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–Edward Thomas

Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into this solitude.
Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
But here I pray that none whom once I loved
Is dying tonight or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain,
Either in pain or thus in sympathy
Helpless among the living and the dead,
Like a cold water among broken reeds,
Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
Like me who have no love which this wild rain
Has not dissolved except the love of death,
If love it be for what is perfect and
Cannot, the tempest tells me,

7 January, 1916

The Great Gatsby: notes on chapter VIII

James Gatz, even though he has no college education or wealth, somehow manages to persuade the Army that he is officer material, and in the great mobilization that was World War I, is commissioned as a lieutenant

And here he is, a major, sent to Oxford and pictured with friends who are the nobility of Britain, a free education at a world-class university, and what does he do?

Compare his reaching out to catch the last grasp of Louisville and his dream with his reaching out to the green light at the end of the dock.

The between-dreams and grotesque reality set the tone for the chapter

Gad’s hill and Port Roosevelt are in East egg, Tom’s side of the two

How Nick rushes intuitively into the house.

The Great Gatsby: notes on chapter VII


“…like silver idols…” compare this drawing room scene with the one chapter one.

Daisy’s voice is full of money.

What do you make of “he wears a pink suit”?

There is no confusion like the confusion of a simple mind.

Row means…

At what point do we realize that Daisy is not going to leave?

So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight.

Tom’s actions as the wreck unfolds

The etymology of conspiracy

Essay question 2


Poetic forms


The Great Gatsby: Notes on chapter VI

The reporter’s arrival: foreshadowing.

Platonic conception

“So he invented just the of 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.”

“ferocious indifference to the drums of his destiny, to destiny itself”: the college didn’t seem to recognize that James Gatz was full of swag.

Madame de Maintenon.
(I know you are highly likely to see this name and not recognize it, and I know that you have the intellectual curiosity stop and take the 30 seconds it takes to look it up.)

When Tom and the two others show up unexpectedly on horseback, take note of the fickleness of social interaction, and Gatsby’s naivety in believing it.

“I’d rather look at all these famous people in – in oblivion.” The wisest thing Tom ever says.

Later, “Tom appeared from his oblivion”

Has Tom always womanized? What’s your evidence for that? (do you get the notion that “what’s your evidence for that” indicates that I might ask you for an essay on it?)

Daisy’s reaction to West Egg on page 108.

What is the etymology of “bootlegger”?

“And she doesn’t understand,” he said. “She used to be able to understand. We’d sit for hours – –”. Brother, I feel you.

“Can’t repeat the past?” he cried incredulously. “Why of course you can!” How does this tie into the clock on the mantelpiece?

Nick tries to form a phrase that won’t congeal, and is incommunicable forever. Deeply symbolic.

The Great Gatsby: Notes on chapter V

The visual imagery of coming around the corner and thinking the house is on fire.

If you don’t know what “sardines – in – the – box” is, I know you’ll look it up.

“A greenhouse arrived from Gatsby’s” is what figure of speech?

The symbolism of the Gatsby’s attire.

The symbolism of a defunct clock almost smashing.

We have to guess what transpired between Daisy and Gatsby while Nick tactfully took a brief walk. Well played, Fitzgerald. Well played.

“I keep it always full of interesting people, night and day. People who do interesting things. Celebrated people.”

Return to page 93 after you’ve read through to page 153

The shirts.

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?