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green light

hope, dream, desire

car

American status, wealth, accidents and carelessness

valley of the Ashes

corruption, destruction, and death
1. modern world waste from industry
2. materialism ruins wealthy people and others
3. moral values- sins such as adultery, breaking the law, lying, and murder, wasted marriages and lives

seasons

phases or changes on one's life

spring

fresh start west to east - Nick

summer

good times, parties, love, affairs, searching for dreams

fall

end of youth, dream gone, things fall apart, die of Jordan says that life starts over

Gatsby's schedule

hard work and study leads to American dream of adventure and money. Irony is that he completely deviates from this intent by illegally obtaining his money

movements west to east

all move west to east in hope of finding a better life, glamour, riches or escape (Gatsby, Daisy, Tom, Nick, Jordan). None succeed because all develop false values to adapt to lifestyle. Only Nick saves himself by returning to mid-west

west egg

new money, fast money, rages to riches immigrant stock, showy and vulgar, wannabes (Gatsby and Nick)

east egg

old money, inherited wealth of established families, snooty, upper crust, white palaces (Tom and Daisy)

Gatsby's shirts

enchanted objects obtained by excess wealth, more than necessary, waste

Parties

carelessness, low morals, vulgar behavior, drunkenness, wast trash, chaos, accidents

F. Scott Fitzgerald

born in 1896 in St. Paul, mn
married Zelda Sayre
goes to extravagant parties with Zelda
1925 publication of The Great Gatsby

Gatsby = man of "doubleness or twoness"

means he both loved and hated money, was attracted to rich, yet felt the falseness and hypocrisy of their lives

Jazz Age

also called "Roaring 20's" (1918-1929) - rapid change in manners and morals among younger generation (determined to have a good time and reckless parties) Jazz music originated in New Orleans. Prohibition (alcohol illegal) --> bootleggers prospered

Daisy Buchanan

beautiful, enchanting, unworthy object of dream, illusion of love with voice like money, hollow (like Zelda)

Tom Buchanan

hulk of a man, bigot, hypocrite, uses people, treates people like possessions, example of upper class values

Nick Carraway

first person narrator, observes at first, finally judges, develops full moral responsibility at age 30 (tuning point, loss of youth), represents the Midwest

Jordan Baker

draws Nick into story, friend of Daisy's, shows change in women during 1920's

Meyer Wolfsheim

gambler, part of organized crime, involved with Gatsby

George Wilson

trapped in hopeless situation, common man in material wasteland

Myrtle Wilson

mistress of Tom's trying to rise above station in life

Jay Gatsby

static character devoted to dream, symbol of American experience

Dan Cody

American archetype (original, model), romantic figure with money

Michaelis

owner of Greek restaurant next to Wilson's garage

Klipspringer

"boarder"; left over party guest; lives at Gatsby's house

Henry C. Gatz

Gatsby's father

James Gatz

Jay Gatsby's real name before he changed his name to Jay Gatsby

Owl Eyes

The drunk who Nick meets at the first party he attends at Gatsby's mansion. Nick finds Owl Eyes looking through Gatsby's library, astonished that the books are real.

Dr. T.J. Eckleburg

billboard of eyes with glasses looking down on the Valley of the Ashes. Represents God judging poor moral behaviors

Moral irresponsibility creates a moral wasteland

1. valley of the ashes- industry waste
2. wasted lives- Tom's affair, Daisy's affair destroys marriages and lives
3. Gatsby's illegal wealth and deception causes him to lose Daisy and to have no friends to mourn him
4. Jordan's cheating, lying, and carelessness causes her to lose Nick.
5. Drunkenness results in arguments, fights, chaos, tears, accidents, hurt, etc.
6. Daisy's lies and Tom's malice cause three deaths

Illusion vs. reality

1. Daisy is a money lover who uses others to retain her status. She appears to be "fairy like" and pure dressed in white. Her voice is beautiful, but manipulative. She is a beautiful fool.
2. Jay Gatsby's smile, clothes, house all appear to create a man of wealth and status. In truth, he's a lying gangster (bootlegger, Oxford only 5 months)
3. others: Tom, Jordan, Meyer Wolfshiem, and party-goers

themes

1. American idealism has been corrupted by adopting materialism as it means
2. moral irresponsibility creates a moral wasteland
3. the corruption of the American dream by selfish materialism (can no longer measure up to explorer's dreams)
4. illusion vs. reality (Gatsby's creation of his own history)

style

1. use of first person narrator for presentation rather than summary for key scenes
2. focus on a few scenes- tightly knit structure
3. juxtaposition of scenes for dramatic comparisons (parties, view of Gatsby, etc.)
4. Descriptive style-colors: white, green, gold and silver
5. religious imagery "grail," "sacred vigil," "worship at night," "Jacob's ladder"
6. epigraph on title page applies to Gatsby

the color white

PURITY and wealth

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