Revision notes. Essay planning

Quotes analysis

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  • Created on: 23-01-12 17:27
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Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
In my younger and more vulnerable years my father
gave me some advice that I've been turning over in
my mind ever since.
"Whenever you feel like criticizing any one," he told
me, "just remember that all the people in this world
haven't had the advantages that you've had."
He didn't say any more, but we've always been
unusually communicative in a reserved way, and I
understood that he meant a great deal more than
that. In consequence, I'm inclined to reserve all
judgments [...]. (1.13)
The very opening of The Great Gatsby sets the tone for a book about society and class.
We know immediately that our narrator is privileged, and that he is painfully conscious
of it.
"About Gatsby! No, I haven't. I said I'd been making
a small investigation of his past."
"And you found he was an Oxford man," said Jordan
"An Oxford man!" He was incredulous. "Like hell he
is! He wears a pink suit."
"Nevertheless he's an Oxford man."
"Oxford, New Mexico," snorted Tom contemptuously,
"or something like that."
"Listen, Tom. If you're such a snob, why did you invite
him to lunch?" demanded Jordan crossly.
"Daisy invited him she knew him before we were
married ­ God knows where!" (7.130136)

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Tom demonstrates that wealth alone cannot win a man entrance to the upper echelons
of society. They must be educated as well.
I called up Daisy half an hour after we found him,
called her instinctively and without hesitation. But she
and Tom had gone away early that afternoon, and
taken baggage with them.
"Left no address?"
"Say when they'd be back?"
"Any idea where they are? How I could reach them?"
"I don't know. Can't say." (9.…read more

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I thanked him for his hospitality. We were always
thanking him for that ­ I and the others.
"Goodby," I called. "I enjoyed breakfast, Gatsby."
Nick points out that wealth and class mean nothing in terms of character.
I am still a little afraid of missing something if I forget
that, as my father snobbishly suggested, and I
snobbishly repeat, a sense of the fundamental
decencies is parceled out unequally at birth. (1.…read more

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The one on my right was
a colossal affair by any standard ­ it was a factual
imitation of some Hôtel de Ville in Normandy, with a
tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard
of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool, and more
than forty acres of lawn and garden. It was Gatsby's
mansion. Or, rather, as I didn't know Mr. Gatsby, it
was a mansion inhabited by a gentleman of that
name.…read more

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You make me feel uncivilized, Daisy," I confessed
on my second glass of corky but rather impressive
claret. "Can't you talk about crops or something?"
I meant nothing in particular by that remark, but it was
taken up in an unexpected way.
"Civilization's going to pieces," broke out Tom
violently. "I've gotten to be a terrible pessimist about
things. Have you read `The Rise of the Colored
Empires' by this man Goddard?"
"Why, no," I answered, rather surprised by his tone.…read more

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I told that boy about the ice." Myrtle raised her eyebrows in despair at the shiftlessness
of the lower orders. "These people! You have to keep after them all the time."
She looked at me and laughed pointlessly... (2.6970)
Myrtle tries to fake being a part of upper class by
dissing on the lower classes. Clearly that's what she
thinks that all rich people do. It's ironic, since she
herself is technically in the lower class.…read more

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What do you think?" he demanded impetuously.
"About what?"
He waved his hand toward the bookshelves.
"About that. As a matter of fact you needn't bother to ascertain. I ascertained. They're
"The books?"
He nodded.
"Absolutely real have pages and everything. I thought they'd be a nice durable
cardboard. Matter of fact, they're absolutely real. Pages and ­ Here! Lemme show
Taking our scepticism for granted, he rushed to the bookcases and returned with
Volume One of the "Stoddard Lectures.…read more

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For more analysis of what
both Gatsby's books and the owleyed man
symbolize, check out the "Symbols, Imagery,
"All right, old sport," called Gatsby. We slowed down. Taking a white card from his
wallet, he waved it before a man's eyes.
"Right you are," agreed the policeman, tipping his cap. "Know you next time, Mr.
Gatsby. Excuse me!"
"What was that?" I inquired.…read more

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Daisy had her pick of any man she wanted,
presumably in the entire United States. She and Tom
didn't have a long courtship, so we can assume their
marriage is based more in their reputations than in
their actual personalities. This insight into their world
is also another example of how insanely rich Tom is.
And $350,000 was a lot more money back in the
1920s than it is today.
Something worried me.…read more

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Dan Cody's yacht dropped anchor in the shallows
alongshore. (6.10)
Young Gatsby's frustration with his education at a
Midwestern college (read: not Ivy League) leads him
to strike out on his own and look for an easier way to
climb the social ladder. His big break comes in the
form of Dan Cody. This is paragraph pinpoints the
exact time in Gatsby's life that he actively chased his
destiny. (Get the full scoop on Gatsby by checking
out his "Character Analysis.…read more


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