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Transcript of seminar 5
The great Gatsby
The great Gatsby
1. What is the significance of the novel's title?
2. Is Jay Gatsby truly great ?
3. Nick tells Gatsby that he is "worth the whole damn bunch put together". How does our perception of Tom, Daisy and Jordan influence our assessment of Gatsby?
4. How does our awareness of Gatsby's motivations and decisions affect our assessment?
5. Why has this character maintained a place in the canon of American literature?
6.Should this novel renamed for today's society why or why not ?
Gatsby motivations and decision
The significance is ......
The author Fitzgerald’s early life appear in his most famous novel, The Great Gatsby, published in 1925.
Fitzgerald is like Jay Gatsby, a sensitive young man who idolizes wealth and luxury and who falls in love with a beautiful young woman while stationed at a military camp in the South.
Like Gatsby, Fitzgerald was driven by his love for a woman who symbolized everything he wanted, even as she led him toward everything he despised.
Fitzgerald names the book "The Great Gatsby" because it reflected him and his experience in life
Jay Gatsby is a self-made man, not only in the usual sense of the word, but also in that he is a creation by a 17-year-old boy.. That creation is composed of his illusions of life and love.
Gatsby was great in the sense of what he accomplished starting out as a homeless almost orphan living on the beach and end up as a multi-millionaire.
He's great ironically because, at heart and, more importantly in society
Gatsby was great but in ways unseen by most; he sacrificed a lot to keep up an image that hid his real self, which as actually greater than the image of 'great' wealth he'd amassed.
He allowed someone he loved to have her own way and also, to save her from her own way, he let another kill him when he could have defended himself by saying that person was wrong.
Our assessment of Gatsby.....
Nick said this quote after his many encounters with Gatsby, once he finally realized that Gatsby was pure of heart. Nick was initially (and justifiably) doubtful and suspicious of Gatsby a shady 'entrepreneur' made rich by unspoken [criminal] means whose life goal was to win over the wife of another man.
However, over time Nick's doubts would become replaced by an Gatsby with which he held onto his dreams. By the end of the novel, Nick concluded that Gatsby had gone through all this trouble and became who he was just so that he could hopefully one day win back the love of his life...
Meanwhile, Nick also figured out by then the disdain he had for the other people he had met and associated with. His cousin Daisy (Gatsby's lover), was exposed to him as a vain, simplistic woman who wants security and a lifestyle over true love.
The rest of Nick's friend-group was also exposed to be vain, money-oriented, and superficial/fake. Everyone who had attended Gatsby's parties and associated with him never did so out of true friendship, but rather out of selfishness and their desires to be associated with money/high-end parties.
Gatsby becomes a representation of America itself: restless, resourceful, and active. It's those qualities, along with his determination, that we give our American heroes, like Ben Franklin and George Washington. (Gatz would have known all those stories—and probably Horatio Alger's novels, too, full of boys like Gatz who, through hard work and good moral character, ended up winning riches and fame.)
like a child, Gatsby always retains a kind of innocent quality. He might seem to be worldly and dishonest, but in fact he's never cynical or corrupt. When he and Daisy begin their affair, he "was consumed with wonder at her presence" (5.113). He can't believe that she would choose Tom over him; and he actually doesn't understand that Tom wouldn't bother seeking revenge. Gatsby's world is still the simple world of North Dakota, adventure stories, and the belief that people, and the world, work in predictable ways. It's this trace of innocence that (we think) makes his story so tragic.
Though Gatsby has always wanted to be rich, his main motivation in acquiring his fortune was his love for Daisy Buchanan, whom he met as a young military officer in Louisville before leaving to fight in World War I in 1917." You could see in this quote that Gatsby's only motivation was to attain daisy's love even though he's really wealthy.
In our opinion, no, he's not great. I see the title as reflecting what he wanted to think of himself as being - the image he had cultivated and was trying to present to the rest of the world. If I had to rename the novel with the same structure but more accurate, I would probably call it The Delusional Gatsby.
Should this novel renamed for today's society why or why not ?