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Great Gatsby Seminar

Exploring Setting, Literary Devices, Symbolism, Motifs and Character

Ladarrion Swanson

on 27 September 2013

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Transcript of Great Gatsby Seminar

Lets Start!
1. You are walking in a forest. Someone is walking alongside you, who is it? __________
Moving on...
7. You walk through your house into your backyard. You see a cup on the floor. What is the cup made of? __________
Setting, Literary Devices, Symbolism
Motifs & Character

Use Cornell Notes as we delve into The Great Gatsby
Searching Deeper Inside
- DO NOT second guess yourself

4. You keep on walking and you cross the forest. You see your home in the distance, What kind of home do you own?____________
Focal Point:
Through the use of literary devices, setting and motifs in The Great Gatsby, author F. Scott Fitzgerald adds depth to the novel by allowing the development of individual interpretations.
9. You walk through your backyard and see water in the distance. You draw near it. What kind of body of water is it? __________
What Does It All Mean?
1. The person you value the most
How Does it Connect?
simple answers are not so simple when analyzed
discover deeper meaning to self
everyone finds own interpretation of story
Literary Devices
A hint of what will come
"He snatched the book from me and replaced it hastily on its shelf, muttering that if one brick was removed the whole library was liable to collapse" (Fitzgerald 47).
-no specific reference, open to interpretation
-raises anticipation
-deeper meaning (more than a library)
Pathetic Fallacy
When weather imitates human emotion
"Once more it was pouring, and my irregular lawn, well-shaved by Gatsby's gardener, abounded in small muddy swaps and prehistoric marshes" (Fitzgerald 85).
-to reflect Gatsby's nervousness
-enhances the mood, memorable
Situational Irony
When the unexpected occurs
“It was on that slender riotous island which extends itself due east of New York-and where there are, among other natural curiosities, two unusual formations of land. Twenty miles from the city a pair of enormous eggs, identical in contour and separated only by a courtesy bay, just out into the most domesticated body of salt water in the Western hemisphere, the great wet barnyard of Long Island Sound” (Fitzgerald 10).
West Egg of Long Island
East Egg of Long Island
 The distance that separates Gatsby from Daisy isn’t just a body of water, it is class division
Distinction between the different types of wealth
"Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us" (Fitzgerald 171).
-expect protagonist to achieve dream
-leaves reader wondering why author ends on a sad note
 “New money”- money that was obtained through self-made fortune.
Gatsby- not able to completely transform to fit in as a member of the upper social class.

 Party House-Gatsby’s Saturday night parties, Guests attend his parties without knowing each other.--superficial society

=inspires a deeper search for answer
-can infer different meanings
wealthier and more elite of the two Eggs, “old money”-wealth that has been inherited. Tom, Daisy, and Jordan lives here.
 Snobby and shallow people

Valley of Ashes
Symbols are items (individuals) that stand for an idea greater than itself.
"Across the courtesy bay the white palaces of fashionable East Egg glittered along the water, and the history of the summer with the Tom Buchanans” (Fitzgerald 11).
People as Symbols
Main Event #2
The Event: When Tom, Daisy, and Nick go to Gatsby's parties

Setting: Gatsby's house reinforces the event --> Tom's fear of losing Daisy

Symbol: Daisy reinforces the event --> Maintains control over both Tom and Gatsby while at the party

Motifs of Geography:
Helps develop the social class of America in the great Gatsby

Motifs of Weather
Helps develop the mood of certain events in the novel

- Write down IMMEDIATE answers
- Answer each question
2. You come across an animal in the forest. What kind of animal is it? ___________
3. What do you do to that animal? ___________
6. You unlock your door and step inside. You see a table. What is on the table? ______________
5. Does your home have a fence around it? ____________
8. What do you do to the cup? ______________
10, How do you cross the water? _________
10. The amount you get wet is how much you give into temptation.
9. The size of the body of water is the size of your desires
8. How you handle difficulty with them
7. The durability of the cup is the strength of your relationship with your aforementioned person
6. If there's food/flowers, you are happy
5. Fenced=introverted, No fence=extroverted
4. The size of your house is the size of your ambitions
3. How you handle your problems
2. The size of animal is the size of your problems
Case In Point
Defend or argue the following statements using textual evidence from the novel. Write your findings in the note section of the Cornell Notes, then share your findings with your partner.
Daisy never truly loved Gatsby.
The title "Great" is appropriately placed on the character Gatsby.
Nick despises Gatsby
Notes & Evidence
The women of the novel are objectified
The story of Gatsby is more about love than it is a story about America.
-Destroyed reputation of the rich?
-Corruption of the American Dream?
-Downfall of Gatsby?
-indication that their relationship will fail
-reveal its a new beginning
Why would the author include this?
(Find two other examples of pathetic fallacy.)
(Find two separate examples of foreshadowing from Chapters 1 & 2)
Why would the author include this?
Why does the author do this?
Find 3 additional instances of situational irony.
Highlight the following quote from your book.
when and where the story is set.
Highlight this passage.
Achieving the American Dream is truly possible for all novel's characters.
Those that appear over and over again are called Motifs
What might the author have included this description?
1. NYC
2. the green light
the billboard
9. Gatsby's dock
3. The Valley of Ash
4. cars
and the color yellow
5. Eggs
6. the color grey
7. the color white
8. the color gold

"About half-way between West Egg and New York the motor road hastily joins the railroad and runs beside it for a quarter of a mile, so as to shrink away from a certain desolate area of land. This is the valley of ashes-a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys, and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of ash-grey men, who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air” (Fitzgerald 26).

 Home of the poor-representation of desolation and poverty

 corruption of the American dream

 Lower classes (George and Myrtle Wilson) want to leave this region but cannot; demonstrates how the American Dream is impossible to achieve for them.

10. sports
Daisy and Toms Dinner
a refuge, disillusion of promise.
bright lights, the allure of success
city of dreams.
-Possible Symbols
-mystery of what might have been/what is yet to be.
-the unobtainable dream
- greed
Possible Symbols
-disillusioned society.
-the hidden nature of people.
-God's absence from peoples thoughts
Yellow is the color of happiness (they seem to be enjoying themselves at the party) and friendship (they appear to be friends). Yellow, however, is also the color of cowardice, betrayal, and jealousy. I wonder if these women will show up again.
East Egg represents the established aristocracy, West Egg the self-made rich. Meyer Wolfshiem and Gatsby’s fortune symbolize the rise of organized crime and bootlegging.
interesting analogy of eggs is the color on the inside opposed to whats on the outside.
Jay Gatsby, the main character, is symbolic of the inevitable destruction that accompanies quick and illegitimately earned wealth. Gatsby has achieved the American Dream but has failed to achieve his own.
Daisy Buchanan has more of a connection to Fitzgerald's life than the 1920's. Daisy, Gatsby's love of the past who turned him down because of his low social status, represents Zelda, who turned down Fitzgerald initially because of his low social status. Gatsby purpose for obtaining wealth, like Fitzgerald, is to try to win back his love.
What happens in New York City, stays in New York City. And what does happen? Drinking, sex scandals, criminal activities involving Gatsby, and more drinking. New York City is symbolic of immorality and carelessness. Indeed, in the 1920's NYC was exactly what it symbolizes in Fitzgerald's book. When they are in the city, the actions of the characters are executed without any consideration of consequences.
Find the quote that describes their meal. What does this symbolize of their relationship?
-represents the grandness and emptiness of the 1920's
-the lure of promise from Gatsby to Daisy
represents status
-old means of prosperity.
cars represent carelessness or recklessness
Myrtle, Tom’s mistress, epitomizes the idea of a shrub that supports life, vitality. Because she is full of life, and makes spontaneous decisions.
The Myrtle Plant: In Greco-Roman antiquity, the common myrtle was held to be sacred to Venus and was used as an emblem of love in wreaths and other decorations.
pretty and delicate flower
difficult to grow
needs lots of attention and nurturing
Tom represents power, (mostly the abuse of power) of the elite in the 1920's
Jordan Baker is an athlete and her keen awareness and competitive nature represents society's plight to achieve the American dream as a though it were a sport, even if it involves deception.
Gatsby's dreams and limitations
innocence and femininity
If the ash heaps are associated with lifelessness and barrenness, and grey is associated with the ash heaps, anyone described as grey is going to be connected to barren lifelessness. Our main contender is Wilson: "When anyone spoke to him he invariably laughed in an agreeable colorless way" (2.17). Wilson's face is "ashen," and a "white ashen dust" covers his suit (2.17), and his eyes are described as "pale" and "glazed." We're not too surprised when she shows up with a gun at the end of the novel.
Look for Rain & Sunshine
Annotate for each. Select a passage, then fill out the elaborative paragraph form.
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