1.8 Significant Connections

four texts- The great Gatsby, Winter Dreams, The Diamond as big as the ritz and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. ideas- illusion, male protagonist, the Daisy like character, inevitability of time

Everyone is striving for something that is greater than themselves, a better version of them or the lives they live. A dream, a hope, a goal to achieve- these are all measures of success that people aim and strive for in hope of self satisfaction and fulfilment. During the 1920’s in America it was a party scene where everyone desired money and status, and the perfect life style the American Dream stated. On the surface the American Dream looked like the perfect oasis of opportunity and flourishment but delve a little deeper and the poverty and F.Scott Fitzgerald uses the idea of illusion to portray a false perception of America to the viewers through the use of key characters and setting. The Great Gatsby, Winter dreams, …. and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button all show illusion as characters aspire to be someone or live a life that is greater than themselves. 

Jay Gatsby came from a family with not much money but after meeting the wealthy Daisy Buchanan he strived for a lifestyle filled with luxury and fame. He moved to the prosperous West Egg where he built himself a new life filled with grand parties and exquisite activities, all in hope that one day Daisy would stumble upon his house and they could rekindle their love and his dream would be accomplished. he lived a life filled with riches and parties, where he built his lifestyle off a dream he promised to fulfil. He created an image of the ideal version of himself he wanted everyone to see and went through his life pretending to be someone he was not. the love of his life, Daisy Buchanan was what fuelled his need to hold up this illusion to the outside world and let his past become shrouded in a whirlwind of secrets and rumours. his entire life was an illusion as he created a new name, a new lifestyle and a new story to hide aspects of his life and lead everyone else astray.  “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”. by using the words invent it suggests that Jay Gatsby did in fact invent himself where he created the ideal version of himself he wanted to live by and wanted everyone else to see him as. As a 17 year old boy in the 1920’s, favourable attributes that he would’ve been looking for were fame, money, connections, and love, and those were exactly what his dream strived for. He became so attached to this illusion that it became his reality and this fake life was all he knew. “there must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion”. At first it started as a need for Daisy but as time progressed, Gatsby became so obsessed with Daisy and creating a life for them that the illusion he had created soon became what he depended on. His illusion and this lifestyle he desired had gotten out of hand where it was now so unrealistic and out of reach. the illusion that is shown throughout the Great Gatsby does not allow the characters to be shown as who they really are but merely just a version of who they want to be as they all strive towards personal accomplishment of the American Dream. Throughout the 1920’s 

14 year old Dexter Green grew up with a solid middle class lifestyle where he lived comfortably but not rich. He spent his time caddying at the Sherry Island Golf Club to make a bit of extra pocket money where he had dreams and aspirations of becoming one of the golfs clubs most professional and esteemed members. One day he met Judy Jones where all of a sudden any previous ambitions for the future he had were no longer existent and his new goal and desire was becoming the kind of man that would fit perfectly into Judy Jones’ wealthy world. Winning Judy was the ultimate prize but in order to achieve his ambitions, becoming rich was a necessary element. Dexter had this belief in his head that Judy would be his and that once he was rich they would live a happy life together. He had this preconceived idea that with status and money the perfect life would follow.

The curious case of Benjamin Button

Imagine being born with severe arthritis, cataracts, impaired hearing and saggy and wrinkled skin, where you have the physical appearances of an 80 year old man on the verge of death. For Benjamin Button, in the film ‘The curious case of Benjamin Button’ directed by David Fincher, this isn’t just a crazed idea thought up in the mind, but is in fact his reality. He is born where his body clock is ticking backwards, where as everyone else is gradually getting older, Benjamin is slowly getting younger. Growing up in an old persons home, everyone just sees him as an old man but as time passes and residents die, Benjamin gets younger and experiences what life has to offer as on the inside he is still young. He meets his “childhood” friend Daisy, who shows up through various parts of his life and as their ages align, they fall in love. This time they have together where their ages are similar is short and fragile, where as time continues to go on they are slowly pulled apart again. Time is a constant thing, where they can’t just hit the pause button to savour a moment or rewind when they wished something had never happened. As time passes, things change, people move on and the world evolves, and this inevitability of time Is evident in the curious case of Benjamin Button as lives are lost and Daisy and Benjamin fight against time as they attempt to start a life together. At the end of the movie, where Benjamin reaches his final stage of life, Daisy is put into a position where she has to care for him as he slowly reaches infancy and his life becomes a haze. In these scenes, the inevitability of time is portrayed to the viewers heavily through the use of montage and voice over narration, sound and symbols, and how they all work together to portray the idea to the viewers.

Everyone is told that time passes in the blink of an eye, where nothing lasts and that the time you have is fragile and shouldn’t be wasted. They say that even as you get older the time you have left seems to go even faster. For Benjamin the last five years of his life are seen as a blur as he forgets who he is and the life he has experienced. Through the use of montage we see Benjamin enter the final stage of his life where Daisy is put into a position of full time care of him. The small snippets we see show him going from a child of around five, all the way down to a baby. This use of montage is able to condense the last five years of his life down into key snippets that show classic signs of old age, such as losing memory, the ability to talk and the ability to walk. The montage portrays how time is constantly moving and how quickly something can change, where nothing will stay the same forever. Montage is used throughout the movie to show the passing of time and the change that occurs along with it. As Benjamin draws closer to his final days, Daisy devotes her time to looking after him and spending as much time with him as she can, as she knows the time she has will not last, as he slowly drifts further and further away from her. To enhance the use of montage, there is voice over narration of Daisy speaking, referencing to the visual images on the screen. Unlike the rest of the movie, Benjamin was always the one telling his story through voice over narration, however, with the passing of time, Benjamin has become unable to tell his story and Daisy has had to step into the role of narrating the last stage of his life. This voice over narration allows us to make connections to various parts of the movie and comprehend and process how this time they have left together is finite. At the start of the sequence Daisy exclaims “he was five when I moved in, nearly the same age I was when I had met him”. This passage of speaking starts off the montage and enables us to see how the time has passed and how their roles have reversed from the start of the movie. Daisy then goes on to say “the days passed. and I watched as he forgot how to walk, and how to talk”. Daisy was in love with Benjamin, and with her narrating his story through voice over narration, the viewers can sense the emotion in her voice and envision the situation Daisy is in where their time together becomes more scarce by every passing second. I believe the author has used montage with voice over narration over the top to convey the idea of the inevitability of time to the audience. This scene from the sequence shows the passing of time by the use of the last 5 years of Benjamins life concentrated down into very short snippets of film which give the impression that his time is nearing its end. Time is an infinite measure that is often linked to being used to sequence events like what the purpose of a montage does.

The use of symbols is very important in the curious case of Benjamin Button as all symbols carry a meaning for the audience to grasp and allow them to create a picture in their minds. The clock has forever been linked to time and the inevitability of it and is one of major symbols in the film. In general, the clock represents life and death but can also be a representation of the fact that time is a limited resource and the time you have must be used wisely. In the last extract, the clock plays a significant part as it shows up at various occasions portraying different aspects of time. When Daisy first moves in to care for Benjamin, Benjamin is sitting on the bed playing with an alarm clock when all of a sudden it starts going off and ringing. The alarm clock going off signifies Benjamin entering the last stage of his life as it tells the viewers that he is entering his final five years. About half way through the extract, the original clock in the train station is replaced with a new digital clock. throughout the movie the clock in the train station represented Benjamin as like the clock going backwards, Benjamin aged backwards. When the clock got taken down, it was as if his life was coming to its very end as the clock was no longer visual in the station. At the very end of the sequence after Benjamin has passed away, there is a section of film where the audience is shown a store room, and in the storeroom is the clock from the train station. To add to the use of the clock symbol, throughout the extract, the ticking of the clock is heard in the background to enhance the meaning behind the symbol. The ticking sound of a clock that is heard, is the physical passing of time as depicted by the face of the clock and the hands on it. The clock is ticking is a phrase used to signify that someone must do something quickly because their time or the time is running out. The ticking sound the audience hears represents how even if the clock is not in the frame, the time is still passing. Even once Benjamin has passed away the clock from the train station continues to tick backwards as even though he is no longer alive, his story is still alive and passed on through his stories he wrote and the story of his life.

 The use of cinematography techniques is what brings the story and idea of the movie together. They play a vital role in the filmmaking process and with the use of them altogether, they convey a central idea for the audience to take away from the movie. By utilising the use of montage, voice over narration, symbols and sound, the director is able to create a visual image of the central idea they are trying to convey, for the viewers to comprehend and understand. The inevitability of time is a universal concept recognised by everyone, as time is something everyone relies on and uses everyday, which makes it so important. Whether it be to celebrate a birthday, a bit or death, a need to wake up at a certain time or go to sleep at a certain time, all humans revolve around time and the idea of it. Throughout the sequence, the idea of time and the inevitability of it is heavily shown as Benjamins life nears is end. The sequence shows how time is fragile and precious, and that nothing can last as time is forever moving. I believe David Fincher is trying to get across to the audience, to make the most of the time you have and to live in the present as you cant go back to the past or skip forward to the future. Benjamin lived his life in the moment, where even though he was axing the other way to everyone else, he never let that stop him as he still managed to live a full life. At the end of the movie, the audience is left with a sadness after Benjamin passes away as sadness and grief are common connotations of death. Even though Benjamin has passed away and the audience is left with sadness, they are also left with happiness and satisfaction as Benjamin lived a happy life filled with many achievements where he made the most of the time he had.

Benjamin Button wasn’t an ordinary child, he was born where he aged the opposite way to everyone else. Even though he may have been a bit different in the way he grew up, he still grew up where things changed, people moved on and the world evolved. All these things occur as the time passes and continues forward. From the use of montage, voice over narration, symbols and sound, we can see how these techniques all assist each other to help portray the inevitability of time to the audience as well as get across the directors purpose. The inevitability of time is a key idea that affects everyone in the world because time is a concept everyone needs and depends on. Benjamin led an exciting and thrilling life filled with many experiences but the inevitability of time and the circumstances he was under restricted his time with Daisy. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button directed by David Fincher holds a powerful message that is delivered through cinematography techniques to the audience and illustrates the inevitability of time and the importance of it.

wat the introduction said by explaining 4 things and how it impacted his life importance of film as a whole 4 techniques main message how was in story

speech

 

about my knee injures and the story behind it, what I learn from it

Everyone has had that feeling in their stomach or that thought in their head that just won’t go away, when you feel like something is right or wrong and you don’t quite know why, but you just cant help but feel it. This feeling, this gut instinct, this voice in your head is too often pushed to the back of your mind or forgotten about because someone or something has made you think that it is just in fact a scenario played out in the mind. The truth is, that gut instinct isn’t just there to play games with your head but is often on to something and we just don’t listen to it because of self doubt and uncertainty. So as some of you might have noticed for like the past 2 years I have been wearing that classic knee bandage that looked like it hadn’t been washed in l 100 years. Well as you can see I no longer wear it  but I didn’t just wear it for the fun of it or for the fashion statement but because I was told it would help my recovery and after wearing it for so long I got a certain attachment to it where I physically couldn’t not wear it, it was as if it was my life support, I depended on it, it was a part of my outfit for the day. as I rolled out of bed…. put it on.It all started when I was 11 where I began getting extreme pains in my left knee. After this constant pain I took several trips to the doctors where everytime time they diagnosed me with osgood schlatters disease which is  growing pains in the knees. The fact that i had been diagnosed made me relieved, I could put all my trust in the doctors as it is their job to figure out what is wrong with people, isn’t it ?? But as I sat in the waiting room(first person.. sitting in the waiting room i…detail, waiting to be wheeled off  for my first big operation I couldn’t help but think back to the moment when I got the results back from my first MRI. I remember sitting on the bed in our hotel in Cambodia where dad read out the email from my orthopaedic surgeon. I didn’t really take in any of the email apart from the one line that constantly repeated in my head. “Emma has significant damage to the inside of her knee”. Even then the colossal importance of that sentence didn’t really hit me until after my operation. (first person)felt thought sensations…Waking up from surgery is different for everyone, but for me it was a state of confusion. I was cold, tired and dazed but as I attempted to roll over reality came crashing back down on me as pain shot up my leg in all directions and a full length leg brace restricted all movements. 6 weeks later I was still on crutches and a year after that my knee still resembled that of a bowling ball. I was told meniscus surgeries were easy, that I had nothing to worry about, so why was I still considered crippled a year after surgery and still not playing sports ?? I guess these were all questions for the doctors and surgeons but when I found myself back at southern cross hospital, 364 days after round one, my list of questions became never ending. first person what am I asking… Annoyed, fed up and sick of it (describe)  were all words I would use to describe how I was feeling but as I came out of my second operation I was thankful and reassured as, as far as I knew my operation couldn’t have gone better. I tried lying to myself that my knee felt normal but in reality something wasn’t  right, but in the end I pushed those thoughts to the back of my mind and thought about how my surgery went well, but maybe i should have listened to that feeling and those reoccurring thoughts inside my head ? And after my phone call with the nurse, any trust I had put into the doctors and surgeons went straight out the window. it turned out I no longer had a meniscus in my knee and the only consoling words the nurse tried to give me were “maybe in your generation someone will figure out how to make meniscuses” hearing this was the last thing I ever wanted to hear and in that moment all of the emotions I had experienced in the last year and a half crashing back down on me.

 

message:

Valley of Ashes paragraph

The valley of ashes is a setting in the great Gatsby that illustrates the failure of the American dream. James Truslow Adams once stated that “The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.” Through Fitzgerald’s development of the setting, The Valley of Ashes, he presents the idea that the American Dream has failed. It is a setting where people who work hard live but these people never reap the rewards of their hard work. Opportunities to live that better, richer, fuller life never present themselves to the people of the Valley of Ashes. As Nick (our narrator) travels through the Valley he notes it is a “fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens…” Farm, wheat and gardens all suggest growth and development but by putting the word grotesque in front of the word gardens which means ugly or distorted, gives us the impression that the valley is fantasy and unbelievable. In reality, the Valley of Ashes has nothing going for it and the people who live there strive for growth and development but in reality they are stuck living the same life their entire lives. “Where ashes take the forms of  houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air”. The ashes make up everything including the houses and chimneys. The people who live there have no motivation or energy as they know they cannot get out of the Valley of Ashes no matter how hard they try. When it says already crumbling it is as if they have already given up and the way they move and their presence reflects where they live as they put in so much effort an get so little out of it.

Gatsby final writing task

Fitzgerald critiques society through his use of language or literary devices in the great Gatsby.- I’m really sorry about my essay :/

 

What if you were told that you could live in a world where discrimination, status and social classes didn’t exist, and everything and everyone was equal ? Some might say that such an ideal world like this is unobtainable and merely just a dream, but for American historian James Truslow Adams he truely believed that something like this could be achievable. In one of James Truslow Adam’s books he stated that “The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.” Throughout the novel The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald (the author) illustrates to us the American Dream through his use of iconic settings. These iconic settings include East Egg, West Egg and the Valley of Ashes where these locations portray a reality and truth about the American Dream.

An important setting in the Great Gatsby that portrays an aspect of the American Dream is East egg. Those who live in East Egg are born into wealth, where money and the rich lifestyle is all they know. Money and status has been passed through generations for as long as these families can remember and this has caused them to be snobby, greedy and too caught up in whirlwind of their money. East egg represents the idea of the false reality of the American Dream, and this idea is illustrated to us through the roles of Daisy and Tom Buchanan, and their lives. “Across the courtesy bay the white palaces of fashionable East Egg glittered along the water…” From the way that Nick describes East Egg on his way over to the Buchanans house, it is clear to see that the houses in East Egg are grand and represent the lives of those who live there. The houses are all white and stand in unity overlooking the bay where everyone can see the prosperity and wealth they live in. “Their house was even more elaborate than I expected, a cheerful red−and−white Georgian Colonial mansion, overlooking the bay”. Again this is Nick describing Daisy and Toms house upon his first visit there. He states that it is more detailed and intricate than he expected and that it is in fact a mansion with a pristine view overlooking the bay. Their house and property holds all their money and status and the fact that they live in East Egg gives them a sense of superiority and order. Residents of East Egg had their money handed to them on a silver platter, where most of them have never needed to work a day in their lives and they revolve solely around their status and money, trapped inside of a bubble where nothing and noone else matters. They are seen as highest class as if they are looking down upon everyone else which shows that the idea of the American Dream is not a realistic concept and that It is unachievable.

On just the other side of the bay is West Egg, where those new to money live, and this key setting in the novel represents a feature of the American Dream. Nick Carraway and Gatsby are both residents of West Egg where they have made their money recently, and those who live there generally have morals and ethics as they have not been consumed by money and greed their whole lives. Nick is a middle class man who is not self absorbed and does not base his life around how much money he has or makes, whereas Gatsby has obtained  a large quantity of money in a shockingly quick amount of time. “I lived at West Egg, the well, the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them”. Nick states about the on the surface qualities and traits about the two eggs and that they are defined by these qualities. he identifies that by living in a certain egg it dictates your status and level of authority. “my house was at the very tip of the egg, only fifty yards from the Sound, and squeezed between two huge places that rented for twelve or fifteen thousand a season”. Nick our narrator describes where he lives in relation to everyone else. The houses around him are worth big money but they are all owned by those who have “new money” so do not have the credentials to live in East Egg. The people who live in West Egg who have worked hard to deserve the money they have, still do not get seen as being at the same status level and ranking as those at East Egg. They are seen as being lower and inferior and not having the credentials to be accepted into East Egg. Even though they have worked  hard to get where they are, the American dream doesn’t seem to come true for them and the truth behind the unrealistic reality of the American Dream comes out.

The Valley of Ashes is a key setting in the Great Gatsby that illustrates the failure of the American Dream. It is the poor industrial area that lies between the two eggs and is where all of the poor, lower class people live and work. Those who live there work hard every day with minimal results where they are subjected to being victims of the rich as the upper class feed and thrive off the work they do. George and Myrtle Wilson are a classic example of lower class people who are in search of their own success and accomplishment of the American Dream, where they have hope that if they work hard they can move out of the valley of ashes. The realistic side of this is that they can hope and dream of success but that success never really comes true. As Nick, our narrator, travels through the Valley of Ashes he states it is a “fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens…” Farm, wheat and gardens all suggest growth and development but by using the word grotesque in front of gardens, it gives the sentence a whole different meaning. Grotesque means ugly or distorted, which gives us the impression that the valley is fantasy and unbelievable. In reality, the Valley of Ashes has nothing going for it and the people who live there are stuck in a constant poverty cycle their whole lives. “Where ashes take the forms of  houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air”. The ashes are defined as making up everything including the houses and chimneys. The place and vibe of the Valley of Ashes rubs off on the residents who live there and this is reflected by describing them as ‘men who move dimly and already crumbling’, where they move tiredly and limp. The American Dream suggests that if they work hard enough, everyone can obtain their own level of success and achievement. This ‘idea’ is just in fact just a dream as those who live in the valley of ashes work endlessly everyday in hope of reward where in fact they receive minimal and the rich benefit. The idea of the American Dream is portrayed to us through the Valley of Ashes as being a failure.

The American Dream was a concept that everyone in America strived to and hoped to acheive as everyone is always reaching out to something that is greater than themselves, that is just out of reach. F. Scott Fitzgerald critiques the American Dream throughout the novel through his use of settings. East Egg, West Egg, and the Valley of Ashes all portray an aspect of truth about the idea of the American Dream. The novel demonstrates the illusion of the dream, however the dream never does come true for anyone, even though it may seem as though they have achieved fragments of it. Everyone is striving for their own success, to achieve the lifestyle they desire where it seems as though it is arms length away but in reality it is just out of reach and will always be unobtainable, just as the great light was for Gatsby.

 

 

Language Features

“His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed like a flower and the incarnation was complete.

“And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.

“There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams — not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. 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.”

setting

soz I accidentally slept on my map of the settings and it got all ripped up and I lost it in my bed oops 🙁

  • but I got some quotes 🙂

Valley of Ashes-

  1. ABOUT half way between West Egg and New York the motor road hastily joins the railroad and runs beside it for a quarter of a mile, so as to shrink away from a certain desolate area of land. This is a valley of ashes a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air. Occasionally a line of gray cars crawls along an invisible track, gives out a ghastly creak, and comes to rest, and immediately the ash−gray men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud, which screens their obscure operations from your sight.
  2. The valley of ashes is bounded on one side by a small foul river, and, when the drawbridge is up to let barges through, the passengers on waiting trains can stare at the dismal scene for as long as half an hour. There is always a halt there of at least a minute, and it was because of this that I first met Tom Buchanan’s mistress.

West egg-

  1. I lived at West Egg, the well, the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them. my house was at the very tip of the egg, only fifty yards from the Sound, and squeezed between two huge places that rented for twelve or fifteen thousand a season. the one on my right was a colossal affair by any standard it was a factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool, and more than forty acres of lawn and garden. it was Gatsby’s mansion. Or, rather, as I didn’t know Mr. Gatsby, it was a mansion inhabited by a gentleman of that name. My own house was an eyesore, but it was a small eyesore, and it had been overlooked, so I had a view of the water, a partial view of my neighbor’s lawn, and the consoling proximity of millionaires all for eighty dollars a month.

Already it was deep summer on roadhouse roofs and in front of wayside garages, where new red gas−pumps sat out in pools of light, and when I reached my estate at West Egg I ran the car under its shed and sat for a while on an abandoned grass roller in the yard. The wind had blown off, leaving a loud, bright night, with wings beating in the trees and a persistent organ sound as the full bellows of the earth blew the frogs full of life.

East Egg-

  1. Across the courtesy bay the white palaces of fashionable East Egg glittered along the water, and the history of the summer really begins on the evening I drove over there to have dinner with the Tom Buchanans. Daisy was my second cousin once removed, and I’d known Tom in college. And just after the war I spent two days with them in Chicago. And so it happened that on a warm windy evening I drove over to East Egg to see two old friends whom I scarcely knew at all. Their house was even more elaborate than I expected, a cheerful red−and−white Georgian Colonial mansion, overlooking the bay. The lawn started at the beach and ran toward the front door for a quarter of a mile, jumping over sun−dials and brick walks and burning gardens finally when it reached the house drifting up the side in bright vines as though from the momentum of its run. The front was broken by a line of French windows, glowing now with reflected gold and wide open to the warm windy afternoon, and Tom Buchanan in riding clothes was standing with his legs apart on the front porch.

New York City-

  1. Most of the time I worked. In the early morning the sun threw my shadow westward as I hurried down the white chasms of lower New York to the Probity Trust. I knew the other clerks and young bond−salesmen by their first names, and lunched with them in dark, crowded restaurants on little pig sausages and mashed potatoes and coffee. I even had a short affair with a girl who lived in Jersey City and worked in the accounting department, but her brother began throwing mean looks in my direction, so when she went on her vacation in July I let it blow quietly away.
  2. I began to like New York, the racy, adventurous feel of it at night, and the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and women and machines gives to the restless eye. I liked to walk up Fifth Avenue and pick out romantic women from the crowd and imagine that in a few minutes I was going to enter into their lives, and no one would ever know or disapprove.

 

the four setting in the great Gatsby are:

  • West egg- Gatsby’s house and Nick’s house
  • Easy egg- Daisy’s house
  • valley of ashes- Wilson’s garage, Michaelis restaurant, and the sign with the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg
  • New York city- the offices where people work, the apartment Tom rented for Myrtle Wilson, and the plaza hotel.

in the Great Gatsby the four main settings we are introduced to already show the false reality of the supposed American Dream as the towns/cities are very clearly designed for specific classes of people.

people who live in East Egg are those born in to wealth, whose families have always had money and being rich is all they know. They are considered more snobby, greedy and mean than those of West Egg. The people of East Egg have usually never had to work for their money and have always had it so they are innocent and clueless with very basic lives. The Buchanans are the only family we know of who live in East Egg, where Tom was born into a very wealthy family and Daisy who also came from a wealthy family married Tom for his large quantities of money. They are a typical East Egg family where their lives revolve around their money and status and no not associate themselves with any other people who aren’t upper class like them.

West Egg on the other hand is considered less fashionable and people who are new to wealth live there. Most of the people in West Egg have morals to live off and their lives don’t all revolve around money as they experience the real world and are genuinely more down to earth and friendly. Nick had recently moved to West Egg so he could go to work in New York City. He is a genuine, polite guy who holds his own dignity and does not base his life around how much money he has or makes. Gatsby on the other hand fits into the new to wealth part as his way to the upper class was a shady path and the residents of west egg and east egg did not really accept him as ‘one of them’ as he was not born into upper class and no-one knows how he made it to upper class. His money is new and he doesn’t have the social status to be accepted into East egg.

The Valley of Ashes on the other hand is where all of the poor people live, those who are the victims of the rich. The Valley of Ashes doesn’t really have anything going for it, as it is described as a wasteland with nothing going on and is literally characterised as dust. People who live in the Valley of Ashes have the dream of working hard enough to eventually move out and to move to a new place with prosperity and success as the American Dream states but in reality they are stuck there their whole lives. It is a depressing industrial area where the locals work constantly in hope of a better life as the rich just feed and live off the work they do. Myrtle and George Wilson are a classic example of poor people looking to work hard to get out of the Valley of Ashes but their not really getting anywhere with their dream of success.

New York is a symbol of what America has become in the 1920’s and it is the bustling city which is shown as a city where anything can happen there and anyone can be who they want to be. It is the chaotic city where money is made and bootleggers make their riches. By the characters it is also seemed to be thought as some sort of temporary escape momentarily where the main characters can live alternate lives once in a while or escape the reality they live in. In truth I believe that New York city is a place where they escape to temporarily experience what they would consider some sort of American dream replica where it seems like the city of opportunity and endless possibilities.

All of these four settings each display a false reality about the American dream. The residents of East Egg have never had to work for their lifestyle whereas the residents living in the Valley of Ashes have worked every day in their life for very little reward. Those in West egg have either made their way to riches by illegal actions such as bootlegging or as they call it ‘new money’ so aren’t born into the riches as far as those from East Egg can see.

 

characters

Characters

1. Describe three key characters and explain how they change throughout the novel

  • Jay Gatsby- 

What is your impression of him at the beginning of the novel?  We are first introduced to Gatsby as the guy who throws the spectacular, extravagant parties every weekend which attract everyone from all over. He appears as someone who is surrounded by luxury, fame   and has connections to powerful men and beautiful women. He is shrouded in secrets and is the subject of the whirlwind of gossip and rumours that we hear about his past. All throughout New York he is considered some sort of celebrity as everyone talked about him but no-one actually seemed to know him personally.

What evidence can you give to support your impression?  

“Somebody told me they thought he killed a man once.” A thrill passed over all of us. The three Mr.

Mumbles bent forward and listened eagerly.

“I don’t think it’s so much that,” argued Lucille sceptically; “it’s more that he was a German spy during the war.” One of the men nodded in confirmation.

“I heard that from a man who knew all about him, grew up with him in Germany,” he assured us positively.

“Oh, no,” said the first girl, “it couldn’t be that, because he was in the American army during the war.”- This shows all the rumours that circulate about Gatsby where no-one really knows the truth.

What is your impression of him at the end of the novel?  By the end of the novel Gatsby’s secrets have slowly leaked out and we discover that he comes from a very poor family and made his money through illegal actions. We then find out that all the things that he has done were all for the love of his life, Daisy. He ends up coming across as a young, naive man who is deep in love and only has one sole goal in life.

What evidence can you give to support your impression? 

“It was a strange coincidence,” I said.

“But it wasn’t a coincidence at all.”

“Why not?”

“Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay.”- This shows that Gatsby really would do anything for Daisy and that the whole reason he bought a house in West egg was to be directly across the bay from Daisy.

  • Daisy Buchanan

What is your impression of her at the beginning of the novel?  At the start of the novel Daisy came across as friendly and bubbly, someone with a lot of poise and grace. She was quite naive and reserved as she came from a wealthy family and married into money. Her colour is white which typically signifies innocence and purity. We are first introduced to her when Nick goes to the Buchanans house and she seems as though she loves Nick very much and sounded very excited to see him.

What evidence can you give to support your impression? 

“I’m p−paralyzed with happiness.” She laughed again, as if she said something very witty, and held my hand for a moment, looking up into my face, promising that there was no one in the world she so much wanted to see. – She seemed very energetic and excited all of the time and very happy to see Nick

What is your impression of her at the end of the novel? By the end of the novel, Daisy’s true character is revealed to us and we realise she is not the innocent character we thought she was but in fact she is shallow minded, insensitive, and bored. Daisy is only in love with money and her life revolves around her wealth and status. She has a daughter but considers her as more of a doll than a child and we only hear her mentioned about once in the book. She allows Gatsby to the the blame for Myrtles death and when Gatsby dies she doesn’t even have the audacity to attend the funeral even though she claims to have loved him but instead she fled from her issues and problems.

What evidence can you give to support your impression?  They were careless people, Tom and Daisy they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made . . .- This shows that Daisy has no real cares for others and only thinks about her wellbeing and lifestyle.

  • Nick Carraway

What is your impression of him at the beginning of the novel?  When we are first introduced to Nick he states that he is someone who does not judge others of who they are or what they have done and reserves all judgement. He seems to have had practise at it in college and seems as though he is very true to his morals and takes a lot of thought into what his Dad had told him as reserving judgement was something he said to live by.

What evidence can you give to support your impression?  “I’m inclined to reserve all judgments, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me, and also made me the victim of not a few veteran bores”. – at the start of the novel Nick said this and made out that it was very important to him.

What is your impression of him at the end of the novel?  by the end of the novel it is clear to see that from the first impression of Nick, what I now think of him is vey different. As Nick is slowly introduced to the characters in the book, he can’t help but judge something about them or their lives. We soon discover that he does make first impression judgements about people and does indeed notice the flaws often an express them.

What evidence can you give to support your impression?   And with this doubt, his whole statement fell to pieces, and I wondered if there wasn’t something a little sinister about him, after all.

“What part of the Middle West?” I inquired casually. “San Francisco.”
“I see.”- This shows Nick’s doubt in Gatsby’s story and he can’t help but consider if Gatsby really is somewhat sinister.

2. Identify how each of the characters you have explored above presented the idea of illusion in the text. Describe how they concealed their true self from other characters in the novel. Explain what helped you uncover their illusion in the text. 

Gatsby conveys the idea of illusion by telling everyone he comes across, a story that he wants everyone to believe. To some it is believable because it is almost believable to him as it is what his dream lifestyle consists of but others find something shady about him. As the novel progressed, parts of his upbringing and life is slowly revealed and his true personality is revealed and it is clear to see that his whole life has been achieving his one goal- Daisy.

Daisy hides her true personality from pretty much everyone she encounters but mainly Nick and Gatsby. She seems innocent and pure but in reality she is the total opposite and only cares about her status and wealth. By acting innocent and pure she gave off an auto of wealth, charm and sophistication to Gatsby which lured him in and kept him falling for her. Her true personality is slowly revealed as the novel progresses and she is faced with the decision between Gatsby and Tom.

The narrator nick say he is a non judgemental person and that he reserves his judgement but as we are introduced to various characters we realise that he does have an opinion on them and can’t help but judge them in some way.

3. Describe three important relationships in the text. Explain how these relationships were presented as being “false”.

Daisy and Gatsby- This relationship was false because Gatsby had this dream for so long of him and Daisy being together and starting their life off again when in reality this was not possible as the five years that had passed had separated them. Even though Gatsby could not see this the time was restricting them from being together and as every day went by the reality of them ever being together stretched further and further from Gatsby’s reach.

Daisy and Nick- Daisy states her great love for Nick at the start of the novel but as it progresses it is clear to see that he is just another person who is part of her money filled world that she revolves around. Their relationship is fake and she acts as if Nick is someone she can boss around who will always be there for her whenever she calls, but in reality he is his own person and is nothing like Daisy, just merely dragged into her problems and issues.

Daisy and tom- There relationship is false because Daisy originally just married Tom for his wealth and status. Even though she did love him she also loved Gatsby and Tom was having an affair with Myrtle which Daisy was aware of. They had a child together but this child meant nothing to them and when Gatsby and Daisy were becoming close again she had many intimate moments and secret meetings with Gatsby behind Toms back, so was also having an affair for a period of time.

 

 

Ideas

INEVITABILITY OF TIME

The idea of the inevitability of time is portrayed throughout the novel as it effects all of the characters in their own way. As the novel goes on, the characters are slowly revealed and their true characters come out. We see this change as they evolve into someone who may be completely different to how they were initially described to be. Time plays a big part in the way we see Gatsby and how his childhood played out was a big factor in his personality that we see. Time is a constant thing and over time things change but for Gatsby and his love for Daisy, he has this idea in his mind that he can reverse time to five years ago when Gatsby and Daisy first met, to how they used to be, to how Gatsby wants them to be. This goal of turning back time is unobtainable as the five years that he was apart from Daisy, her life progressed where memories were made and new lives were created. For Gatsby it was so easy and simple to comprehend as his whole life revolved around getting back with Daisy but for her it wasn’t so easy as the five years distance was a barrier blocking Gatsby from getting to Daisy. It was if that five years had never passed and Gatsby expected to take off where they left off. Gatsby stated that after she was free they were to go back to Louisville and be married from her house- just as if it were five years ago. Gatsby doesn’t quite understand that he can’t go back in time and repeat what has already happened which is clearly showed by a conversation had by Nick and Gatsby. “I wouldn’t ask too much of her,” I ventured. “You can’t repeat the past” “Can’t repeat the past?” he cried incredulously. “Why of course you can!”. Gatsby and Daisy’s relationship only existed and was built in the past and time has made it impossible for them to stay together as it continually drew them apart.

Time is just as hard for Daisy as it is for Gatsby as during those five years she got married, had a child, made new friends and her life kept on moving. it is impossible for her to completely forget about her life with Tom because five years is a significant amount of time that can’t just be erased in the blink of an eye.

Water is another way the idea of the inevitability of time is conveyed throughout the novel as the bay of water separates Gatsby from Daisy and that bay is a physical representation of the time barrier that is keeping them apart. This barrier can not be erased just like time can not be erased as time never stops but keeps going forward.

THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN DREAM

the term “American Dream” is a term first used by an American historian called James Truslow Adams who used the term to describe the hope that in America anyone can become rich and famous, that everyone is equal and free, that their are no social classes and no matter where they come from or what class they were born into, can attain their own version of success if they work hard enough for it.

In the Great Gatsby it is clear to see that the idea of the American dream is in fact just a dream and not a reality as there are social classes and discriminations resulting in the rich and the poor. Gatsby came from a family with little money but he had ambitions and great desire to be successful. He had learned the manners and knowledge of the upper class thanks to Dan Cody but had no money to back this up. He was determined to become part of the upperclass and made his way to the riches through illegal jobs.
In the Great Gatsby, the American Dream is presented as the idea that people are always reaching out to something that is greater than themselves, that is just out of reach. At first glimpse of Gatsby the idea of the American dream is portrayed well through a quote by Nick. “But I didn’t call to him for he gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone–he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and far as I was from him I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward–and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock.” In the Great Gatsby it is clear to see that the idea of the American dream is in fact just a dream and not a reality as there are social classes and discriminations resulting in the rich and the poor. Gatsby came from a family with little money but he had ambitions and great desire to be successful. He had learned the manners and knowledge of the upper class thanks to Dan Cody but had no money to back this up. He was determined to become part of the upperclass and made his way to the riches through illegal jobs. Although he is rich, the people of West Egg do not accept him as one of them as his way to money seemed dodgy and illegitimate. To Gatsby, the ultimate success and status symbol is Daisy, and she is what he needs to attain his own level of success. George and Myrtle Wilson are both working class people who work hard in hope for success. They both strive for the upper class lifestyle, George through his hours upon hours of hardworking in the garage and Myrtle through her affair with Tom Buchanan. Though they both do things in hope of achieving the American Dream, but in reality no matter what they do they will always be stuck living in the valley of ashes; the lower class. Everyone is striving for their own success, to achieve the lifestyle they desire but in reality their dream of success is just out of reach and continues to be out of reach.

Symbols

symbol 3 quotes from the book that describe the symbol 3 moments when the symbol appears                    major characters that the symbol is connected       to  what the symbol is representing important things the symbol reveals about ideas and characters
water “it’s stopped raining”. “has it ?”

“If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay,” said Gatsby. “You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock.”

“Of course, of course! They’re fine!” and he added hollowly, “. . .old sport.” The rain cooled about half−past three to a damp mist, through which occasional thin drops swam like dew.

the symbol appears:

  • during Daisy and Gatsby’s meeting in the form of rain and mist
  • the swimming pool is full of water and it is where Gatsby dies
  • in the form of the bay where the physical body of water separates Daisy and Gatsby
  • Gatsby
  • Daisy
the symbol of water:

it is a portrayal of time and a barrier of how the 5 years that Gatsby and Daisy have been apart for is not allowing Gatsby to achieve his dream. Gatsby has a dream of turning back time but you can never turn back time.

eyes Two shining arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face and gave him the appearance of always leaning aggressively forward.

But above the gray land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg.

The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic their irises are one yard high. They look out of no face, but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a nonexistent nose

 

 the symbol of eyes appears:

  • every time they pass through the valley of ashes as the eyes of T.J Eckleburg are on the billboard to the side of the road.
  • to introduce every new character they often use eyes to describe them such as when we first met Tom Buchanan
 the symbol of eyes are kind of connected to most of the significant characters s they re used to establish characters but the mood of Gatsby is quite often portrayed by his facial features such as his eyes. the eyes of Doctor T.J Eckleburg- a symbol as if they are gods eyes looking down and judging the American society. The eyes of god see everything and look down on the death of the American dream.
the colour white

They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house.

Sometimes she and Miss Baker talked at once, unobtrusively and with a bantering inconsequence that was never quite chatter, that was as cool as their white dresses and their impersonal eyes in the absence of all desire.

Taking a white card from his wallet, he waved it before the man’s eyes.

When Nick went over to the Buchanans house and Daisy and Jordan were on the couch wearing white fluttery dresses rippling in the breeze

When Gatsby takes Nick for a ride in his fancy car to New York and on the way back he got pulled over but flashed his white card and flashed it at the policeman.

Gatsby turned up to Nicks house  for his and Daisys set meet and he was wearing a white flannel suit.

The colour white is mainly connected to Daisy but also Gatsby and Jordan.  the colour white is generally seen as a colour and symbol of innocence and purity but Daisys character is far from pure and innocent and is a false representation

This idea of innocence and purity hides Daisys true character and in reality she is very bland and plain like a white piece of paper.

yellow and gold 

An hour later the front door opened nervously, and Gatsby, in a white flannel suit, silver shirt, and gold−colored tie, hurried in.

His bedroom was the simplest room of all except where the dresser was garnished with a toilet set of pure dull gold.

That was it. I’d never understood before. It was full of money that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song of it. . . . high in a white palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl. .. .

When Gatsby was preparing for his meet with Daisy he arrived at Nicks house wearing a gold coloured tie.

in Gatsby’s house when he is giving Daisy a house tour his bedroom is described as being very simple apart from the dresser which was garnished with pure gold.

just before Gatsby, Nick, Daisy, Tom and Jordan go to New York City Gatsby talks about how Daisys voice is full of money and mentions the golden girl.

 

  • Gatsby
  • Daisy
  • Jordan
The colour gold is a representation of money and riches. The gold gives a sense of superiority as only certain characters can be linked to the colour gold as it is a symbol of wealth. Yellow on the other hand seems like a symbol of fake gold.
the green light

Involuntarily I glanced seaward and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock.

“If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay,” said Gatsby. “You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock.”

And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock.

When Nick first sees his neighbour Gatsby he is standing on the end of his dock in the dark reaching out to the dark water where there in the distance was the single green light.

When Daisy is at Gatsby’s house and it begins to rain again they all look outside and Gatsby makes a reference to the light.

After Gatsby’s death when Nick is thinking about Gatsby’s life and his dream he again wonders about the green light.

  •  Gatsby
The green light is a symbol of Gatsby’s unattainable hopes and dreams and the future he perceives with Daisy. For Gatsby it is as if the dream and future he has created for him self in his mind in within arms reach but at the same time just out of his grasp and as time passes his dream becomes further and further out of his reach.