Gatsby Readers Notebook

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Literary Elements

- Nick Carraway reserves judgments about other people, because if he holds them up to his own moral standards, he will misunderstand them. - Characterizes himself as highly moral and highly tolerant. - Page 1: “In consequence, 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.”

- West Egg and East Egg are compared to show they are complete opposites. - East Egg represents breeding, taste, aristocracy and leisure. - West Egg represents ostentation, garishness and the flashy manners of the new rich. - Page 5: “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.”

- The valley of ashes is a picture of desolation and poverty. - It lacks a glamorous surface and is located halfway between West Egg and New York. - Symbolizes moral decay of the Eggs, meaning it’s just as ugly on the inside than the outside of East Egg and West Egg. - Page 23: “This is the valley of ashes- a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens…”

- Guests mill around exchanging rumors about Gatsby- no one seems to know the truth about Gatsby’s wealth or personal history, - Indicates the novel will be about the unraveling of Gatsby’s character. - Page 44: “Somebody told me they thought he killed a man once.”

Enjoyable Passages

Page 16: “… I followed Daisy around a chain connecting verandas to the front porch…”

I enjoyed this piece because this is when Nick and Daisy talk about Daisy’s hopes for her infant daughter. Daisy hopes her daughter is a “fool.” I think this is because the social environment in that time period (1920s) does not value the intelligence in women. She talks about the...
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