Chapter One Questions
1.What was the advice given to Nick by his father? How, do you suppose, this makes him a good person to tell this story?
The advice that Nick’s father gave to Nick in his younger and more vulnerable years is “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
This lets you know that Nick has a positive and kind perspective over the lower class groups of society making him a better person to tell the story as opposed to Tom for example and how he speaks of other races who are not white.
How is West Egg different from East Egg? Which do you think you would rather live in and why?
West Egg are less higher classed in society because they are new money and earned the people living here such as Gatsby and Carraway have earned their place in the economic system whereas the East Egg people have inherited the money from their parents or wealthy ancestors have not had to work a single day in their life to get to their economic standing. I would rather be in West Egg because they started from the bottom and have gone through a hard working process to get to where they are and the East Egg people seem snobby and uptight about themselves and where they shine in money they mostly have a rotten personality.
If you were going to pick one colour to connect with Daisy Buchanan, what colour would it be? Explain your reasoning.
White is the colour which isn’t really colourful and exciting. As a character, she is very bland and monotonous. She isn’t very interesting as a character and is commonly seen wearing white. White is also a colour of innocence and purity.
We find out that Tom has “some woman in New York.” What unflattering feature of Jordan Baker’s personality is revealed in this scene?
This scene lets you know that Jordan is a very nosy person and likes to know all of the gossip and rumors by barging into others business.
The green light that Gatsby is staring at will become an important symbol in the book. What symbolic associations do you connect to the colour green?
Growth and hope are the two that come to mind in terms of this story and Gatsby’s character. Others are the environment, nature, ambition and money.
Chapter Two Questions
1. Explore one way that Fitzgerald presents illusion in chapter 2.
One way that Fitzgerald presents illusion is in the passage “Mrs Wilson has changed her costume some time before, and was now attired in an elaborate afternoon dress of cream- colored chiffon …with the influence of her dress her personality has also undergone a change” This passage tricks the reader into implying that Mrs Wilson is upper class along with Tom because of her elegant and glamorous changing of dresses. When in fact this is an illusion to hide the fact that she is actually part of low class because she is married to George Wilson. The constant changing of dresses helps mould herself into this upper class character which she isn’t.
Chapter Three Questions
1.Do some research into David Belaso (who what when where how why). Once you have read about him, write a paragraph explaining who he was and what he did, answering all of the w question words above in your own words.
David Belasco was an American theatrical producer, impresario, director and playwright in the 1980s to the 1920s. Born and raised in San Francisco, he worked in a theater doing several routine jobs and later was introduced into acting and directing at Piper’s Opera House in Virginia City, Nevada. This success set him up as an independent producer beginning his lengthy career. He was involved (via directing and producing) in over 100 broadway plays making him the most influential theater personality in the New York City scene at the time. He helped launch many careers and is most famous for his adaptation of the short story Madame Butterfly into a well-praised play. More than 40 motion pictures have been made using his many plays and his influence on American theater has made history. His tragic passing in 1931 left a legacy of realism of hos set designs is well remembered. Nick compares David Belasco to Gatsby because Belasco’s set designs are so real, as is Gatsby’s makebelieve stories about himself.
Chapter Four Questions
1. What is Fitzgerald trying to achieve when he opens this chapter?
Fitzgerald lists the names like a Who’s Who, doing this on purpose to achieve a certain effect on the reader. During Gatsby’s summer party Nick writes the dozens upon dozens of houseguests and later recounts the old timetable’s catalog of grey names. As Nick is telling us the seven paragraph list, the reader the reader can notice that the people from East Egg has fancy and aristocratic names (like Ripley Snells) whereas people from West Egg have more ethnic sounding names (like McCarty).Fitzgerald is trying to distinguish between East Egg, which is symbolic of being old money and West Egg which is symbolic of being new money, newcomers, people who may have equal wealth but haven’t had it as long and are therefore considered a lower class than West Egg. The last names are based around animals/pets are using the powerful Gatsby, the illusion is that Gatsby has relationships. The names explain in themselves such as the leeches who suck and leave, Hornbeams have horns and will stab your back, Voltaires are vultures who prey and tear you apart. These names are what the west egg comprises of, just savage animals whereas the old money have normal names, they are not animals.
Chapter Five Questions
1. Break apart this quote into three elements.
“It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.”
“It had gone beyond her, beyond everything.” means that he has gone beyond creating an illusion about just Daisy, his entire life is an illusion, his family, his past experiences and how he obtained his wealth.
“He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way.” means he has put a creative passion into creating this illusion about his life and persona and is always making up lies to add to his make-believe life. The bright feathers is a metaphor to the fact that his objects around his life are visual attractions to draw Daisy into his life.
“No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.” means that nothing can defeat the power of love and his heart is fake and dead because he persona is just an illusion, his real heart is dead.
Chapter Six Questions
1. Break apart this quote into three elements
Nick: “His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people- his imagination had never really accepted his parents at all. The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God -a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that -and he must be about His father’s business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just 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.” -pg 127
“His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people- his imagination had never really accepted his parents at all.” means that in order to create this new Jay Gatsby he had to ignore the fact that his parents are unsuccessful farm people.
“The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself.” means that Gatz is a real person. He creates his “ideal self” and names it Gatsby. Plato was a greek philosopher who was concerned with the real world vs the ideal world, explaining the word “platonic”.
“So he invented just 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.” means that he created this persona that his childish and ambitious seventeen-year old self would accept and he would keep this make-believe story until he dies.
Chapter Seven Questions
1.How is the scene in the hotel room in chapter seven similiar to the scene in chapter two?
Relate this to illusion.
The two scenes in the hotel relate to an argument about two seperate love affairs. The chapter two is an argument between Tom and Myrtle about Daisy and chapter seven is an argument between Tom and Daisy about Gatsby. The illusion is that in both scenes they are taken out of Daisy or Myrtle’s house to sit inside a hotel to drink and the illusion is that this hotel is a safe and neutral place for them to talk things out.
Chapter Nine Questions
1. Look into what the “American Dream” is/was.
The American Dream is the ideal by which equality of opportunity is available to any American, allowing the highest aspirations and goals to be achieved by even the poorest of people.
It is a national belief in the United States, the set of ideals involving freedom, opportunity for success and equality regardless of social classes.
Chapter One Questions