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The Great Gatsby Group Seminar

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Bianca M

on 9 January 2014

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Transcript of The Great Gatsby Group Seminar

Agenda
What is the American Dream?
The Great Gatsby
Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Fitzgeralds Notion of Love and the Comparison of the two Marriages within
The Great Gatsby
Jessica Brandiferri, Joe Genitori, Francesco Granata, and Bianca Mauti
1) Thesis
2) American Dream Explanation
3) Argument 1: Lifestyles
4) Argument 2: Love vs. Lust
5) Argument 3: Material Prosperity
6) Class Interaction
7) Conclusion
8) Works Cited
Thesis
Fitzgerald attempts to display to the readers that the notion of love is hopeless due to the extreme desire of the American Dream shown through the characters lifestyles, love vs. lust, and material prosperity.
Lifestyles
Lifestyles in
The Great Gatsby
In the 1920s...
Within
The Great Gatsby
the characters lifestyles depended on where they lived and what they wanted to achieve of the American Dream.
The area in which they lived, whether it was East Egg, West Egg, or the Valley of Ashes, depicted what the turn out of their everyday lives as well as their love lives was going to be.
The American Dream plays a large influence on the characters and how they would act in certain situations. Due of the extreme desire to live out the American Dream the characters would do and sacrifice anything to have that "perfect" life, showing how hopeless and fake the love in the novel really is.
Tom and Daisy
Wilson and Myrtle
Materialism

Through the play
The Great Gatsby
material prosperity is shown by the wealth of characters and shows readers how the notion of love is hopeless through the American dream.
through the two marriages of Tom and Daisy and Wilson and Myrtle they show how materialism displays a true meaning of their want and desire for more and more such as the bigger house, better clothes, or a better car they're always striving for more through materialism and this goes to show readers that the notion of love is hopeless because of their desire for more and the better things in life.
The American Dream based on the marriages presented in the novel is the pursuit of material prosperity- bigger cars, fancier homes, and stability for their family- and always wanting more.
Tom and Daisy

Through Material prosperity it reflects Tom and Daisy's marriage and how Daisy is always seeking new things and is never content with what she has.
It shows readers how the notion of love is hopeless because she is with Tom to achieve the bigger and better things in life being, living in a big house, having the better car and wearing the more expensive clothes.
she thinks she loves Tom because he satisfy's her materialistic needs which gives her a false sense of love for Tom.
Wilson and Myrtle
Through materialism Myrtle clearly cannot achieve what she desires from being with Wilson therefore the notion of love is hopeless and ends in her cheating on him and wanting to leave Wilson because Tom can give her everything she wants because of all the money and wealth he has.
Myrtle shows no signs of love for Wilson due to the fact that he cannot give her what she wants therefore showing that the notion of love is hopeless.
Quotation
"You were crazy about him for a while said Catherine. 'Crazy about him!' 'Who said I was crazy about him? I never was any more crazy about him than I was about that man there." (Fitzgerald 37)
In this quote it shows readers how the notion of love is hopeless because Myrtle is claiming she had never loved him or had been crazy about him then she was about Nick referring to the fact Wilson was never able to give her what she needed materialistic wise such as the big house, or a fancy car and she claims that she never had feelings for him and hates him although he does show a passionate love for her, he cant satisfy her materialistic needs.
Do you think Myrtle doesn't love Wilson because he can't get her what she wants or she actually has no love for him?
Class Discussion
Based on the 3 arguments presented to you which one do you think proved most detrimental to the two marriages?
Conclusion
F.Scott Fitzgerald attempts to show that the notion of love is hopeless due to the extreme want of the American Dream shown through Character lifestyles, love vs lust, and materialism. He uses two marriages to depict his image of what a relationship would look like based on the 3 points presented today, that the notion of love would be hopeless between these two marriages.
Works cited
Fitzgerald, Francis Scott.
The Great Gatsby
. London, England: Penguin
Love vs. Lust
Love
A decision to commit oneself to another.
An intense feeling of deep affection.
A deep, emotional, passionate love for another person.
Lust
Any intense desire for pleasure.
when mixed with love, lust usually means sexual desire
Infactuation
There is a distinct difference between love and lust. At times these two can get mixed together but what is the difference?
The confusion of love vs lust
Within the play The Great Gatsby the confusion of love versus lust is shown through the characters and the unfaithfulness which helps show the readers that the notion of love is hopeless through the American Dream.
The American Dream plays a huge role when it comes to the two marriages of Tom and Daisy Buchanan and Wilson and Myrtle it shows how fast their version's of the American Dream can influence the way these characters think and act.
Tom and Daisy
Tom's American Dream is to have a trophy wife and money. Daisy's American Dream is to have everything she ever wanted and more.
Wilson and Myrtle
Wilson's American Dream was to have a job, a wife, an average home. His idea of his American Dream was pretty much an "average" persons life.
Myrtle's idea of her American Dream was to have a rich husband, money, and just live an easy life.
Tom does not love Daisy; he cheats on her with Myrtle.
Daisy is materialistic and is only with Tom because he gives her everything she wants.
Tom is with Daisy because she is pretty and came from a family with money as well which is his idea of the American Dream.
Daisy has an affair with Gatsby which shows she truly does not love Tom
Daisy would not leave Tom because she knows that if she stays with she still has everything she wants which is money.
Wilson loves Myrtle
Myrtle is materialistic which is why she wants to be with Tom because she thinks he will give her everything Wilson never could.
Myrtle hates Wilson which shows that she does not love him shes just with him because he's considered "safe" since Tom will never marry her.
Question
Do you think that Daisy's actual American Dream is to be alone with no love and just money?
Do you think that Wilson truly loved Myrtle or did he just settle?
Do you think there is any real/true love in the novel or is it all just lust/infatuation?
THINK ABOUT...
Tom and Daisy live in the East Egg district of Long Island (Old Rich, classy, refined)
Daisy was intrigued by Tom because of his rich background, he was able to offer her a wealthy lifestyle
Always needing the best materialistic items; fast car, big house, expensive clothing and jewelry
They act like a refined, classy, perfect couple when in reality they both have a certain arrogance and over-confidence about themselves
Tom knows he has the perfect "trophy-wife" and that no matter what he will never lose her because he allows her to have anything and everything she wants
This also shows that even though Daisy acts independent, she is relying on Tom for providing her with her American Dream
Have a young daughter that they claim makes them a committed and loving family yet, they both have an affair (Daisy with Gatsby, Tom with Myrtle)

Tom and Daisy Buchanan's marriage proves Fitzgerald's notion of love is hopeless because of the affairs and how uncommitted they are to each other.
The truth behind their marriage is hidden behind how they display their lifestyle to the public
Quote
"She's not leaving me!" Tom's words suddenly leaned down over Gatsby. "Certainly not for a common swindler who'd have to steal the ring he put on her finger."

"I won't stand this!" cried Daisy. "Oh, please let's get out." (Fitzgerald 142)
This quote occurs when Gatsby and Tom argue the hot summer day at the Plaza Hotel in New York. The quote displays Tom's is over-confidence in the fact Daisy will always be his and that she will never leave him. This relates back to Tom's American Dream of having the perfect "trophy-wife".

The quote also shows that even Tom knows that Daisy is materialistic. He tells Gatsby that she would not leave him, the man who could give her anything expensive, for Gatsby, the man who would have to steal the ring because of his false identity. Tom calls out Gatsby trying to show how much better he is then him. This relates back to Tom's lifestyle of always being better.

The quote also displays how Daisy cannot handle the truth. She feels uncomfortable that Tom knows she lives this materialistic life even though she is the one who shows off how she lives the "perfect" life.

This quote proves Fitzgerald's notion of love is hopeless due the desire for the American dream because it explains how Daisy lives a materialistic life and will only love for expensive items while Tom is possessive of Daisy and knows he will always have her.
Wilson and Myrtle live in The Valley of Ashes (Poor, gloomy, mysterious, grey coloured)
Wilson's American Dream is to be successful in life and have a happy family, he works hard to achieve what he has; Myrtle's American Dream is to have a rich husband that could give her everything she wants
Wilson is faithful to Myrtle meanwhile, Myrtle has an affair with Tom because she thinks he is the one that will help her live out her American Dream
Myrtle is extremely materialistic and selfish, she is unsatisfied with her life as a repair-mans wife
Wilson seems to be content with the life he is living, until he finds out about Myrtle's affair
Wilson is not the type to be a party-goer and he thinks that Myrtle is not either, yet she runs off with Tom to their apartment in New York to have her affair and party with alcohol.

Wilson and Myrtle's marriage proves Fitzgerald's notion of love is hopeless because of her affair and how one spouse can be content while the other hides the truth
Quote
"She smiled slowly and walking through her husband as if he were a ghost shook hands with Tom, looking him flush in the eye. Then she wet her lips and without turning around spoke to her husband in a soft, coarse voice:
‘Get some chairs, why don’t you, so somebody can sit down.’
'Oh, sure,’ agreed Wilson hurriedly and went toward the little office, mingling immediately with the cement color of the walls. A white ashen dust veiled his dark suit and his pale hair as it veiled everything in the vicinity—except his wife, who moved close to Tom." (Fitzgerald 29)
This quote occurs when Tom and Nick visit Wilson's garage. The quote displays that Wilson and Myrtle live a untruthful life. Tom is friendly with Wilson yet, little does he know his wife, Myrtle, and his "friend" are having an affair.

The quote also shows that Wilson is committed to Myrtle and he will do anything she says. Myrtle is extremely unfaithful to Wilson because of how she acts with seductiveness towards Tom. She does not give Wilson full attention and only has her eyes on Tom because he is a rich man that can offer her the "perfect life".

This quote proves how Fitzgerald's notion of love is hopless due to the want for the American Dream because it shows that Myrtle will do anything to attain her American Dream, while Wilson does anything for Myrtle who has no regards for him.
Question
Do you believe that the characters truly do live out their American Dreams when looking at their lifestyles? Are the two marriages successes or failures when looking at the characters different American Dreams?
Group, 1926. Print.
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