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THE GREAT GATSBY

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THE GREAT GATSBY CHAPTER 2 Points to Consider: ... Delayed introduction of Gatsby Well they say he s the nephew or a cousin of Kaiser Wilhelm s. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: THE GREAT GATSBY


1
THE GREAT GATSBY
  • CHAPTER 2

2
In todays lesson we will discuss
  • SETTING VALLEY OF ASHES AND NEW YORK
  • SYMBOLISM EYES AND VALLEY OF ASHES
  • CHARACTERISATION TOM, WILSON, NICK, MYRTLE
  • THEMES VISION AND AMERICAN SOCIETY /
    SHALLOWNESS OF UPPER CLASS
  • STRUCTURE

3
SETTING VALLEY OF THE ASHES
  • ..a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat
    into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens
    where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys
    and rising smoke and, finally, with a
    transcendent effort, of ash-grey men, who move
    dimly and already crumbling through the powdery
    air
  • Task Consider the word choice used in this
    extract how does it compare with description of
    East Egg (remember connotations).

4
Points to Consider
  • Wheat and gardens are associated with life
    and nature.Ashes are dead and depressing.
    Combining them suggests that beauty has been
    destroyed.
  • Repetition of and creates a long list of
    objects made from ash to emphasise the SCALE of
    the DECAY and slows the pace of the sentence
    emphasising the trudging drudgery of life.

5
Points to Consider
  • Image of transcendent effort conveys the way in
    which all the mens energy is taken up just
    existing. Despite their struggle to survive,
    they are already crumbling.

6
Symbolism of Valley of Ashes
  • It is a place of poverty that is a dumping round
    for all the waste produced by the city.
  • It is an ugly by-product of CONSUMERISM forgotten
    by the wealthy Egg communities.
  • Symbolically it represents the moral and social
    decay that results from the pursuit of wealth and
    riches. The rich indulge themselves with no
    regard for anything but their own pleasure.

7
Symbolism of Valley of Ashes
  • Its bleak and barren nature provides a contrast
    to the loudness and brightness of NYC and the
    beautiful
  • exterior of the two Eggs.
  • The residents of the Eggs dont care T. J.
    Eckleburgs advertisement looks out indifferently
    at the desolation.

8
Points to Consider
  • The Valley of Ashes could be seen to symbolise
    the moral decay which is hidden beneath the
    glitzy façade of East and West Egg behind this
    façade could the same ugliness exist?
  • DISCUSSION Have there been any indications of
    moral decay in the first two chapters?

9
Setting New York
  • 4TH setting.
  • Opposite of the Valley of Ashes
  • DISCUSSION How is this difference emphasised?
    Consider the word choice used in describing
    elements of New York e.g. ...lavender-coloured
    with grey upholstery, and in this we slid out
    from the mass of the station into the glowing
    sunshine

10
Setting New York
  • represents wild, selfish behaviour and the
    pursuit of pleasure illustrated as it provides
    a backdrop for Tom and Myrtles affair.
  • The drunken debauchery of Myrtle's party
    demonstrates the citys lack of moral depth.
    People feel they can act how they want without
    fear of the consequences.

11
SYMBOLISM EYES OF DR T.J. ECKLEBURG
  • Literally this advertisement is a realistic
    detail of a culture of consumerism found in 1920s
    America.
  • Wilson sees the old opticians advert as the eyes
    of God. Is the suggestion that society needs its
    vision correcting in order to see its faults.
  • BUT the faded paint of the eyes symbolise the
    extent to which this society has lost its
    connection with God the sign is looking over
    the Valley of Ashes just like God.
  • LINKS with Theme - vision

12
Characterisation - TOM
  • bordered on violence
  • supercilious manner
  • DISCUSSION What elements of Toms character do
    these two quotes emphasise?
  • How does Tom wield power over Wilson? What does
    this add to our initial impressions of Toms
    character?

13
Characterisation - TOM
  • Events in this chapter further add to what we
    have learned in Chapter 1 about Toms character
  • Get on.. emphasises the bossy tone of his
    character
  • said Tom decisively - arrogant and in charge.

14
Characterisation - Myrtle
  • DISCUSSION What are your initial impressions of
    Myrtle?
  • She was in the middle thirties, and faintly
    stout, but she carried her flesh sensuously as
    some women can
  • She smiled slowly and, walking through her
    husband as if he were a ghost, shook hands with
    Tom, looking him flush in the eyes

15
  • TASK How does Myrtle behave when away from the
    Valley and in New York?
  • Myrtles behaviour in New York links with the
    theme of vision and appearances
  • She is very concerned with creating an impression
    of an upper class woman,
  • Throwing a regal homecoming glance around the
    neighbourhood...and went haughtily in.

16
  • I married him because I thought he was a
    gentleman
  • ...he wasnt fit to lick my shoe.
  • I knew right away I made a mistake.
  • ...I lay down and cried to beat the band all
    afternoon.
  • DISCUSSION Does the reader feel any sympathy for
    Myrtle?

17
TOM AND MYRTLE
  • Myrtle believes she is above Wilson and Tom is a
    more suited partner.
  • Consider if you think Tom would ever have married
    Myrtle remember that he has lied about Daisys
    religion to make excuses for staying with his
    wife.
  • Toms relationship with her is physical and
    material.

18
Characterisation - Wilson
  • Stands in stark contrast to Tom
  • He is a handsome and morally upright man who
    lacks money, privilege and vitality.
  • DISCUSSION What are your initial impressions of
    Wilson?

19
  • Spiritless man, anaemic
  • walking through her husband as if he were a
    ghost
  • A white ashen dust veiled his dark suit
  • Tom says Hes so dumb he doesnt know hes
    alive

20
Characterisation - Nick
  • I wanted to get out and walk eastward toward the
    park through soft twilight, but each time I tried
    to go I became entangled in some wild, strident
    argument which pulled me back, as if by ropes,
    into my chair.
  • DISCUSSION Does Nicks behaviour at the party
    affect the readers impression of him as a
    narrator?

21
Characterisation - Nick
  • He is shown to be indecisive in this section.
  • Normally repelled by vulgarity and tastelessness,
    but he is too fascinated to leave.

22
  • Though I was curious to see her I had no desire
    to meet her (page 30)
  • What does this suggest about Nick?
  • We are given a hint that he is not a fully
    trustworthy narrator
  • Everything has a dim hazy cast over it

23
Structure Delayed introduction of Gatsby
  • Well they say hes the nephew or a cousin of
    Kaiser Wilhelms. Thats where all his money
    comes from
  • Continues to build an atmosphere of mystery
    around Gatsby no-one has any real information
    about him.

24
Theme - Vision
  • Eyes of DR T.J. Eckleburg do they represent God
    staring down upon society and judging American
    society as a moral wasteland?
  • DISCUSSION How important are appearances in The
    Great Gatsby? How does this link into the theme
    of Vision? Are appearances deceiving in any way?

25
  • The little dog was sitting on the table looking
    with blind eyes through the smoke, and from time
    to time groaning faintly
  • Again we see the idea of distorted vision.
  • This quote also links to the theme Shallowness of
    the Upper Classes
  • Material possessions are tossed aside when people
    are finished with them.

26
Theme- Shallowness of the American Upper Classes
  • Myrtle bought the dog to create a certain
    appearance.
  • Once the dog had served its purpose, Myrtle no
    longer had a need for it.
  • This is endemic of the whole of American Society
    at the time.

27
Theme American Society
  • The Wilsons live where they work
  • They have a lower social standing than Nick
    because he lives in the Suburbs.
  • The very rich (Buchanans, etc) do not appear to
    work and can live where they choose.
  • Fitzgerald is emphasising here that America,
    despite its claim of democratic equality, is a
    society split in to a number of social classes
    based on wealth and property.
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