Fitzgerald and the Roaring Tweenties

The location of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is important because it emphasizes the decadence of the 1920s.
Read the excerpt from Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.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. When I looked once more for Gatsby he had vanished, and I was alone again in the unquiet darkness.Gatsby’s reaching from the darkness toward the light, creates mystery and interest.
Read the excerpt from Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.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.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.The contrast created between East Egg and West Egg suggests that the story’s conflict will be based on wealth and appearances.
Read the excerpt from The Great Gatsby.It was a matter of chance that I should have rented a house in one of the strangest communities in North America. It was on that slender riotous island which extends itself due east of New York—and where there are, among other natural curiosities, two unusual formations of land. Which words from the passage are most indicative of the types of people the narrator will encounter in the novel? “strangest” and “unusual”
Read the excerpt from The Great Gatsby.The telephone rang inside, startlingly, and as Daisy shook her head decisively at Tom the subject of the stables, in fact all subjects, vanished into air. Among the broken fragments of the last five minutes at table I remember the candles being lit again, pointlessly, and I was conscious of wanting to look squarely at every one, and yet to avoid all eyes. I couldn’t guess what Daisy and Tom were thinking, but I doubt if even Miss Baker, who seemed to have mastered a certain hardy skepticism, was able utterly to put this fifth guest’s shrill metallic urgency out of mind. To a certain temperament the situation might have seemed intriguing—my own instinct was to telephone immediately for the police.The phone calls that Tom receives during the dinner are an indicator that he and Daisy are not a happily married couple.
Read the excerpt from The Great Gatsby.”But we heard it,” insisted Daisy, surprising me by opening up again in a flower-like way. “We heard it from three people, so it must be true.”Of course I knew what they were referring to, but I wasn’t even vaguely engaged. The fact that gossip had published the banns was one of the reasons I had come East. You can’t stop going with an old friend on account of rumors, and on the other hand I had no intention of being rumored into marriage. Daisy’s insistence that the rumor of Nick’s engagement is true despite his denial suggests a conflict between rumor and reality
Which best describes the role of setting in a story? Setting is used to emphasize ideas and theme.
Read the excerpt from Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.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.What does this excerpt reveal about Nick? He is wealthy enough to live in West Egg but not wealthy enough to rent a very nice place.
Read the excerpt from Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.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.Based on this description of the Buchanans’ house, what inference can be made about many East Egg residents? They hide their unattractive qualities beneath beautiful, light, and dreamy appearances.
Read the excerpt from Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.The windows were ajar and gleaming white against the fresh grass outside that seemed to grow a little way into the house. A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding-cake of the ceiling, and then rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it as wind does on the sea.Based on this excerpt, what inference can be made about the Buchanans? The image of luxury and elegance that they project is unstable like the wind blowing through the room.

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