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The Great Gatsby
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The Great Gatsby

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  1. The Great Gatsby

  2. Symbols

  3. East Egg

  4. Old money section of Long Island (generations of money) • Have social status and follow certain social graces • Snobbish, self-centered; entitled • Secret society: won’t allow anyone to enter from new money or the lower class • Daisy and Tom frown upon West Eggers and Gatsby’s parties • Use others • Tom takes advantage of Wilson and toys with him about selling him a car when his real business is Myrtle • Tom has no intention of leaving Daisy and marrying Myrtle • Don’t accept responsibility for their actions • Daisy doesn’t end it with Gatsby or say goodbye • Daisy and Tom leave for Chicago after’s Myrtle’s death • Tom views himself as the victim (“I cried when I saw those dog biscuits”) and feels no remorse for Gatsby’s death • The East symbolizes corruption of the American Dream East Egg

  5. West Egg

  6. New money section of Long Island • Earned their fortunes – hard workers • Lack social acceptance and social position • Glittering imitation of East Egg • Vulgar rich • Social climbers • Jay Gatsby acquiring his wealth (mansion and belongings) to try to win Daisy • Throws outlandish parties to gain status and get Daisy’s attention • West symbolic of American history and founding principles • End of the novel Nick wants to go back to the Midwest (East corrupt) West Egg

  7. Valley of Ashes

  8. The gray, ashy, desolate area between East/West Egg and New York • Stark contrast to the East/West Egg presented in Chapter 1 – goes from life to decay – exemplifies the great (and terrible) divide between rich and poor • Could represent the struggles of the poor • The hopelessness -- those living there lose vitality • Wilson’s business isn’t successful; he’s spiritless & gray • Could represent how the rich exploit the poor • Tom has an affair with Myrtle and has no intention of marrying her • Tom takes advantage of Wilson by dangling the sale of a car in front of him for the purposes of stealing time with Myrtle • The moral decay of characters and their environment • Extramarital affairs, murder The Valley of Ashes

  9. The Green Light

  10. The light at the end of Daisy and Tom’s dock • At the beginning, hope and longing • Hope that Gatsby may get Daisy again • Green can be symbolic of money • Gatsby’s obsession with making money to win Daisy • Attempts to recapture the past (illusion) • Gatsby’s dream is for Daisy to tell Tom she never loved him & they can pretend the last five years never happened & pick up where they left off • At the end of the novel – nothing The Green Light

  11. Eyes of TJ Eckleburg

  12. The faded, decaying billboard advertisement for an eye doctor • Sees all the moral corruption in the novel • The absence of God • Extramarital affairs, murder, lack of responsibility, recklessness, hollowness, underground crime • Yellow eyeglasses could represent cowardice (fear of seeing/accepting the truth) The Eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleberg

  13. Owl Eyes

  14. In Gatsby’s library, amazed that the books are real and not cardboard • One of the few characters who attends Gatsby’s funeral and marvels at the lack of people • Eulogizes Gatsby as “a poor SOB” • Could represent wisdom Owl Eyes

  15. Gatsby’s Car (Cars in General)

  16. Owl Eyes’ crash, Tom’s crash, Daisy being a careless driver • Represents recklessness, nonchalance, and lack of responsibility of those who feel “entitled” • Gatsby’s yellow Rolls Royce • Represents excess -- worst aspect of America’s worship of material wealth • The yellow “death” car • Myrtle’s inability to be accepted into the class she aspires to • Careless people who ruin lives, retreat into their money, and let others clean up their messes Gatsby’s Car & Cars In General

  17. Gatsby’s Boyhood Schedule

  18. Created by Gatsby when he was a boy; brought to New York by his father • Represents desire to get ahead, to be successful, to obtain the American dream • Driven to succeed even before Daisy Gatsby’s Boyhood Schedule

  19. Wolfsheim’s cufflinks • Cufflinks made from human molars • Brutality, cruelness of the mobsters • Gatsby’s “gonnegtions”

  20. Daisy’s voice • Voice of money • Tradition belonging to the old rich; snobby • Inaccessibility of the old rich • Never marry Gatsby (not her class)

  21. Mantle Clock • Gatsby knocks it over when he sees Daisy at Nick’s • His attempt to recreate the past, pretend like the last five years haven’t existed, make up for lost time • Falling clock=can’t undo/change the past

  22. Colors

  23. White

  24. Is wearing a white dress in Chapter 1 Daisy’s name – white flower with yellow center Daisy drove a white car when she was younger She married Tom because of the $350,000 white pearl necklace White is absence of color – absence of purity and innocence White

  25. Yellow

  26. “Jordan’s slender golden arm resting in mine” (43) Gatsby’s gold tie Gold could be symbolic of old money, luxury, and materialism Yellow death car “Yellow cocktail music” (40) “Two girls in twin yellow dresses” (42) Yellow may represent cowardice -- References to Yellow/Gold

  27. Gray

  28. The Valley of Ashes is full of the color gray • Could represent the decay of hope and dreams • Myrtle dies there, Wilson has a breakdown, where Gatsby’s dreams are shattered Gray

  29. Blue

  30. Wilson’s blue eyes, blue eyes of TJ Eckleburg • Could represent hope for the future • Blue of Gatsby’s garden at his parties • Fantasy world/illusion – people go to Gatsby’s parties to get away from the real world – he holds his parties to capture Daisy’s attention Blue

  31. Red

  32. The color red is associated with Myrtle • Could represent vitality, liveliness, passion • Violence associated with her death Red