Home » AP Literature » The Great Gatsby: some thoughts, chapters I and II

The Great Gatsby: some thoughts, chapters I and II

“To a certain temperament the situation might have seemed intriguing” means that some people enjoy watching the “drama” and secrecy of affairs of others: Jordan Baker’s actions appear to put her in this category. “–my own instinct was to telephone immediately for the police”(16). Nick is alarmed. But then how would he explain his actions in chapter two?

“as if to a vigil beside a perfectly tangible body” (16). Be prepared to explain the simile.

Daisy doesn’t seem to be serious about anything; when she says “I’ve had a very bad time, Nick, and I’m pretty cynical about everything,” (17) do we believe she becomes so? Why? Where was Tom when Daisy gave birth? And her statement about what a what a woman should be?

“God–I’m sophisticated” (18).

“as if she had asserted her membership in a rather distinguished secret society to which she and Tom belonged” (18).

Come back to 16-18 at the climax and denouement of the novel. It’s like a slap. Or perhaps a punch, depending on how much validity you are willing to give to Gatsby’s dream.

Chapter II

The imagery of the “farm” that grows men and cars from ash (23-26).

smoke/spirit/gray/ghostly/body vs. ectoplasm. Note the shifts of the spatial within the chapter.

Myrtle is not beautiful per se, but…

“you’d of thought she had my appendicitis out” (31). This says of her character…

The grotesque image of the whirling, enlarging Myrtle (31).

Is Tom in love with Myrtle? No. What’s your evidence for that?


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