The Great Gatsby Quotes & Analysis Flashcard Example #50198

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“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.”
Here, Nick states that money isn’t the only thing that people are born with or without, but some people are naturally truthful and amiable and have a larger “sense of fundamental decencies.”
“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember the advantages that you’ve had…” In consequence I’m inclined to reserve all judgments.
Nicks use of declaratives show’s us that he tries not to be judgmental and pursuades the reader that his view is not prejudiced. However, the whole statement is ironic as the whole novel is full of his own judgements.
“When I came back from the East last autumn I felt that I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever; I wanted no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart.”
After the events that allowed Nick to realise that ” it (his tolerance) has a limit”, he declares that his experiences in New York lead to a strong negative reaction and eventually returns to the Midwest in search of a less morally ambiguous environment- “(attach quote here.)” The diction of words like “uniform” and ” moral attention” create a militaristic picture in the readers mind and stands in stark contrast with morally ambiguous New York that has no clear right or wrong.
“Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction—Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn.”
However, his disgust towards the attitudes people and culture of the east had one exception: Gatsby- “(attach quote here.)” Despite Gatsby’s lavish lifestyle with extravagent parties that were achieved from illegal bootlegging, Nick saw that he had “an extraordinary gift for hope” and a “gorgeous” sense of vitality and enthusiasum that impressed Nick so much. The paradoxial nature of this statement emphasises not only the contrasting mixed feelings Nick has towards Gatsby but it leaves the reader to decide in their own interpretation the degree to which Gatsby can be called “Great.”
“I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
Even thuo Daisy is not a fool herself, she was brought up in a socially aristocratic enviroment that does not value intelligence in women. Althrough this emphsises her shallowness and carelessness it also reinforces how women in the 1920’s are financially dependant and bonded to men.This older generation values subservience and docility in females. Fitzgerald uses this attitude towards life to recreate the atmosphere of the ‘Roaring 20’s’ in the novel. This may seem like something really foolish to say, but this is clearly one of the most ‘wisest’ words she ever seemed to say in the novel.
“Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand.”
Towards the end of the New York apartment scene, Fitzgerald reveals Tom’s personality through his careless and violent act towards his mistress -“(attach quote here)” The use of the two adjectives “short” and “deft” state the ease and causuality of his violence towards others and emphasises his extremely powerful body. Not only does this show Tom’s chauvinism but it also reinforces Woman’s place in the household in the 1920’s. Fitzgerald implies how the men were superior both financially and in the household along with the subservience and docility of females.
“Almost five years! There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams–not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion.”
When Nick see’s Gatsby and Daisy back together a sudden negative idea that he notices runs through his head- “(attach quote.)” The idea of Daisy and the feels of fresh love at first has been captivating Gatsby all these years, so much that he has devoted his life and soul for this woman. All this time Gatsby spent without her had led him to create and exetremly idealsied illusion of perfection and “colossal vitality” in Gatsby’s mind. However his dream of being with the woman he loves becomes so idealised and glorified that Daisy no matter how adequate of a woman can not live up to the expectations that Gatsby has set out for her. These expectations had founded and built upon ever since Gatsby slept with her five years ago.
“It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way.”
Additionally, Nick declares “(attach quote).” the idea of his idealised and perfect dream is far beyond the capibility of Daiys is emphasised. The senses of desperatelessness in the statements “decking out with every bright feather” and “ghostly heart” convey the destructive nature of idealising love. This foreshadows the outcome of the novel and also expresses how intensified his love for her has become due to the isolation of the two from one another, her wealth and status (“…every bright feather”), and Gatsby’s idealisation of Daisy.
“He wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say: “I never loved you.” After she had obliterated four years with that sentence they could decide upon the more practical measures to be taken.”
Nick reveals Gatsby’s perfectionism that ultimately contributed towards his downfall. The quote exemplifies Gatsby’s uncontrollable desire to repeat and remodel the past. Simply stealing a man’s wife, albeit a despicable man’s wife, isn’t enough for Gatsby. He wants to pretend the previous four years never existed.
That’s because your mother wanted to show you off.”
Daisy reveals her inner lack of responsibility and carelessness when we meet her daughter, Pammy- “(attach quote here.)” Not only does she reveal her lack of attention and carelessness towards her own daughter, Daisy treats her like an object. Thus, emphasising the extent of materialism and shallowness in Daisy and (ultimately) the American society.
“He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life .It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself. “
On Nick’s first close examination of Gatsby’s appearance he first realises his anomalous nature- “(Attach quote here).” The depictation of Gatsby’s smile captures his charisma and encapsulates the demeanor he presents to others.
“After Gatsby’s death the East was haunted for me like that, distorted beyond my eyes’ power of correction.”
Nick declares that “(attach quote here.)” He wants to return to the east because he was sick of the careless behaviour and amoral values of the east. He is tired and disappointed with the corruption and superficiality that accompanies wealth and success. After Gatsby’s death, Nick cannot find any redeeming qualities or aspects in the East, which prompts his return home to the virtuous and moral Mid West.
“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy — they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money of their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”
Although Nick is “inclined to reserve all judgements,” here he clearly presents a judgment. The repitition of the word “careless” emphasises their real selfish nature. Their social enviroment that they were born to has led them to be incapable of accepting responsibility for their own actions.
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther . . . . And one fine morning — So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
Fitzgerald makes the clear connection between the American dream and Gatsby’s dream. Gatsby’s dream only acts as a symbol for the overarching idea of the American dream that led to a corrupt, materialistic and amoral society that was obsessed with wealth and status. Nick states in a melancholic tone “(attach quote here.)” Like Gatsby’s endless attempts to achieve the American dream, we ourselves will try with our own dreams. We all will strive like Gatsby to reach an “unattainable dream” like his, sometimes we will never reach our dream but it is in human nature to keep on persevering. All of us, like Gatsby, will “beat on Boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” There is Gatsby in you, in me; there is Gatsby in all of us.
“It excited him, too, that many men had already loved Daisy — it increased her value in his eyes.”
The race and competition for the ‘Holy Grail’ only adds value in Gatsby’s eyes. It does suggest that even thuo Gatsby genuinely loves her there is a part of him that loved her becuase of the challenge and pursuit that was involved in the process. A part of him loves her because everyone loves her. He wanted something that was in demand, hard to get-it was all part of his quest for wealth and power. This shows the extent of materialism (highlight to the word “value”) in the 1920’s.
“This is a 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.”
The valley of ashes is an image of complete desolation and poverty. It symbolizes the moral decay and inner emptyness that is hidden between the glamorous facades of ‘the eggs’ and Manhatten.
“Gatsby turned out all right at 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.”
Nick suggest’s that after all Gatsby’s hopeless dreams, his perfection and desire to repeat the past was not what actually lead to his ultimate downfall. But he was in fact prey to the “foul dust,” The “foul dust that floated in the wake of his dreams.” The words “floated” and “wake” make the reader visualise how his “incorruptible dream” that was filled with hope and love crumbled particle by particle into into this “foul dust” that is left in the aftermath. This dust that caused his downfall is a metaphor for class and the elitism of the established rich (highlight on Tom Buchanan.) In the end, it was never Gatsby’s fault that he was in a class that will never acheive the status and respect of the ‘established rich;’ it was never Gatsby’s fault, that Tom (and much of his class) were elitists. Gatsby despite all his criminal activity and bootlegging turned out all right in the end, as he had something they didn’t, he had “the fundamental decencies” that so many people lacked.
I drove over there to have dinner with the Tom Buchanans.
How the “Buchanans” is replaced by “the Tom Buchanans” shows Tom’s dominance and that the girl Gatsby was in love with no longer exists
“He’s so dumb he doesn’t know he’s alive.”
This not only shows how Wilson is oblivious to the fact that his wife is Tom’s mistress but reinforces Tom’s elitism towards people how are inferior in terms of either status or wealth. This elitism ultimately contributed to Gatsby’s downfall. How the word “alive” is used in some sense is in reality true as the residents of the “valley of ashes” were “already crumbling in the powdery air” thus conveying a sense of lifelessness.
“I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife. Well, if that’s the idea you can count me out… next they’ll throw everything overboard and have intermarriage between black and white”
Fitzgerald shows Tom’s reaction to finding out about his wife’s love affair with Gatsby with this strongly opinionated and racist speech. The repitition of associating Gatsby to “nobody” show’s his elitist nature His strong dissagreement to inter-racial marriage show his amoral and racist qualities. Moreover, the statement is hypocrtical as Tom himself is in an affair with Myrtle Wilson.
“Can’t repeat the past?” he cried incredulously. “Why of course you can”
Gatsby, on Nick’s assertion that he can’t repeat the past: “(attach quote here.)” Fitzgerald shows that Gatsby wished to relive the past and wanted to reconstruct and remodel it until perfection rather than accept what has happened during the five years. What he doesn’t realise is that Daisy is not the person that he fell in love with five years ago. Gatsby’s tragic pursuit to repeat the past strikingly conveys his dream of attaining Daisy and to recapture the orgastic feelings of ecstacy during the first stages of Love. But in the end he tried but failed to achieve this corrupt dream that was destined to fail ever since he fell in love with her.
I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.
While drunk at Tom’s apartment in NY Nick has a sharp, sudden and clear moment of insight- “(Attach quote here).” At this moment, he becomes both participant and observer. Looking over the events of his experiences in the east, Nick is often simultaneously “enchanted and repelled” Though he is involved he remains emotionally detached from many events, which enables Fitzgerald to use him as the narrator of the novel. It is also an Author’s surrogate as Fitzgerald reveals through Nick’s voice his own attitude to the ‘Roaring Twenties.’
“They’re a rotten crowd,” I shouted across the lawn. “You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.”
Ever since the start Nick has only given Gatsby a single complement- “(attach quote here.)” Nick, who said that he was “inclined to reseve all judgements,” makes a very strong judgment here, accusing Daisy, Tom etc of lacking conscience. He feels that Gatsby is a much better person, even though everything part of him represents an “unaffected scorn.” However, the diction of the word “worth” is ironic as Tom and Diays who were born to a family with material wealth and status are not “worth” anything. But gatsby -despite his illegal means of deriving that money- is. Fitzgerald emphasises the inner hollowness that the upper class hides with their high social status and material luxury.
“And so it happened that on a warm windy evening I drove over to East Egg to see two old friends whom I scarcely knew at all.”
Nick’s declaritive is ironic as the words “old friends” imply that their realtionship goes back a long way, but also he states that he hardly even knows them. Fitzgerlad uses irony to show Nicks superficial relationship with every character (with an exception of Gatsby), thus conveying the superficiality and the power of distortion of ‘The East.’
“He was a blond, spiritless man, anaemic, and faintly handsome.”
“…it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again.
Nick describes gatsbys personality saying that “(attach quote here.)” Althrough Nick is “inclined to reserve all judgements” he clearly views Gatsby positively (despite his “unaffected scorn”) and implies that gatsby is an UNIQUE, loyal, perservearing peson. He optimisticly adventures the promises and dreams of life without cynicism and negativity (Note: contrast wth Daisy.)
“Gatsby gazed at a single green light, minute and faraway, that might have been the end of a dock.”
To Gatsby, the green light is a symbol for his dream, which is Daisy along with the status that comes with it. To attain her would be completing Gatsby’s American Dream. The diction of words “minute” and “faraway” has the implication that to achieve the dream is an impossiblity, which proves itself to be true when gatsby tragically dies pursuing this swallow woman. Ultamitely it is a symbol for the American dream. This welath and the attaining of social status was in essence the American Dream, however the “foul dust” that “floated in the wake” of these dreams: the irresponsiblie and casual destruction of lives, the cyclical violence and the erosion of morality and altruism make it clear to us the failure of not only Gatsby’s dream but the American dream itself. This dellusion is nothing more than a lie sold to the american society that has turned generations into money and social status obssesed creatures, that almost appear to whorship materialism and have had their boundaries of morality and altruism eroded by capitalism.
“He was a son of God…So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen year old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end.”
Nick uses a striking metaphor to compare Gatsby to Jeseus Christ to highlight Gatsby’s creation of his current identity. Gatsby transforms himself into the ideal that he envisioned for himself as a youngster(a “Platonic conception of himself”) and remains committed to that ideal, despite the obstacles that society presents to the fulfillment of his dream. Regardless of his fate of how he achieves this dream, this is the value- the vaue of determination and his “extraordinary gift for hope”- that we use to justify why Gatsby is Great.
“”Her Daisy voice is full of money,” he Gatsby said suddenly. That was it. I’d never understood before. It was full of money—that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song of it…”
Fitzgerald’s use of synecdoche reveals why the siren like voice captivated men.She is the ultimate status symbol, at her core she is not a person but a commodity. Sometimes, Gatsby truely seems to love Daisy but most of the time the reader is forced to ask Is he just doing it for the ‘thrill of the ride’ and for status? Partially, as Gatsby is not in lvoe with the real Daisy but the idealised and perfected IMAGE of Daisy that he has created during their seperation.
“The dust-covered wreck of a Ford crouched in a dim corner.”
The personifiation of cars is a prominent motif throughout the novel. It emphasises that this commodity of the American Dream that was supposed to make life easier and give us freedom is not what it seems. In reality, it is dangerous, notoriously unreliable and (as Myrtles death exemplifies) is a machine of death (“…the death car”) Fitzgerald is undermining the facade of the American dream and revealing the disillusion of this lie that capitialism sold to the American society, which led to an era consumed by materialism and superficiality. Notice the “ford” is also a metaphor for George Wilson, he too is lifeless and a “dust covered wreck.” both discarded when the rich are finished using them.
“They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds.” part 1
Suddenly in this line the meaning of the novel’s epigraph becomes clear: the four-line poem of Thomas Park d’Invilliers that Fitzgerald quotes on the title page describes exactly what Gatsby has done. He has symbolically worn the gold hat; he has “bounced high”, accumulating possessions worth of millions for this moment, so that when Daisy sees them she will cry out, like the lover in the poem, “I must have you.” And Daisy does. She admires the house, the gardens, the gigantic rooms, everything. The “Golden Girl” is astounded. Gatsby overwhelms her with these tangible signs of his affection.
“They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds.” part 2
The diction of how her voice is described as “muffled in the thick folds” demonstrates how well Gatsby hides his true identity. she, the is tricked into thinking that Gatsby is as beautiful as his costumes and was ALWAYS as beautiful as these clothes. Her voice, which is a symbol for old money, is “muffled” in the fabric; a symbol for the huge materialistic measures Gatsby has taken to attain Daisy. It emphasises the extent of materialism and swallowness of the American society during the ‘Roaring Twenties.’ Despite the fact they truely do love each other Gatsby feels the urge to use wealth to almost literally ‘buy her.’
“They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds.” part 3
What really shows the corruption and extent of this obssesion with material is that Daisy falls for it. However the reader could have expected this due to the fact that Tom just basically stole Daisy from Gatsby by buying her a pearl necklace worth $350,000 (Nowadays it would be worth over $4 million according to the inflation calculator at the Bureau of Labor Statistics)
“They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds.” part 4
It also seems silly of course to cry over shirts. But not only does it reveal Daisy’s inner swallowness But it is not the shirts themselves that overwhelm her but what they symbolize: Gatsby’s extraordinary dedication to his dream. Wouldn’t you be moved to tears to find yourself the object of so much adoration?
“It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such — such beautiful shirts before.”
Daisy cries out about seeing the beautiful shirts because they are so uncharacteristically like her memories of Gatsby before his transformation. These shirts are made of rich material and have monograms. It is hard to tell whether she is shocked and impressed by Gatsby’s new lavish style or is secretly longing for her original memories of Gatsby’s attire. Either way, it is slightly depressing to the reader that the material objects has drawn a deep emotional reaction out of Daisy as it makes the reader wonder how superficial materialistic and swallow of a person you have to be to cry just over rich shirts. Note there is an obvious tinge of regret in her cries. Daisy seeing the “beautiful” shirts makes her think of her relationship with Gatsby and how romantic it was. Daisy is sad because their relationship can’t be a reality because she is with Tom and time has significantly changed things.
“His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one.”
Not only does this passage continue to establish the symbolic significance of the green light and reveal that Daisy may not be meeting Gatsby’s built-up expectations after all these years, but Nick provides an excellent definition of symbolism: that symbolism is an “enchanted object.” The presence and importance of symbolism is massive in his book, and so it is interesting that Nick observes Gatsby removing a symbol he created from himself.
“So I walked away and left him standing there in the moonlight—watching over nothing.”
Before the trip into the city and the accident, Gatsby was convinced that Daisy was in love with him and would without a doubt leave Tom for him. When he watches Daisy and Tom in the kitchen, the reality of the situation is starting to fall on him. Ever since he and Daisy fell apart when she married Tom, he has entirely devoted his life to acquiring wealth to impress Daisy and when her back. He has devoted his whole life and heart to this swallow and careless woman. Notice how this “enchanted object” and “golden girl” is now “nothing” This foreshadows the the breakdown of Gatsby’s dream and show’s the futility of his grand idealistic fantasy as the reader realizes that Daisy now was never the girl Gatsby adored before and that the dream was “nothing,” destined for failure ever since Gatsby fell in love with her in the first place. Because Gatsby’s idealized and perfected image of Daisy will never meet up with reality.
“”Your wife doesn’t love you,” said Gatsby. “She’s never loved you. She loves me”…”She never loved you, do you hear?” he cried. “She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me. It was a terrible mistake, but in her heart she never loved any one except me!”” part 1
After 6 ? chapters of slow progression to this moment, we finally reach the boiling point (Notice the use of pathetic fallacy, since it is the hottest day of the year). Gatsby confronts Tom at last, claiming not only that Daisy would choose him, but that she NEVER loved him in the first place.
“”Your wife doesn’t love you,” said Gatsby. “She’s never loved you. She loves me”…”She never loved you, do you hear?” he cried. “She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me. It was a terrible mistake, but in her heart she never loved any one except me!”” part 2
Note the certainty and finality in his tone. He doesn’t even consider the fact that Daisy might not agree with everything he says. He probably played this scenario through his mind a million times the last 5 years, but never even imagined that anything could go wrong. His incrediable certainty emphasises his perfectionism and desire to repeat and remodel the past. This perfectionism is what ultimately contributes towards his tragic fate.
“”Your wife doesn’t love you,” said Gatsby. “She’s never loved you. She loves me”…”She never loved you, do you hear?” he cried. “She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me. It was a terrible mistake, but in her heart she never loved any one except me!”” part 3
Most readers are sympathetic towards Gatsby’s incredible devotion towards Daisy, no matter how delusional it can seem at times. This admiration of the character is what makes him a TRAGIC HERO. But by choosing Gatsby over Tom she would essentially be wrecking her marriage and future stability for a man with incredible expectations that she would never be able to live up to. Furthermore, upon realization of Gatsby’s Criminal and illegal background she falls for the stability of Tom.
“Gatsby’s eyes opened and closed “You loved me too?” he repeated…The words seemed to bite physically into Gatsby.”
Because of the expectations Gatsby has set for her during the long years of separation, Daisy has become a symbol of happiness and love for him. He could not bear the notion that who he considers to be his divine and only love has affection for someone else. This realization nearly destroys his conception of love for the past five years as he murmurs almost subconsciously and grasps desperately to the last straw of hope by repeating the question, “You loved me too?” This is his last ditch effort to force himself to believe it can’t be true.The notion that Daisy could potentially love another man is actually killing Gatsby. The consequences of Daisy possibly loving someone else in any moment of time ruins Gatsby’s perfected fantasy.
“He knew that Daisy was extraordinary, but he didn’t realize just how extraordinary a “nice” girl could be. She vanished into her rich house, into her rich, full life, leaving Gatsby — nothing. He felt married to her, that was all.”
Chapter 6 mentions that Gatsby had “known women from a young age.” He’s dated (and slept with) people before, but it’s not until Gatsby dates Daisy that he feels hopelessly attached to somebody.

Nick suggests that it’s because Daisy is a “nice” girl—she’s from a proper and respectable family, and Gatsby feels fuller and richer for being part of the relationship. Without it, he’s “nothing.”

“”I’m going to drain the pool to-day, Mr. Gatsby. Leaves’ll start falling pretty soon, and then there’s always trouble with the pipes.” “Don’t do it to-day,” Gatsby answered.”
Gatsby tries to defy the passage of time and cling on to the past; even as the autumn leaves are beginning to fall, he won’t let the servant clean the pool, and instead decides to go swimming as though it were still the height of summer. This becomes an especially potent symbol later on, when Wilson finds Gatsby in the pool and kills him; if Gatsby had been in the house, and not pursuing hobbies out of season, things might have gone much differently, though of course, because of Gatsby’s hamartia, this could never be the case.
“If that was true he must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream. He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass.”
Nick is putting himself in Gatsby’s shoes, trying to imagine what it’s like to have lost your entire dream, to have reality revealed. Daisy is gone, and if Gatsby has finally realized this, Nick imagines what it’s like to have everything you worked for redefined. Gatsby worked his whole life long to acheive his “American Dream”, which Daisy was a major part of, and now that she has made her choice of Tom over Gatsby, the last piece of his puzzle is gone. Replaced by reality, his world, defined by a facade of money and indulgence, is gone. He’s “found what a grotesque thing a rose is,” meaning the beauty and luxury that all his beautiful possessions represented have lost their romanticized glitz. It’s no longer soft, but raw, like the sunlight, his mind and eyes clear to see the kind of life he’s been living from a new perspective.
“His gorgeous pink rag of a suit made a bright spot of color against the white steps…and he had stood on those steps, concealing his incorruptible dream, as he waved them good-bye.” part 1
Notice the juxtaposition between Gatsby’s trademarked pink and Daisy’s “white”. How Gatsby is “pink” implies that he is imperfect and of a different class of the established rich But how it stood out as a “bright spot of color” places emphasis on Gatsby’s unique personality (“…gift for hope such as Ihave never seen and which is not likely i shall ever see again.”) Nick uses an interesting adjective to descirbe Gatsby’s dream: “incorruptible.” The reader feels a sense of irony even sacasum in Nick’s tone as we very well do know that Gatsby’s dream was derstined for failure ever since he first meet Daisy.
“His gorgeous pink rag of a suit made a bright spot of color against the white steps…and he had stood on those steps, concealing his incorruptible dream, as he waved them good-bye.” part 2
But it does highlight Gatsby’s optimism, his “extraordinary gift for hope.” This is what makes us admire Gatsby. It is ironic as, Tom and Daisy attained their wealth the old fashioned way (which was looked up to in the ‘Roaring twenties’) and we view them as ‘careless’ while Gatsby on the other hand has attained his money through illegal ways and yet has the readers admiration.In the end itis his “fundamental sense of deciencies” and his extremely optimistic perception towards life that make us look up to him. He is UNIQUE and his determination to acheive his dreams is what captivates us, regardless of what the dream is and how he achieves it.
“”Go on!” He started. “Why, my God! they used to go there by the hundreds.”
Through his lavish and extravagent parties Gatsby has managed to attain thousands of “friends.” THe relationship between Gatsby and his geusts are so superficial that the man who was staying in Gatsby’s house, won’t even show up to the funeral. Not only that, but he has the audacity to ask Nick to ship his shoes to him. When Gatsby was alive, people flocked to his house like moths to light. His parties were the talk of the town, and no one wasn’t invited. And when he passes away, the party goers don’t really view it that way: they view it as if the ‘party’s over.’ This portrayal of the American society makes the novel that much more tragic, to the reader it is almost ‘SAD’ to see the lack of human compassion and empathy in this delluded society obssesed with wealth and status. This emphasises the extent of corruption in this superficial and materialistic society.
“…his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.”
The “dream” is a metaphor for Daisy along with the wealth and status she represents to him. Gatsby felt that he was so close from attaining this no physical obstacle could ever slow his pursuit. His pursuit for Daisy was fruitless eversince he fell in love with her; he would never have tyhe social standing and provide for her the type of lifestyle to which she’d grown accustomed to.
Gatsby was so obsessed with his dream that he has idealised and perfected this idea of ‘Daisy’ that it was impossible to attain. THe diction of words “dark” and “night” all emphasise the fruitlessness of his dream. This dream was made impossible by the “republic” that nick describes (a metaphor for the class system and the elitism of the aristocrats.) Gatsby’s material success was actually a failure in the big picture, his dream was destined to fail ever since the begining
“He took off his glasses and wiped them again, outside and in.”
Nick, Gatsby’s father and Owl-eyes are the only ones to attend the funeral: they are the characters that could see clearer than the others. Notice how Fitzgerald repetitively mentions his glasses making sure the reader does not miss the hidden message. Glasses are tools created by man to CORRECT VISION. Owl-eyes’ glasses correct the East’s “power of distortion.” This is the distortion of morallity and human compassion. However, with Gatsby dead, things seem even more fogged, as symbolically implied by Owl-eyes’ having to wipe his glasses constantly in order to see. Now even those who see things keenly (correcting their distorted vision), as from a bird’s-eye view, have trouble differentiating between the real and unreal, the good and the bad in the world.
“East egg…West egg”
How they are metaphorically “eggs” not only vividly depicts their circular shape but is symbolic. Like an egg the Egg’s are ‘white’ (representing purity) on the outside and and yellow on the inside. This convey’s the corruption that the upper class tries to hide under their facade of innocence and wealth.
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