F. Scott Fitzgerald Born-September 24, 1896 Died-December 21, 1940 Married Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald named the 1920’s “The Jazz Age” Famous works include: The Great Gatsby The Beautiful and the Damned Tender is the Night
Characters of The Great Gatsby Main Characters Jay Gatsby- The self-made wealthy man who lives next door to Nick Carraway and loves Daisy Buchanan.
Characters of The Great Gatsby Nick Carraway the narrator, Daisy’s cousin, Gatsby’s neighbor
Characters in The Great Gatsby Daisy Buchanan- married to Tom, Gatsby’s love interest before the war, socialite
Characters in The Great Gatsby Supporting Characters: Tom Buchanan Myrtle Wilson George Wilson Jordan Baker Daisy’s husband, has an affair with Myrtle. Tom’s woman in the city, married to George. Owns a gas station, married to Myrtle. Daisy’s friend, professional golfer.
Setting West Egg- East Egg- where Nick and Gatsby live, represents new money where Daisy lives, the more fashionable area, represents old money
Settings in The Great Gatsby The City The Valley of Ashes New York City, where the characters escape to for work and play Gas station is between the City and West Egg, where Wilson’s
Symbols in The Great Gatsby 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- 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.
Basic Plot of The Great Gatsby Overview: Nick moves from the midwest to New York City in order to pursue a career in bonds Nick begins a friendship with his cousin, Daisy Nick befriends his neighbor, Jay Gatsby Nick reunites Daisy with her former love, Gatsby
Overview Nick’s Journey Nick’s Relatives Morals and Values Nick Neighbor He rents a bungalow in West Egg, Long Island, the “less fashionable” of two peninsulas Across the bay, in East Egg, live Nick’s cousin Daisy and her husband Tom, who invites Nick for tea. Jordan Baker, a female golfer and friend of Daisy, informs Nick of Tom’s affair with Myrtle Wilson in a noticeably nonchalant manner. Nick returns home and sees Jay Gatsby, his next-door neighbor, trembling, glancing seaward, looking at a single green light “that might have been the end of a dock.” Chapter 1
Characters The Buchanans Tom Buchanan The novel's characters are obsessed by class and privilege. Come from an elite background and elite social position Tom Buchanan is arrogant, completely lacking redeeming features. His wife describes him as a "big, hulking physical specimen," and he seems to use his size only to dominate others. Chapter 1
Characters, Con’t: Daisy Buchanan Gatsby Frail and diminutive Give a forced laugh at every opportunity Utterly transparent and fake, feebly attempting to project false purity First seen reaching toward a green light across the bay at Daisy’s house. The green light could stand for many things, including: GO, money, desire, unfulfilled dreams, etc.
What does Nick’s move east say about his character? In what ways is he different than his family? Is he a reliable, trustworthy narrator? What kind of character does Fitzgerald create in Tom Buchanan? Look at Tom’s actions, beliefs and physical appearance. Describe Tom and Daisy’s relationship. What does Jordan’s lack of concern about what is going on say about morality within the upper, east egg society? Analyze the words of wisdom that Nick’s father gave him (early in the book). In what two ways could someone interpret the advice? Does Nick agree with his father? What does Nick’s thoughts on his father’s advice say about his ideals? Examine the differences between “west” and “east” as presented in chapter 1. Look at both national geography (western part of United States vs. New York) and the story’s actual setting (East Egg vs. West Egg). What are the main differences? Is one portrayed as being better than the other? Chapter 1Discussion Questions
Overview A Trip to New York The Valley of Ashes Dr. T.J. Eckleburg Tom invites Nick to go to the city with him. “A fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat” Hovering over the Valley of Ashes is the long-forgotten billboard of an eye doctor The eyes seemingly watch with a god-like quality those who pass through the valley Chapter 2
Chapter, Continued George and Myrtle Wilson Tom’s Violence Nick’s Drinking Tom and Nick arrive at the auto garage of mechanic, George Wilson. Wilson’s wife Myrtle is having an affair with Tom. She, Tom and Nick take the next train to New York. Myrtle is Daisy’s Opposite; she is full of color, has full hips and breasts and has a course, loud personality In town Myrtle freely discusses her dislike of George but is struck by Tom when she brings up Daisy in conversation Nick admits to having been drunk just twice in his life, the second time being that afternoon. He finds himself in Pennsylvania Station, waiting for the four o’clock train.
SYMBOLISM in CHAPTER 2 Symbolism of the Valley of Ashes Symbolism of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg Symbolism of the Drawbridge The “Valley of Ashes” from West Egg to New York City exemplifies decay. Non-wealthy characters live in the valley of ashes;. Fitzgerald represents poverty as lying beneath wealth and providing the wealthy with a dumping ground. The eyes are unattached to any face or body, gazing out over a hellish wasteland. Serves as a commentary of God looking over man’s decay, but not acting: they watch, but they do not see; they are heartless, and entirely unknowing. An allusion to the River Styx, a mythological river which one crosses to enter the realm of the dead.
Symbolism of Clothing Symbolism of Nick’s Drunkenness Clothing plays an important role in the development of character, and is reflective of both a character's mood and his or her personality. This device emphasizes the characters' superficiality (their clothing dictates how they act) Though he is repulsed by the party's vulgarity, he is too fascinated to compel himself to leave—the draw of power, money and influence corrupts him (if ever so briefly)
Focus: Symbolism & Setting Contrast the end of chapter 1 with the beginning of chapter 2. What is significance of ending chapter 1 with “green” and starting chapter 2 with “grey?” What is ironic about the “growth” found in the valley? What might this “growth” represent symbolically? What could the large, forgotten and mostly ignored eyes of the oculist Dr. T.J. Eckleburg be representative of in the chapter? (Green: Bottom 25-26, Ashes: 27, 28) Focus: Mood & Characterization Why is Nick both “enchanted and repelled” by his trip with Tom to New York? In what way is the mood in the New York apartment different than that found in East Egg? In what ways are Tom and Myrtle a good fit for each other? In what ways does Tom show arrogance and self-entitlement towards Myrtle and Myrtle’s husband, George? Why is Myrtle foolish? Why does she continue to see Tom? (Tom and Wilson: 29, Description of Myrtle: Bottom 29, 30, Why Myrtle married George 39, Tom hits Myrtle 41, First time Myrtle met Tom 40) Chapter 2 Discussion Questions
Overview Parties Guests Rumors Gatsby holds parties where his house is transformed into an amusement park setting. Drink, stay all night (including those not invited) and fight. Gatsby, however, remains a bystander most of the time. Rumors begin to swirl about the mysterious past of Gatsby Chapter 3- Gatsby
Characters Jay Gatsby Jordan Baker Nick meets Gatsby for the first time at one of his parties Nick spends time with Jordan at the party. He begins to see her. Gatsby speaks privately with her at least an hour. Chapter 3- Gatsby
Gatsby’s Parties Gatsby’s Background Education: Family: Military: Guests East Egg, West Egg, N.Y. City (actors), etc. Many of them are shady and many are famous. Claims he was educated at Oxford like all of his ancestors (a family tradition). Gatsby claims to be from San Francisco, which is not in the middle-west. He was fortunate to inherit a great deal of money from his deceased family. Enlisted during WWI and decorated soldier Gatsby shows Nick his medal from Montenegro and a photograph of himself next to the Earl of Doncaster at Oxford Chapter 4
Daisy’s Relationship with Gatsby Their Meeting: Their Separation: The Gift: 1917 – Louisville – They were together until Gatsby was sent overseas to fight during WWI. Gatsby being sent overseas broke them up. She did not want to marry Tom, but her mother and Jordan talked her out of it. She married Tom Buchanan of Chicago in a huge, expensive wedding. Tom gave Daisy a string of pearls valued at $350,000 to help persuade her to marry him
Gatsby’s Connections Police: Meyer Wolfsheim: Gatsby did a favor for the commissioner and the commissioner sends him a Christmas card every year. A Jewish business associate of Gatsby’s. Wolfsheim fixed the 1919 World Series He has human molar cuff links.
Daisy’s Marriage to Tom Extramarital Affairs: Pammy: On their honeymoon in Santa Barbara, Tom had an affair with a chambermaid. They got into an accident. Daisy has always been suspicious of Tom and his affairs. (82) They had a daughter and moved to France. (82)
Gatsby’s Plan Jordan’s Role: Gatsby wants Jordan, whom he met at one of his parties, to ask Nick to arrange a tea for Daisy. Gatsby will be there, as well. Gatsby wants Daisy to see his house and wealth.
Gatsby’s Generosity Preparation for Daisy A job for Nick to make more money Nick refuses to take it because it could be shady. Gatsby has Nick’s lawn cut and has a greenhouse of flowers delivered to Nick’s place
The Meeting Before it starts Gatsby’s Trick Their initial interaction The Clock Gatsby is nervous and worried. “Nobody’s coming to tea. It’s too late!” “I can’t wait all day” (90). “She turned her head as there was a light, dignified knocking at the front door. I went out and opened it. Gatsby, pale as death, with his hands plunged like weights in his coat pockets, was standing in a puddle of water glaring tragically into my eyes” (91). Gatsby and Daisy are very awkward with each other. Symbolizes the inability to “stop time” or rewind the clock Gatsby Ch. 5
Rain Nick leaves and thirty minutes later… The weather alternates between rain and sun, which reflects the mood swings Gatsby and Daisy go through in the chapter. Daisy’s face was smeared with tears and Gatsby literally glowed. (94) The rain stops. Their nervousness and embarrassment is gone. (94) Gatsby Ch. 5
Gatsby’s Stuff Daisy’s Reaction She is in disbelief over all of the fine things he has acquired She even starts crying when she looks at his fine dress shirts Gatsby Ch. 5
The Green Light “Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever. Compared to the great distance that had separated him from Daisy it had seemed very near to her, almost touching her…Now it was a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one” Gatsby Ch. 5
Gatsby’s Notoriety A newspaper reporter comes asking Gatsby His partied have now become widespread news Gatsby Ch. 6
James Gatz: The Real Story of Jay Gatsby At 17 when James Gatz saw Dan Cody, Gatsby changed his name to Jay Gatsby to reinvent himself. His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people. “The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself” (104). Gatsby Ch. 6
Dan Cody Wealthy millionaire Heavy drinker Many goldiggers around him Planned to leave Gatsby $25,000, but Ella Kaye, one of Cody’s goldiggers got it instead Gatsby Ch. 6
The Riding Party Gatsby’s Ignorance Sloane, Tom Buchanan, and a pretty woman go to Gatsby’s house for a drink. The woman invites Gatsby to dinner. This is an insincere gesture. “My God, I believe the man’s coming,” said Tom. “Doesn’t he know she doesn’t want him?” (109). Gatsby Ch. 6
The Buchanans at Gatsby’s Party Tom attended a party with Daisy due to his concerns about Gatsby. Tom thinks Gatsby must be a bootlegger “the new rich” (114). Gatsby Ch. 6
The Buchanans at Gatsby’s Party Daisy and Gatsby dance the fox-trot. Daisy doesn’t like the party. “She looked around after a moment and told me the girl was ‘common but pretty,’ and I knew that except for the half hour she’d been alone with Gatsby she wasn’t having a good time” (112). Gatsby Ch. 6
Turning Back the Clock Gatsby thinks he can repeat the past and make it like it was five years before. “Can’t repeat the past ?” he cried incredulously. “Why of course you can!” (116). “I’m going to fix everything just the way it was before,” he said, nodding determinedly. “She’ll see” (117). Gatsby Ch. 6
CHAPTER 7 OVERVIEW Tom’s Realization It becomes obvious that Gatsby and Daisy are romantically involved. Tom also learns that Wilson and Myrtle will be moving, because Wilson knows his wife has been unfaithful To escape from the summer heat, the group takes a suite at the Plaza Hotel.
The Confrontation The Drive Home Gatsby tells Tom that Daisy doesn't love him, and has never loved him; Tom calls Gatsby a "common swindler" Daisy sides with Tom In the valley of ashes, Nick, Jordan and Tom find that someone has been struck and killed by an automobile.
Chapter 7 Old vs. New Money The romance between Gatsby and Daisy reaches its climax and its tragic conclusion. Gatsby has earned his fortune through illegal means Daisy is an aristocrat, a woman for whom wealth and privilege were available at birth. As Gatsby himself remarks, even her voice is "full of money." For Gatsby, Daisy represents the wealth and elegance for which he has yearned all his life. Gatsby thus loses Daisy for the same reason that he adores her: her superior arrogance.
Nick’s Advice Gatsby’s Watch The Eyes of Dr. T.J.Eckleburg The advice of Tom Buchanan Advises Gatsby to leave Long Island until the scandal of Myrtle's death has quieted down. He tells Nick that he spent the entire night in front of the Buchanans' mansion, just to ensure that Daisy was safe, although it is now obvious she has chosen Tom Wilson mistakes them for the eyes of God. Wilson assumes that the driver of the fatal car was Myrtle's lover, and decides to punish this man for his sins. Tom tells Wilson that Gatsby was the driver. Wilson drives to Gatsby's mansion to find him CHAPTER 8
Nick’s Admiration Gatsby's great mistake Symbolism of his mistake Gatsby’s Final Swim Nick says Gatsby is "worth the whole damn bunch of them." Though he disapproved of Gatsby "from beginning to end," Nick is still able to recognize him as a visionary, a man capable of grand passion and great dreams. Chose an inferior object upon which to focus his almost mystical capacity for dreaming. Just as the American Dream itself has degenerated into the crass pursuit of material wealth, Gatsby, too, strived only for wealth once he had fallen in love with Daisy. Gatsby's death takes place on the first day of autumn, when a chill has begun to creep into the air. His decision to use his pool is in defiance of the change of seasons, and represents yet another instance of Gatsby's unwillingness to accept the passage of time.
Gatsby’s Funeral Gatsby’s Father Symbolism of Tom and Daisy Overriding Theme of the Novel Gatsby's enormous circle of acquaintances has suddenly evaporated. Only 2 people attend. Has pride in his boy, despite Gatsby basically pretending he was non-existent Tom and Daisy are capable only of cruelty and destruction; they are kept safe from the consequences of their actions by their fortress of wealth and privilege. Gatsby, for all his greatness, failed to realize that the American Dream was already dead when he began to dream it: his goals, the pursuit of wealth and status, had long since become empty and meaningless.
The final line of The Great Gatsby Importance of the Line Gatsby’s Symbolism West vs. East The Change in the Green Light So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. Gatsby's lifelong quest to transcend his past as ultimately futile (like rowing against the current) Gatsby represents the failed American Dream; America was intended as a place where visionary dreamers could thrive. Instead, people like Tom and Daisy Buchanan get away with anything. The West is presented as the seat of traditional morality, an idyllic heartland, in stark contrast to the greed and depravity of the East. The green light was once a symbol of hope and dreams; now, the original ideals of the American dream have deteriorated into the pursuit of wealth.
Post Reading • Relationships • “Zelda had refused to marry him, not because she didn’t love him, but because she wanted a man who could support her in the lavish style she wished” (“The Life and Work…” 1). • Lifestyles - “In 1917, with the European war raging and his academic career at Princeton languishing, Fitzgerald took a commission in the army” (The Life and Work…” 1). -Settings “In October of 1922, Scott and Zelda moved to Great Neck, Long Island, the West Egg of The Great Gatsby” (“The Life and Work…” 2).
Post Reading • Settings: • F. Scott and Zelda lived in “fast” New York society. They partied often and demonstrated eccentric behavior. Similar to Tom and Myrtle’s excursions to NYC and Nick’s fascination with NYC. - In October of 1922, the Fitzgeralds moved to Great Neck, Long Island, N.Y., the West Egg of the novel. The parties in the novel are based on those they experienced there.
Post Reading • Lifestyles • F. Scott, Gatsby, and Nick served during WWI. Both F. Scott and Gatsby were stationed in the South---F. Scott in Montgomery, AL and Gatsby in Louisville, KY. • The wild, extravagant, stylish parties in the novel are based on those attended by the Fitzgeralds during 1922. • The Fitzgeralds, like the Buchanans, had one daughter. • The Fitzgeralds, like the Buchanans, were restless and lacked roots. Both families moved around and lived in both Europe and the U.S.