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The Great Gatsby - Chapter 2

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Samantha Kokonis

on 14 December 2011

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Transcript of The Great Gatsby - Chapter 2

The Great Gatsby 5 Sentence Chapter Summary Meaningful Quote Character Focus:
Myrtle Wilson Chapter 2 Analysis & Summary By: Samantha Kokonis and Andrew Tadrow "She was in the middle thirties and faintly stout but she carried her surplus flesh sensuously as some women can” (28)

Vivacious, pretty. “She smiled slowly and walk[ed] through her husband as if he were a ghost." (28)

Rude, unkind, unappreciative Best and Worst Qualities “‘My dear,’ she cried, ‘I’m going to give you this dress as soon as I’m through with it. I’ve got to get another one tomorrow. I’m going to make a list of all the things I’ve got to get. A massage and a wave, and a collar for the dog, and one of those cute little ash-trays where you touch a spring, and a wreath with a black silk bow for mother’s grave that’ll last all summer.” (36)

Materialistic, self-centered. “I thought he knew something about breeding but he wasn’t fit to lick my shoe” (34).

Condescending, believes she is better than everyone else. (cc) image by nuonsolarteam on Flickr Tom Buchanan takes Nick Caraway to see his mistress, Myrtle Wilson, who lives with her husband George at their garage in the Valley of Ashes between East and West Egg. Tom forces both Myrtle and Nick to accompany him to the city, where they shop and then throw a small party with Myrtle’s sister, Catherine, and a couple named McKee. The group becomes exceedingly drunk and loose-lipped; they gossip about Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, and George Wilson, among other things. Myrtle begins chanting Daisy's name to irritate Tom, who tells her that she has no right to say her name. Myrtle continues taunting Tom, and he responds by breaking Myrtle's nose. Quote that Describes Myrtle: Myrtle's role in the novel: Point of Significance#1 Point of Significance #2 The Eyes of
Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Clothing: The Colour Gold The Valley of Ashes (cc) image by nuonsolarteam on Flickr The Colour Blue 5 Significant symbols, sightings, and points of imagery Thanks for Watching! "‘Doesn't she like Wilson either?’ The answer to this was unexpected. It came from Myrtle who had overheard the question and it was violent and obscene." (33) Rude, crude. Myrtle Wilson's role in the novel is to add to the themes of class, wealth, and gender roles. Myrtle's role also helps us better understand the Tom Buchanan's character by how he treats her. Myrtle believes that she married below her class, which is one of the reasons she is drawn to Tom. She believes that Tom really would leave Daisy for her, but because she is far below the Buchanan's class, this is not a reality, so Tom lies to her. this helps us understand the reality of the class system and how much it controlled their lives. Myrtle also exibits the materialistic nature of humans. She represents the role of a woman at the time. Myrtle is not very smart, making her easily strung along by Tom. '"You see," cried Catherine triumphantly. She lowered her voice again. "It’s really his wife that's keeping them apart. She's a Catholic, and they don't believe in divorce." Daisy was not a Catholic, and I was a little shocked at the elaborateness of the lie.' This shows that Tom is lying to Myrtle, as he has no intention of ever marrying her. Tom has no qualms about lying to Myrtle. To Tom, lying to Myrtle and cheating on Daisy with her is nothing to worry about. This reveals a bit about Tom's character Because Myrtle is so obviously below the Buchanan's class (though she doesn't see this fact) Tom would never dream of marrying her. This shows how important class and wealth are in the society they are living in. The Valley of Ashes between West Egg and East Egg is an industrial wasteland: the product of the industrial age. It represents the moral and social decay that results from the pursuit of wealth, as the rich take what they want with no regard for anyone else. The valley of ashes also symbolizes the poor who live among the dirty ashes and lose their vitality as a result (like George Wilson). The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are a pair of bespectacled eyes painted on an billboard over the Valley of Ashes. They represent God's eyes watching and judging society: the moral wasteland (like the industrial wasteland that is the valley of ashes). "Ashen dust" covers Wilson's clothes showing his wealth and class. Daisy wears pale white whereas Myrtle wears very saturated colours, and Myrtle changes her outfit many times in the chapter to show that she is trying to fit into the upper-class, materialistic world that she is not a part of. Gold represents corruption in The Great Gatsby. It is found in Tom and Myrtle's apartment, showing the corruptness of their relationship. Dr. T.J. Eckleburg wears yellow spectacles to 'block' God/America from seeing what the nation has actually become Blue symbolizes the ideas of romance, illusion, and bliss in the Great Gatsby. In the novel, Dr. T.J. Eckleburg's eyes are blue, symbolizing God's ideals for this world, But they are surrounded by the yellow spectacles, showing that God cannot see through his 'rose coloured glasses' (or more literally, cannot see through his blue eyes). 'With the influence of the dress her personality had also undergone a change. The intense vitality that had been so remarkable in the garage was converted into impressive hauteur. Her laughter, her gestures, her assertions became more violently affected moment by moment.' (33)
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