Great Gatsby overview

Ashleigh Gildroy
Note by Ashleigh Gildroy, updated more than 1 year ago
Ashleigh Gildroy
Created by Ashleigh Gildroy over 4 years ago
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A2 English (Great Gatsby) Note on Great Gatsby overview, created by Ashleigh Gildroy on 12/08/2016.

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Great Gatsby Overview

Themes:1) The Desire for Transcendence: Transcendence = experience beyond the normal or physical level Compare with Keats Gatsby embodies this theme ... Searches for romance in which is doomed. Myrtle ... Conforms to middle class norms, in order to feel of high class ... Dies by car (Symbolism) (ironic) 2) The American Dream: Jay Gatsby embodies this from an outsiders perspective ... a working class male becoming a middle class ego with a lot of wealth and parties. However, this is not Jay Gatsby's dream ... Daisy (Reaches out to green light in which represents Daisy). Loves Daisy and wants her to only love him ... Dies because of Daisy's flawed character Myrtle (See first theme) 3) Money and Materialism:"Conspicuous Consumption" = the purchase of goods or services for the specific purpose of displaying one's wealth ... Gatsby's Library, untouched and grand, clearly to show off ... Cars = Tom and Gatsby's show high levels of wealth, George Wilson fixes them (Implies his social status)4) Appearance and Reality: Nick (Our narrator) tries to distinguish what is reality and what is false E.g. = Fascinated by Gatsby's house and parties, but discovers the reality of the purpose behind his house and parties Gatsby = Socially unaware, eyes distorted with love. Gender: Novel set during social change in terms of Gender F. Scott explores the idea of gender in his novel His demonstrates the characteristics of typical gender roles E.g. = Tom, dominant, hegemonic masculinity, aggressive (Hit Myrtle in Chapter two) E.g. = Daisy, stuck in a marriage more focused on finance than emotional needs Myrtle = Tries to find release through Tom Jordan Baker = Only female with independence, however seems dissatisfied with life All female characters seem somewhat dissatisfied with their lifestyle This suggests that despite a social change occurring, no women feels any more or less fulfilled with their life

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.... Tom = Hegemonic masculinity ... Aggressive, heterosexual, degrading to women ... However, didn't take part in the war (Unlike Nick and Gatsby) Gatsby = Destruction of masculine physique ... becomes needy and soft with Daisy Nick = Difficulty finding his masculinity ... Many failed relationships ... Quite awkward with women None of the men manage to maintain their Manly persona Race: Tom = Highly racist Social racism and intolerance = Ku Klux Klan (Membership rose to 5 Million during the 20's) Wolfsheim = Based on real life criminal Arnold Rothstein ... Deviant and Criminal = Negative portrayal on the Jewish Historical Context: America's involvement in the first world war ... Gatsby and Nick both soldiers in the war (Adds more realism towards their character) Internal Immigration = Africa's moving to New York Prohibition = Led to the increase of organised crimes (Arnold Rothstein), which led to more gangs Narration: Modified first person narrator - Nick observes the plot, has characters tell him stories ... For example, when Jordan tells Nick about how Daisy and Gatsby met Structure: A non-chronological structure ... The past is given to us randomly ... Gatsby's boyhood and how he met Daisy The Scenic Method = The novel shows the plot, but doesn't tell in order for the reader to draw their own conclusions Nick: Our modified first person narrator Arguably our most complicated character ... No description of himself, prefers to tell eye witness accounts ... Provides a sense of vulnerability When Nick does tell us stories we question his reliability as a narrator ... Lies about being "Drunk twice in his life" Sadder but wiser Romantic Modernism: Taken images from romantic poems ... Modernises the images Tries to draw in modern technology in order to prevent an old fashion atmosphere ... Cars Myrtle = Chapter 7 ... Short Long Sentences

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The Use Of Names: Contrasting names - ... Daisy = Flower - Represents fluorescent character ... Myrtle = Weed - Represents ugly character Jordan Baker = Two car names of the era

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