Gatsby Chapter One

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  • Created by: Emma
  • Created on: 28-03-14 19:03
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  • Gatsby Chapter One
    • What happens?
      • Nick's reflections on himself and his upbringing + setting of scene
      • Dinner with Tom and Daisy - Tom's first phone call and Jordan is introduced
      • Nick arrives home and sees Gatsby for first time reaching out to green light
    • Analysis
      • In East Egg, alluring appearances cover unattractive realities
        • Daisy and Tom's marriage seemes menaced by a quiet desperation beneath pleasant surface
          • Tom going off to telephone and yet Daisy doesn't seem to question it
        • Jordan furthers sense of sophisticated fatigue hanging over East Egg: her cynicism, boredom and dishonesty are at sharp odds with her wealth and beauty
          • Jordan's surface glamour covers an inner emptiness, just like the marriage of the Buchanans
          • She speaks to Nick 'contemptuously', 'yawned' when speaking, the glance between Nick and Jordan is 'devoid of meaning' just like the lives led by the Buchanans and Gatsby's parties
      • Gatsby is in stark contrast to the citizens of East Egg
        • Inner yearning visible in Gatsby's posture when reaching for green light and emotional surrender to it contrast entirely with the emptiness of Nick's experience at the Buchanan's
          • 'trembling', 'content to be alone' is ironic as he  yearns for Daisy
          • He is mysterious to Nich who does not know his motives, the source of his wealth, his history or the object for which he yearns, Daisy.
      • Geography and Social Values
        • East Egg
          • Represents breeding, taste, aristocracy and leisure
            • Associated with Buchanans and monotony of their inherited social position
        • West Egg
          • Represents ostentation, garishness and flashy manners of the nouveau riche
            • Associated with Gatsby's gaudy mansion and inner drive behind his self-made fortune
    • How to attempt Exam Question
      • Nick Carraway
        • Unreliable
          • Nick is established as a nearly invisible character seeing everything but 'inclined to reserve all judgements'
            • Later in chapter after Nick's self-evaluation, Fitzgerald creates irony from Nick saying 'a sense of fundamental decencies is parcelled out at birth' This is a contradiction
              • How does this help Fitzgerald to further or deepen the narrative?
                • Causes the reader to thoroughly consider everything they read, primarily to decide whether it is the truth or not, but they are also unconsciously making a judgement on the morality of the actions which is what Fitzgerald intended by writing the novel
                  • This fits his narrative purpose as one reason for writing the novel was to expose the corruption of the American Dream
          • Self-aware
            • 'Only Gatsby, the man who gave his name to this book'
              • Nick is self-aware that people will read the book
                • This is important as Fitzgerald requires that Nick is aware that others will read the book and therefore the bias of his character will be noticeable
        • Self-aware
          • 'Only Gatsby, the man who gave his name to this book'
            • Nick is self-aware that people will read the book
              • This is important as Fitzgerald requires that Nick is aware that others will read the book and therefore the bias of his character will be noticeable
      • Settings of East Egg and West Egg
        • There is an irony in the naming of these two locations as the word 'egg' suggests new life and beginnings, associated with the American Dream. Yet they are simply concrete
          • The cold, harsh reality of this reflects the impossibility of the American Dream as this also turns out to be something as brutally grey as concrete

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