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The Great Gatsby Review Essay

What does Nick say is “gorgeous” about Gatsby?
Personality and demeanor
What about Gatsby causes disillusionment?
Those who take advantage of him
When Nick returns from war why does he go to the east?
To learn the bond buisness and make money
How is west egg different from east egg?
East egg is old money. West egg is new money.
Before meeting him, what is learned of Tom Buchanan? Locate a quotation that seems to sum up Buchanan.
He is very rich, 30 years old, football hero at Yale. Very athletic, powerful body, arrogant, cruel.
Find the words that Nick uses to describe Daisy’s voice, which is one of her most noticeable features.
She has a “low, thrilling voice”…there was an excitement in her voice that men who had cared for her found difficult to forget…” musical voice, low and alluring voice
Who is Jordan Baker, and what has Nick heard about her?
She is a professional golfer, and Nick has heard “a critical, unpleasant story” about her but he can’t remember what it is.
At the end of this chapter, Nick sees Gatsby on the lawn and is about to call to him but does not. What stops him? What does Gatsby’s “trembling” suggest?
Gatsby seems quiet and in deep thought. He is looking at the green light across the water on the dock of Daisy’s house. He is trembling with emotion.
The green light that Gatsby is staring at is mentioned several more times, and it assumes a symbolic significance. Where do you think the green light might be?
light at the end of the tunnel, future goal for Gatsby, yearning for something that is out of reach
What are some dissimilarities between Tom and George and between Daisy and Myrtle
Tom and George: Tom is rich, physically strong, manipulative, and is the villain in the novel; George is weak, “spiritless”, poor

. Daisy and Myrtle: Myrtle is heavy, sensuous, lower-class, load and vivacious; Daisy is small and and, quiet, feels Tom’s money will always protect her, does not live in reality in regards to her marriage and her daughter

At the party in the apartment, what social classes are represented, and by whom?
a. working class: Myrtle, George Wilson’s wife
b. middle class: The McKees
c. upper class: Tom
In what social class does Nick belong?
He is not from the upper class. He has many tastes and advantages of the upper class, but not the money. He is not poor, though, as his father was a successful business man.
The McKee’s appear only in Chapter 2. Why does Fitzgerald bring them into the story?
They are part of Tom and Myrtle’s social circle in the novel. They share traits with Nick: boredom, a contempt for people of a lower social order, a concern (or lack of concern) for money, and an affinity for alcohol.
Notice how often and in what context Doctor Eckleburg’s eyes are mentioned. What may be the significance of these eyes?
They are mentioned several times. The eyes always seem to be observing or staring at what is going on. They “see” Nick and Tom, Wilson’s repair shop, and seem to “oversee” the “valley of ashes.” The eyes are blue, in contrast to the omnipresent grey.
What is Nick’s opinion of the people at the parties when he says that once there, guests “conducted themselves according to the rules of behavior associated with amusement parks”?
He shows contempt for rude behavior.
What mistake does Nick make?
Gatsby speaks to him and invites him to try out a “hydroplane,” but Nick is unaware that it is actually Gatsby’s chauffeur.
What is the great quality in Gatsby’s smile?
It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it
What do Gatsby and Nick have in common?
During WWI, they were both in the Third Division in France.
Why do you suppose that Jordan does not believe Gatsby when he says that he had attended Oxford College in England?
At the time, Oxford was the college that the upper class in England attended.
Presumably, Americans who went there are also from wealthy, socially prominent families. Gatsby must not fit Jordan’s image of an Oxford man, which is that of a wealthy and polished gentleman, who behaves gracefully and speaks fluently.
In what way is Gatsby’s behavior at his party unlike the behavior of most of his guests?
He does not drink, and he seems to stay aloof from almost everyone. Rather than dancing, singing, and partying, his behavior becomes more correct as the evening progresses.
What impression do you get from Nick’s statement that he is “one of the few honest people [he has] ever known?
Nick’s statements in the novel should represent the truth as he observed it. He is not trying to cover up or distort anything.
Since most of his guests ignore him, why do they come to Gatsby’s house?
It is a popular place with free food, drinks, and amusement. It is also a place to associate with the wealthy in society.
Why is Nick a little disappointed with Gatsby?
Gatsby has very little to say, so it is hard to establish a relationship with him or become interested in him.
Why does Nick have to “restrain his incredulous laughter” when Gatsby says he is “… trying to forget something very sad that had happened to me a long time ago”?
That words and the image he is trying to create are trite. They must have appeared in countless romantic or adventure novels.
What does the conversation reveal about Gatsby?
Gatsby seems to have a romantic aspect to his personality and a tendency to depend on overused phrases.
What changes Nick’s mind about the veracity of Gatsby’s stories?
The medal from Montenegro and the picture from Oxford seem to convince Nick that Gatsby is telling the truth “Then it was all true.”
Who is Meyer Wolfsheim, and what do we know of him?
He is an acquaintance of Gatsby and a gambler. He and Gatsby seem to know some of the same people. While Wolfsheim does not appear to be an educated man, he is, apparently, clever. He is, in Gatsby’s words, “…the man who fixed the 1919 World Series”. He is Jewish, a wheeler and a dealer, who has underworld and business connections. His character is based on an actual person, Arnold Rothstein, who allegedly masterminded the fixing of the World Series. See “Eight Men Out”
Find an instance of irony in Wolfsheim’s discussion with Gatsby.
While it is not quite revealed yet, Gatsby is in love with Daisy, Tom Buchanan’s wife.
How does Daisy behave the night before her wedding? Why?
She gets drunk, cries, and talks about breaking off her engagement to Tom and returning the expensive pearls he has given her. She considers not even getting married to Tom.
From whom do you suppose the letter in her hand comes, and what do you think the letter may have said?
Presumably, it is from Gatsby, and he is probably speaking of his love for her.
What is happening in the relationship between Nick and Jordan?
At the end of the chapter, they seem to be very close.
How does Daisy react to the meeting? Try to point out several specifics throughout the chapter.
At first, she seems as tense as Gatsby and just as “embarrassed.” She has cried at some time during Nick’s absence and attempts to hide the tears. Her throat is “full of aching, grieving beauty,” presumably because of the conversation with Gatsby. Overall, she seems pleased with the meeting and is still fond of Gatsby.
Why does Gatsby throw all his shirts on the table?
He is proud of his shirts because they represent his wealth, like his house, his cars, and his parties.
Obviously, Daisy, with all her money, is not going to cry over some shirts; why does she cry?
It seems to be an emotional reaction to this reunion with Gatsby, more so since she had been crying earlier. Daisy is overwhelmed that Gatsby has constructed this mountain of expensive shirts just for her to see. She is also upset at this moment, that she married Tom. Possibly, there is an element of regret that she did not wait any time for Gatsby to make his fortune.
As the three of them look across the bay toward Daisy’s house, the narrator states, ____________________________.
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. It had seemed as close as a star to the moon. Now it was again a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one.”
What does Fitzgerald mean by:the colossal significance of that light”?
The unavailability of Daisy – nearby, but unattainable, barely approachable-seemed to be contained within the glow of the light. It sustained Gatsby, both as a symbol of Daisy and of the hope that they could recapture the love they once had.
What does Fitzgerald mean by:Compared to the great distance” between Gatsby and Daisy?
Gatsby had moved across the bay from Daisy and spent a great deal of energy dreaming about her, but realistically, his chances of being reunited with her must have seemed remote. The green light had been close to her, previously, as Gatsby is now.
What does Fitzgerald mean by: Now it was again a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one?”
Now that his dream has been realized, the green light becomes just a light and is no longer a symbol for Gatsby. For however brief a time, the girl is with him again, so he no longer needs to sustain himself with symbols.
Find an example of a paradox in the description of how Nick sees himself in relation to Gatsby and Daisy.
perhaps my presence made them feel more satisfactorily alone.”
In the third-to-the last paragraph of this chapter, what does Nick mean when he says, “There must have been moments even that afternoon Daisy tumbled short of his dreams-not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion”?
Over the five years, Gatsby has idealized Daisy so much that she could not possibly live up to his image of her. She truly is a creation of his “illusion” of Daisy.
Who are Gatsby’s parents and what is he leaving when he leaves home at 16?
His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people; his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all.” This description is, of course, Nick’s as supplied by Gatsby. Certainly, Gatsby’s parents were never as ambitious, exciting and glamorous as he would have liked, but objectively they may not be as ordinary as Gatsby describes them to Nick.
When and why does James Gatz change his name to Jay Gatsby?
he’s had the name ready for a long time.” because he thinks it a more glamorous name than his own. When he rows out to Dan Cody’s yacht, he uses it for the first time.
Nick says, “So he [Gasby] invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end.” For James Gatz, what would the ideal Jay Gatsby be like, do, and have?
He apparently imagines himself as the wealthy, glamorous, suave, sophisticated man of the world, the idealized Jay Gatsby he attempts to be in the “present” of the novel.
To young Gatsby, what does Dan Cody’s yacht represent?
represented all the beauty and glamour of the world.”
Why does Gatsby not get the $25,000 left him in Cody’s will?
Somehow, Ella Kaye cheats him out of it.
Knowing Tom as we do, how can we account for his comment about being “old-fashioned” and “women running around too much these days to suit [him]”?
Tom is sincere, and obviously believes in a double standard of behavior. That he, of all people in the book, says this and does not see the irony in it can probably be attributed to a combination of limited intelligence and arrogance
What is Daisy’s opinion of Gatsby’s party?
Besides the time she spends with Gatsby, she does not like it. Her and Tom think its too West Egg: loud singing and crazy dancing, too many “new money” people, too many ethnic people
While the reader could have easily predicted Daisy and Tom’s reactions to the party, Gatsby cannot. Why not?
Gatsby has the money and some of the airs of old money, but he does not have the values. Because of his wealth, Gatsby imagines himself as a social equal to anyone in the room, including Tom.
When Gatsby says that he cannot make Daisy understand, what is it that he wants her to understand?
Gatsby expects Daisy to know that he loves her; she should leave Tom so that she and Gatsby can be together and get married.
What is Nick’s view of repeating the past, and what is Gatsby’s opinion? Why is Gatsby’s opinion unrealistic?
Nick’s view is that people cannot repeat the past at all. Gatsby, on the other hand, believes that the past can be repeated by “fixing everything the way it was before.” This view is foolish, since people and circumstances change drastically in five years; money cannot restore emotions that existed earlier.
How is the behavior of the characters linked to the hottest day of the summer?
Tom appears short-tempered, and Daisy is on edge. In this heat, the smallest frustration can anger any one of them.
What does Tom discover that unnerves him, and how does he discover it?
He sees the look in her eyes, and he realizes that Daisy actually loves Gatsby.
Why do you suppose that Tom decides to let Wilson finally have the car he has been promising?
Tom feels pity for Wilson and maybe he will give Wilson the car so he does
What indication is there at this point that Tom means quite a bit to Myrtle?
As she looks from the window, Nick notes, “… that her eyes wide with jealous terror, were fixed…on Jordan Baker, whom she took to be [Gatsby’s] wife.”
Besides Myrtle’s, what other eyes are mentioned in this section of the chapter?
Gatsby’s eyes “floated toward [Daisy.” Dr. T.J. Eckleburg’s eyes “came into sight” and later “kept their vigil.” Wilson gazed “hollow-eyed” at Gatsby’s car.
As always, there is some element of truth in what Gatsby says. In what sense is he actually an Oxford man?
In a program for former officers, he attended Oxford for five months.
Why does Daisy say that Tom is “revolting”?
She is tired of his philandering and his passing it off as a “little spree.”
Why does Daisy have a difficult time saying, as Gatsby wishes, that she never loved Tom?
It could be the final act of her safe marriage if she were to say what Gatsby wants her to say. It would force her to change her life. As she admits, “It wouldn’t be true”: There was a time when she did love Tom.
Why is it important to Gatsby that Daisy say she never loved Tom, only him? What is the key sentence that shows Daisy will not leave Tom?
It is part of Gatsby’s attempt at controlling his world. If he can persuade Daisy to renounce any feelings of love for Tom, she will become part of Gatsby’s dream, creation, and possessions.

Daisy accuses Gatsby of “want[ing] too much.” If he had not insisted on her renouncing of all affection for Tom, possibly she could have gone with Gatsby.

How has Gatsby gotten some of his money, and what does Tom say that startles Gatsby?
Tom says Gatsby’s drugstores sell illegal alcohol. He also says that Gatsby has “something on now.” Tom’s friend Walter Chase, who gave him the incriminating evidence, did not say what it is.
What is Daisy’s reaction to this news?
She withdraws into herself, away from Gatsby. She will not leave Tom for Gatsby.
How is the telling of the accident accomplished?
It comes through a flashback, part of the “inquest,” at which Michaelis testifies.
Why does Tom make the point to Wilson that he just drove the coupe from New York and the yellow car is not his?
He wants Wilson to know he was not driving the yellow car since it was the one that involved in the accident.
What indication is there that Tom really is fond of Myrtle?
He is crying as they drive off.
Why does Nick not wait for the taxi inside the Buchanan’s house?
Nick seems disgusted by all of them, including Jordan. Gatsby only cares about Daisy.
What does the reader learn Tom does not know?
Daisy, not Gatsby, was driving the car.
Describe the scene that Nick observes taking place between Tom and Daisy in the kitchen. What is significant about it?
They are sitting opposite each other. Tom, talking intently, puts his hand on Daisy’s, and once in a while, she looks up at him and nods in agreement. “They weren’t happy…and yet they weren’t unhappy either. There was an unmistakeable air of natural intimacy about the picture and anybody would have said that they were conspiring together.” There certainly seems to be an agreement between the two that they will remain together, despite any interference of Gatsby or any difficulties caused by the accident. Their money and their power will prevail.
What does Nick imply when he says “[Gatsby] couldn’t possibly leave Daisy until he knew what she was going to do. He was clutching at some last hope and I couldn’t bear to shake him free”?
Nick believes that the affair between Daisy and Gatsby is finished based on the kitchen scene from the previous chapter.
At this point, why does Gatsby tell everything to Nick?
Apparently, Gatsby is feeling vulnerable. Psychologically, guilt may be making him feel as if he Homework to confess something, so he chooses to reveal his past; he needs to talk, knowing that he cannot defeat Tom in the quest for Daisy. He “…told it to me because ‘Jay Gatsby’ had broken up like a glass against Tom’s har
What way is Gatsby’s uniform an “invisible cloak”?
In the uniform of an army officer, all men look equal, socially. The uniform presents him as someone with potential.
Why is the young Gatsby drawn to Daisy?
He is drawn by her beauty, her home, and the fact that many men love her. Gatsby has always viewed life, and everything in it, in terms of worth. They only spent a month together and were falling deeper in love every minute of that time.
What are the dominant images do far in this chapter?
Fitzgerald describes things through the senses: Sound-“groaning foghorn”; visual-“star shine”;
As he is leaving, why does Nick say to Gatsby, “They’re a rotten crowd…You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together”?
Nick believes that the dream and the world he entered is finished, and he feels that Gatsby suspects the same. Nick must know that the Buchanans are not worth the trouble and heartbreak that they have brought Gatsby.
What is the cause of the problem between Jordan and Nick?
Nick thinks of Jordan the same way he thinks of the Buchanans. At this point, he cannot bring himself to see her and the life style that she represents.
How is the previous day’s discussion between Michaelis and Wilson portrayed?
Nick narrates the flashback in an omniscient style; he includes small details and explains Wilson’s thinking at that point.
In what context do Dr. Eckleburg’s eyes appear in this discussion?
Before her death, Wilson had taken Myrtle to the window, “and I said ‘God knows what you’ve been doing…You may fool me, but you can’t fool God!'” In front of Wilson were the giant eyes, observing all that happened.
What happen’s to Gatsby and Wilson?
As Gatsby is lying on an inflatable raft in his pool looking at an “unfamiliar sky,” Wilson shoots him. Wilson then takes his own life
11. How can Wilson’s actions at the end of this chapter be explained?
He kills Gatsby because he is under the impression that Gatsby has had an affair with Myrtle and killed her, possibly deliberately, in the accident. Without Myrtle, it must seem to him as if he has no more reason to live.
Why does Nick feel responsible for getting people to the funeral? Why do you suppose Wolfsheim reacts the way he does? What is your opinion about Wolfsheim’s note?
Nick has been Gatsby’s only friend. Wolfsheim and Gatsby were business associates, but Wolfsheim does not want to get involved in Gatsby’s death because it could be bad for business. The note seems very detached from any emotion, despite words to the contrary.
What is the significance of the call from Chicago?
Someone calls and Nick answers. Thinking Nick is Gatsby, the caller begins explaining about a bond deal that ended in an arrest. When Nick says that Gatsby is dead, the caller hangs up. This was probably the next big deal Gatsby was to be involved in.
Why do so many people choose not to attend the funeral?
No one wants to be associated with Gatsby because there was something illegal about him.
What does the young Jimmy Gatz’s daily schedule say about him?
Gatz set a strict schedule and program for himself; self improvement was the immediate goal with success in life being the ultimate goal.
Is Nick surprised that Daisy has not sent a message or flowers?
No, he did not really expect her to.
Throughout the story, Nick has criticized the West. At this point, what is it about the middle-west that he appreciates?
He praises the stability and continuity.
What is Nick’s final feeling about Tom and Daisy? What happens when Nick runs into Tom in NYC?
They are careless people who smash things up and then retreat back into their money. He cannot forgive them or like them, but it seems pointless to hate them since they are unaware of everything except themselves, and hatred would serve no purpose.
In the last three paragraphs, Nick makes the symbol of the green light very concrete. What does the green light symbolize?
It represents the rich, full future of our dreams “that year by year recedes before us,” almost graspable at the beginning, but always beyond reach.
What is the quote by Gertrude Stein to Ernest Hemingway?
You are all a lost generation
Why did many American writers during this time move to Europe?
Disillusioned with American society so they eft for Paris
Six items about the Progressive Era
Abuses of the gilded age exposed
Uptown Sinclair/ Ida Tarbell
19th amendment
Industrial reform
WWI
League of Nations
Modernism
Literary and artistic movement that emerged in the early 1900s and flourished for 20 years
Expatriots
Americans living abroad
Characterization
Act of describing of creating a character
Point of view
The vantage point or perspective from which a story is told
Tone
Emotional attitude toward the reader of subject impelled by literary tone
Theme
Central message or perception about the life revealed in a literary work
When was the Great Gatsby published and who was the author
In 1925 by Fitzgerald
Was The Great Gatsby a commercial success?
No, critical but not commercial
What kind of background did Fitzgerald come from?
Upper middle class. Prep school. Princeton, but didn’t graduate.
What was Fitzgeralds role in WWI?
In the army and never went over seas
What was Fitzgeralds first novel and when did he write it?
This side of paradise : 1920
Who was Fitzgerald’s wife?
Zelda, they met when stationed in Arizona
What kind of life did they have?
Socialite life. Lived in the roaring 20s with parties and they traveled. Moved to Paris.
What mental illness did Zelda have?
Schizophrenia
What did he write when getting to Hollywood?
Screenplays
What did he die of in 1940?
Heart attack at age 44
What famous expression did Fitzgerald create?
The Jazz age

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