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The Great Gatsby: Chapter IV
Transcript of The Great Gatsby: Chapter IV
Gatsby takes Nick into the city for lunch and he tells Nick about his past but his story seems highly improbable: he claims to be the son of wealthy deceased parents from the Midwest. He says he was educated at Oxford, to have collected jewels from the capitals of Europe and to have been awarded medals in World War I. Gatsby shows him a medal from Montenegro and a picture of him at Oxford.
On their way into the city Gatsby is pulled over by a policeman.
At lunch Gatsby, introduces Nick to Meyer Wolfsheim, a prominent figure in organized crime, who was responsible for fixing the 1919 World Series. He leads Nick to think that Gatsby's wealth may have something to do with this.
After lunch Nick sees Jordan Baker who reveals the details of what Gatsby told her at his party.
Before Daisy married Tom, she lived in Louisville, Kentucky, and all the military officers in town were in love with her. Daisy fell in love with Lieutenant Jay Gatsby, who was stationed at the base near her home.
Gatsby bought his mansion for the sole purpose of being near Daisy.
Gatsby asked Jordan to get Nick to arrange a reunion between Gatsby and Daisy because he is terrified that Daisy will refuse to see him. Nick would invite Daisy for tea and Gatsby would arrive unannounced.
At the end of the chapter Nick kisses Jordan, confirming their feelings for each other.
The American Society
Fitzgerald portrays the 1920's American Society with a hint of mockery; all the names listed by Nick in the beginning of the chapter are satirical, "Blackbuck", "Beaver", "Endive", "Dancies", "Catlips", "Hammerheads", and it goes on.
What do we find out about the main characters?
- Initially, Nick only sees Gatsby's hope for the future, but as Gatsby weaves a tale of great exploits and achievements, Nick becomes slightly skeptical. With Gatsby's. As the chapter progresses, Nick gets his first hints that Gatsby's money may not be legitimate. Nick begins to have a cautious outlook on Gatsby suspecting he may be involved in organized crime. Nick almost wishes ''he had never set foot in Gatsby's house''. Nick has an inner conflict stemming from his divided perceptions of Gatsby. On one hand Nick find the lovesick soldier as an attractive figure, but expresses clear repulsion for the greedy corrupt business man. Nick develops as a character as well, he moves on from being slightly squeamish to being more bold as he pursues a relationship with Jordan. This shows that nick is indeed romantic, less rigid in morality than initally observed.
symbolism and Themes
The green Light - As Nick thinks back to Gatsby stretching his arms, he remembers the green light he saw at Daisy's dock. The green light is symbolic of Gatsby's hope for his dream of him and Daisy being together. However, the green light can also symbolize greed and Gatsby's wealth, As Gatsby attempts to show off his wealth to impress Daisy.
The valley of ashes - Representative of poverty and hopelessness, in many ways contradictory to the green light. The symbolism in the valley of ashes illustrates the impossibility of the American dream. The Valley of ashes is also used to show contrast between rich and poor. The infertile state of the valley is key in representing the moral decay of characters such as Gatsby and Daisy
Gatsby and Tom Buchanan have an uncomfortable encounter at the exit of the restaurant. Gatsby is unfamiliarly embarrassed which shows the existing conflict between "old money" and "new money".
During the car ride with Gatsby, Nick quickly realises that Gatsby's story is sketchy: he's a Midwesterner from San Francisco? It seems that in typical "new money" fashion, Gatsby entirely reinvented his identity after coming to New York and getting rich. Gatsby has achieved the American Dream of incredible wealth, but he had to give up his past to get it.
Gatsby doesn't pay any attention to speed limit; when a policeman pulls him over, he simply shows a little card and gets permisson to drive on. The rich upper class is superior and seen as "superstars"; everyone wants to be like them - it's the American dream.
At the end of the chapter, Nick takes quite a while to kiss Jordan because he still has values and wouldn't two time his girlfriend back in the Midwest. But when he finally gives in - he gives in to the corruption of the American upperclass.
When Jordan tells Nick the story about Gatsby and Daisy, we soon realize that Gatsby wanted to become rich to be able to compete against Daisy's new husband (who chose Tom for safety) and recreate his past with her. He achieves the corrupt American Dream of extreme wealth to service a purer, more traditional American Dream: love.
Upon meeting Wolfsheim at lunch, Nick begins to think Gatsby's might be involved in organized crime. Wolfsheim "fixed the World's Series", and should be in prison. Wolfsheim's connection to Gatsby is a sign of the corruption of the American Dream, "new money," and Twenties.
“It was a strange coincidence,” I said.
“But it wasn’t a coincidence at all.”
“Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay.”
Then it had not been merely the stars to which he had aspired on that June night. He came alive to me, delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless splendor.
“He wants to know,” continued Jordan, “if you’ll invite Daisy to your house some afternoon and then let him come over.”
The modesty of the demand shook me. 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.
“Did I have to know all this before he could ask such a little thing?”
“He’s afraid, he’s waited so long. He thought you might be offended. You see, he’s a regular tough underneath it all.”
This chapter is centered around Gatsby's past, in particular his education at oxford, participation in the first world war and his past relationship with daisy. We then find more about his inherited money from relatives in the mid west who are all dead. Moreover, Gatsby tells nick wild tales of hunting game and collecting gems in the capitals of Europe. When Gatsby is pulled over for speeding, the cop's immediate dismissal of the matter at seeing a white card arises questions as to Gatsby status and influence. As we delve deeper into Gatsby's life, we are introduced to Wolsfheim, a shady man with underground connections. This along with Gatsby's many accomplishment gives the reader the impression of him being dishonest. This is related to him perhaps being crooked business man, representative of greed and moral corruption however Gatsby has a very sympathetic side to him, his deep affection for daisy and his longing for them to be together. Gatsby is also a very hopeful character in his endeavors with daisy.
She seems to know alot about Gatsby's past from their conversation at Gatsby's house. Gatsby counts on Jordan to convince Nick to set up a meeting between Gatsby and Daisy. The implication being Jordan is a trustworthy person. As a character apart from her relationship with Nick we dont see much character development. She appears to be an insider, who always knows what is going on.
We learn a lot about Daisy in terms of her past and character development. Through Jordan's tale we learn that Daisy was in love with Gatsby when he was an officer before he left for the war. Daisy has a conflict of marrying for love or money when she marries Tom Buchanan. Tom is unfaithful during their marriage but daisy remains faithful, suggesting an intrinsic loyalty in her decisions and character. However, her lack of action over Tom cheating on her; give the reader the impression she is weak willed, naive or she is too in love with Tom's wealth. Daisy's morality is in question, whether she will eventually come to Gatsby because of their past love or because of his vast wealth.