* 1920’s America “the Jazz era” – America had a soaring economy – Set in the summer of 1922. * Wealth, class, social status, love, materialism and the decline of the“American Dream” (caused by a dizzy rise in the stock markets after WW1) are all major themes * Narrated through the eyes of character Nick Carraway – educated at Yale, moves to New York from Minnesota – presumably searching for success i.e. the American Dream * The storyline is very similar to Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald’s own life events. * Prohibition of alcohol in America (1920-1933) meant that bootlegging/rum-running was big business. This was how Gatsby made his fortune. * Every character appears to be something they’re not. * Fitzgerald portrays the 1920s as an era of decayed social and moral values, evidenced in its overarching cynicism, greed, and empty pursuit of pleasure * As Fitzgerald saw it (and as Nick explains in Chapter 9), the American dream was originally about discovery, individualism, and the pursuit of happiness. In the 1920s depicted in the novel, however, easy money and relaxed social values have corrupted this dream, especially on the East Coast.
Essay Question Analysis
Explore the ways in which Fitzgerald presents contrast between the characters of Daisy and Myrtle in The Great Gatsby? Daisy Buchanan: - Her name symbolises a flower: White on the outside and yellow on this inside, this is in keeping with Fitzgerald’s use of colours/symbolism. Although white may be used throughout the novel to symbolise purity, innocence and honesty, could it be that white could mean blank, void, empty? * “The exhilarating ripple of her voice was a wild tonic in the rain” * “Her voice is full of money” - "couldn't be over-dreamed" Metaphor * “Daisy’s murmur was only to make people lean towards her, an irrelevant criticism that made it no less charming” * “She dressed in white, and had a little white roadster” – “white girlhood” * "It makes me sad because I've never seen such - such beautiful shirts before." – Materialism * "Daisy and Jordan lay upon an enormous couch, like silver idols weighing down their own white dresses against the singing breeze of the fans." * "I hope she'll be a fool--that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool... You see, I think everything's terrible anyhow... And I know. I've been everywhere and seen everything and done everything." – Materialism - If her daughter is a fool, then she'll never get hurt. She'll never realize that she married for money and status instead of real love, that her husband is having an affair right under her nose, that everyone sees her as silly, stupid, naive, and pitiful. If she's a fool, she'll never have an opinion that can be dismissed by the men in her life, and she'll never care about anything except dresses and flowers and all the pretty things in life. She'll be pretty enough to find a husband who can support her financially, and dumb enough never to realize how tragic life actually is. * Nicks second cousin, once removed.
* “The most popular young girl in Louisville”
* Daughter “Pammy” is rarely seen throughout the book. Though when company is over she is beckoned to perform an act. Much like Daisy.
Daisy’s Location and descriptions
* East Egg, Long Island, New York. – home to “old money”, wealthy aristocracy, tradition, old ideals and ideas * Comes from a wealthy family in Louisville, Kentucky
* The significance of 'East Egg' and 'West Egg' is the social divide between new money and old money. Daisy and Tom Buchanan are old money (their families have been rich for many generations) and so they live on East Egg island. Gatsby and Nick are new money (they've earned it themselves or their parents earned it through work) so they live on West Egg island.
It also represents the ideas of living in the past and present. "East Egg" represents how...