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Flowers in The Great Gatsby

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Taylor Balfour

on 24 February 2015

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Transcript of Flowers in The Great Gatsby

Isolation and Exploration
"...drowsing asleep at dawn with the beads and chiffon of an evening dress tangled among dying orchids on the floor beside her bed." (151)
"The flowers were unnecessary, for at two o' clock a green-house arrived from Gatsby's with innumerable receptacles to contain it" (84).
"I could only remember, without resentment, that Daisy hadn't sent a message or a flower." (174)
"I love to see you at my table, Nick. You remind me of a-of a rose, and absolute rose. Doesn't he?' She turned to Miss Baker for confirmation: 'An absolute rose?'" (14)
"I came into her room half an hour before the bridal dinner, and found her lying on her bed as lovely as the June night in her flowered dress-and as drunk as a monkey." (76)
"For Daisy was young and her artificial world was redolent of orchids and pleasant, cheerful snobbery." (151)
Flowers in
The Great Gatsby

In Fitzgerald's novel
The Great Gatsby,
flowers are used to materialize the rich and reference hope.
Thematic Insights

What is Happening?
"At his lip's touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete" (111)
"He broke off and began to walk up and down a desolate path of fruit rinds and discarded favors and crushed flowers" (109)
Symbol Prefigures Events
Flowers represent different things to each character and play a different role in their development.

Myrtle is a flower
To be coveted and looked at
Seeks out flowers, but does not keep them alive
Buys but does not grow
Sees the flower (Daisy) as status
Likes to "collect" them
Does not appreciate them
Presets as trophies
On display but not appreciated
Is a flower
Wants flowers and status
Gatsby has a garden and he as a bouquet
Gatsby and Tom
Symbol of status
Wealthy mimic happiness with possessions
Ideals are better to strive for than to experience
Life is a journey, not a destination
the flowers belittle the wealthy by making them seem frivolous and shallow
Creates a pedestal for the wealthy, so they can mess with the world then "retreat back into their vast...carelessness" (179)
Nick Caraway
Caraway is an herb who's seed has the most benefits. Nick's perspective is where our exploration of the characters grow.
Daisy and Gatsby's kiss
Garden parties
Often appear during/after major events
Gatsby Wedding Flowers
Can buy flowers, but won't necessarily live
Money can't buy everything
Hope can be futile
People aren't always what they seem to be
Gatsby is not a natural flower. It is a self made flower who. It is used for social events and are discarded after. He becomes a flower for a short while, but will never actually become an official one.
Represent hope in love
The status of flowers v. the status of the relationship
Changes throughout novel with relationships
Insight into/characterization o relationships
Buchanan flower shop
Draws parallels
current issues and flashbacks
Signifies romantic intentions
Daisy and Gatsby's kiss
Daisy's flowered dress
Similarly to Gatsby, Buchanan is not an official flower, rather, he is a flower provider. Even if some of his petals wither away, he has an inventory of them.
Eye-catching, beautiful, yet plentiful
Daisies are a classic example of a flower. It is bright, bubbly and simple. They are a gem of nature but very common.
"Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it......but there was an excitement in her voice that men who had cared for her found difficult to forget: a singing compulsion, a whispered "Listen," a promise that she had done gay....."(9).

Flowers appear during/in conjunction with major relationship events
"and of romances that were not musty and aid away already in lavender, but fresh and breathing and redolent of this year's shining motor cars and of dancers whose flowers were scarcely withered" (149).
Myrtle Wilson
These flowers are usually used as hedge plants, for extra decorations
Full transcript