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Terms in this set (137)
"I'm incline to reserve all judgements, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and also made me the victim of not a few veteran bores"
Fitzgerald sets up Nick with this characteristic as a frequented confidant who never judges, setting him up as an appropriate narrator and witness to the subsequent events in the book.
Nick the Narrator:
He has been called a mouthpiece for Fitzgerald and a generally transparent and "sensible young man" who is here demonstrated as being a fairly reliable narrator
"I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever"
Uniform and attention foreshadow his revelation that he fought in WW1. This is thought in contrast to the stuff that happens to him in the summer.
- 1929 Wall Street Crash
- Jazz Age
- Roaring Twenties
- Economic Boom
- Peacetime, post WW1
- American industry at its peak
- Age of consumerism
- Birth of advertising, people were far more susceptible to it back then having not been subject to it in the past.
Theme of devotion and romance in Gatsby
Shows how, in the 20s more than now, the ideas of courtly love and chivalry were held as important and central to relationships and showing affection.
How much of relationships involves projecting an idea on to a person and actually having reciprocal feelings.
- Gatsby is away from Daisy for a shit long time, so just has his imagination of her.
- Distance between lovers is a key theme in all three texts
Gatsby is presented as having pretty darn great charisma
In his presence Nick believes anything is possible. Some other points.
'Dust', 'ashes', and 'powder':
Leitmotif in the novel, what is left when a dream dies, or explodes, or burns or something.
This book has a modernist sensibility.
Modernism in Literature
A post WW1 reaction to Victorian realism. Having seen WW1 people could no longer believe the traditional ideals of the Victorian era. Modernism changes literature to no longer follow principles and stability and certainty and now focus on fragmentation, chaos and destruction.
e.g. T.S. Eliot's 'The Waste Land', many allusions to it in Gatsby, talks about the godless and by extension mechanical and empty repetition of people of the time by living without spirituality. The poem can be seen as a spiritual quest though it has no real plot.
Post WW1 saw the Victorian era as a time of stability, certainty, order and Christian morality. The idea that humans were essentially at the centre of the universe.
"My family have been prominent, well-to-do people"
Not as rich as the rest of the society he goes on to describe but still quite rich, upper middle class. Generally the novella clearly describes America as being a country that is run by a fairly well defined class system.
"I came East , permanently, I thought"
We already know that this did not turn out to be permanently and through this point Gatsby continues the theme of disillusionment and the killing of dreams.
A key motif, the idea of a fresh new world.
Anne Crow - A Critidemic
"Nick's pride in being 'rather literary' alerts the reader to the ways in which he is shaping his narrative, and being selective in what he chooses to include and to omit"
West Egg v East Egg
TOWIE v MIC - New money v Old money
Slight sinister quality to WE, it wants to be like EE, but EE looks down on it bc they're nouveau and not as civilised as them. EE know how to cope with money, WE seem to be celebrating their wealth like Gatsby but finding it unfulfilling as they become disillusioned with the hedonism they perpetrate.
Strange and fake and phony and out of place; a Hotel de Ville is a town hall type building in France. It's ostentatious like something in Dubai or something idek.
Nick and Tom and Daisy
Nick has more in common with Tom than he thinks. Or something.
Tom is this masculine physical guy who's favourite time was playing football in college but now he's kind of useless in the adult world because he's got nothing to do with his masculine personality, his life is already over.
"This was a permanent move... I didn't believe it"
Nick is hypocritical in judging them for their listlessness when that is exactly the same unfulfilling state of mind that is motivating him.
"Standing with his legs apart"
Shows dominance and manliness and shit.
"a cruel body"
this physical description also gives a character description at the same time. It also reveals a lot about how Nick feels about Tom and people like Tom.
"as if they had just been blown black in after a short flight around the house"
This is a very good example of Nick's romantic temperament, his idealising temperament; he wants to see a magical wondrous world.
Nick "puts the pussy on a pedestal" and when they fall short of his expectations he demonises them, binaries, polarising etc.
""they were both in white" "an anchored balloon" "whip and snap of the curtains" "then there was a boom as Tom Buchanan shut the rear windows" "pale flags".
"Tom Buchanan shut the rear windows and the caught wind died out about the room"
Masculinity destroying effeminate romantic dream stuff
"She laughed, again as if she had said something very witty"
Nick has an ambiguous attitude towards Daisy, he both likes her but also recognises her vices "almost any exhibition of complete self-sufficiency draws a stunned tribute from me".
"A singing compulsion"
"a promise that she had done gay, exciting things just a while since and that there were gay, exciting things hovering in the next hour"
Mechanical repetition, listless vague insubstantial quality to what she's saying. It's actually quite empty, bordering on harrowing.
Tom is exploiting both George and Myrtle
George wants a business opportunity and Myrtle wants increased status through marriage, making them easy for an established member of the upper class.
In terms of aspiration Gatsby, George and Myrtle are all presented as being similar.
However unlike the other two's, Gatsby's aspirations are more spiritual and whatnot bc he wants Daisy.
George and Gatsby associated with similar imagery
Vanish/ shadow/ ghost/ spirit
Vanish/ shadow/ ghost/ spirit imagery
Both makes Gatsby's quest seem spiritual and transcendent but conflictingly equally insubstantial, unimportant and superficial.
Gatsby's love for Daisy
The physical aspect is downplayed and not really mentioned. Something deathly about it, he doesn't live his own life, he doesn't meet friends and stuff because of his devotion to the idea he has of pursuing Daisy.
"Valley of Ash"
this is the side of New York that the rich don't think about a product of their gluttony and hedonism. Rural imagery contrasts this grey disillusioned urban landscape with the ideal rural farm landscape that Americans and all societies romanticise at the heart of their history. In this modernist world everything is essentially just dust and ash, all matter, there's no meaning to it without a God. This is a homage to T.S. Elliot's "The Wasteland":
"Why am I here?
Why am I alive?
Why do you care?"
"There is not a single female character that exhibits anything but a desire for a good time and material possession"
She's calling the book misogynistic
Literary genre at its height in the century before Shakespeare. It's written by people who live in cities of the country as being a place that is freed of all the corruption, cares and woes of urban living. WITH MY WOES
"I have been drunk just twice in my life"
Nick is an unreliable narrator
Party with Tom and Myrtle:
Everyone's trying to manipulate and exploit each other. McKee wants to get in the upper class social circles bc he's a photographer. Tom is exploiting Myrtle for sex. Myrtle is exploiting Tom for status. But there's an imbalance of power so Tom is properly being exploitative. This is a party of quiet desperation. The McKees are trying to get some kind of opportunity from this party. "All I ask is that they should give me a smart"
"swept into the kitchen, implying that a dozen chefs awaited her orders there"
In contrast to Tom and Daisy evening where servants were invisible, here Myrtle is trying to display the servants to show her status.
"I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the in-exhaustible variety of life"
This is what the whole thing is about. People always wanna hang out with the cool kids becuahse they see them and think their life must be filled with so many "gay exciting things" and then you actually do and just realise they're just humans and it's all the same, insubstantial and superficial, with everything haunted by an underlying feeling of quiet desperation, exuding off of everyone no matter how secure they look - even the ones who seem secure because of how openly insecure they act, Daisy's "deep" speech to Nick at the beginning is the closest thing that this book comes to touching on that.
"the advertisement over his head"
Tom is advertising his wealth with his "dress suit and patent leather shoes" and this is what attracts Myrtle to him; wealth.
"You can't live forever"
This forebodes her death later on, ultimately a result of this action.
"I've got to get a massage and a wave, and a collar for the dog, and one of those cute little ash-trays where you touch a spring"
Shows her materialistic ways, ultimately concluding in ash imagery showing the pointlessness and lack of spirituality or substance to it, a path that will lead her to her death. This is highlighted by her needing to get "a wreath with a black silk bow for mother's grave that'll last all summer". Something removed about the way she says this.
"the little dog sitting on the table looking with blind eyes through the smoke, and from time to time groaning faintly"
The dog is a victim of other people's self absorbed carelessness. Fitzgerald is interested throughout this book with portraying the victims of the breezy lifestyle of the upper class.
"Then I was lying half asleep in the cold lower level of The Pennsylvania Station"
Narrative ellipses during this whole drunken night. Kind of describes it well.
Myrtle and Tom
- Tom is exploiting Myrtle for sex
- Myrtle is using Tom for status but she's losing out because Tom has full control, there are plenty of fish in the sea for him
- Myrtle is delusionally thinks her relationship with Tom is more meaningful than Tom and Daisy's, she won't admit that it's just sex, she's living her fantasy out.
- Myrtle is too excessive and boastful in living with status so seems kinda nuevo.
- Delusion is an important of relationships in Gatsby
- Myrtle = a 'fleshy' climbing plant
Reference to The Tempest. Adding a magical element to it
Transience to the party
Everything's swaying and morphing with ease
All the long sentences to describe the party denote excess
There are clauses. Long sentences with lots of clauses.
"Floating rounds of cocktails"
The help are invisible
The switch to the present tense in the last para of p.31 "By seven o'clock the orchestra has arrived"
Shows a sense of inevitability and now that it is being narrated as it happens it brings the narrative up to the present moment almost where Nick is about to do stuff
Kathleen Parkinson quote
This impressionistic scene of movement and change creates a contrast with the solitary figure of the host and anticipates the revelation of the essential insubstantiality of Gatsby's dream.
Englishman "selling something"
contrast to the people whose "ticket of admission" was their "simplicity of heart" these Englishmen were "agonisingly aware" that they could make money here. Slightly desperate sounding.
Goes back to that East egg view of West Egg
"She held my hand impersonally"
Nick wants to portrays Jordan as a conceited and snobbish socialite. But she breaks this presumption of his "you've dyed your hair since then" which he's surprised by "I started"
"The staid nobility...- East Egg condescending to West Egg and carefully on guard against its spectroscopic gaiety"
East Egg V West Egg
"What thoroughness! What realism!"
He's really impressed by Gatsby's commitment to appearing to be genuine and civilised. Of course he's phony but he's a really good phony "a regular Belasco".
"It understood you just so far as you wanted to be understood"
Romantic, hyperbolic and idealistic language to describe this one smile shows how captivated Nick is by Gatsby.
"a man of about my age"
Underwhelming description of the guy he goes off on a tangent about once he finds out that he's Gatsby. Kind of undermines the integrity of the bewitching feeling Nick experiences when Gatsby smiles at him later. He seems to be more captivated by the idea of the man than the man man.
First impression of Gatsby
He's insubstantial and that comes from the fact that he lives his life in the name of something meaningless and superfluous.
Gatsby's devotion to Daisy
It's a chimera!!
"Precisely at this point it vanished"
This suggests it's all an illusion his charisma and whatnot.
Gatsby's "elaborate formality of speech just missed being absurd"
Nick is kind of being snobby, despite the almost magical quality he literally just attributed to Gatsby, he suddenly reverts from that idealism to some cynicism or some shit.
"I noticed that she wore her evening-dress, all her dresses, like sports clothes"
Something Something he's a dick or gay or something idk. She's androgenous I guess, I don't know I wasn't really listening, Hey ho all's well that ends well swings and roundabouts (etc)
Couples are always seen to be arguing "most of the remaining women were now having fights with men said to be their husbands"
That's pretty modernist and disillusioned seeing all these imperfect relationships and flaws and etc.
"Let it blow quietly away"
Suggests him to be non-committal, irresponsible and perhaps immature. He seems pragmatic, cowardly somewhat and very detached from everything. This does not fit with the morally superior image he's had conveyed himself as having. Comes back to the theme of the carelessness of people hurting other people.
"Imagining that I, too, was hurrying toward gaiety"
Once again longing after a better, idealised, fantasy, perfect version of his life. He'd much rather have these fantasies than possibly even the reality of doing them. He's constantly romanticising things. Because real life is pretty boring.
Jordan Baker cheats
She lies a lot, women should not be blamed for lying apparently, she gets through life by being manipulative and deceitful, but somehow that's ok. This shows the general carelessness again of the novel.
"I hate careless people"
Well we hate you! Ironic because Jordan is being careless, highlights the whole hypocrite factor. And how like when Donald Trump just makes stuff up and gets caught out on it, it doesn't even matter, there's no point pointing it out, it won't change anything, doing that is simply not the point.
"any divergence from a code would be thought impossible"
She's taking advantage of the delusions that have remained in the hangover from the Victorian period in which dumb men still would not even dream of a woman being unfaithful or sexually liberated or just a bitch in some way because they're supposed to be laaaaaadiieeess. And Nick portrays women acting independently and not conforming to the oppressive misogynistic Victorian ideals as being deceitful, manipulative and immoral, and yet she can't be blamed too "deeply" for this because she's a woman, you can't help but think he's misogynistic.
Post Structuralists are interested in binary opposition. They say that any binary usually implies a hierarchy.
"I hate careless people. That's why I like you"
Someone finally subscribing to the view of himself that he desires to people to see him in, an action that he massively appreciated in Gatsby and that's what made him so enchanted by him, it's almost funny how narcissistic he is that someone finally paying homage to him and his budding ego impulsively causes a profound sense of love from Nick towards him. He's a hypocrite etc etc.
The Careless Insulation of A Car
Metaphor for their bubble the rich live in. Shittin' on the little people around them, like the workmen that they literally skimmed and almost hit.
is a cool phrase
just fits the general gatsby aesthetic already established, grotesque, cheesy and nouveau. Foreshadowing what the "death car" does later.
The cars in Gatsby signify how the rich are protected and insulated from the consequences of their actions, only the rich could have this luxury (the car/the insulation)
This drive with Nick and Gatsby:
Nick re-romanticise Gatsby
"The smile comprehended Montenegro's troubled history"
Switching round after the understanding smile he talked about when they first met. Ironic. Makes it funnier when he's taken aback next page where he thinks it's real.
"Then it was all true. I saw the skins of tigers flaming..."
So ready to believe again that Gatsby's gr8, under very little evidence tbh. The fact that all the imagery is taken straight from Hollywood, specifically Rudolph Valentino emphasises the point that Nick is as ready to believe in glamorous illusions as Gatsby is to make them.
Daisy Fey - The Name
Morgan Le Fay, name of an enchantress from Arthurian legend, was a stereotype biblical Eve type thing, uses wiles what are feminine to bewitch men.
Jordan's narration of Daisy's love life
Very structured, like a timeline with specific dates, highlights Daisy's own careless vagueness as her interests ebb and flow. Contrasts very much with the way Gatsby's passions transcend the passions of time. Whereas Gatsby allows herself to be distracted, after a while she finds someone else, and then another person, and then another one etc.
The significance of Daisy being "effectually prevented" from going to say goodbye to Gatsby at the harbour.
She does have romantic impulses but they get washed away after a while because she's getting pressured into lots of things and there are lots of expectations weighing on her as a daughter of the aristocracy, her parents can hang their financial support over her head if she disobeys them and could lose her friends and place in society unlike Gatsby who has the freedom to pine for Daisy all his life. Daisy is forced to move on.
Significance of Daisy's failure here to remain in love with Gatsby and Jordan being the one to tell this story
It gives it a prosaic nature to counter measure Gatsby's romanticism and idealism, this shows Daisy to be a normal human with complicated feelings and a complicated life. Jordan's narration accentuates this because it's so factual and down to earth and sets it all out as matter of fact things that normally happen in people's life, punctuated by dates and facts labelled either as certain or alleged - ("presumably").
This is also a stark contrast to the romanticism of Gatsby and Nick with the literality of Jordan and Daisy, Daisy just messes up or forgets things or moves on, or finds someone better or thinks she finds someone better, it all emphasises how in the present moment you don't have foresight or hindsight, you just do stuff.
"coming to pieces like snow"
Doesn't mean much, come to pieces at the touch, insubstantial. Could also show how Daisy's engagement to Tom is the death of her and Gatsby's love. Could also represent Daisy's romantic resolve, coming to pieces when met with resistance. Anticlimactic, love is affected by earthly forces.
"I've never seen a girl so mad about her husband"
Says something about Jordan's cynicism of romance. Also the flaws in marriage in high society that she is used to being around, this is the same Jordan who is unfazed at Tom having a mistress.
"Tom ran into a wagon on the Ventura Road...the girl who was with him... was one of the chambermaids in the Santa Barbara Hotel...her arm was broken"
Once again showing love is not linear or stable as it's all gone wrong again. Another example of careless driving.
Daisy's life is the consequence of other people's actions she's kind of pushed around by other stuff
Whereas Gatsby forges his own destiny in money terms, social terms and love terms.
Jordan/ the narrator's opinion that this comes through after so many chapters of Nick's aimless romantic bullshit
Basically a cliche but wasn't a cliche during the height of modernism where they're fighting against well structure and well trodden concepts and plot themes and story arcs when it comes to love - not to mention every other part of life that realists tried to compartmentalise into digestible inoffensive pieces of entertainment - that life is pretty complicated actually appaz so stuff that happens in the movies doesn't happen in real life, woah, golly, this is shaping my bright eyed youth. No but actually tbf it's pretty interesting stuff for the more formulaic era it was written in, when in reality, reality was just as complex as it is now, I think, probably.
Gatsby paints love as anachronistic
unlike Jordan, using Daisy as an example, who says it's completely relative to what happens to you.
Nick's reaction to Jordan's tale
Ironically he uses it to once again quickly bring his imagination back onto the scene, redesigning his opinion of Gatsby as this romantic hero or summat talking "the stars" and his "purposeless splendour" and that he "dispensed starlight to casual moths"
"Unlike Gatsby and Tom Buchanan"
Suggesting they're actually quite similar
Nick is kissing and driving
Shows he's a careless driver too, because he is a careless driver too, he's still pursuing Jordan despite confessing both that she is not the girl "whose disembodied face face floated along the dark cornices and blinding signs" of his vision neither is she even the only person he's committed to atm, the perspirated moustache girl back west.
(adj.) likely but not certain to happen, possible; dependent on uncertain events or conditions; happening by chance;
Nick leads a contingent life where he's sort of floating while stuff happens to him, a bit like Daisy.
"And Daisy ought to have something in her life"
Suggest Daisy would only be a distraction, and once again shows Jordan's own mindset veering more towards fun than destined love, the opposite of what Gatsby would see it as which is everything.
Nick lives vicariously through
Lack of reciprocity big theme in the relationships in this book
Nick doesn't want to be paid back by Gatsby with this dodgy job. And anyway this shows that Gatsby doesn't hold their relationship in as high regard as Nick does, Gatsby thinks that he should pay him back for a favour whereas Nick is outraged at the thought that he shouldn't just being doing a favour for Gatsby out of affection
Gatsby does not have the universe and chance on his side
He has to "stage" a chance meeting, the universe is not helping him so he's having to organise it himself because things like this, or not having money at the right point, or having to go off to war, or the letter arriving to late to make a change.
Modernist v Postmodernist response to Gatsby's house
modernists would say it signifies the loss of authenticity.
Postmodernists would say yeah nah it's cool, kinda fun and whatnot.
Significance of the shirts
She's crying because they symbolise his devotion to her, he's worked so hard to get those shirts just so that Daisy would respect and admire him and cry into said shirts realising all this.
"Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that had now vanished forever"
Firstly the fact that it says possibly makes this once again an example of Nick projecting his own desire for enchantment and romantic wonder and what not on to Gatsby for kicks.
Also once again shows how Gatsby is more interested in the "enchanted objects" and such insubstantial stuff that fill the air of desiring someone, the show and whatnot, there should really be one comprehensive word to describe all this, otherwise it'll take ages each time, anyway it goes back to this old chestnut especially since he doesn't even notice Daisy putting her arm through his - the first bit of contact between them - because he's too distracted by the end of significance of the green light.
"I'd like to just get one of those pink clouds and put you in it and push you around"
Her general charm kind of flows over the brim here and seems dumb and excessive - sickly sweet. Fitzgerald brings our attention at this particular cushy point in time to the fact that Daisy, despite so far being the more socially apt, the more calm, the more perfect/ idealised one and yet here we realised that as superficial as Gatsby's enchantment with her is, so is she herself, she's kind of stupid.
"No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man can store up in his ghostly heart"
Drawing back, as a concluding point to the scene, that this relationship is dishonest, distorted and superficial, and implies that it will eventually end badly, or is at least not as stable as it seems. But he doesn't blame Daisy for this, she's just human so will inevitably have "tumbled short of his dreams". For one thing she's actually lived and had so many relationship that have no place in Gatsby's dream of her, whereas Gatsby has kept his devotion to her in his "ghostly heart", wasting away his empty life in his empty house.
the "fluctuating, feverish warmth" of Daisy's voice could not be "over-dreamed" - it "was a deathless song"
A reference (intertextuality) with John Keats's Ode to a Nightingale
Self realisations, refusal to accept the life your born into, aspiration for something greater than what you have
A major part of the American Dream that Nick is attributing to Gatsby's origins.
Significance of Cody
He's what Gatsby could've become if he hadn't lost his inheritance from him when he died to that Ella Kay person.
These party-goers are aware that life is "a short cut from nothing to nothing" whereas Daisy lives a life without desire, these people are trying to make the most of it before it ends, that's why she likes the orchid actress because she's "ghostly" and a more a representation of an idea of how a person should be than an actual person, her kind of style.
An important motif,... I've got nothing
"If he climbed alone"
For the first time a suggestion that Gatsby could do better, be happier, be more successful, if he was alone, not pining for someone, or valuing his self worth on the judgements of other people, mostly acquaintances.
"Forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God"
Once again suggesting that the result of his infatuation with Daisy the actual products of his mind are far more interesting, significant, important to Gatsby and possibly objectively than the muse from which they're derived. And so by bonding himself to her he's consigning himself to killing the excesses of his mind and fantasies off and leaving him only with the reality of Daisy.
"the incarnation was completed"
By succeeding in getting Daisy his helping to realise his original vision of himself, he's finally achieving the person he wanted to be when he was a kid, Daisy is a means to an end.
First kiss story
the fact that it's an account of the story by Gatsby in turn recounted by Nick over a year later
"Gatsby, divided between power and dream, comes inevitably to stand for America itself. Ours is the only nation that prides itself upon a dream and gives it's name to one, the American Dream"
Lionel Trilling, (famous critic) quote from the 1950s
Pammy and Daisy
Clearly Daisy's detached and doesn't really have a real relationship with her daughter. The interaction is crazy short, really she just wants to show her off as an interesting commodity/asset to her. She describes herself as mother in the 3rd person as if Daisy's distancing herself from that identity. A very neither seen nor heard type child she is well disciplined, has been dressed up for the occasion, is immediately herded off by the nurse who takes Daisy sitting back down as her queue to take Pammy away. Daisy never refers to her by her name the only person who does is the nurse.
"Please don't!" she interrupted helplessly.
Daisy doesn't want to actually have to make a finite decision. She's kind of content with the security of being married to Tom and the fun of having an affair with Gatsby.
Tom's "impassioned gibberish"
The only one trying to grasp at some kind of morality is the hypocritical rascist bigot and he uses it only to serve his own interests
"Oh - that's all"
Love doesn't concern him but had they been ****ing for five years THEN he'd be pissed off, he's pretty chilled though because that emotional dimension is not something he perceives as a threat.
"Not at Kapiolani?"
He's trying to remind her of the long shared history they have and the contrast to how little Gatsby and her actually have in common, he's just generally demonstrating his worth like his protective/fatherly/ strength/ something nature "Not that day I carried you down from the Punch Bowl"
"You loved me too"
This kind of concept, Daisy loving more than one person, and more than one person at a time because she has a realistic relationship with love cannot be understood or fully taken in by Gatsby because the structures he's built around his life that all depend on particular noble concept of love and virtue and etc etc cannot accomodate the romantic compromises Daisy has made all her life bc she's a normal human who has to do this. Gatsby has forged his own life and never compromises anything for the real world he simply bashes the real world until it fits the shape he wants. It's kind of clumsy sometimes as though, and often miscalculated as we can see from his first visit to Daisy, or generally all the interactions he's had with the people throughout this novel - these are all just some of the many examples of this.
"I guess your friend Walter Chase wasn't too proud to come in on it"
Tom knows the same people as Gatsby so he's not that much better than him so he's being as predictably sanctimonious as he always is.
her "thick dark blood"
Because Myrtle was only concerned with material goods is nothing but what physical stuff she is, she is just dust, she was also seen as vital and fleshy and etc which means she's nothing more than this, no spirit.
Gatsby and Daisy
Gatsby is a parvenu :
noun: a person who has suddenly become wealthy, but not socially accepted as part of a higher class
"Cold Fried Chicken"
"Once in a while she looked up at him and nodded in agreement"
No longer hearing that trademark Daisy voice, she's submitted to him
Nick's description of Gatsby's death
He uses art to reconcile his life, and the meaninglessness of Gatsby's life and death.
"Look here, old sport, you've got to get somebody for me"
He's doing a Gatsby and turning Gatsby into his own Daisy.
John S Whitley quote:
Nick moves towards moral growth, maturity and self knowledge through proximity to the charismatic Gatsby.
"We were close friends"
Nick is running his own bonds scam claiming he had some kind of long meaningful relationship with Gatsby he's both lying to himself and his Mr Gatz.
Allusions in novel to America's origins
Settlers, frontiersmen, Hopalong Cassidy, pioneers
Talks about what comes out of the writer's/ narrator's subconscious and the stuff that they are not aware of.
Feminist critic Judith Fetterley from 1970s on the narrative putting blame:
"Not dead Gatsby, but surviving Daisy is the object of the novel's hostility and its scapegoat."
It's huge it's vast it's showy but it's empty it's underused it's also a house that's a jumble of architectural styles despite being a new of the house. Anachronistic like Gatsby's dream.
Feminist critic Fetterley again:
"Daisy's betrayal of Gatsby is symbolic of the failure of America to live up to the expectations in the imagination of the men who "discovered" it. America is female, to be American is male; and the quintessential American experience is betrayal by a woman. America is female, to be American is male."
Ann Crow modern critic
"Fitzgerald's choice of unreliable narrator allows us to glimpse the glory of Gatsby's illusion and simultaneously make us aware of its hopelessness by keeping us in touch with its reality."
William Troy a contemporary critic
"An ordinary but quite sensible narrator"
At the height of emotional excitement
"I was conscious of wanting to look squarely at everyone, and yet to avoid all eyes"
"I wanted to get out and walk eastward toward the park through the soft twilight... I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life"
Nick never wants to be there, never wants to commit, never wants to be implicated, but he does want to follow it, study it, expand on it, and relate it back to us through his own lens, perhaps a way of venting and getting across his side of things as he's too cowardly or introverted to say it out loud to others and actually influence the events there and then. Instead he waits for them to happen so he can change the whole thing through his writing lens.
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