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The Great Gatsby, Chapters 1+2

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Krysta Peralto

on 28 October 2013

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Transcript of The Great Gatsby, Chapters 1+2

Videos on Wealth Inequalities,
A recurring theme in the Great Gatsby
(Valley of Ashes)
The Great Gatsby
Chapters One and Two

Nick Carraway Jay Gatsby

Daisy Buchanan Tom Buchanan

Jordan Baker Myrtle Wilson

Appearance vs. Reality


Green Light Valley of Ashes

The Eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Simon Called Peter

Character Analysis
Literary/Stylistic Devices
Chapter One Chapter Two

Narrator/Structure/Point of View

Tone Setting


-Alluring appearances cover unattractive realities.
-The homes of East Egg are beautiful, but conceal 'ugly'
-Tom and Daisy’s marriage
-“‘I want to see you,’ said Tom intently. ‘Get on the next train’” (Fitzgerald 30)
-Jordan Baker
- her beauty and glamour are at sharp odds with her cynicism and boredom, her beauty covers up an inner emptiness
-Doctor T. J. Eckleburg’s eyes on the billboard in the Valley of Ashes
-No fixed symbolic value given by Fitzgerald

-Great mystery surrounding Gatsby (who has not been fully introduced yet)
-Gatsby is no more than rumour
-“Well, they say he’s a nephew or a cousin of Kaiser Wilhelms’s. That’s where all his money comes from” (37).
-Symbolizes Gatsby’s desire for Daisy, the desire to achieve the American Dream
-Colour green symbolizes hope and wealth in these chapters
-“...--he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and, far as I was from him, I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward--and distinguished nothing except a single green light...that might have been at the end of a dock.” (21)

-“...where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air.” (23)
-long stretch of land between the islands and New York City, only the poor characters in the novel live here
-Industrial wasteland covered in ash and soot
-Poverty and hopelessness
-social and moral decay, a result of pursuing wealth
-Reality check
- lavish lifestyles of the rich and poverty is close by
-American Dream
- people who live here barely get by, no one leaves the Valley

-“The eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic--their retinas are one yard high. They look out of no face, but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a non-existent nose...But his eyes, dimmed a little by many paintless days under the sun and rain, brood on over the solemn dumping ground.” (23-24)
-An abandoned billboard in the Valley of Ashes
-A description of the God of the modern world, overseeing and all-knowing
-Suggests a superior being who is not involved, does not care for what happens to those around it
-Once the eye doctor who put up the billboard's business was successful he left the eyes behind, just as it is suggested that God has abandoned the people in the valley and all people

-“When I came back [Myrtle and Tom] had disappeared, so I sat down discreetly in the living-room and read a chapter of Simon Called Peter - either it was terrible stuff or the whiskey distorted things, because it didn’t make any sense to me.” (29)
-The affair in the book (between priest and a nurse) and of the author’s life can be viewed as immoral, confusing and weird
-At the time, the author was very open about his affairs despite being married to a Catholic wife who did not believe in divorce
-At the get-together with Myrtle and her friends, Catherine mentions Daisy as a Catholic when in fact she is not
-Foreshadowing, we know Daisy and Gatsby later carry out an affair

Metaphor - “You remind me of a rose, an absolute rose.” (19)

Metaphor - “A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding cake of the ceiling and then rippled over the wine-coloured rug, making a shadow on it as wind does on the sea.” (12)

Simile - A fantastic farm where the ashes grow like wheat.

Irony - The difference between appearance vs. reality

-Nick Carraway narrates in first and third person.
-Past tense
-Presents what he observes
-Objective at times/ gives his own interpretations
-Meanings and motivations
-Chronological order with flashbacks

-small town boy
-an 'inside outsider'
-a man of rumour
-introduced to us on the docks looking at the green light
-small town girl, cousin of Nick, married to Tom
-playful, childish
-chasing the American Dream
-her voice, sultry, alluring
-smart, knows Tom is cheating on her
-husband to Daisy, rich traveling man
-big buff jock
-obsessed with the 'submerging' of his 'race'
-cruel and controlling
-friend of Daisy's, famous golfer
-beautiful, used as a mask
-sharp witted
-rich taste, for men, parties, possessions
-curious about Gatsby
-mistress of Tom Buchanan
-her husband loves her, but he's poor
-hopes to marry Tom to achieve her 'American Dream'
-fun loving, lives in the present
-doesn't leave her husband because of Daisy
Nick Carraway’s tone changes throughout the novel in the sense that at certain points he admires Gatsby and approves of him and other times his disapproving of Gatsby’s excessiveness
- Summer 1922
- Long Island and New York City (East and West Egg)
- During prohibition
Neil Diamond - America
Song about the 'American Dream'
And who is this beautiful beast?
Why, it's Gaston from Beauty and the Beast!

Like Tom Buchanan, Gaston is arrogant and believes in achieving his goals through force and cruelty.

Unlike Tom, Gaston can't win Belle's heart.
But who is more like James Gatz than Aladdin?

Jay Gatsby is the mysterious rich man who comes out of nowhere. Just like Prince Ali in Aladdin.

Rags to riches, just like that.
-Calm and mysterious atmosphere.
-The atmosphere changes throughout, in chapter two the atmosphere becomes more fun and exciting
- When the Valley of Ashes is mentioned the atmosphere changes to despairing and hopeless.
Full transcript