VALLEY OF ASHES• It is a desolate wasteland described as “a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens” - everything is covered with a layer of ashes.• The people “move dimly” and are “crumbling.”
VALLEY OF ASHES• Represents the moral and social decay of American society that results from the pursuit of wealth• the rich indulge themselves with regard for nothing but their own pleasure – destructive and selfish
DOCTOR TJ ECKLEBERG• blue and gigantic, looking out of no face, with glasses perched on a non-existent nose• abandoned and forgotten, slipping into eternal blindness, brooding over the solemn dumping ground of the valley of ashes.• The billboard can be metaphorically representing a deist religious view - a God that abandoned its creation and is now just an ignored figure head
GEORGE WILSON AND HIS GARAGE• the garage is un-prosperous and bare, with dust covered surfaces• as a shadow of a garage• George Wilson was “blond, spiritless man, anaemic, and faintly handsome.”• When Tom enters, he exhibits a glimmer of hope - he has not given up.• He is described as blending into the gray color of the walls.• Tom says that Wilson “is so dumb that he doesn’t know he is alive,” since he has no ideas that his wife is having an affair with Tom.
MYRTLE WILSON• 30s with a stout, thickish figure.• carries her surplus weight in a sensuous way - attractive curves.• an air of vitality; smoldering• opposite of the slight and gorgeously frail Daisy• manages to escape the ash that covers everything else - she doesn’t belong in the valley of ashes• She speaks to her husband with a coarse voice and walks past him into the room as if he were a ghost.
MYRTLE• buys a gossip magazine (she is shallow and unintelligent),• movie picture magazine (concerned with popular entertainment)• perfume and cream (concerned with her appearance and trying to look her best)
MYRTLE’S DRESS• The gown emitted a continual rustle - her presence was continually being announced.• “With the influence of the dress her personality had also undergone a change” – vitality, huge gestures, acts like she’s in charge of the “lower classes” (like servants) – which she is actually a part of• “crazy old thing” - She clearly cares about her appearance and is putting on a sense of false modesty to elicit compliments - she is fake and shallow• Her voice is described as a shout, in contrast to Daisy’s charming murmur.
CHARACTERISATION - TOMRead the quotes which follow. Analyse each quote to explain why it reveals a negative side of Tom.“It‟s a bitch”, said Tom decisively. “Here‟s your money. Go and buy ten more dogs with it.” “His determination to have my company bordered on violence. Thesupercilious assumption was that on Sunday afternoon I had nothing better to do” “I want to see you,‟ said Tom intently. „Get on the next train.”
MARRIAGE• Catherine says that “neither of them can stand the person they are married to.” about Tom and Myrtle.• the Buchanans pretend to be civil and relaxed with one another, but they are not happy
MARRIAGE/DIVORCE• If both Tom and Myrtle are miserable in their respective marriages, she suggests that they get a divorce and settle together• Tom says that his wife, Daisy, is a Catholic and will not grant him the divorce - LIES• His life with Daisy is important to him for appearances sake - she is the wealthy, attractive, charming trophy wife.• Myrtle is just for fun – cannot be his wife because he is ashamed of her lower social status.
MARRIAGE• She must have loved him once, but has become disenchanted.• she married George because she believed he was a gentleman - she thought she was marrying into society and status.• George borrowed a suit for their marriage; when the owner came to claim it Myrtle cried, realizing George does not have money
GATSBY RUMORS• cousin of Kaiser Wilhelm - the ruler of Germany - and that is where all his wealth comes from.• Some people believe he is a German spy.• Gatsby seems to host giant parties
SETTING - NEW YORK• Fast paced life• Danger, recklessness• No close relationship – lots of fake connections• Loud, garish, glittering
NEW YORK“People disappeared, reappeared, made plans to go somewhere, and then lost each other, searched for each other, found each other a few feet away.”
THEME - AMERICAN SOCIETY• restlessness characteristic of the Lost Generation - a group of people so disappointed in life that they have to keep moving to keep themselves entertained.• They buy stuff to fill an emotional void and do not even notice things right in front of their eyes.• Everyone in this society seems confused, unhappy and lost, but trying to hide it with “stuff”
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