyes of T.J. Eckleburg – • These eyes are from a billboard that looks over Wilson's garage. The eyes are always mentioned whenever Nick is there. • They look over the situation objectively, but offer judgment on the characters & their actions.
Themes • Spiritless-ness – George Wilson • Escape – Myrtle Wilson wants to change class • Hypocrisy – Tom’s hypocrisy, selfishness and brutality, other people are below him, when he hurts Myrtle he is not defending Daisy but brutalizing Myrtle
Analysis • Fitzgerald uses alliteration to create a musical effect. Some examples are: railroad and runs, fantastic farm, grotesque gardens, cars crawl, obscure operations. • “I think he’d tanked up a good deal at luncheon, and his determination to have my company bordered on violence.” (p.24) This statement seems to foreshadow the fact that Tom, particularly after drinking, may exhibit violent tendencies. Perhaps, one of his women may experience the unpleasantness of abuse. • “She’s said to be very beautiful by people who ought to know.” (p.28)Myrtle refers to “people who ought to know” as though there are some in the society who set the standards for others. It seems that that thought is acceptable to her.
Chapter 3 Nick: "Suppose you meet someone just as careless as yourself?"Jordan: "I hope I never will."
Nick attends the party at Gatsby’s house, where he runs into Jordan • The guests all speculate on Gatsby’s background • No one has a real understanding of Gatsby • He is detached from the guests in his home – aloof • Finally meets Gatsby • Gatsby uses Jordan as a go between with Nick • Owl Eyes is overwhelmed by the fact that Gatsby's library is stocked not with the fake, cardboard backs of hooks, but with the works themselves. He knows that Gatsby has never read the books, however, because the pages have never been cut. “This fella's a regular Belasco.” • The reference to David Belasco, the great playwright-producer-director of realistic plays. Owl Eyes is the first to realize the essentially theatrical quality of Gatsby's world. Just as Belasco was a technician who wanted to get everything right, so Gatsby spares no expense to build the material world necessary to fulfill his dream. Owl Eyes, as his name suggest s, is one of the few to really see and, in some way, understand Gatsby.
Jordan Baker • “New woman” of the 1920s, cynical & conceited woman, friend of Daisy • Jordan faces the same problems that Tom and Daisy do. She has been born with money and has lived in a culture full of money and has been spoiled by it. • She is surrounded by people like the Buchanans who perpetuate her indulgent behavior. • It can be seen that Jordan has no concept of accountability and that has been furthered by the people who allow her to go unaccountable. • Purpose • Jordan, a professional golfer, is one of a rising group of athletic stars. In the 1920s, attitudes began changing, and athletes, including women, were elevated to a higher social status. • Character Flaws • Careless – unconcerned about her driving • She is a chronic liar. She lies in her private life as well as in her public life as an athlete. The reader has been warned and should not take anything she says to heart.
Themes • Illusion – Gatsby is an illusion, difference in appearance & reality • Carelessness – accident don’t understand that actions have consequences • Nick describes Jordan as a "careless" driver. She seems unconcerned that she drives so poorly. Nick asks, "suppose you met somebody just as careless as yourself?' and she replies "I hope I never will". Fitzgerald uses the word careless to describe many of the characters because this attitude is so closely tied to the theme of consequence and responsibility
Analysis • By holding off on his introduction of Gatsby, Fitzgerald knits a closer relationship between the reader and Nick. Secondly, Fitzgerald creates an air of mystery for the reader, not unlike the mystery that Nick and the others associate with Gatsby. This technique of delayed character revelation is also used to emphasize the theatrical quality of Gatsby’s approach to life that is an important part of his personality. • In the opening paragraph (p.39), is one example of polysyndenton, “…with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears,” and in the second complete paragraph on page 40, the word “and” is used eighteen times. This device is used to convey multiplicity, to give an energetic enumeration, and to add build-up. In this particular case the polysyndenton gives the idea that, if it can be found, Gatsby owns it. If it can be purchased, Gatsby has it. At Gatsby’s house, the party goes on and on and on.
Nick comments that the people at the party conduct “themselves according to the rules of behavior associated with an amusement park.”First, the statement draws a comparison of the atmosphere at Gatsby’s to an amusement park: many things going on in different places, many things to do, many drinks and food items, many people who don’t know each other. Second, the statement highlights the fact that the people at the party lack manners, even to the point of showing up at a party uninvited; their nouveau riche lack of “breeding” is what stands out to Nick. • Fitzgerald uses the books in Gatsby’s library as a metaphor to convey the theme of hollowness. Owl Eyes is completely amazed that the books on the shelves are not simply hollow, cardboard looka-likes, but are actual books. They are not there just for show; someone could actually read them. In this class of people, so many of them are simply hollow cardboard replicas of people with nothing real or useful on the inside.
“…I was looking at an elegant young roughneck, …whose elaborate formality of speech just missed being absurd. Some time before he introduced himself I’d got a strong impression that he was picking his words with care”? (p.48)Since we have seen nothing ill mannered or rowdy about Gatsby, we can assume that Fitzgerald means to suggest that, despite Gatsby’s elegant dress and appearance, there is something hard-looking about him. That he is “picking his words with care” suggests he is speaking in a manner that is not entirely natural to him, a manner with which he is not comfortable, or one which his family has not taught to him. • Although there are many rumors regarding Gatsby, there is a clue given to the reader about what the nature of Gatsby’s work may be, “ …a butler hurried toward him with the information that Chicago was calling him on the wire.” (p.48) Chicago was the seat of organized crime and bootlegging in the 1920s. The reader begins to see past the rumors and discern that perhaps Gatsby came by his money, at least partially, as a bootlegger.
“…at intervals she appeared suddenly at his side like an angry diamond, and hissed: ‘You promised!’ into his ear.” (p.51) As a diamond has many facets, so does this simile. The diamond, a symbol of forever love, a promise of undying love, is being challenged by a flirtatious, young actress and the husband of the woman speaking. His wife was once the diamond of his life and, as her position is challenged, the sharpness of the diamond, the cutting aspects of the diamond, are exposed. The diamond sharply reminds him, “You promised!” • The four motifs of geography correspond with a particular theme or type of character encountered. West Egg is represents “new money,” like Gatsby, and symbolizes the emergence of the newly established aristocracy of the 1920s. East Egg symbolizes the old upper class that continues to dominate American social life. The valley of ashes is desolate and desperate, like George Wilson, symbolizing the decay of American society hidden behind the facade of a glittering upper class. New York City is an example of the chaos that Nick perceives in the East. Setting reinforces the themes and characters throughout the entire book.
Chapter 4 “…those who accepted Gatsby’s hospitality and paid him the subtle tribute of knowing nothing whatever about him.” -- Nick Carraway
The date, July 5, 1922, is the day after Independence Day. It seems to indicate that the people are enjoying a freedom they didn’t fight for. • Another party at Gatsby’s • Later Nick goes to lunch with Gatsby • Seeing the hearse is foreshadowing • Gatsby offers proof of his background, has created an image • Nick knows he is lying, “thread bare phrases” • Nick is fascinated by Gatsby, begins to believe him • Wants Nick to speak with Jordan • Nick meets Wolfsheim • Gatsby avoids Tom • Jordan tells Nick about Daisy’s & Gatsby’s past • Met during when Gatsby stationed in the South • Gatsby has followed Daisy, but she had forgotten him • Gatsby wants to show Daisy he has money
Themes • Rootless-ness – Tom & Daisy have no roots, travel & move from place to place • Innocence & corruption – highlighted by Gatsby’s better self & the unsavory Wolfsheim
Gatsby’s Car • “Gatsby’s car is a rich cream [yellowish] color trimmed with bright nickel on the outside with a green leather interior. It is monstrous in length and has “…hat-boxes, and supper-boxes, and tool boxes.” (p.64) • Gatsby’s car is the symbol of his wealth. • It reinforces the theme of the American Dream, as the car is certainly representative of that dream.
Analysis • The East Egg’s list of names includes names such as Mr. Bunsen from Yale, Doctor Webster Civet, the Blackbucks who always gathered together and flipped up their noses at whoever came near, Stonewall Jackson Abrams of Georgia, and Mrs. Ulysses Swett; reputable, American-sounding names from reputable, stuffy places. The West Egg’s list of names includes the Mulreadys, Don S. Schwartze and Arthur McCarty, people connected with the movies in one way or another, Da Fontano and De Jongs who came to gamble, Gus Waize and Horace O’Donavan, theatrical people; ethnic-sounding names from less-reputable businesses or places. Fitzgerald meticulously names each character to further the motif of geography. • Not only does the list offer an explanation of the makeup of the two Eggs it is also a description of the excessive nature of these parties. Fitzgerald wants this book to be critical of the materialism of America during this time period. The list talks of people who were wealthy and acted excessively in all that they did.
Characterization – Fitzgerald first describes Wolfsheim using caricature. He exaggerates the size of his head and nose, and points out the “two fine growths of hair which luxuriated in either nostril.” (p.69) Fitzgerald then alludes to the incident with Rosy Rosenthal, a small time gambler, involved with the underworld. The characterization of this shady fellow further develops by drawing attention to the fact that he eats with “ferocious delicacy” and that his cuff buttons are human molars. (p.71) After Wolfsheim departs from the restaurant, Gatsby informs Nick that he is the “man who fixed the World’s Series back in 1919.” (p.73) Fitzgerald appropriately names him Wolfsheim, meaning wolf’s home. There is no doubt left in the reader’s mind. This Wolfsheim is a shady character, and if Gatsby keeps company with him, something about Gatsby must be amiss.
Metaphor – “He [Gatsby] came alive to me [Nick], delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless splendor.” (p.78) Nick had been in the dark and confused about Gatsby, but all of a sudden, it all made sense, no longer hidden, but delivered and exposed. What had seemed purposeless now had meaning. The bright lights, big parties, and carnival atmosphere were to draw attention to his home in hopes that Daisy might attend. The purposeless nights of staring off into the sound at a green light now made sense; Daisy was across the sound. Now Nick understands more of Gatsby’s actions.
Chapter 5 “He had passed visibly through two states and was entering upon a third. After his embarrassment and his unreasoning joy he was consumed with wonder at her presence. He had been full of the idea so long, dreamed it right through to the end, waited with his teeth set, so to speak, at an inconceivable pitch of intensity. Now, in the reaction, he was running down like an over wound clock.” -- Nick Carraway
As Nick is driving up to his house, he thinks it may be on fire, but turning the corner, he sees that it is Gatsby’s house, lit from tower to cellar, looking like the World’s Fair. This description furthers the mood that Gatsby’s place is much like a carnival. By continuing the development of the carnival like feeling, Fitzgerald conveys to the reader a sense that, like a carnival, Gatsby or Gatsby’s money may not be stable, may not be real, may be here today and gone tomorrow. • Gatsby can’t hide his excitement that Daisy is coming for tea • He offers a job to Nick, who declines
Daisy comes for tea • Gatsby shows up and gets reacquainted with Daisy • They go to Gatsby’s house where he shows off his processions • Daisy’s opinions matte, Gatsby “revalues” things based on Daisy’s reaction • Gatsby points out the green light • Symbolic of Gatsby’s longing for Daisy & wealth • Represents all that in the distance that Gatsby wants to posses • Daisy is a part of the world that Gatsby wants to be a part of • The rain outside mirrors the storms within, as Gatsby and Daisy meet again. When Nick leaves Gatsby and Daisy alone to talk, he stands outside under a tree and the rain sounds like their voices. As the rain stops, signifying the end of their conversation, the sun begins to shine. Nick perceives that silence has fallen within his house as the sun begins to shine, and he enters the house to find Gatsby absolutely glowing, radiant.
Themes • Dreams – Tour of mansion is culmination of Gatsby’s dream • Pursuit of an ideal – Gatsby has a long-sought reunion with Daisy & resumption of romance
Analysis • “The flowers were unnecessary, for at two o’clock a greenhouse arrived from Gatsby’s…” (p.84) The exaggeration (hyperbole) of the number of flowers sent over by Gatsby emphasizes both his extravagance and the desperateness of his quest—the lengths to which he feels he must go in order to win his lost love. • “The exhilarating ripple of her voice was a wild tonic in the rain.” (p.85) is a metaphor that compares the sound of Daisy’s voice to tonic. It is appropriate to compare Daisy’s voice to a wild tonic since it is her voice that is intoxicating to men. A “tonic” can also be a medicinal cure, and the sound of Daisy’s voice is a cure for Gatsby’s longing.