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The Great Gatsby IOP Presentation

12 minute presentation
by

Sabrina Verduzco

on 14 November 2012

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Transcript of The Great Gatsby IOP Presentation

The Great Gatsby: Is Jay Gatsby a tragic hero or a romantic fool? Is Jay Gatsby really as great as everyone claims him to be? Or is he just a false representation of the American dream? Status
"Act of injustice" aka FLAW
Downfall due to own actions or hubris
Change of fortune
Reversal
Recognition
Death Elements of a Tragic Hero Although Gatsby's death was tragic, he was not a tragic hero, but a romantic fool Why does everyone think Gatsby is so great? Is he?
Is Nick a reliable source through his interpretation of Gatsby?
Is Fitzgerald satirizing society's tainted view of the American Dream through Gatsby's conception of himself?
Is Gatsby's lust/ love for Daisy realistic? (flaw) Gatsby portrays himself as a superior human being, through his mysterious and aloof behavior, projecting a god-like aura
He encompasses the idea of a Christ-like figure due to his immeasurable wealth
"Something in his leisurely movements and the secure position of his feet upon the lawn suggested that it was Mr. Gatsby himself, come out to determine what share was his of our local heavens"(20).
Mansion encompasses an aura of beauty, mystery, and secrecy
Gatsby always held the most extravagant parties
People resorted to convoluting their own stories about him, often claiming he inherited it from a relative Why does everyone think Gatsby is so great? Is he? In reality, he acquired his fortune by investing his time in criminal activity
He becomes obsessed with Daisy
"Gatsby was overwhelmingly aware of the youth and mystery that wealth imprisons and preserves, of the freshness of many clothes, and of Daisy, gleaming like silver, safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor"(150).
He is willing to sacrifice his reputation for the sake of Daisy
Major flaw: judgement
Unable to see past Daisy's false acts of unconditional love for him Why does everyone think Gatsby is so great? Is he? Is Nick a reliable source through his interpretation of Gatsby? Nick possesses personal connections and experiences with Gatsby, so he develops a biased perspective "I'm inclined to reserve judgements, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me"(5). "No- Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men"(2). Literary device: Point of View His feelings toward Gatsby change through the course of the novel, giving the reader an inconsistent perspective coming from Nick, the narrator He reverts back to his original viewpoint that he really was great, and that he was just a victim of a corrupt society
Nick is too involved in Gatsby's affairs and has developed such a strong friendship that he is dubbed unable to give an accurate opinion of Gatsby
His contrasting views towards Gatsby influence the way he describes him Although he thinks he is giving an unbiased interpretation, the audience is actually in an objective view of Gatsby, provided by Nick What is the American Dream? Why does he throw such extravagant parties? Theme of hollowness of the American Dream Gatsby's American dream is tainted is tainted with the false conception of himself He thinks that living a lavish life compensates for the void he feels in his heart He is unable to comprehend that wealth does not bring happiness He spends his entire life trying to attain something that was intangible from the very beginning Although upper class has money, they lack love The upper class is hollow because they only know corruption and infidelity; aka Daisy and Tom The American Dream encompasses societal corruption and adultery Gatsby's dream is tainted with intangible fantasies Is Fitzgerald satirizing society's tainted view of the American Dream through Gatsby's conception of himself? The American Dream is an ideal based on the fantasy that an ordinary individual can achieve success through hard work and determination.
For many, the dream is unattainable because it is corrupt and unreal. Gatsby's dream is filled with fantasies about Daisy, based on the past, which can never be repeated. "So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen year old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end"(98). He strives for perfection, but his idea of perfection is corrupt and unreal. His ideals are superficial and lack a realistic foundation, which results in an unattainable dream from the start "But I can still read the gray names, and they will give you a better impression than my generalities of those who accepted Gatsby's hospitality and paid him the subtle tribute of knowing nothing whatever about him"(61). Epitomizes the emptiness of the upper class "He had waited five years and bought a mansion where he dispensed starlight to casual moths- so that he could 'come over' some afternoon to a stranger's garden"(78). This connects to the theme of hollowness because he strives to become successful only to reunite with a woman who is already married to another man Gatsby is then unable to move on with his life because he is so engulfed in his lust for Daisy "After that I lived like a young rajah in all the capitals of Europe- Paris, Venice, Rome- collecting jewels, chiefly rubies.... and trying to forget something very sad that had happened to me long ago"(66). "I saw him opening a chest of rubies with ease, with their crimson-lighted epths, the gnawings of his broken heart"(67). In a sense, he is addicted to his dream Tip Gatsby is not in love with Daisy, but with the idea of loving her Is Gatsby's love for Daisy realistic?
The longer he uses this as motivation, the further he strays from reality
"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"(110).
His life revolves around Daisy
He is unable to differentiate between fantasy and reality, and is so in love with Daisy that he is unable to see how irrational his actions are
"For a while these reveries provided an outlet for his imagination; they were a satisfactory hint of the unreality, a promise that the rock of the world was founded securely on a fairy's wing"(99).
"The officer looked at Daisy while she was speaking, in a way they every young girl wants to be looked at some time, and because it seemed romantic"(75).
Unable to see that his love for her is not equally
met by Daisy. He uses the green light at the end of the dock as his sole motivation for success The light at the end of the dock is a symbol of Gatsby's hope for the American Dream and Daisy's love "It had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever. Compared to the great distance that had separated him from Daisy it had seemed very near to her, almost touching her. Ir had seemed as close as a star to the moon. Now it was again a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one"(93). This is the recognition, because he was blind to her needs and instead overshadowed them with his, resulting in his death "But with every word she was drawing further and further into herself, so he gave that up, and only the dead dream fought on as the afternoon slipped away, trying to touch what was no longer tangible, struggling unhappily, undespairingly, toward that lost voice across the room"(134). He was even waiting for Daisy to return when George Wilson kills him Gatsby is a romantic fool because he falls victim to his own reveries involving Daisy, and becomes so overwhelmed with the idea of repeating the past that he is unable to succeed in the present. This connects to the theme of the hollowness of the American Dream because his dream is tainted with deceit and lust, dubbing it unreal and unattainable from the start. ... small Conclusion
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