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The Great Gatsby. The American Dream/ Chapter One. Word Association. When you see the word/ phrase, write down the first thing that comes into your mind. McDonalds. Hollywood. Money. Freedom. America. Dreams. The American Dream. The American Dream (1).

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the great gatsby

The Great Gatsby

The American Dream/ Chapter One

word association
Word Association
  • When you see the word/ phrase, write down the first thing that comes into your mind
the american dream 1
The American Dream (1)
  • The sense of wonder and limitless possibility at the heart of what America means. This America is an embodiment of human potential, free from any limits set by past experience.
  • “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter- tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out or arms farther . . . . And one fine morning –”
the american dream 2
The American Dream (2)
  • The later, materialistic version came to be predominant.
  • In this, the process of creating one’s self is equated with getting rich.
  • The acquisition of wealth allows certain material freedoms and possibilities.
key metaphors
Key Metaphors
  • Gatsby’s love for Daisy is a metaphor for the American Dream, particularly its corruption
  • In a sense, Gatsby is America.
  • “It is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.”
for monday
For Monday
  • Choose an item that you feel relates to the American Dream.
  • This can be a film, song, poem, advert, book or other.
  • Be prepared to justify your choice.
langston hughes
Langston Hughes
  • African American poet
  • A key figure in the Harlem Renaissance
  • Poetry was particularly popular in the 1920s
  • Much of his poetry was concerned with the experience of African Americans
chapter one
Chapter One
  • We are introduced to our (not completely reliable narrator) Nick Carraway
  • He describes a particularly horrible dinner party at the house of Tom and Daisy Buchanan
family histories
Family Histories
  • Nick- apparently descended from Duke of Buccleuch.
  • Real founder was great uncle who paid a man to go to the Civil War in his place.
  • Tom Buchanan belongs to an American upper class whose privileges are based on wealth.
  • A state of cynicism, spiritual sterility and world weariness. This is what money brings to the Buchanans and Jordan Baker- not happiness.

Sometimes she and Miss Baker talked at once, unobtrusively and with a bantering inconsequence that was never quite chatter, that was as cool as their white dresses and their impersonal eyes in the absence of all desire. They were here, and they accepted Tom and me, making only a polite pleasant effort to entertain or to be entertained. They knew that presently dinner would be over and a little later the evening too would be over and casually put away.

  • East Egg- Old Money (Tom Buchanan)
  • West Egg- New Money (Gatsby)
  • Irony- eggs promise new life, but these are sterile rocks.
inequality in america
Inequality in America
  • Tom’s racism
  • Daisy’s butler- poisoned from the fumes at his previous job. This a metaphor for how American capitalism in the 1920s affected the poor.
gatsby s green light
Gatsby’s Green Light
  • To Gatsby, the green light represents his dream, which is Daisy. The first time the green light is seen in the novel is also the first time Nick sees Gatsby. Fitzgerald writes, “…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…” The green light is described as ‘minute and far away’ which makes it appear impossible to reach. This will prove to be true for Gatsby.
  • Explain, using quotations, what impression is created of the following characters in this chapter: Tom, Nick, Daisy, Jordan.