NICK‟S INSOMNIA “half-sick between grotesque reality and savage, frightening dreams” (147) • Nick’s nightmares are just as brutal as reality• points to the savagery of the society Nick is living in - he is getting disgusted with the events that he has witnessed. • lack of sleep = restlessness
GATSBY‟S HOUSE • The piano is “ghostly”, there is “dust everywhere” and the “rooms were musty, as though they haven‟t been aired for many days”• the house seems to collapse and go into disrepair along with Gatsby’s dream. • No longer needed to lure Daisy, and is forgotten.
GATSBY IS TOO SENSITIVE FOR THIS CRUEL WORLD“„Jay Gatsby‟ had broken up like glass against Tom‟s hard malice...” (148)• Gatsby is too fragile and sensitive, a romantic at heart • Tom and Daisy are cruel, selfish and destructive • Tom is brutal and intimidating and physical. • Gatsby cannot compete
GATSBY AND DAISY (148-149)• Gatsby describes Daisy as the first “nice” girl he had ever met - suggesting that Gatsby had previous relationships with women of bad reputation and lower social status.• Daisy’s house was full of “ripe mystery”, “radiant activities”, “romances that were not musty” and the “fresh breathing and redolent of this year‟s shining motor cars and of dances whose flowers were scarcely withered” - everything surrounding Daisy was alive and fresh, full of promise and potential.
• The fact that Daisy had had many lovers and suitors excited Gatsby and made her worth the pursuit. “He felt their presence all about thehouse, pervading the air with the shadesand echoes of still vibrant emotions” - towin an admired and fickle woman like Daisy would truly be a feat.
• The thing that attracted Daisy to Gatsby was his uniform, and Gatsby was afraid the charm wouldn’t last, “so he made the most of his time” and “took what he could get, ravenously and unscrupulously”.• At first, he didn’t seem to have feelings for Daisy; he merely wanted to see if he could succeed in seducing someone so out of his reach. He never expected to fall in love with her.
• There was a sense of guilt early on in the relationship, since Gatsby had taken Daisy under false pretenses and given her a false sense of security, letting her believe that they were of the same social class.“He had intended, probably, to take what hecould get and go - but now he found that hehad committed himself to the following of a grail.”
REJECTION• She vanished into her house, leaving him with nothing - she had her own life and Gatsby felt rejected. • Perhaps, not used to rejection, Gatsby pursues Daisy not because he loves her but because she bruised his ego and because he needs to prove to himself that he can get anything if he works hard enough. • like a moth, he is attracted to her status and wealth and pursues her precisely because he shouldn’t. • for Gatsby Daisy represented not only the American dream but also eternal past, eternal youth.
• After Gatsby left, Daisy became nervous and full of despair - pressured by the world to fill a certain role.• “Daisy began to move again”, restlessness caused her to see other men, dress in finery, stay out all night. • She couldn’t wait for Gatsby forever. “She wanted her life shaped now, immediately - and the decision must be made by some force - of love, of money, of unquestionable practicality.” Tom was the force that happened to decide for her, at the right place and at the right time - she would have taken anybody.
GATSBY COMES BACK FOR DAISY, BUT SHE‟S GONE “He snatched out his hand desperately as if to snatch only a wisp of air, to save a fragment of thespot that she had made lovely for him. But it was all going by too fast now for his blurred eyes and he knew that he had lost that part of it, the freshest and best, forever.” (153) • Looks for her – thinks he could get her back if he tries hard enough • Part of him realizes that he can’t get the innocent Daisy back
NICK‟S OPINION OF GATSBY AND THE OTHERS“They’re a rotten crowd...you’re worth the whole damn bunch put together” (154) • Even though he’s a criminal, Gatsby is a purer being than the Buchanans and Jordan – who are corrupt and destructive. • At least Gatsby is a generous man with feelings; the others seem selfish, petty, snobby and dangerous. • Gatsby can love, while the others are reckless, lack emotional attachments and are concerned only with artifice and surfaces. • these are the last words Nick speaks to Gatsby and they elicit one of Gatsby‟s radiant and rare smiles.
MYRTLE AND GEORGE• Myrtle, who always wanted to be famous, only becomes talked about after her death – “tragic achievement” • George is distraught at the death of Myrtle; his wife was everything to him. • Vengeance• Assumes that Gatsby is Myrtle’s lover and the man responsible for her death.
TJ ECKLEBERG AND GEORGE • George compares the eyes of the billboard with the eyes of God - always watching the sinners on earth. • He told Myrtle that she couldn’t fool God in her affair, even though she had managed to fool him for a while.• In this society, God is money and business and material goods.
GATSBY AT THE END OF THE SUMMER• Taking a swim in his pool for the first time, before the pool gets drained for the winter. • Waiting for Daisy’s phone call, that will never come.
“I have an idea that Gatsby himself didn‟t believe it wouldcome, and perhaps he no longer cared. If that was true he must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid ahigh price for living too long with a single dream. He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass. A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, driftedfortuitously about...like that ashen, fantastic figure gliding toward him through the amorphous trees.” (161)
LAST MOMENTS • Gatsby’s last moments are full of resignation and disappointment. • He comes to realize the futility of his dream and does not recognize the world, since it doesn’t match the ideal he has created in his head. • What once was beautiful and peaceful was now grotesque, frightening and full of ghosts. • He sees the world for what it is, a savage nature covered by an artificial cloak of pleasure and beauty.• His world, in the last moments, is filled with brutality, rawness, and unfulfilled, dying dreams - both his and George Wilson’s, as both characters are at this point disappointed with life and fate.
DEATH • After murdering Gatsby, Wilson commits suicide - completing the holocaust.• Nick describes the “movement of the water and the “gust of wind” that brushes the surface of the pool. The leaves revolving alongside the blood of Gatsby contrast the dead body deprived of breath and movement. • The passage juxtaposes the life of the world with the death of Gatsby pointing out the insignificance of man - the world moves on, even when a man’s life is snuffed.
MOVEMENT = SAFETY• The movement of nature evokes the constant movement of the Buchanan house and the restlessness of the characters. • Gatsby slowed down, rested, gave up or stopped to ponder; he took a dip in his pool and the cruel world, constantly in motion, caught up to him and destroyed him. • There is safety in motion, both emotional and physical. In this novel, there is no time to dwell on the past.