The Great Gatsby chapter 3 notes



  • prodigality= abstract noun- wastefulness/reckless
  • pulpless=descriptive adjective- fruit without substance/substanceless
  • harlequin=adjective (in this context)= madness/party goer
  • bewitched= verb?- hazy/drunk/evil/mysterious


  • "vacuous bursts of laughter"- party sounds artificial
  • "men and girls went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars"- "Moths"= drawn to the party
  • "spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold"
  • laughter is easier minuite by minuite, spilled with prodigality, tipped out a cheerful word"
  • "conducted themselves according to the rules of behavior associated with an amusement park"- careless attitudes
  • "came to the party with a simplicity of heart that was its own ticket of admission"- single goal= to party, desire to indulge in their pleasures- headonists
  • "while happy, vacuous bursts of laughter rose towards the summer sky"
  • "finger bowls"- amount of alchohol they are consuming
  • hedonistic characters who are clear representations of the upper classes- everything about them is excessive
  • "christmas tree"- strangeness as height of summer
  • "pyramid of pulpless halves"- higherachy, using up their youth/vitality, go there to make themselves whole
  • "opera of voices"= staged, fake, substanceless


  • symbolic of consequences of hedonisim- forshadowing the crash of this unsustainable lifestyle- futility of trying to go backwards in the jazz age
  • representation of society is found in the pathetic/incompetent drunk party goers "no harm in trying"- futile
  • "put her in reverse"- link to Gatsby's attempt to repeat the past
  • "I didn't notice we'd stopped"- finishes with event of extreme carelesness/recklessness
  • "sudden emptiness", "glowing", "surviving" (p 37)
  • "a formal gesture of farewell"- in isolation, apart from rest of society- series of gestures


  • Gatsby is intangeable until we meet him- "german spy"- "doesn't want trouble with anybody"- "he was in the American army"- "I…


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