Loading presentation...

Present Remotely

Send the link below via email or IM

Copy

Present to your audience

Start remote presentation

  • Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
  • People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
  • This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
  • A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
  • Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article

Do you really want to delete this prezi?

Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.

DeleteCancel

Fire, Ash, and Dust in 'The Great Gatsby'

No description
by

Madison Greenup

on 26 January 2015

Comments (0)

Please log in to add your comment.

Report abuse

Transcript of Fire, Ash, and Dust in 'The Great Gatsby'

Scott Fitzgerald references fire, ash, and dust all throughout 'The Great Gatsby' to portray that initially "The American Dream" was dead for many people and that the values of dream had significantly changed. As well as, no matter how hard one worked for the dream, it would never be accomplished.
Fire, Ash, and Dust in
'The Great Gatsby'
By: Madison Greenup

Page 23
"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 men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air."
Page 24
"The valley of ashes is bounded on one side by a small foul river, when the drawbridge is up to let barges through, the passengers on waiting trains can stare at he dismal scene for as long as half an hour."
Page 26
"A white ashen dust veiled his dark suit and his pale hair as it veiled everything in the vicinity-except his wife, who had moved close to Tom."
Page 67
"Then it was all true. I saw the skins of tigers flaming in his palace on the Grand Canal; I saw him opening a chest of rubies to ease, with their crimson-lighted depths, the gnawing of his broken heart."
Page 81
"When I came home to West Egg that night I was afraid for a moment that my house was on fire. Two o'clock and the whole corner of the peninsula was blazing with light, which fell unreal on the shrubbery and made thin elongating glints upon the roadside."
Page 2
"No-Gatsby turned out all right in the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men."
Towards the end of 'The Great Gatsby', Gatsby ends up dying because of his endless hope that Daisy would love him back. However, Daisy, part of what the dust represents, uses Gatsby for a short period of time and then leads him to his death. Her love was the "foul dust" that had always preyed on Gatsby, making him dedicate his life to getting it back. Although he had the hope for his "American Dream", he never accomplished it. Fitzgerald references dust throughout 'The Great Gatsby' to portray that initially "The American Dream" was dead for many people and that the values of the dream had significantly changed. As well as, no matter how hard one worked for the dream, it would never be accomplished.
It is very clear that in the valley of ashes "The American Dream" is dead. Many people who live in the ash are poor and are always surrounded by disappointment. For example, George Wilson, who lives in the valley of ashes, barely can make it by sometimes and is treated very poorly by upperclassmen. Fire is never seen in the valley, just the aftermath of it; ash. Fire represents the flame in dream, which the valley lacks. Fitzgerald references this ash throughout 'The Great Gatsby' to portray that initially "The American Dream" was dead for many people and the values of the dream had significantly changed.
Again, many people realized that their "dream" was dead. Almost all the passengers on the waiting trains had money and saw these people in the valley of ashes struggling to make ends meet, but did nothing to help them. This shows the values of "The American Dream" had significantly changed because originally the dream was all about the hope for a better life and helping people achieve equality, but as Fitzgerald portrays in 'The Great Gatsby', it was how much money one had. Fitzgerald references this ash to portray that initially "The American Dream" was dead for many people and that the values of the dream had significantly changed.
George Wilson was a hardworking man, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't accomplish to be wealthy or to live his dream. The ash that covers him shows that he is part of the dead "American Dream." His wife is excluded from the ashen dust because she is living the dream with Tom on the side. Fitzgerald shows that even if one worked hard and wanted to accomplish their dream, it didn't matter because the values of the dream had significantly changed.
In this part of the novel, Nick finally sees why Gatsby is wealthy. Gatsby is a major representation of hope for the true "American Dream." He holds on to a particle of hope for most of his life and builds himself up with it. As fire grows, so does Gatsby's hope for Daisy's love. However, even if he has dedicated his life to impressing her with his riches in order to obtain the dream he wants, he never gets it. Fitzgerald references this fire throughout 'The Great Gatsby' to portray that initially "The American Dream" was dead for many people and that the values of the dream had significantly changed. As well as, no matter how hard one worked for the dream, it would never be accomplished.
It is clear that Gatsby, who represents fire, shines powerfully and brightly. Nick thought that his house was on fire, but it was actually Gatsby's colossal mansion. Fire is also represented as the flame and brightness in "The American Dream." In the end, Gatsby is "extinguished" in his own pool and his dream was never fulfilled. This shows that Fitzgerald references this fire all throughout 'The Great Gatsby' to show no matter how hard he worked to achieve his dream, he never did.
Page 94
"He lit Daisy's cigarette from a trembling match, and sat down with her on a couch far across the room, where there was no light save what gleaming floor bounced in from the hall."
Cigarettes are mentioned frequently throughout 'The Great Gatsby'. They are always mentioned when the characters are either in a stressful situation or they're having a good time. They are represented to show that they are like a weight that keeps the characters sane throughout the story. This shows that they all knew the dream was dead, but smoking a cigarette was a comfort for the flame in their throats. Fitzgerald references this fire in the cigarettes throughout the 'The Great Gatsby' to portray that initially "The American Dream" was dead for many people and that the values of the dream had significantly changed, and they all realized this by that time.
Page 124
"Over the asheaps the giant eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleberg kept their vigil, but I perceived, after a moment, that other eyes were regarding us with peculiar intensity from less than twenty feet away."
Page 125
"We'll meet you on some corner. I'll be the man smoking two cigarettes."
Page 11
"Why candles?" objected Daisy, frowning."
Daisy was responsible for Gatsby's death. She is the one who "snapped out" the candles, refused to feed Gatsby's flame, and leads him to get "extinguished". Not only is she responsible for killing Gatsby, but she is also the downfall of his dream. Fitzgerald references this fire all throughout 'The Great Gatsby' to portray that initially "The American Dream" was dead for many people and the values of the dream had changed significantly. As well as, no matter how hard one worked for the dream, it would never be accomplished.
Page 137
"The other car, the one going toward New York, came to rest a hundred yards beyond, and its driver hurried back to where Myrtle Wilson, her life violently extinguished, knelt in the road and mingled her thick dark blood with the dust."
Myrtle Wilson was also a representation of the fire in the novel. She was also hopelessly wanting to have a better life and was cut short of achieving it. She was "extinguished" from her dream, even if she was so close to having it. She ends up dead and covered with the the same dust of the failed attempt for "The American Dream". Fitzgerald references this dust throughout 'The Great Gatsby' to portray that the initially "The American Dream" was dead for many people and that the values of the dream had significantly changed. As well as, no matter how hard one worked for the dream, it would never be accomplished.
Page 151
"All night the saxophones wailed the hopeless comment of the Beale Street Blues while a hundred pairs of golden and silver slippers shuffled the shining dust."
Page 150
"On the last afternoon before he went abroad, he sat with Daisy in his arms for a long, silent time. It was a cold fall day, with fire in the room and her cheeks flushed."
After Gatsby left for the war, Daisy moved on from him because he didn't have an immense amount of wealth. She might have loved him for a short period of time, but the love faded away quickly. On this last night Gatsby represents the fire in the room for hope that he will soon be able to accomplish his dream of having Daisy when he returns, but he fails. Fitzgerald references this fire throughout 'The Great Gatsby' to portray that initially "The American Dream" was dead for many people and that the values of the dream had significantly changed.
Page 147
"His house had never seemed so enormous to me as it did that night when we hunted through the great rooms for cigarettes."
After Gatsby had died, Nick went back to his house one last time to walk around. The cigarettes are mentioned again to show the past flame that Gatsby had and the comfort that he was always searching for. Nick remembers the cigarettes being one of the only comforts for all of them. Now that Gatsby was gone, there was no more comfort to look for or any dream to be accomplished. Fitzgerald references this fire to portray that initially "The American Dream" was dead for many people and that the values of the dream had significantly changed. As well as, no matter how hard one worked for the dream, it would never be accomplished.
As mentioned earlier, "The American Dream" was dead for the people in the valley of ashes. Doctor Eckleberg "witnesses" many of these failed attempts at the dream. While all of these people work hard to live, they will never taste the sweet flavor of "The American Dream". Fitzgerald references this ash throughout 'The Great Gatsby' to portray that initially "The American Dream" was dead for many people and that the values of the dream had significantly changed. As well as, no matter how hard one worked for the dream, it would never be accomplished.
The cigarettes are mentioned again to show the comfort of happiness the characters so desperately want. In this part of the novel, Daisy is very happy with the idea of Gatsby and wants to show that off to Tom. Telling him this side comment shows that, for a moment, she is interested in the flame of Gatsby. However, this "moment" wouldn't last very long and Daisy will eventually "extinguish" Gatsby's entire flame of the dream he always hoped for. Fitzgerald references this fire throughout 'The Great Gatsby' to portray that initially "The American Dream" was dead for many people and that the values of the dream had significantly changed. As well as, no matter how hard one worked for dream, it would never be accomplished.
Like dust accumulates over time, so does the old money in 'The Great Gatsby'. The "shining dust" represents the old wealth. Most of the characters in the novel inherited their money from family members, except for Gatsby. He had built himself from ground up, and that was usually frowned upon by "old money" class men. Gatsby lacked that difference between all of them and that is what eventually tore Daisy's affection away and his dream apart. Fitzgerald references dust throughout 'The Great Gatsby' to portray that initially "The American Dream" was dead for many people and that the values of the dream had significantly changed.
Page 156
"I suppose there'd be a curious crowd around there all day with little boys searching for dark spots in the dust, and some garrulous man telling over and over what had happened, until it became less and less real even to him and he could tell it no longer, and Myrtle Wilson's tragic achievement was forgotten."
When Nick narrates to say "searching for dark spots in the dust" he meant that he didn't understand why more people hadn't looked into what Myrtle has really been doing with Tom, and that her tragic death wasn't Gatsby's fault. He expected to see people searching for those kind of clues, but only saw Gatsby getting all the fault for it. The dust had once again led Gatsby closer to his death and away from his dream. Fitzgerald references this dust to portray that initially "The American Dream" was dead for many people and that the values of the dream had significantly changed.
In conclusion, Fitzgerald references fire, ash, and dust all throughout 'The Great Gatsby' to portray that initially "The American Dream" was dead for many people and that the values of the dream had significantly changed. As well as, no matter how hard one worked for the dream, it would never be accomplished. No matter the best attempt, or the greatest intentions, it was impossible to accomplish "The American Dream" because it is only indeed a dream.
Full transcript