The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
5A: English M1: The Great Gatsby M5: The Great Gatsby T3:Poetry T8: Poetry W8: The Great Gatsby F1: Composition/ Essay Writing **** All class topics are subject to change **** All classes will be held in Room 6
Rules Jackets Off, Books and Materials Out Listen to directions Be respectful of your teacher and fellow students Raise your hand to speak Classroom Rules Sanctions Warning Discipline Sheet/ Asked to stand Note in Journal (to be signed) Phonecall Home Detention Discipline sheet/Referred to Year Head P.S. ALWAYS be prepared for class. Have all books, materials and homework out and ready for inspection. Miss Smith Quiz
F (Francis) Scott Fitzgerald • Born: Sept. 24, 1896 • 1913 enrolled in Princeton University- didn’t graduate • 1917- enlisted in army • Fell in love with Zelda Sayre who agreed to marry him once he was a success • His first book This Side of Paradise was a success and Zelda married him. They had a daughter Francis. • The Great Gatsby was written in 1925
Cultural Context- Jazz Age/1920s • Industrial production doubled in the ten years from 1919 • Average incomes rose by 40% • Stock market indices tripled • People borrowed heavily, encouraged by advertising • The American Dream • The effect of the prohibition was actually the opposite of what it was intended to do: alcohol was manufactured and sold in an uncontrolled way; people enjoyed flouting the law and consumption increased. • The good times ended with the wall street crash in 1929
Roaring Twenties • Prohibitions • Speakeasies • Bootlegging • Organised Crime • Jazz Age • Dancing • Flappers • Womens Rights
According to Fitzgerald’s obituary in the New York Times, the 1920’s was a period when…. • “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession”.
Prohibition • The 18th Amendment, 1919, to the constitution forbade the manufacture, sale, import, or export of intoxicating liquors • The 21st Amendment, 1933, repealed the Eighteenth Amendment • In 1927, 30,000 speakeasies in NYC • In 19277, 1 hospital in NYC on New years eve reported 41 deaths due to bad alcohol
Women’s Rights • 19th Amendment: women granted the right to vote in the US • Knee length skirts become fashionable • The first Miss America pageant • Flapper Dresses make it’s debut • US woman swims the English channel • The first woman govenor of a U.S. state (wyoming) was elected
Flappers were a "new breed" of young Western women in the 1920s who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair, listened to jazz, and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior. Flappers were seen as brash for wearing excessive makeup, drinking, treating sex in a casual manner, smoking, driving automobiles, and otherwise flouting social and sexual norms.
American Dream • the ideal by which equality of opportunity is available to any American, allowing the highest aspirations and goals to be achieved.
While Scott received acclaim for The Great Gatsby and his short stories, and the couple socialized with literary luminaries like Ernest Hemingway, their marriage was a tangle of jealousy, resentment and acrimony. • Scott used their relationship as material in his novels, even lifting snippets from Zelda’s diary and assigning them to his heroine characters. • Daisy Buchanan, the character most notably inspired from Zelda in Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby, too, became representative of the flapper lifestyle. Daisy, like Zelda, sought to find a liberated self, breaking the barriers of tradition with her open sexuality and personification of the “freedoms of modern life”.
Important Details • Setting: Set in the fictional town of West Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922 • Characters: • Nick Carraway- The novel’s narrator Daisy’s cousin and Gatsby’s neighbour/ friend. Nick is honest, tolerant, and inclined to reserve judgment, Nick often serves as a confidant for those with troubling secrets. The Great Gatsby is told entirely through Nick’s eyes; his thoughts and perceptions shape and colour the story. • Jay Gatsby - The title character and protagonist of the novel, Gatsby is a fabulously wealthy young man living in a Gothic mansion in West Egg. He is famous for the lavish parties he throws every Saturday night, but no one knows where he comes from, what he does, or how he made his fortune. • Daisy Buchanan - Nick’s cousin, and the woman Gatsby loves. Daisy lives with husband Tom across from Gatsby in the fashionable East Egg district of Long Island. • Tom Buchanan - Daisy’s immensely wealthy husband. • Jordan Baker - Daisy’s friend, a woman with whom Nick becomes romantically involved during the course of the novel. • Myrtle Wilson - Tom’s lover, whose lifeless husband George owns a run-down garage in the valley of ashes. • George Wilson - Myrtle’s husband, the lifeless, exhausted owner of a run-down auto shop at the edge of the valley of ashes. • Meyer Wolfsheim- Gatsby’s friend, a prominent figure in organized crime.
Chapter 1 • Describe Nick. What facts do you know about him, and what do you infer about him? What kind of a narrator do you think he will be? • Describe Gatsby's house • Describe Tom. What does his behaviour reveal about his character? • Write a description of the Buchanan house • Write a description of Nick’s house • What image does the author use to describe Jordan Baker? What does it mean? • Describe Daisy. What does her behaviour reveal about her character?
Chapter 2 • 1.Describe the "valley of ashes." What does it look like and what does it represent? • 2.Describe Mr. Wilson and Myrtle. Do they seem to fit into the setting? • 3.What more have you learned about Nick in this chapter? Is he similar or different than the people he spends his time with? • 4.Describe the violent act Tom comitted against Myrtle. What does this reveal about him?
Chapter 3 • 1.Pay attention to Nick's judgements. What do they reveal about his character? (especially in relation to his opening comments)? • 2.Describe Gatsby the first time Nick sees him. • 3.What rumourshave been told about Gatsby? Why does Fitzgerald reveal rumors rather than fact? • 4.What does Nick think of Gatsby after meeting him? • 5.How is Gatsby different from his guests? • 6.Why does Nick choose to share his thoughts and feelings with Jordan? • 7.Nick thinks he's one of the few honest people he knows, why? Do you think he is honest?
Chapter 4 • All three of the major incidents in this chapter — Gatsby's disclosure in the car, the meeting with Wolfshiem, and Jordan's story about Daisy's soldier — all serve one common purpose: They all give a better understanding of Jay Gatsby's past and, in turn, his present
Chapter 4 • 1.List all of the rumourstold about Gatsby. • 2.Why does Fitzgerald list all of Gatsby's party guests? • 3.Why does Gatsby tell Nick about his life? Do you believe Gatsby? Does Nick? • 4.What role does Meyer Wolfsheim play in the novel? Why is there so much focus on his nose and what does this tell you about Fitzgerald's politics? • 5.What does Jordan's story of Daisy's marriage reveal about Daisy? • 6.Why did Gatsby want Daisy to see his house? • 7.Nick says, "There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired." What does Nick mean? How does each character in the novel fit into this arrangement?
The opening paragraphs of the chapter read much like a Who's Who of 1922. Nick recounts dozens and dozens of names, all of them supposedly recognizable. Clearly, everyone who was anyone wanted to be seen at Gatsby's lavish gatherings. Some of the people came from East Egg (they are distinguished by their aristocratic-sounding names: the Endives, the Stonewall Jacksons, the Fishguards, and the Ripley Snells), While others came from West Egg (sporting more ethnic-sounding names such as Pole, Mulready, Schoen, Gulick, Cohen, Schwartze, and McCarty. Fitzgerald's use of names here brings out the notion that East Egg is symbolic of the established social order (the old money) while West Egg is home to the newcomers, people who may have equal wealth, but haven't had it nearly as long.
Chapter 5 • 1.Why does Gatsby deliver so many goods and services to Nick's house? • 2.Describe the effect of rain on the plot. • 3.Why does Gatsby offer Nick work? How does Nick feel about this? • 4.Explain the significance of the green light. • 5.Why does Gatsby get so many phone calls? What does this say about him?
Chapter 6 • 1.How truthful was Gatsby when he relayed the story of his life to Nick? Why does Fitzgerald tell the story of Jay Gatz now? • 2.Describe the meeting of Tom and Gatsby. What does this meeting reveal about them? • 3.Why did Daisy and Tom find Gatsby's party loathsome? • 4.How did Gatsby measure the success of his party? • 5.When Nick told Gatsby that "you can't repeat the past", Gatsby replied, "Why of course you can!" Do you agree with Nick or Gatsby?
Chapter 5Summary • After Nicks meeting with Jordan, Gatsby appears at Nicks house. He seems agitated and it appears he is desperate for Nick to allow this meeting to take place. When Nick agrees, Gatsby plans on improving Nicks home i.e. cut the grass. Nick seems offended by this. • It rains the day of the meeting and Gatsby appears very nervous. When Daisy arrives, Nick leaves them both alone for two hours. Upon his return, Daisy and Gatsby appear radiantly happy. • Gatsby invites them both to his house, where he shows the overwhelmed Daisy, his many possessions. • Gatsby tells Daisy of his long nights spent outside, looking at the green light at the edge of her dock. Nick wonders could Daisy possibly live up to his expectations.
Chapter 6 Summary • Nick interrupts his narrative to relate Gatsby’s personal history- this is not a rumouror something Gatsby has claimed- it has really happened. • James Gatz, born poor on a North Dakota farm. When he met Dan Cody who renamed him Jay Gatsby and employed him as his assistant. • Traveling with Cody, Gatsby fell in love with wealth and luxury. Cody was a heavy drinker, and one of Gatsby’s jobs was to look after him during his drunken binges. This gave Gatsby a healthy respect for the dangers of alcohol and convinced him not to become a drinker himself. When Cody died, he left Gatsby $25,000, but Cody’s mistress prevented him from claiming his inheritance. Gatsby then dedicated himself to becoming a wealthy and successful man. • After not seeing Gatsby and Daisy for weeks, Nick visits Gatsby and finds Tom Buchanan visiting. Gatsby appears very nervous, mentioning he once knew Daisy. Tom becomes suspicious of Gatsby but has not yet discovered their love for eachother.
Chapter 6 Summary • The following night, Daisy and Tom go to Gatsby’s party. Nick, Tom and Daisy do not enjoy the party as it appears overbearing and cheap. • Gatsby seeks out Nick after Tom and Daisy leave the party; he is unhappy because Daisy has had such an unpleasant time. Gatsby wants things to be exactly the same as they were before he left Louisville: he wants Daisy to leave Tom so that he can be with her. Nick reminds Gatsby that he cannot re-create the past. • Nick thinks about the first time Gatsby kissed Daisy, the moment when his dream of Daisy became the dominant force in his life. Now that he has her, Nick reflects, his dream is effectively over.
Chapter 7 • Describe Daisy and Gatsby's new relationship. • Compare George Wilson and Tom. What did each man learn about his wife and how did they each react? • If Daisy says she's never loved Tom, is there someone whom she thinks she loves? • Describe the fight between Gatsby and Tom. What do these men think of each other? How are they similar and how are they different? • What was significant about Nick's 30th birthday? • What do you think Tom and Daisy were saying to each other in the kitchen? Do you think that Tom knew Daisy was driving the "death car"? Why, why not? • At this point, how would you end the novel?
Chapter 7 • Gatsby calls off his parties, fires his servants to prevent gossip and replaces them with shady individuals- all to concentrate on Daisy. • On the hottest day of the summer, Nick foes for lunch at Tom and Daisyswhere he finds Gatsby and Jordan. Gatsby is stunned when he meets Daisy’s little girl- its as if he didn’t know she was real. her part, Daisy seems almost uninterested in her child. During the awkward afternoon, Gatsby and Daisy cannot hide their love for one another. Complaining of her boredom, Daisy asks Gatsby if he wants to go into the city. As Gatsby stares passionately at her, Tom become convinced of their feelings. • At this point, Tom itching for a confrontation, seizes upon Daisy’s suggestion. Nick rides with Jordan and Tom in Gatsby’s car, and Gatsby and Daisy ride together in Tom’s car. Stopping for gas at Wilson’s garage, Nick, Tom, and Jordan learn that Wilson has discovered his wife’s infidelity—though not the identity of her lover—and plans to move her to the West.
Chapter 7 • The group decides to take a suite at the Plaza Hotel. Tom accuses Gatsby of lying about having attended Oxford. Tom asks Gatsby about his intentions for Daisy, and Gatsby replies that Daisy loves him, not Tom. Tom claims that he and Daisy have a history that Gatsby could not possibly understand. He then accuses Gatsby of running a bootlegging operation. Daisy, in love with Gatsby earlier in the afternoon, feels herself moving closer and closer to Tom as she observes the quarrel. Realizing he has bested Gatsby, Tom sends Daisy back to Long Island with Gatsby to prove Gatsby’s inability to hurt him. As the row quiets down, Nick realizes that it is his thirtieth birthday. • Driving back to Long Island, Nick, Tom, and Jordan discover a frightening scene on the border of the valley of ashes. Someone has been fatally hit by an automobile. They are told that Myrtle was the victim—a car coming from New York City struck her, paused, then sped away. Tom thinks that Wilson will remember the yellow car from that afternoon. He also assumes that Gatsby was the driver. • Back at Tom’s house, Nick waits outside and finds Gatsby hiding in the bushes. Gatsby says that he has been waiting there in order to make sure that Tom did not hurt Daisy. He tells Nick that Daisy was driving when the car struck Myrtle, but that he himself will take the blame. Still worried about Daisy, Gatsby sends Nick to check on her. Nick finds Tom and Daisy eating cold fried chicken and talking. They have reconciled their differences, and Nick leaves Gatsby standing alone in the moonlight.
Chapter 8 • 1.How does Fitzgerald achieve a melancholic (gloomy) mood in the beginning of this chapter? • 2.How are seasons used in constructing this novel? • 3.Who is Dan Cody and what is his significance in Gatsby's life? • 4.How does Nick's statement "You're worth the whole bunch put together" show a change in Nick from the beginning of the novel? • 5.How does T. J. Eckleberg affect Mr. Wilson?
Seasons • The story begins in late spring/early summer. The season is typically symbolic of renewal or newness as trees, flowers, and the earth seems to come to life. This season is reflective of the hope Gatsby has for the future in his attempt to find and develop a relationship with Daisy. • Summer is when the earth is in full bloom and the growth on earth comes to fruition and reaches its peak. This coincides with the relationship and the seeming fulfillment of Gatsby’s dream to be reunited with Daisy. • Finally, the summer ends, and, as we know, in the fall plants and leaves begin to die and life seems to come to an end. This season reflects the end of Gatsby’s relationship and hope for a future with Daisy, and this also reflects his ultimate demise.
Chapter 9 • 1.Why did Nick take care of Gatsby's funeral? • 2.How was Jay Gatz's childhood schedule consistent with the adult Gatsby's behavior? • 3.Who attended Gatsby's funeral? How and why is this significant? • 4.What is the purpose of Nick's last meeting with Jordan? • 5.Why does Nick call Tom and Daisy "careless people"?
Writing two years after Gatsby’s death, Nick describes the events that surrounded the funeral, Nick tries to hold a large funeral for him, but all of Gatsby’s former friends and acquaintances have either disappeared—Tom and Daisy, for instance, move away with no forwarding address—or refuse to come, like Meyer Wolfshiem and Klipspringer. The latter claims that he has a social engagement in Westport and asks Nick to send along his tennis shoes. Outraged, Nick hangs up on him. The only people to attend the funeral are Nick, Owl Eyes, a few servants, and Gatsby’s father, Henry C. Gatz. Henry Gatz is proud of his son and saves a picture of his house. He also fills Nick in on Gatsby’s early life, showing him a book in which a young Gatsby had written a schedule for self-improvement. Sick of the East and its empty values, Nick decides to move back to the Midwest. He breaks off his relationship with Jordan, who suddenly claims that she has become engaged to another man. Just before he leaves, Nick encounters Tom on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Nick initially refuses to shake Tom’s hand but eventually accepts. Tom tells him that he was the one who told Wilson that Gatsby owned the car that killed Myrtle, and describes how greatly he suffered when he had to give up the apartment he kept in the city for his affair. He says that Gatsby deserved to die. Nick comes to the conclusion that Tom and Daisy are careless and uncaring people and that they destroy people and things, knowing that their money will shield them from ever having to face any negative consequences.
Nick muses that, in some ways, this story is a story of the West even though it has taken place entirely on the East Coast. Nick, Jordan, Tom, and Daisy are all from west of the Appalachians, and Nick believes that the reactions of each, himself included, to living the fast-paced, lurid lifestyle of the East has shaped his or her behaviour. Nick remembers life in the Midwest, full of snow, trains, and Christmas wreaths, and thinks that the East seems grotesque and distorted by comparison. On his last night in West Egg before moving back to Minnesota, Nick walks over to Gatsby’s empty mansion and erases an obscene word that someone has written on the steps. He sprawls out on the beach behind Gatsby’s house and looks up. As the moon rises, he imagines the island with no houses and considers what it must have looked like to the explorers who discovered the New World centuries before. He imagines that America was once a goal for dreamers and explorers, just as Daisy was for Gatsby. He pictures the green land of America as the green light shining from Daisy’s dock, and muses that Gatsby—whose wealth and success so closely echo the American dream—failed to realize that the dream had already ended, that his goals had become hollow and empty. Nick senses that people everywhere are motivated by similar dreams and by a desire to move forward into a future in which their dreams are realized. Nick envisions their struggles to create that future as boats moving in a body of water against a current that inevitably carries them back into the past.
Fitzgerald understood his social context better than most in that he fully grasped the idea that the 1920s Flapper Era/ Jazz Age was an "empty" endeavour. The "razzmatazz" and "nifty" aspects of the time period were fruitless. • Gatsby's obsession, Daisy's whims, Tom's desires, and Jordan's manipulations end up having little relevance beyond the realm of the subjective. Nick recognizes this and decides to leave the posh life of the East and return back to the Midwest in the hopes of finding something more lasting and more permanent. • The setting that Fitzgerald renders for us is one where there is a hollowness or emptiness that follows the characters and the reader like a bad shadow. • The independence and freedom, combined with the obsessive optimism of Post World War I America was frail in that there was little contribution to anything lasting or permanent. • Fitzgerald recognized this and brought it in his ending. This becomes the "anti- American Dream," in that freedom and opportunity are synonymous with emptiness.