The Great Gatsby F. Scott FitZgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald's book The Great Gatsby is about the great decline of the American dream in the 1920's and reveals the 1920's as an era decayed social and moral values. This theme is evident through the character of Jay Gatsby and the event where Gatsby tells the truth about himself to Nick Carraway.

Characterization : Jay Gatsby
DIRECT: On the last fly-leaf was printed the word SCHEDULE, and the date September 12, 1906. And underneath: Rise from bed...........................................................6.00 A.M. Dumbbell exercise and wall-scaling........................6.15-6.30 " Study electricity, etc. ...............................................7.15-8.15 " Work.........................................................................8.30-4.30 P.M. Baseball and sports..................................................4.30-5.00 " Practice elocution, poise and how to attain it.........5.00-6.00 " Study needed inventions.........................................7.00-9.00 " GENERAL RESOLVES No wasting time at Shafters or [a name, indecipherable] No more smoking or chewing Bath every other day Read one improving book or magazine per week Save $5.00 [crossed out] $3.00 per week Be better to parents (9.104)
INDIRECT: There was music from my neighbor's house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and he champagne and the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft, or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his motor-boats slid the waters of the Sound, drawing aquaplanes over cataracts of foam. On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before. (3.1)

CHARACTERIZATION: Nick Carraway

DIRECT : I lived at West Egg, the – well, the least fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them. My house was at the very tip of the egg, only fifty yards from the Sound, and squeezed between two huge places that rented for twelve or fifteen thousand a season. The one on my right was a colossal affair by any standard … 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.
INDIRECT: "You said a bad driver was only safe until she met another bad driver? Well, I met another bad driver, didn't I? I mean it was careless of me to make such a wrong guess. I thought you were rather an honest, straightforward person. I thought it was your secret pride." "I'm thirty," I said. "I'm five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor." (9.134-35)

SYMBOL : My symbol is the green light across of Gatsby's home.The Green Light represents Gatsby's hopes and dreams for the future. Gatsby associates it with Daisy, and in Chapter 1 he reaches toward it in the darkness as a guiding light to lead him to his goal.

Green Light : I decided to call to him. Miss Baker had mentioned him at dinner, and that would do for an introduction. 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.(Fitzgerald,ch 1)

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