The Great Gatsby

Halfway between West Egg and New York City sprawls a desolate plain, a gray
valley where New York’s ashes are dumped. The men who live here work at
shoveling up the ashes. Overhead, two huge, blue, spectacle-rimmed 1. eyes-
the last vestige of an advertising gimmick by a long-vanished eye doctor-
stare down from an enormous sign. These unblinking eyes, the eyes of Doctor
T. J. Eckleburg, watch over everything that happens in the valley of ashes.


The commuter train that runs between West Egg and New York passes through
the valley, making several stops along the way. One day, as MACROBUTTON
HtmlResAnchor Nick and MACROBUTTON HtmlResAnchor Tom are riding the train
into the city, Tom forces Nick to follow him out of the train at one of
these stops. Tom leads Nick to MACROBUTTON HtmlResAnchor George Wilson’s
garage, which sits on the edge of the valley of ashes. Tom’s lover
MACROBUTTON HtmlResAnchor Myrtle is Wilson’s wife. Wilson is a lifeless yet
handsome man, colored gray by the ashes in the air. In contrast, Myrtle has
a kind of desperate vitality; she strikes Nick as sensuous despite her
stocky figure. Tom taunts Wilson and then orders Myrtle to follow him to
the train. Tom takes Nick and Myrtle to New York City, to the Morningside
Heights apartment he keeps for his affair. Here they have an impromptu
party with Myrtle’s sister, Catherine, and a couple named McKee. Catherine
has bright red hair, wears a great deal of makeup, and tells Nick that she
has heard that MACROBUTTON HtmlResAnchor Jay Gatsby is the nephew or
cousin of Kaiser Wilhelm, the ruler of Germany during World War I. The
McKees, who live downstairs, are a horrid couple: Mr. McKee is pale and
feminine, and Mrs. McKee is shrill. The group proceeds to drink
excessively. Nick claims that he got drunk for only the second time in his
life at this party.

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The ostentatious behavior and conversation of the others at the party
repulse Nick, and he tries to leave. At the same time, he finds himself
fascinated by the lurid spectacle of the group. Myrtle grows louder and
more obnoxious the more she drinks, and shortly after Tom gives her a new
puppy as a gift, she begins to talk about MACROBUTTON HtmlResAnchor Daisy.

Tom sternly warns her never to mention his wife. Myrtle angrily says that
she will talk about whatever she chooses and begins chanting Daisy’s name.

Tom responds by breaking her nose, bringing the party to an abrupt halt.

Nick leaves, drunkenly, with Mr. McKee, and ends up taking the 4 a.m. train
back to Long Island.


Analysis
Unlike the other settings in the book, the valley of ashes is a picture of
absolute desolation and poverty. It lacks a glamorous surface and lies
fallow and gray halfway between West Egg and New York. The valley of ashes
symbolizes the moral decay hidden by the beautiful facades of the Eggs, and
suggests that beneath the ornamentation of West Egg and the mannered charm
of East Egg lies the same ugliness as in the valley. The valley is created
by industrial dumping and is therefore a by-product of capitalism. It is
the home to the only poor characters in the novel.


The undefined significance of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg’s monstrous,
bespectacled eyes gazing down from their billboard makes them troubling to
the reader: in this chapter, Fitzgerald preserves their mystery, giving
them no fixed symbolic value. Enigmatically, the eyes simply “brood on over
the solemn dumping ground.” Perhaps the most persuasive reading of the eyes
at this point in the novel is that they represent the eyes of God, staring
down at the moral decay of the 1920s. The faded paint of the eyes can be
seen as symbolizing the extent to which humanity has lost its connection to
God. This reading, however, is merely suggested by the arrangement of the
novel’s symbols; Nick does not directly explain the symbol in this way,
leaving the reader to interpret it.


The fourth and final setting of the novel, New York City, is in every way
the opposite of the valley of ashes-it is loud, garish, abundant, and
glittering. To Nick, New York is simultaneously fascinating and repulsive,
thrillingly fast-paced and dazzling to look at but lacking a moral center.

While Tom is forced to keep his affair with Myrtle relatively discreet in
the valley of the ashes, in New York he can appear with her in public, even
among his acquaintances, without causing a scandal. Even Nick, despite
being Daisy’s cousin, seems not to mind that Tom parades his infidelity in
public.


The sequence of events leading up to and occurring at the party define and
contrast the various characters in The Great Gatsby. Nick’s reserved nature
and indecisiveness show in the fact that though he feels morally repelled
by the vulgarity and tastelessness of the party, he is too fascinated by it
to leave. This contradiction suggests the ambivalence that he feels toward
the Buchanans, Gatsby, and the East Coast in general. The party also
underscores Tom’s hypocrisy and lack of restraint: he feels no guilt for
betraying Daisy with Myrtle, but he feels compelled to keep Myrtle in her
place. Tom emerges in this section as a boorish bully who uses his social
status and physical strength to dominate those around him-he subtly taunts
Wilson while having an affair with his wife, experiences no guilt for his
immoral behavior, and does not hesitate to lash out violently in order to
preserve his authority over Myrtle. Wilson stands in stark contrast, a
handsome and morally upright man who lacks money, privilege, and vitality.


Fitzgerald also uses the party scene to continue building an aura of
mystery and excitement around Gatsby, who has yet to make a full appearance
in the novel. Here, Gatsby emerges as a mysterious subject of gossip. He is
extremely well known, but no one seems to have any verifiable information
about him. The ridiculous rumor Catherine spreads shows the extent of the
public’s curiosity about him, rendering him more intriguing to both the
other characters in the novel and the reader.

The Great Gatsby

The movie created by David Merrick as well as the novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, both entitled The Great Gatsby, ate truly two fine pieces of art. The movie version shows the viewer what is happening in the story without internal comments from the narrator and the viewer can understand exactly what is happening without any intellectual thought involved. The novel, however, challenges the reader to look deep inside the writing in order to grasp the true effect of the novel and what kind of meaning is being portrayed. The novel also challenges the readers creativity and imagination. It lets the reader explore the characters personalities in their own special way and the reader can relate these personalities to real life. The novel also allows the reader more freedom that the move, in the way that it lets the reader shape their own opinions of the different characters. As a person watches the movie version, all the characters are laid out for them and every detail of the character is seen, yet in the novel the character is described fully and it is up to the readers imagination to picture what the character looks like as well as the emotions conveyed by this character in the novel. The novel version of The Great Gatsby is a definite piece of art and clearly challenges the reader both intellectually and imaginatively to understand the words that describe the character accurately. Therefore the novel
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is still the best representation of the Romantic Hero and his American Dream, despite efforts by interpreters like David Merrick in his film version to “usurp” it, for the author challenges the readers imagination through his brilliant narrative technique, unforgettable characterization, and use of symbolism, so that Gatsbys experience becomes everyones.

The novel is told in the perspective of a single character, Nick Carraway. Nick is an innocent and simplistic character and when the story is conveyed through this type of character it usually is told truly, and without any outside influence from the other characters in the plot. Nicks telling of the story is taken from his first hand accounts on how he sees the story unfold, straightforward and in the order that it occurs without confusion. Nick is a very moralistic man and his morals, and also his values, are positively genuine. His heart is filled with compassion, especially for Gatsby and the events that surrounded Gatsbys death as he was one of three people that were at this great mans funeral. This genuine, yet critical, character is seen through his narration because he tells the story with his own comments of how he views, with the help of his morals and values, the different characters. For example, when he describes Tom Buchanans speech about is own family, ” Nowadays, people begin by sneering at family life and family institutions, and next theyll throw everything overboard and have intermarriage between black and white.” (Fitzgerald, 130) Nicks narrative reply to this comment simply shows how Nicks thoughts can become the readers after he simply describes this statement as, “impassioned gibberish”, (Fitzgerald, 130). The reader can be persuaded to view the character exactly how Nick sees them. However it can have an opposite effect and the reader may see the characters differently as they look back at the reading, and see Tom Buchanan as a man that has not been taught any better than to make simple “indiscretions” and he simply loves his wife and wants life to get back to normal. Through the narration, the reader can develop these different opinions of Tom, yet in the movie the viewer simply sees what is happening and does not get the true emotions of what is happening, and lack the insight put in by the narration in the novel. Also, the viewer of the movie does not get the true history the film version as in the novel. In the novel the mysterious, yet descriptive past is told by Gatsby to Nick and in the film version it is not as descriptive and the viewers are certainly not imagining it for themselves as expressively as they would if reading the novel. Nick is a very well written narrator and through his innocence and values he proves to be also a very simplistic character and also a great choice for a narrator.
The characters in both the film and the novel are very complex as well as very well written/acted out. All the characters have very definite roles in the story line and in turn have definite roles in the outcome of the story. The novel version is clearly the more superior in the way that it describes and sets up the character and allows the reader to see deep into what the character life and emotions really revolve around. This is done by Fitzgerald magnificently through characterization. When reading the novel it is discovered that the characters are not always what they seem to be. For example, Daisy is seen as a superficial, shallow, and snobbish individual that is only concerned with reputations and materialistic things in the world. It is slowly shown throughout the novel that this is an incorrect interpretation of Daisy. This exterior of superiority is just a front that has been put there because she has been hurt so many times by love that she need a superficial front so it can shield her from any other heartache. This is demonstrated in the scene where she tells her cousin, Nick, that she wants her daughter to be a, “beautiful little fool”, (Fitzgerald 17) . The reason for this declaration is because she wants her daughter, Pammy, to be a fool so she cannot be hurt by love, ad did her mother by Gatsby and Tom, both.When watching the film version of this scene, the viewer does not get this effect because the words in the novel look deep into each character for any unknown emotions as well as the history surrounding the character. This history also has effect on the characters emotions in the present, as seen in Daisy as well as Jay Gatsby. Through this characterization of each of the characters it is made intellectually and imaginatively more beneficial to read and understand the novel than to simply watch the movie.
Symbolism is very effective in a novel. This is demonstrated in the novel The Great Gatsby very efficiently. The novel is filled with symbolism. From what the characters wear, their possessions, the places they live in and even the music that is playing and the mood they represent, symbolism is very easily used. When reading the novel, the reader can take these objects and look deep into them and find a completely story behind the symbol, For example, Daisys clothing. The white color that Daisy wears almost always can represent her innocence as a character as well as her purity. On the other hand, this can also represent her blank and colorless soul which lacks substance. When watching the movie the viewer may not grasp this concept of symbolism as easily, or as effusively as in the novel because in the novel the description is thorough and the text is clear.Also, when reading the novel it is easier to identify symbolism because the reading can be taken slower and is appreciated more than in the movie where it is seen at the pace of the director, not the viewer. Therefore. The novel is the superior piece of art, enabling the reader to experience The Great Gatsby on more of an intellectual basis rather than simply a piece of entertainment.

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As both the novel and the movie version of The Great Gatsby are wonderful interpretations of a well written story line from the 1920s, it can be clearly seen that the novel is a much better representation of the Romantic Hero and his American Dream. Through the amazing use of writing mechanisms such as narrative technique, characterization, and symbolism, F. Scott Fitzgerald has simply made the best version of The Great Gatsby, and definitely stimulated the imaginative and intellectual parts of the readers mind. Through the novel, the reader can get a better grasp of what really happened and imagine it as if the reader was really there, participating with the narrator Nick Carraway, and not simply watching the movie version on television, letting the film think for the reader. For all these reasons, and many more, it is obvious that the novel version is the more superior piece of art compared to the movie, stimulating imagination, creativity, emotion and intellect throughout the reading and interpretation of the storys events.


Category: English

The Great Gatsby

“Discuss Fitzgerald’s Portrayal of Women”
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald depicts a picture of the Jazz
Age in the America of the 20’s. His portrayal of the careless way of life
of the wealthier members of society is most striking. Daisy, Jordan and
Myrtle are all similar in some way. They are all very deceitful and selfish
as Jordan cheats at golf and Daisy and Myrtle both deceived their husbands.

Daisy is a beautiful young woman who is in love with money, ease and
luxury that she gained from marrying Tom Buchanan. She is the object of
Gatsby’s affection and Nick’s cousin. To Gatsby, Daisy represents a model
of perfection – she has the aura of charm, wealth, sophistication and grace
that he longed for as a child and that first attracted him to her. In
reality, however, Daisy falls far short of Gatsby’s ideals. She is
beautiful and charming, but also fickle, shallow, boring, and scornful.

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Nick characterises her as a careless person who smashes things up and then
retreats behind her money.

Daisy regards herself as a victim of her marriage with Tom, as he is
aggressive and dominant and she also knows about the affair he is having so
she therefore seeks attention from others. She is very flirtatious and
speaks quietly so that people will lean towards her. Daisy is very
childlike and she proves this when she leads Gatsby on, having no intention
of leaving Tom. Daisy was caught up in Gatsby’s dream as she denies her
love for Gatsby when he declares it in front of Tom in the hotel room in
New York. Even though she may have loved Gatsby in the past, she cannot
bring herself to leave the luxury and wealth she already has.

Myrtle’s death seems almost like an anticlimax because it seals
Gatsby’s fate, but he had already lost Daisy forever. His decision to take
the blame for her in the car accident shows how deeply he still feels for
her but she does not return his love. Daisy proves her real nature when she
chooses Tom over Gatsby, then allows Gatsby to take the blame for killing
Myrtle even though she herself was driving the car. Finally, rather than
attend Gatsby’s funeral, Daisy and Tom move away, leaving no forwarding
address. Daisy’s marriage seemed threatened by a quiet desperation beneath
its attractive surface.

Much like the Buchanans marriage, Jordan’s surface glamour covers up
an inner emptiness. Daisy’s friend, Jordan Baker is a competitive golfer.

She is cynical and self-centred. Jordan is beautiful but also dishonest as
she cheated in order to win her first golf tournament and continually bends
the truth. Jordan was very insensitive on the night of Myrtle’s death and
only thinks of herself. She is arrogant, deceitful and careless.

Daisy and Myrtle are contrasting characters as they are both trapped
and tricked into marriage. They love the idea of an affair and escaping out
of the life they hate so much. Both characters are very strong, determined
and focused. Myrtle possesses a fierce vitality and desperately searches
for a way out. Unfortunately for her she chooses Tom, who treats her as an
object of desire. He feels no guilt for betraying Daisy with Myrtle, but
feels compelled to keep Myrtle in her place, breaking her nose when she
mentions Daisy’s name. Myrtle is only attracted to Tom and the lifestyle he
lives. I feel Myrtle ended the her own life and Gatsby’s. If she had not
had the affair with Tom, daisy would not have known and killed Myrtle, and
then Wilson wouldn’t have made wrong accusations, resulting in the death of
Gatsby.

Fitzgerald portrays each woman in a different way but they all have
something in common. Daisy and Myrtle are both linked with Tom, unhappy and
victims of their marriages. Jordan is very deceitful as she cheats at golf
but so are Daisy and Myrtle because they both had affairs.

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby In the book the Great Gatsby, none but a few people had the idealistic American Dream. To some characters it seems the American Dream, has replaced by materialism and greed. What does the American Dream mean? What does it stand for? If a person has achieved their American Dream how should they go about living? The American Dream is the vision to be successful and to provide from and family the best way you can. Their dream is to also have money. In the book the Great Gatsby there are many characters with money. Someone who assume they have really accomplished their mission to have the American Dream. Confused with the tremendous mansions, jewelry, fancy cars and clothes, however they have yet to discover the feeling of the American Dream.

These characters are reluctant to live their lives on a positive note. Therefore, they peruse lives of materialism and greed. The characters such ass Tom and Daisy Buchanhan, Gatsby and Myrtle Wilson have all misplaced the American Dream with materialism and greed. Tom Buchanhan has replaced the American Dream with materialism and greed in many ways. He works for nothing he has and plays all day. Another thing he does which takes up much of his time is have an affair.

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Never the less he has his wife Daisy sitting in his huge mansion alone with his daughter which he barley sees regularly. He has an Affair with a woman named Myrtle Wilson. A woman who has no feeling for anybody but herself and cares about living the highlife rather than living he own life. She lives to have Tom shower her with gifts and take her as her number one priority. Jay Gatsbys obsession with materialism and greed is somewhat different from others in the novel.

Gatsby had an overwhelming love for Daisy, Tom Buchanhans wife. He felt so in love that his greediness of mind overwhelmed his actions. He began buying jewelry, furniture, clothes, automobiles and mansions to buy her love. All to impress his long lost love of 5 years. Daisy is a lightheaded, non-chalant woman.

She too was obsessed with material items. Her life was based on money. As Nick Carraway, the narrator of the story implied, Her voice is full of money. She herself wouldnt marry the man she loved because he was poor. For example in the novel when Daisy introduced her daughter to Gatsby, she asked, Dont you think they are pretty? Why would she ask her daughter such an materialistic question.

If the same people were in her house and were all less fortunate, would she still have asked that question? If Gatby werent rich, would she still love him as much as she does now, since he has money? When Gatsby proposed to Daisy that her to leave Tom, she wasnt thinking about her daughter and how she would feel and how Tom would react. All she could think about was herself and how glorious it would be to live with a man with that much power and money. All of the Characters in the novel live in an illusion that their lives are in a correct path and that what they have is good. Basically to all in the novel the high life is life, without it youre nothing and your not important. The problem with the characters is that they want more. They see nothing wrong with wanting to achieve more. There is nothing wrong with wanting more.

That is what the American Dream stands for wanting the best. But there becomes a limit when the wanting turns to greed. When people want and take things we dont need just to have it. All of the characters mentioned in the novel have obsessions with wanting the best in life. If the characters in the novel took more precautions with their money and what they want. If the characters in the story stuck to the real idealistic modem of the American Dream, the outcomes of their lives wouldnt have been so diverse and tragic. Therefore, if Tom and Daisy Buchanhan, Gatby and Mytle Wilson followed there dreams postivly they might have lived happier and maybe in harmony. American History Essays.

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