The Great Gatsby

What are the recent events in Nick’s life, which have most vividly affected his personality? His participation in World War I and his decision to move East
How does Nick perceive himself? Nonjudgmental and trustworthy
Describe the Buchanan’s house. Extravagant, bright, and beautiful mansion
How does Nick know Daisy and Tom? Daisy is his second cousin and he knew Tom in college
Describe Tom. What is your impression of him? Athletic and wealthy, successful at a very young age, air of superiority, snobbish
What kind of person is Daisy? Beautiful, gossipy, air-headed, and upbeat
How does Nick feel about Daisy and Tom after his first visit with them? Confused, disgusted, and overwhelmed
How does Nick fit into East Egg and West Egg societies? West Egg: new money, new to townEast Egg: has family ties there, but is not extravagantly rich
How does Fitzgerald introduce the theme of gesture or superficiality? By introducing the reader to the Buchanans, their lifestyle, and their mansion
How much do we know about Gatsby at the end of this chapter? He is mysterious, seems to enjoy being alone, and is ridiculously rich
What kind of place must one pass through on the way between East/West Egg and New York City? An industrial zone called the “valley of ashes”
What symbolic significance does the oculist’s billboard play throughout the rest of the novel? He is always watching over them, similar to God, and because the billboard is worn, it shows that the actions of the characters are not honorable in the eyes of “God”
Identify Myrtle and George Wilson. Myrtle is Tom’s mistress, and George is Myrtle’s husband. They live in the “valley of ashes” and are working class people
How does the get-together in the New York apartment highlight the theme of the American Dream? They are drinking, partying, and living in “luxury” to forget about their problems (especially Myrtle, who is poor)
What reason does Myrtle give for marrying George Wilson? She had originally thought he was a gentleman and could support her financially
How is Myrtle contrasted with Daisy? Myrtle is working class, blunt, and stout, while Daisy is rich, social, gossipy, and thin
What does Tom do to Myrtle when she mentions Daisy? Why? He punches her because he feels guilty and does not want to be reminded of his infidelity
Why does Nick agree to go along with Tom to meet Myrtle’s friends? Tom says that Myrtle would be hurt if Nick didn’t come
What symbolic correspondence is Fitzgerald asking us to make between the preparations for Gatsby’s party and the arrival of guests? He is showing that the guests don’t care about Gatsby or know who he is despite all of the preparation for his parties
What kinds of people come to Gatsby’s parties? Superficial, rich, arrogant, famous people
How does Nick meet Gatsby? A stranger at Nick’s table strikes up a conversation with him, Nick mentions never meeting Gatsby, and the stranger reveals that he is Gatsby
Is Gatsby a “phony”? He appears to be; there are gaps in his back story and he seems to choose his words very carefully, so he could have come from humble beginnings
What mystique has developed about Gatsby? He was a German spy and he killed someone
What purposes do the two digressions (Owl-eyes in the library and the car wreck) serve? To show that wealthy people are reckless with their advantages and take everything for granted
What is happening to Nick’s reaction to Jordan Baker? What is their relationship? They are becoming closer. He enjoys her company and he is beginning to grow curious/have feelings for her, but he is not in love and she is dishonest.
What is the common denominator to all the stories about the people who meet at Gatsby’s parties? They know nothing about Gatsby and use him for his parties.
Who is Klipspringer? “The boarder”. He always attends Gatsby’s parties.
What “matter” does Gatsby have Jordan Baker discuss with Nick? Gatsby has Jordan ask Nick if he would invite Daisy to his house so that Gatsby can come and meet with her
Who is Wolfsheim? Where does Nick meet him? Wolfsheim is a gangster that fixed the 1919 World Series and he is Gatsby’s old friend. Nick meets him when he is invited out to lunch with Gatsby, and Wolfsheim attends.
What does Wolfsheim tell Nick about Gatsby? Wolfsheim tells Nick that Gatsby is a perfect gentleman from Oxford and that he is “very careful about women”.
How does Nick know that Gatsby is lying when he starts his recitation of his life-story? Gatsby rushes when he says that he was “educated at Oxford” and the doubt that Jordan had expressed about his education makes sense.
What is the essence of Gatsby’s materialistic dream? Gatsby has everything he could ever possibly want to represent the American Dream (big house, nice car, education, appears to come from “old money”) except for Daisy
What symbolic value does Daisy hold for Gatsby, and how is it the culmination of all his dreams? She will complete the American Dream as the perfect wife and he will feel as if he has finally achieved happiness and success
Describe the meeting between Gatsby and Daisy. Why is he so nervous? It is awkward and tense until they speak and they soon begin to grow comfortable with each other. Gatsby is nervous because he has waited five years to be reunited with her and he has been in love with her the entire time.
How does the Gatsby fa├žade start to fade when he comes over for tea? He is nervous, shaking, and clumsy.
How long did it take Gatsby to make the money to buy the mansion? Three years
Why does Gatsby want Daisy to see the house and his clothes? He wants to prove to her that he can give her anything she wants so that she will have no reason to reject him.
What is significant about the scene with Gatsby’s shirts? They symbolize the wealth that he has accumulated and the time he has spent trying to win Daisy back.
What had the green light on the dock meant to Gatsby? To Gatsby, the green light represents Daisy, the reason for everything he has gained, and how she’s just out of his reach.
How does Daisy begin to fail Gatsby as a dream-girl? He realizes that the reality of being with her is not as perfect as the fantasy of being with her.
Why does Nick tell us the story of James Gatz now instead of earlier in the book? He wants to take advantage of the short “halt” in the story (they had not been speaking for several weeks during this time) before any more developments occur regarding Gatsby to clear misconceptions about him.
What is Gatsby’s real history? Where is he from? James Gatz is from Michigan and grew up in poverty. He fished to get by and often used women.
What did Dan Cody do for Gatsby? Cody employed Gatsby on his yacht as an assistant and taught him how to dress, behave, and act as a gentleman, introducing Gatsby to the world of wealth.
How did the materialistic vision get its start in Gatsby? While poor and working along the shore of Lake Superior, he dreamed of becoming wealthy and living a lavish lifestyle.
What is Daisy’s opinion of Gatsby’s party? How does this affect him? It seems vulgar to her. She only seems to enjoy the time she is with Gatsby alone. Gatsby is extremely disappointed.
What does Gatsby mean by his fierce reaction to Nick’s statement about not repeating the past? Gatsby truly believes that if the setting is created, the past can be recaptured. He has been living in the past in regards to Daisy for the last five years, so he refuses to believe that the past cannot be relived.
How do we see Nick’s coming to understand the totality of Gatsby’s vision? Nick gathers that Gatsby talks a lot about the past and Gatsby is slowly becoming less of an enigma and more of a lonely person that wants to recover an idea of himself that had gone into loving Daisy.
What does Gatsby want from Daisy? He wants her to leave Tom and fall in love with him again to complete his vision of the American Dream.

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