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Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Great Gatsby: guiding questions on chapter IV

Read quickly the names and the brief description of the characters who came to Gatsby’s mansion as a sort of background.

This is a novel of onomatopoeia: note especially “jug-jug-spat!”

The meaning of names: look up Wolfsheim and Fay.

The dialogue of Wolfheim: gonnegtion, Oggsford, a wrong man

What do Wolfsheim’s cuff links suggest?

Drunk Daisy: where do they find the $350,000 string of pearls and what about the letter crumpled up in her hand?

“Where’s Tom gone?”

A review of basic party etiquette

A review of basic party etiquette

There are certain duties of the host and the guest. This review, in the style of 50’s instructional filmstrips, is funny yet telling.
See also the video links in the “On Etiquette” tab.

DISCLAIMER: Some people find the title “The Art of Manliness” to be sexist, but I consider the site to be of use in reviewing the art of being the gentleman, and moving those social skills forward into the yet-to-be-realized era of true equality.

The Great Gatsby: thoughts on chapter III

“…the two or three people of whom I asked [Gatsby’s] whereabouts stared at me in such an amazed way, and denied so vehemently any knowledge of his movements, that I slunk off in the direction of the cocktail table” (42). It is good manners to find, and be greeted by, the host.

innuendo appears several times.

The owl-eyed man (45) appears only twice (not counting his exit from the party), yet his character embodies character.  You’ll meet several people like this in your life.

Belasco (46)

The meeting of Nick and “the young roughneck.” Compare the paragraph focusing on his smile with that of the focus on Daisy’s voice (9).

“I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy” (50).

Mascara as musical notation. (51)

Honesty. (58-60) Nick gives himself the “cardinal virtue” of honesty. Does this hold with his NYC side trip with Tom and Myrtle in chapter two?


The Buchanan’s mansion

The Buchanon's mansion

The film set visualization.

Gatsby’s mansion

Gatsby's mansion

An idea of the grandeur: film set visualization compared to the actual building that might have inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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?