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Samantha Oyler

on 5 March 2013

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Themes of The Great Gatsby The idealistic American Dream has been replaced by materialism and greed. Theme #1 page 127. " 'Her voice is full of money.' he said suddenly. That was it. I'd never understood before. It was full of money- that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle... High in a white palace the king's daughter, the golden girl..." In this passage, Gatsby had just had lunch with Daisy, Nick, Jordan, and Tom. This says that Daisy does not feel sympathy or love towards anyone. All she's after is a thrill. Theme #4 Belief in romantic destiny has dire consequences. page 97. " His bedroom was the simplest room of all- except where the dresser was garnished with a toilet set of pure dull gold." In this passage, Gatsby is giving Daisy a tour his house. He is trying to prove that he has wealth and can provide for her by showing that he can buy impressive things. page 10. "For instance he brought down a string of polo ponies from Lake Forest. It was hard to realize that a man of my own generation was wealthy enough to do that." In this passage, Nick has met Daisy and Tom Buchanan, marveling at their possessions. This ties into the theme, because Tom flaunts his wealth, and is not content with simplistic items. Theme #2 The West has its simple virtue; the East is corrupt and evil. Page 38 "When they do get married, they're going to the west to live until it blows over." In the passage, Catherine says this about Myrtle and Tom at the party. This shows that the East is more chaotic and judgemental then the west which is calm. Page 130 " 'My wife and I want to go west.' ... 'She's been talking about it for 10 years... and now she's going whether she wants to or not. I'm going to get her away.'..." Page 185 "After Gatsby's death the east haunted me like that, distorted beyond my eyes' power of correction." In this passage, George tells Tom that he wants to sell the car so he can get the money to move west. It ties in because George knows what Myrtle has been doing and wants to take her west to get her away from all of it. In this passage, Nick explains why he is heading back home west. It ties in to the theme because just about every disaster that could have happened has happened. In the East there was cheating and murder and betrayal. Theme #3 Wealth is power. Wealth and power corrupt. Page 63 " 'They'll keep out of my way,...it takes two to make an accident.' " Page 80 "He came down with a hundred people in four private cars and hired a whole floor of the Seelbach Hotel, and the day of the wedding he gave her a string of pearls valued at at three hundred and fifty thousand dollars." Page 137 " She only married you because I was poor." In this passage, Jordan is wealthy and has power because of her attitude. This shows that she thinks she's so much better than everyone else so other people should know how to move out of her way. In this passage, Jordan is telling Nick about the Buchanans' engagement. It ties in because Tom is so wealthy that he didn't have to try real hard, all he had to do was flaunt his wealth and Daisy agreed to marry him. In this passage, Gatsby tells Tom that Daisy only married him because he was rich. This ties into the theme because if Gatsby was rich Daisy wouldn't have married Tom, she would have married Gatsby and then this story wouldn't exist. Page 110 " 'Can't repeat the past? Why of course you can. I'm going to fix everything just the way it was before,..." In this passage, Gatsby tells Nick that he will get Daisy back and it will be just like it was in the past. It ties in because Gatsby refuses to give up on the past and will try anything to get Daisy back. Page 125 "She had told him that she loved him, and Tom Buchanan saw. He was astounded. His mouth opened a little, and he looked at Gatsby, then back at Daisy as if he had just recognized her as someone else he knew along time ago." In this passage, Gatsby is having lunch with the Buchanans, and Tom witnesses Gatsby and Daisy together. This ties into the theme because Tom sees the danger his family is in now that Gatsby has money. Page 155 "He couldn't possibly leave Daisy until he knew what she was going to do. He was clutching at some last hope..." In this passage, Nick realizes that Gatsby hasn't realized what danger he is in. Nick notices that Gatsby is to involved with getting Daisy back that he can't see what's going on around him. This ties in to the theme because Gatsby is so tied up on getting Daisy back that he doesn't realize that Nick is trying to tell him he may be in danger. Critic's Assistant By: Kathryn Auer, Kara Stephens, Sam Oyler, Micaela McDowell
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