IDENTITY CHANGE “It was James Gatz who had been loafing along the beach thatafternoon …but it was already Jay Gatsby who borrowed a row boat…” Symbolises his desire to forget his lower classidentity and recast himself as the wealthy man he envisions.
• James Gatz of North Dakota is the true identity of Jay Gatsby – son of poor farmers, whom he disowns• Gatz was a loafer - out of work –• In an effort to connect with the grandeur that he saw in Dan Cody, James disconnects from his heritage and becomes Jay, borrowing a boat to inform Cody of the treacherous winds.• Gatz was drawn to money and reinvented himself and altered his identity - reborn, fake, superficial to fit in
What does Gatsby’s transformation tell us about the type of person he is? What do we admire about him?
GATSBY AND WOMEN “He knew women early, and since they spoiled him he became contemptuous of them.” (98)• cocky attitude in Jay - attractive enough to get attention from many women• spoiled him and made him over-confident• When Daisy rejects him - even if it is because of her parents - it is a blow to the ego that he cannot get over.• He obsesses over Daisy as the one that got away and the one that turned him down. He was not used to rejection from women.• Gatsby’s obsession with Daisy may be merely an attempt to save his ego; quest to conquer rejection.
POWER TO DREAM “his heart was in a constant, turbulent riot. Themost grotesque and fantastic conceits haunted him in his bed at night. A universe of ineffablegaudiness spun itself out in his brain...Each nighthe added to the pattern of his fancies. For a while these reveries provided an outlet for his imagination; they were a satisfactory hint ofunreality of reality, a promise that the rock of theworld was founded securely on a fairy‟s wing.” (99)
DREAMER• fantasies of wealth and splendor that haunted his mind• fantasies were a necessary part of his reality; an escape from his own dreary world.• He founded his dreams on this unreality – dreams have to be based in reality to come true.• He never had a chance when his foundation was constructed of “fairy wings,” not practical stone.
DAN CODY• 50 years old• Millionaire• physically robust• soft-minded• entangled with a number of women that tried to separate him from his money• the yacht represent “all the beauty and glamour in the world” (100)
WEALTH CAN BE DANGEROUS “Ella Kaye came on board one night in Boston and a week later Dan Cody inhospitably died.”• The text suggests that Ella murdered Cody for his money, since it was she that inherited all of the money, even though it was meant to go to Gatsby.• money is a magnet for danger and dishonesty• Dan Cody was a heavy drinker - and perhaps his insobriety contributed to his downfall - it is because of Cody that Gatsby drank so little.
GATSBY‟S NEW BEHAVIOR • Having followed Cody in his exploits and observed his behavior, Gatsby’s education prepared him for the lifestyles of the rich.• The idea of a wealthy gentleman was no longer just a dream, now he knew how to behave and fit in - how to enjoy life and throw crazy parties for attention, like Cody• He never got the $ that Cody meant for him, he made it himself – what does that tell us about Gatsby?
TOM ON WOMEN“I may be old-fashioned in my ideas, but women run around too much these days to suit me. They meet all kinds of crazy fish.”• Tom criticizes the freedom that women are beginning to have in this age.• Prefers a woman that is at home, under his watch, and that is subservient to his whims.• Beginning to suspect that Daisy’s adventures can lead to infidelity, since he himself uses excursions to meet with Myrtle and he is aware that Myrtle lies to her husband about where she is going.
PARTY• unlike Gatsby’s other parties; it had an aura of oppressiveness - with Tom’s vigilance, unpleasantness and pervading harshness.• Tom’s brutality infuses the party atmosphere, altering the dynamic
TOM AT THE PARTY• Tom asks for permission to eat with a different group of people• Daisy knows that he is separating himself from her to hit on women• Seeing Tom at his games, Daisy did not have a good time at the party, aside from the half hour she was able to sneak off with Gatsby.
DRINKING AND DANGER • Miss Baedeker is extremely drunk and needs the assistance of several other people.• drunkenness is not amusing anymore - points out the lack of control that some people have - especially when it comes to money and alcohol. • Once again, danger and chaos lurk underneath the surface.
DAISY“She was appalled by the West Egg, this unprecedented place that Broadway had begotten upon a Long Island fishing village - appalled by its raw vigor that chafed under the old euphemisms and by the too obtrusive fate that herded its inhabitants along ashort-cut from nothing to nothing. She saw something awful in the very simplicity she failed to understand.”
DAISY‟S OPINION• Daisy is uncomfortable with the reality of the life she sees around her - no one is trying to hide their vices or flaws, they succumb to them with wild abandon• The norm in the East Egg is that people put on masks to hide their unhappiness and bad behavior. She is used to fake politeness, not the raw honesty of West Egg.• Too violent and obtrusive for the delicate Daisy
GUESTS “Sometimes a shadow moved against a dressing-room blind above, gave way to another shadow, an indefinite procession of shadows, that rouged and powdered in an invisible glass.” (107)• the guests are shadows - empty people with no depth, soul or life; they are interchangeable and concerned with appearances - powdering themselves and making up their masks.• They seem to have little purpose, just go through routines.
“MENAGERIE”• Tom is using the word in a derogatory manner. • Ménagerie is a collection of wild animals kept in captivity for display. • Tom is making fun of the guests and their behavior as well as Gatsby, wanting to show off his wealth and popularity
DREAMS… “After all, in the very casualness of Gatsby‟s partythere were romantic possibilities totally absent from her world. What was it up there in the song that seemed to be calling her back inside?” (108)
• Daisy looks back on the mansion before she leaves - the party is full of possibilities that her world no longer offers.• Since she has made her decision to marry Tom, nothing exciting or romantic could ever happen to her in her world - her life is defined and set out for her.• Gatsby’s place takes her back to the past, recreates the feeling of romance and potential she shared with the young soldier - dreams are still possible in the past.
DAISY IS ALL THAT MATTERS “He wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say: „I never loved you.‟ After she had obliterated four years with that sentencethey could decide upon the more practical measures to be taken. One of them was that, after she was free, they were to go back to Louisville and bemarried from her house - just as if it were five years ago.” (109)
• Gatsby’s desire is to erase the past Daisy had without him.• He wants to marry Daisy in her old house, with the approval of her family - this would validate his status in the wealthy class.• The dream is completely unrealistic, no one can relive the past.• He can never get the young Daisy back - wishing for the past will only lead to disappointment - he doesn’t know this version of Daisy, suggested by the fact that he says “She used to be able to understand.”• She is not the same person, neither is he
RELIVING THE PAST“He looked around him wildly, as if the past were lurking here in theshadow of his house, just out of reach of his hand. „I‟m going to fix everything just the way it was before.‟” (110) • A tragic delusion • If he returned to the way things were he would be poor, and Daisy wouldn’t want him. He wants a combination of the past and the present, but you can’t pick and choose.
“Can’t repeat the past?” he cried incredulously. “Why of course you can!” • This illustrates his capacity to delude himself• Also illustrates his boundless capacity for hope Does the quote influence our feelings towards Gatsby?
MEMORY FROM THE PAST A memory from the past, symbolic of the changes in life...During his walk with Daisy five years before he saw...”a ladder mounted to a secret place above thetrees - he could climb to it, if he climbed alone, and once there he could suck on the pap of life, gulp down the incomparable milk of wonder.” (111) • He knew that he could be successful alone; his desire for Daisy is holding him back.• He gave it all up to be with Daisy and dedicated his life to her, knowing that he would be sacrificing the wonder and wealth and happiness that solitary life would provide.
• She changed him and took away all the imagination that his life had potential for; all that was left was Gatsby’s drive for material wealth that prove to Daisy his worth.• The tragedy of Gatsby is that the dreamer and romantic were sacrificed to create the charming and glamorous socialite - appearance became important, not the heart.• Again, he is a man with the wrong dream and the wrong means of reaching the dream – can’t win pure love with a life of crime.• Not only can Daisy not go back to the past, Gatsby himself cannot recover the depth of feeling he had for life and for Daisy.