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The Great Gatsby
Transcript of The Great Gatsby
By: Abby Maypother, Amelia Moran,Chloe Tolderlund, Courtney Bly, Olivia Kansanen, Shaye McNamara
Destiny, Dan, and Daisy
The new title of chapter six, "Destiny, Dan, and Daisy," is to represent Gatsby's transition from James Gatz to Jay Gatsby. Gatsby believed that he was destined for the life among the rich, and that Daisy was also just a larger part of his destiny. The way James Gatz became Jay Gatsby was through his experience on Dan Cody's yacht. His life he believed he was destined to lead began "when he saw Dan Cody's yacht drop anchor over the most insidious flat on Lake Superior" (Fitzgerald 98). However Gatsby's belief that he was meant for a life among the rich is not accepted by some, especially Tom, who thinks of Gatsby as an inferior. Tom is known as old money, while Gatsby is part of the "'newly rich people (who) are just big bootleggers'" (107). Gatsby did all he could to fulfill his destiny and show Daisy they were meant to be together, but she still can not understand his world. Chapter six goes through the past and present, from Gatz to Gatsby, and how although Gatsby believes all of this is destiny, he does not quite seem to fit.
Ceaselessy Into the Past
After years of building up a fortune and a name for himself, Gatsby lies alone in his coffin bombarded with paparazzi and photographers but hardly any of his loved ones. Chapter IX illustrates the determination and perserverance that Gatsby had, even though Nick was one of the only people to admire him for it. A "boat against the current," Gatsby lived his life trying to shake off the past, or perhaps in some cases, relive the past, although never succeeding in doing so.
Chapter I sets the tone for the entirety of the novel, beginning with Nick explaining his life values and decisions, and contradicting them. Likewise, Nick explains his admiration for Gatsby, despite the fact that Gatsby represents many things that he disdains about New York and society. Nick's encounter with second cousin Daisy and husband Tom, gives readers an accurate depiction of the naive and ignorant elite of Long Island in the 1920's .
Beautiful Little Fools
A Revealing Reunion
Throughout this chapter Gatsby reveals that he is not the cool, calm and collected man we thought that he was. Before seeing Daisy again Gatsby is nervous and unsure of himself, revealing to the audience that perhaps the persona he had put on for so long was in fact not the true Gatsby. "Gatsby, pale as death, with his hands plunged like weights in his coat pockets, was standing in a puddle of water glaring tragically into my eyes" (86). When he meets her he's so nervous he knocks over a clock , "whereupon he turned and caught it with trembling fingers and set it back in place" (86). We also see this as the beginning of Gatsby discovering that the girl he fantasied about for so many years, may not be the girl standing in front of him. His dream of including her in his perfect dream was becoming less realistic and he realizes the light he admired and longed after for so long was "again a green light on a dock" (93). Gatsby takes her to his him and showers her with elegant clothes and dazzles her with his expensive mansion, showing Daisy that Gatsby may not be the man she remembered either.
This chapter reveals Gatsby and Daisy's heartbreaking love story. They fell in love only to be separated after Gatsby returned to war. On her wedding night, after receiving a letter from Gatsby, Daisy breaks down and drinks away her pain. She marries Tom anyways, but the readers see how much their separation affected the two of them. We also see that Gatsby's story of how he got his wealth may not be entirely truthful. Nick speaks with a man who Gatsby seemed to be doing shady business with. "'He's the man who fixed the World's Series back in 1919'" (73). We also discover that the green light Gatsby stares at is the light at the end of Daisy's dock and Nick recalls "Then it may not have been merely the stars to which he had aspired to that June night" (78). The light at the end of the dock represents Gatsby's lost love and his motivation for going into shady business practices so he could be the man he always wanted to be. The man who deserved to marry Daisy.
The Light at the End of the Dock
God's Eyes Were Watching Them
Chapter II features Nick becoming further acquainted with the old-wealth, upper-class life that Tom Buchanan leads through his visit to the valley of ashes, his introduction to mistress Myrtle, and his stay at Tom’s New York City affair-suite. This life of debauchery, where the pursuit of the corrupted American Dream leaves the “successful” rich without morals and those who fail to achieve it in the dust (literally), is observed by the fading eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg. The title, “God’s Eyes Were Watching Them” refers to the interpretation of Dr. Eckleburg’s eyes as the penetrating eyes of God that see past appearances into the emptiness that underlies a society changed by capitalism. The title applies also to Nick; like Dr. Eckleburg, Nick observes the events around him without making outward judgements, yet unlike the oculist, Nick participates. While Dr. Eckleburg views society through yellow glasses (yellow being a false gold, he sees the show-without-substance of society), Nick observes from inside the “yellow windows” (Fitzgerald 35), being simultaneously “within and without” (35). This chapter asserts Nick’s role as a kind of peripheral narrator despite his first-hand involvement in the events he describes.
Chapter seven is a pivotal point for the mess of love and affairs in The Great Gatsby. Daisy and Gatsby’s love is revealed to Tom when he watches an exchange between them where, “their eyes met, and they stared at each other, alone in space” (119). When Tom makes the majority of the group stop to get gas from Wilson, Nick watches Myrtle peer out a window “her eyes wide with jealous terror, were not fixed on Tom, but on Jordan Baker, whom she took to be his wife” (125). During the confrontational scene in the Plaza Hotel, Nick analyzes Daisy after she makes claims of love “her eyes...as though she realized at last what she was doing-- and as though she had never, all along, intended doing anything at all” (132). After leaving the scene of the accident, Nick watches Tom break down in the car after acting authoritatively at the garage, “I heard a low husky sob, and saw that the tears were overflowing down his face” (141). Through description of body language between characters, many details are revealed. Without context, Nick saw Myrtle make a wrong assumption about Tom’s visit and Daisy’s eyes give away her true feelings behind her heavy statements to her men. I chose to title this chapter “At Face Value” due to the deeper meanings behind the characters actions and for the literal facial expressions that give away more information about their feelings.
At Face Value
Chapter III focuses on the lavish parties that Jay Gatsby throws for the pleasure of the crowd. Nick is attending his first spectacle at Gatsby's mansion which is located in West Egg. There is a clear social distinction between the West Egg that Gatsby lives in, and the East Egg where a majority of the people attending the party are from. "This party had a dignified homogeneity, and assumed to itself the function of representing the staid nobility of the country side-East Egg to West Egg," (44). While both areas are varying societal classes, they desire wealth and materialistic items, Gatsby is portrayed as a simple man who is out of place of his character. He is mysterious because of his tendency to avoid the party and sit in a room away from the action, although hospitable. There is a split between the West Egg and East Egg, where Gatsby's house is used as a commonplace for the rich to mingle and make connections to other rich folks. When Nick enters the lavish spectacle, he learns that people who have no relation or memory of Gatsby continue to enter the party- no invitation is necessary. Of the people entering the party, one says "Somebody told me they thought he killed a main once," (41). Despite the people bad-mouthing Gatsby, his parties remain open invite. Often occurring in American society and especially within the chapter is the tendency for people who desire wealth to use those who are better off than themselves. This trend depicts the dream of living in American society, where Gatsby is being used for his money and connections.
Chapter VIII sees the death of Gatsby at the hands of a Wilson deranged by his erroneous assumptions about the death of Myrtle. The title “A Dreamer ‘til the End” reflects that Gatsby’s idealism did not die until he did. Despite Nick’s suppositions about Gatsby’s last thoughts, particularly that Gatsby must have realized “what a grotesque thing a rose is” (Fitzgerald 162), as in his flawed perception of Daisy was shattered, Gatsby’s final actions speak against this. Nick, like any reasonable individual, had observed that Gatsby’s slim chance of winning Daisy ended with Tom’s confrontation. Gatsby, however, is not a reasonable individual and even after this waits in the bushes outside the Buchanan residence until four in the morning to assure Daisy’s safety. On the day of his death, Gatsby may start making concessions to Tom, admitting that Daisy “might have loved him just for a minute,” (139) but immediately he argues this as not genuine with the remark that the love was “just personal” (139). Even when Nick tells him to leave town, Gatsby refuses as “He couldn’t possibly leave Daisy until he knew what she was going to do” (139). Even as reality starts crushing in around him, Gatsby’s dream falters, but does not fail in his mind as shown by his continued justifications and self-preservation neglected for Daisy’s sake.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 1995. Print.