1. The Great Gatsby features an epigraph by “Thomas Parke D’Invilliers” (a writer invented by Fitzgerald) about winning a lover by any means. How does this short poem set the scene for the novel to come? Why do you think Fitzgerald would open The Great Gatsby with a fictional epigraph, rather than a real quote or poem?
2. Compare East Egg and West Egg. What kinds of people settle on each side of the bay? Why would a couple like the Buchanans reside in East Egg, and men like Nick and Gatsby on the other side? How does the division between these two villages compare to differences between the American East and West? East versus WestThe Midwestern states and the Eastern states of America are very different and marked by specific values and attitudes.While in the Mid West you find more traditional values (American values), for example living on one’s own, not needing anyone else and being self-supporting, the East has a closer connection to Europe and orientates itself by European values and qualities.The West is described as the country of “wide lawns and friendly trees” (p.7,5 ), “prairies” and “lost Swede towns” (p.125,19). There, agriculture is the major economic factor and the landscape is marked by long wheat and corn fields. During winter, the land freezes, they get “real snow” (p.125,13) and the temperatures drops far below 0° C. When you look inside the houses, you see holy wreaths hanging in the windows pointing out the traditions that are followed by the westerners. The people living in the West tend to have a very strict and conservative attitude and not to be open for most changes. It was there, where prohibition started.
| On the other side of the Ohio, the major eastern side stream of the Mississippi, the Eastern states begin. They represent the modern America where the immigrants first arrived in order to start a better life (American Dream). Also, the East is much more densely populated and you find more big cities like New York. The...
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