Posts Tagged The Great Gatsby
Becky at One Literature Nut has done a fabulous job with this Read Along.
Here are the final questions for Ch. 7 through the end of the novel:
What do you think happened to Daisy after the “accident” with Myrtle? What conversation do you think happened between she and Tom?
Was the laser-point focus of Gatsby his own sick fault, or did he ever have a real chance with Daisy? Could they have ever had a life?
What is it about the past that we somehow can never escape it or relive it? Or can we actually relive parts of it, and so that gives us some sick hope?
What most stood out to you in these final chapters?
What do you most look forward to seeing in the film?
Gatsby couldn’t escape the fact that he’d been poor and someone else in the society he now entertained. Daisy would never date James Gatz. She’s now settled in her rich life with Tom and even if she’s unhappy with Tom’s dalliances, she’s not going to be with someone who reinvented himself. As cool as Gatsby now is, Daisy cannot accept him. What can’t we often escape about the past? Or former selves. Our regrets. As far as we get. As well as we go, there’s always someone from the past who wants to remind us from whence we came and who wants to take us down.
“He talked a lot about the past, and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy. His life had been confused and disordered since then, but if he could once return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what that thing was . . .” [pg. 110]
love this line:
“Human sympathy had its limits, and we were content to let all their tragic arguments fade with the city lights behind. Thirty–the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning briefcase of enthusiasm, thinning hair.” [p. 135]
You have to feel some empathy for Gatsby and his lack of pedigree in competing for Daisy’s affections with the likes of Tom Buchanan. Maybe things might have worked out for the two of them but Daisy doesn’t seem the type to stick with a guy through thick and thin. She’s about the glitz and glamor. She’s not in it for the long haul, the bad times, merely the good. “he let her believe that he was a person from much the same stratum as herself–that he was fully able to take care of her. As a matter of fact, he had no such facilities–he had not comfortable family standing behind him, and he was liable at the whim of an impersonal government to be blown anywhere about the world.” [p. 149]
Can’t believe that Nick turns out to be as bad as the rest of them. He tells Gatsby: “You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.” He then says: “It was the only compliment I ever gave him, because I disapproved of him from beginning to end.” [p. 154] They seemed to become good friends but I guess we knew Nick wasn’t extremely fond of Gatsby’s ways and he certainly didn’t fawn over him like many others.
Haven’t had a chance to see the film yet. Will see it on Tuesday. Looking forward to the costumes, the party scenes, Leo DiCaprio and Tobey MacGuire and like Baz Luhrman. Not wild about Carey Mulligan.
note to Becky at One Literature Nut— thank you so much for hosting this. I hope we can do another readalong in the future. you’ve done such a fantastic job with it all.
Here’s a line that really sticks with me from Ch. 5: ” I think that voice held him most, with its fluctuating, feverish warmth, because it could’t be over-dreamed–that voice was a deathless song.”
what does that mean? Daisy’s voice holds Gatsby in reality because he’d never be able to dream about such a voice? Does he dislike hearing her speak and just want to look at her pretty face?
In Chapter 6 we’re told about Gatby’s past. He changes his name from Ganz. who can blame him. I changed my name because I didn’t like my birth name very much. So why not change your name to reflect who you want to be.
The bit about Gatby’s past is confusing. it makes you not despise Gatsy in that he worked for his money or didn’t come from money and managed to earn what he amasses in one way or another. Nick admonishes him for trying to get back to idyllic moments in the past before things changed and he lost what he had.
“He talked a lot about the past and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself, perhaps that had gone into loving Daisy.” Perhaps Gatsby no longer loves Daisy but feels that things but be easier if he could love Daisy again.
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.”
looks like a brilliant new adaptation of The Great Gatsby directed by Baz Luhrmann [fantastic] with a Jay-Z soundtrack due out on May 10. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan.
It’s a perfect time to re-read the classic novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I’d been talking about it on twitter with Becca from I’m Lost in Books and she told me that Becky of One Literature Nut is hosting a read-a-thon.
In college I took a Hemingway/Fitzgerald class my senior year and that’s the last time I read The Great Gatsby but I recall it vividly. I enjoyed the classic 1974 film version with Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby and Mia Farrow as Daisy Buchanan but definitely look forward to this update.
Here’s the schedule:
4/10 to 4/17 Chapters 1-2 (40 pages)
4/17 to 4/24 Chapters 3-4 (47 pages)
4/24 to 5/1 Chapters 5-6 (34 pages)
5/1 to 5/8 Chapters 7-End (72 pages)
5/10 –Go see the movie!