Daisy Buchanan to Nick on having a girl:
“I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool– that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.
” You see I think everything’s terrible anyhow . . . and I know I’ve been everywhere and seen everything and done everything.”
–Daisy wants to shield her daughter from the bitter reality of the world. she’s seen and experienced terrible things and if her daughter can just play the “fool” then she might be able to protect herself.
on Tom Buchanan:
“Something was making him nibble at the edge of stale ideas as if his sturdy physical egotism no longer nourished his peremptory heart.”
hosted by BECKY at One Literature Nut
these are questions she’s asked for chapters 3 and 4:
What do you think of Gatsby’s absence from his own parties?
Is Gatsby a character you feel sympathy or cynicism towards?
Are we supposed to feel for Daisy as Jordan does, and if she really wanted to meet up with Gatsby again, wouldn’t she already have done it?
Is there anything else that stood out to you or you questioned?
–Gatsby seems to hold parties to be popular and well-respected and not really for his own amusement. He’s putting on a lavish show. He’s the host. When he wants to speak with someone he sends for that person and has a private conversation with that person. He doesn’t mingle about all that much. He sat at a table for a bit and then he disappeared.
“Instead of rambling, this party had preserved a dignified homogeneity, and assumed to itself the function of representing the staid nobility of the country-side–East Egg condescending to West Egg, and carefully on guard against its spectroscopic gayety.”
–I feel empathy rather than sympathy for Gatsby. I feel that because he has so much wealth that many people use him for his wealth and position and probably don’t want to know who he really is or to take the time to get to know him for his true self. They’re mostly social climbers and are thrilled to be around Gatsby. When Gatsby finally speaks with Nick, he assumes that Nick knew who he was.
“He smiled understandingly–much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced–or seem to face–the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believe in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.”
Fitzgerald seem to be creating in Gatsby a mirror in which a person finds one’s best self. Gatsby reflects one’s best self back and believes in his friends and champions his friends to his utmost ability.
Later when Nick and Gatsby go out, Nick thinks that Gatsby’s rather shallow and has little to say. So is he merely a pretty face with tons of money?
What stood out for me is Nick’s feeling about Jordan being a dishonest woman– “Jordan instinctively avoided clever, shrewd men, and now I saw this was because she felt safer on a plane where any divergence from a code would be thought impossible.” He said he forget immediately about it and it made “no difference” to him. On his next outing with her he refers to her as a “clean, hard, limited person.”
As for Daisy not seeking out Gatsby on her own. I think she may have just gotten wrapped up in her marriage to Tom and her her child and life.
Then I’m thinking a lot about this quote from Nick: “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired.”