"The Great Gatsby" Chapter 1


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"The Great Gatsby" Chapter 1

  1. 1. CHARACTERIZATION - NICKNick is portrayed as the perfect narrator – claims not to judge He appears as tolerant, open minded, quiet and a good listener. Others tell him their secrets
  2. 2. CHARACTERISATION - NICK Nick is from a privileged background “ Just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’vehad” and “My father snobbishly suggested and I snobbishly repeat”
  3. 3. CHARACTERISATION - NICKConsider the following quotes describing Nick’s reaction to Gatsby: “ Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction” “ there was something gorgeous about him” “ it was an extraordinary gift for hope, aromantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person”
  4. 4. NICK• participated in World War I - he came home feeling restless and was no longer interested in living in the Mid West• he moved East for a change of scenery and career• Restless
  5. 5. GATSBY• He was drawn to Gatsby, like a moth to light, even though Gatsby was “dangerous”• Gatsby seems an extremely sensitive man, capable of strong and subtle feelings• Gatsby does not fit into the society, since they are all cold and selfish• He is a romantic while everyone else is a materialist
  6. 6. GATSBY “No - Gatsby turned out alright atthe end; it is what preyed on Gatsby,what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.”
  7. 7. GATSBY• Gatsby is seen as a victim of predators• Society preyed on Gatsby, turning this fragile dreamer to a pile of dust.• Nick identifies both human pleasure and human struggles as fleeting, temporary and perhaps unimportant.• Because of how others treated Gatsby, Nick becomes disenchanted with others.
  8. 8. CHARACTERISATION - DAISY• Daisy – a delicate white flower• Jordan and Daisy – “ they were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering”• White = purity and innocence
  9. 9. CHARACTERISATION - DAISY• Ironic - Daisy’s life is conducted in an entirely manufactured environment remote from the natural world• Shallow and vain
  10. 10. CHARACTERISATION - DAISYThere is also a clear suggestion that all is not well with her marriage: “I know you didn‟t mean to, but you did do it” “That‟s what I get for marrying a brute of aman, a great big hulking physical specimen of a -‟
  11. 11. CHARACTERISATION - DAISYThis is confirmed later in the chapter: “Tom‟s got some woman in New York….She might have the decency not to telephone him at dinner time. Don‟t you think?‟Daisy is clearly not a happy woman – her husband cheats on her “Well, I‟ve had a very bad time, Nick, and I‟m pretty cynical about everything”
  12. 12. CHARACTERISATION - DAISY• Daisy refuses to leave Tom• She is comfortable in her life• Passive
  13. 13. CHARACTERISATION - DAISY Defeated “ All right,” I said, “I‟m glad it‟s a girl. And Ihope she‟ll be a fool – that‟s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
  14. 14. DAISYIf she is a fool, maybe she won’tbecome cynical and depressed like hermother. Ignorance is bliss, and eventhough Daisy pretends in public to beignorant of her husband’s affair, she ishurting on the inside and unhappy withher life
  15. 15. DAISY• Her laugh - which was charming and absurd and very fake.• Nick claims that Daisy murmured her words on purpose, to make people lean closer to her• Her voice was unforgettable, especially by former lovers. She had an excitement in her voice that suggested she has just done exciting things and that more excitement is in the future.
  16. 16. CHARACTERISATION - TOM Our initial impression of Tom is not positive. TaskRead the following extract and list thenegative aspects of Tom’s character which emerge
  17. 17. CHARACTERISATION - TOM “Now he was a sturdy straw-haired man ofthirty, with a rather hard mouth and a superciliousmanner. Two shining arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face and gave him the appearance of always leaning aggressively forward…..It was a body capable of enormous leverage – a cruel body”
  18. 18. “Tom would drift on foreverseeking, a little wistfully, for the dramatic turbulence of some irrecoverable football game.”
  19. 19. • He reached his peak at 21, and now is disappointed with the rest of his life.• He was a great football star in college.• Both him and his wife seem to drift from place to place – trying to find the past glory• Restless
  20. 20. CHARACTERISATION - TOM Discussion pointExplain why the incident with Daisy’s finger further contributes to our negative impression of Tom
  21. 21. CHARACTERISATION - TOM What does the following quote suggest about the character of Tom? “Civilisation’s going to pieces,’ broke outTom violently, …… Have you read The Rise of the Coloured Empires…. If we don’t look out the white race will be - will be utterlysubmerged. It’s all scientific stuff; it’s been proved”
  22. 22. SETTING - EAST EGG
  23. 23. SETTING - EAST EGG Discussion pointWhat impression are we given of EastEgg? How does Fitzgerald achieve this? “ Across the courtesy bay the white palaces offashionable East Egg glittered along the water”
  24. 24. SETTING - WEST EGG
  25. 25. SETTING - WEST EGG Discussion point What do the following quotes suggest about West Egg? “the less fashionable of the two” “the one on my right was a colossal affair” “it was a factual imitation”“spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy”
  26. 26. SETTING - EAST EGG & WEST EGGEast Egg and West Egg are both homes to great wealthThey are, however, opposites in terms of values:- East Egg – sees itself as a place of breeding, taste, aristocracy and leisure West Egg - viewed by East Egg as ostentatious, garish and home to the flashy manners of the new rich
  27. 27. THEME - CODE OF CONDUCT “When I came back from the East last autumn Ifelt that I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever” Nick enjoys rules for human behaviour and likes to control the unruly elements of ourselves – hates chaos and when people are destructive
  28. 28. SHALLOWNESS “Do they miss me?‟ she cried ecstatically. “The whole town is desolate. All the cars have the left rear wheel painted black as amourning wreath, and there‟s a persistent wail all night along the north shore.‟
  29. 29. THEME - THE SHALLOWNESS OF THE AMERICAN UPPER CLASSES“We ought to plan something”, yawned Miss Baker, sitting down at the table as if she were getting into bed.” “All right,‟ said Daisy. „What‟ll we plan?‟ She turned to me helplessly: „What do people plan?‟ The lives of rich Americans are lacking in purpose and direction Task - Circle the phrases which reflect this.
  30. 30. THEME - THE SHALLOWNESS OF THE AMERICAN UPPER CLASSES“the absence of all desire” - there is aclear suggestion that they have all they need and everything that they could possibly want
  31. 31. STRUCTURE DiscussionIn what way does the opening chaptercreate an air of mystery around the character of Gatsby?
  32. 32. STRUCTURE Task Carefully reread the final paragraphof Chapter One. How does Fitzgeraldagain create an aura of mystery around Gatsby?