Literature - The Great Gatsby

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Mind Map by Allyyyyy, updated more than 1 year ago
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(Literature) Mind Map on Literature - The Great Gatsby, created by Allyyyyy on 16/04/2014.

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Literature - The Great Gatsby
1 INTERPRETATION OF THE TITLE
1.1 Building up to a show - Gatsby as a showman - performer, powerful, the title gives him power (e.g. "Alexander the Great"), legendary, almost mythical.
1.2 Alliteration - smooth flow, Gatsby is a 'smooth' character
1.3 "The" - unique, there is only one Gatsby.
1.4 Depends on interpretation of "Great" - is it sarcastic, or genuine? It's a non-committal compliment, many other adjectives that could have been used in its place which are more emotive.
2 HISTORICAL CONTEXT of 1920'S
2.1 Women
2.1.1 WW1 - chance of participation and equality - the vote introduced around this time - women were taken more seriously
2.1.2 Young, leading fashion, skirts shorter, colours brighter, less corsets, flapper style, looser clothing
2.1.2.1 More masculine fashion - androgynous - shorter hair, binding breasts for a more masculine silhouette, an example of this is JORDAN
2.2 Alcohol
2.2.1 Alcohol prohibition - sale and trade made illegal - legalised in 1933
2.2.1.1 Gatsby made his money off of alcohol when it was illegal and threw parties where people got incredibly drunk
2.3 Fitzgerald
2.3.1 Alcoholic, eventually died due to this
2.3.1.1 Is this the reason why Gatsby doesn't drink?
2.3.2 In love with Zelda whom he eventually married, though she went mad after TGG's publication
2.3.2.1 Gatsby is obsessed with Daisy, however they don't end up together
3 LOCATIONS WITHIN THE TEXT
3.1 West Egg
3.1.1 The self-made rich, location of Gatsby's mansion, and thus Nick's house
3.1.1.1 Newly rich portrayed as vulgar, gaudy, ostentatious and lacking in social graces and taste
3.1.1.1.1 E.g. - Gatsby wears a pink suit, drives a yellow Rolls-Royce and does not pick up on subtle social signals.
3.2 The Valley of Ashes
3.2.1 Between West Egg and New York City
3.2.1.1 Long stretch of desolate land - the dumping ground of industrial ashes
3.2.1.1.1 Representative of the moral and social decay resulting from the uninhibited pursuit of wealth
3.2.1.1.1.1 The rich indulge themselves with little regard for anything except themselves
3.2.1.1.2 Symbolic of the plight of the poor (e.g. George Wilson) who live among the dirty ashes and lose their vitality as a result
3.3 East Egg
3.3.1 The 'old' rich, location of the Buchanan's house.
3.3.1.1 Higher social awareness, respectability and taste. Aristocratic.
3.3.1.1.1 E.g. - Daisy and Jordan's long flowing white dresses.
3.4 George Wilson's garage
3.4.1 Described as a "Shadow of a garage" - suggests that it is barely there, perhaps just struggling to exist as a business.
3.4.1.1 Symbolic of the difficulties that would be posed due to the rich being able to replace rather than "Make do and mend".
3.4.1.1.1 Garage might literally be overshadowed - replaced by bigger and better things.
3.5 Train carriage
3.5.1 Symbolic of improvements of technology and the ability to travel as well as communicate.
3.5.1.1 However, people still have to travel through the Valley of Ashes, which could be symbolic of two things
3.5.1.1.1 1). People are still exposed to hardship and everything is not as bright as it seems initially
3.5.1.1.2 2). People don't pay any attention to other's hardships - "Ignorance is bliss" mentality.
3.6 Taxi cab in New York City
3.6.1 "Lavender colored [sic] with gray [sic] upholstery"
3.6.1.1 Beautiful and vibrant on the outside, but unhealthy on the inside
3.6.1.1.1 Could the grey be a reference to the Valley of Ashes?
3.6.1.1.2 Superficiality - people might not be as nice or glamourous as they appear to be.
3.7 Apartment in New York City
3.7.1 "A long white cake of apartment-house"
3.7.1.1 Sickly sweet, purity - an opposing connotation - white icing to cover a fruit cake which is something quite plain, perhaps trying to be more than it is.
3.7.1.2 Relates to the superficial, materialistic ideas and a possible relation to Myrtle's idea that she's beautiful, even if she is not
4 ACTION IN THE CHAPTERS & RELATION TO THEMES IN THE BOOK
4.1 TWO
4.1.1 Nick, Tom and Myrtle meet other friends of theirs in the apartment and get drunk.
4.1.1.1 There is a fight between Tom and Myrtle over her not being fit to mention Daisy's name: subsequently Tom hits out at Myrtle
4.1.1.1.1 Nick and Mr McKee from the flat below run away - it is suggested that there is some kind of sexual encounter between the two
4.1.1.1.1.1 Both Gatsby and Daisy are topics of gossip, which provides a conflict about how the characters are perceived
4.1.2 • Everything is not as good as it seems - a 'nice' day ends in an assault
4.1.2.1 • Jealousy - Myrtle is potentially jealous of Daisy
4.1.2.1.1 • Superficiality - the women are focused on and to some extent obsessed with beauty, seen during the exchange where they are discussing who McKee should photograph
4.2 THREE
4.2.1 The first experience of one of Gatsby's parties, a rich example of language analysis.
4.2.1.1 "Blue gardens", "Cataracts", "Toiled", "Repairing the ravages", "Pulpless halves", "Bewitched", "Gaudy", "Strange", "Lurches", "Pitches a key higher"
4.2.1.1.1 All of these excerpts have a slightly negative atmosphere
4.2.1.1.1.1 Nick isn't explicitly saying that he doesn't like the parties, but "Lurches" and "Pitches a key higher" provides a sense of unease.
4.2.1.1.1.2 The terms are unpleasant, but not horrible. This could be representative of something negative underneath the ostentatious tune of the parties.
4.2.1.2 Champagne
4.2.1.2.1 Wealth, class, restricted alcohol - "Whisperings", hidden, underhand.
4.2.1.3 Moths
4.2.1.3.1 Fragile, drawn to light - beauty - helpless, fickle.
4.2.1.4 Men and girls
4.2.1.4.1 Emotional maturity, attractive and fashionable - not domesticated, "Men and women" would be more formal, suggestion of inappropriate activity between older men and younger girls.
4.2.1.5 Blue gardens
4.2.1.5.1 Different interpretations - i.e. melancholy, sad or alternatively relating to the idiom "Turning the air blue" - profanities
4.2.1.5.2 Moonlight can make things appear blue, dream like?
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