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Gatsby-Chapter-4

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THE GREAT GATSBY
CHAPTER 4
In today’s lesson we will deepen our understanding of the
following in relation to Chapter 4:
 CHARACTERISATION – GATSBY, NICK, DAISY, JORDAN
 STRUCTURE/STYLE
 SYMBOLISM
 THEME – FAILURE OF THE AMERICAN DREAM
 SETTING – NEW YORK
CHARACTERISATION - GATSBY
 “He hurried the phrase ‘educated at Oxford’, or swallowed it,
or choked on it,...bothered him before”
 Suggests that Gatsby is lying and further adds to the mystery
surrounding him. This is continued:
 “After that I lived like a young rajah in all capitals ...trying to
forget something very sad that had happened to me long ago.”
CHARACTERISATION - GATSBY
 “With an effort I managed to restrain my incredulous
laughter.”
 DISCUSSION: What does Nick’s reaction to Gatsby’s story
reveal?
 STYLE/STRUCTURE: This quote again reminds us that Gatsby
may not be what he seems – manufactured?
 Nick’s impression is challenged when Gatsby shows him a
medal he received in the war.
CHARACTERISATION - GATSBY
 “To my astonishment, the thing had an authentic
look”
 Gatsby then shows Nick a picture of himself at Oxford
and Nick says,
 “Then it was all true.”
 He now sees Gatsby in a different light.
 This means his past is still a mystery as we are still
unsure what to believe.
CHARACTERISATION - GATSBY
 Discussion: Why does Gatsby spend so much time
convincing Nick of who he is? Why is Nick so important
to a man who seems to have everything?
CHARACTERISATION - GATSBY
 Gatsby’s car is an extravagant automobile:
‘ terraced with a labyrinth of windshields that mirrored a dozen
suns…….with fenders spread like wings we scattered light
through half Astoria’
 Gatsby’s headlights are blazing even though it is sunny.
 His car takes natural light and multiples it twelvefold.
 Reinforcing the FLAMBOYANCE of a wealthy man who wants to
be noticed.
 QUESTION: Why does he want to be noticed?
CHARACTERISATION - GATSBY
 DISCUSSION:
 The incident with the policeman is a strange one.
What does it suggest?
 Does Gatsby have influence over people because of
his past?
 What does this add to the reader’s impressions of
him?
GATSBY’S RELATIONSHIPS WITH
OTHER CHARACTERS
 Mr Wolfshiem:
 Represents the criminal world
 He seems open about it in contrast to Gatsby’s
secrecy, page 76:
“His expressive nose”
“Let the bastards come in here…”
“Fine specimens of human molars”
Gatsby is a “mystery”
GATSBY’S RELATIONSHIPS WITH
OTHER CHARACTERS
 This acquaintance suggests that Gatsby’s business
and his associates are shady and that they are up to
no good.
 DISCUSSION: Does this suggest that Gatsby’s fortune
is gained from illegal activities?
 How does this make us feel about Gatsby?
GATSBY’S RELATIONSHIPS WITH
OTHER CHARACTERS
 Gatsby’s association with Wolfshiem shows another
side to his character.
 Implication that his lavish lifestyle is funded by crime.
 Gatsby symbolises both the luxury and corruption of
the Jazz Age.
 Tom Buchanan also being in the restaurant conveys
that even established families and OUTWARDLY
respectable people ignore the Prohibition law. This
reflects that New York’s corruption has spread
throughout society.
GATSBY’S RELATIONSHIPS WITH
OTHER CHARACTERS
 “They can’t get him, old sport. He’s a smart man”
 This suggest admiration on Gatsby’s part.
GATSBY’S RELATIONSHIPS WITH
OTHER
CHARACTERS
 Jordan:
 “Oh, it’s nothing underhand...Miss Baker’s a great
sportswoman...she’d never do anything underhand”
 The reader and Nick know that this is not the case – does this
cast doubt on his judgements.
 Gatsby’s opinion is coloured by the fact the he is trying to use
Jordan to arrange a meeting between him and Daisy.
CHARACTERISATION - JORDAN
 “His name was Jay Gatsby...even after I met him on
Long Island I didn’t realize it was the same man”
CHARACTERISATION - JORDAN
 The change to Jordan as narrator here is important. It
enables us to have an insight into the relationship
between Daisy and Gatsby.
 Jordan can tell the story better than Nick because she
was there but also has the distance needed for a
successful narrator because she was not directly
involved.
CHARACTERISATION - DAISY
 “She had a bottle of Sauterne in one hand and a letter
in the other...’Tell ‘em all Daisy’s change’ her
mine’...She wouldn’t let go of the letter...only let me
have leave it in the soap-dish when she saw that it
was coming to pieces like snow.”
 DISCUSSION: What impression does the reader get of
Daisy’s feelings for Gatsby from this section?
CHARACTERISATION - DAISY
 The incident before the wedding suggests that Daisy did care
for Gatsby BUT..
 “Next day at five o’clock she married Tom Buchanan without so
much as a shiver, and started off on a three month trip to the
South Seas.”
 Her ability to forget her ‘true love’ so quickly suggests she is
unfeeling. What does this add to (or confirm about) our initial
impressions of Daisy?
Characterisation - Daisy
 Her behaviour is contrasted to that of Gatsby.
 She is briefly distressed, but marries Tom ‘without a
shiver’.
 Gatsby’s constancy highlights his loyal and romantic
nature.
CHARACTERISATION - NICK
 “Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be
just across the bay.”
 Nick’s perceptions of Gatsby’s character have
changed – he is no longer just a show off
 Have the reader’s perceptions of Gatsby changed
because of this new information – how do we see him
now?
CHARACTERISATION - NICK
 “Then it was not merely the stars to which he had
aspired on that June night. He came alive to me,
delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless
splendour.”
 LINKS TO GATSBY CHARACTERISATION –
Contradictions of possible criminal businessman to
lovesick person desperately trying to secure the
woman of his dreams.
STRUCTURE
 Chapter divided into three parts:
 Nick lists the party guests. He also lists their
misbehaviour. This again links with the theme
SHALLOWNESS OF THE UPPER CLASSES and
the theme APPEARANCE vs REALITY
 Gatsby’s lunch with Wolfshiem. We see the
real Gatsby. What is he hiding with his
outrageous stories? Does his connection with
Wolfshiem suggest he may be a criminal?
STRUCTURE
 Interestingly, Jordan’s description of Gatsby’s
past romance with Daisy gives a different
impression of Gatsby. It portrays him as
innocent, romantic and shows another side to
his personality.
 This different impression adds another layer
of mystery.
Structure
 Jordan’s first person narrative makes Gatsby into a
more sympathetic character. For Nick, Gatsby
becomes a real person – ‘delivered suddenly from the
womb of his purposeless splendour’.
 Nick’s changing impression of Gatsby reminds reader
that the novel is written from his point of view, which
introduces the idea of bias.
Structure
 Jordan’s story also suggests none of the
characters have changed:
 Gatsby is still obsessed with Daisy and
continues to have a ‘romantic’ desire fo her.
 Tom’s cheating clearly began early in his
marriage and has continued throughout.
 Daisy is easily led. She initially decides not to
marry Tom, but is then persuaded to go ahead
with the wedding.
STRUCTURE/STYLE
 “He’s a bootlegger,” said the young ladies ... “One time he
killed a man who had found out that he was a nephew to Von
Hindenburg and second cousin to the devil.”
 Again the mystery surrounding Gatsby is emphasised from the
very beginning of the chapter.
STRUCTURE/STYLE
 DISCUSSION: The following words come directly after
the quote above. What does it add to the themes of
the novel so far.
 “Reach me a rose, honey, and pour me a last drop
into that there crystal glass.”
Structure / Style
 The fact that accusations that he killed a man are
made in between drinks from ‘that there crystal glass’
indicates that the relaxed guests have no concern
about their host’s potential corruption – illustrates
THEME Failure of the American Dream / THEME
SHALLOWNESS OF THE AMERICAN UPPER CLASSES
STRUCTURE/STYLE
 Fitzgerald listed the guests in order to give the
impression of the nation’s wealthiest people.
 This reminds the reader again of Gatsby’s wealth.
 This reminder of Gatsby’s wealth is continued in
“gorgeous car”. This suggests to the reader
opulence.
STRUCTURE/STYLE
 “peculiarly American”
 This comment is in direct contrast with “Old sport”
which is very typically English. This again adds a
mystery to Gatsby.
 DISCUSSION: In what way does this add to the sense
of manufacture about Gatsby? Is there any other
indications of this in the novel.
STRUCTURE/STYLE
 “They shook hands briefly, and a strained, unfamiliar look of
embarrassment came over Gatsby’s face.”
 Foreshadowing – this adds to the mystery. The reader
questions why he is embarrassed.
 Soon find out that this incident foreshadows the revelation we
are about to hear.
SYMBOLISM
 “It was a rich cream colour, bright with nickel,
swollen here and there in its monstrous
length...triumphant hat boxes...terraced with a
labyrinth of wind-shields that mirrored a dozen
suns...sort of green leather conservatory.”
 DISSCUSSION: Identify words/phrases that connote
wealth and size.
SYMBOLISM
 The use of ‘green leather conservatory’ is using terms
we normally associate with a house
 This further suggests the size of the car and Gatsby’s
wealth – is his car worth more (bigger than) some
people’s houses?
SYMBOLISM
 “Then it was not merely the stars to which he had aspired on
that June night.”
 The green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. Gatsby reached out
to it in chapter 1. This symbolises him reaching out for Daisy.
 Represents his love for Daisy
 DISCUSSION: What is suggested by the word ‘aspire’?
STRUCTURE/SYMBOLISM
 Jordan and Nick “Her wan, scornful mouth smiled,
and so I drew her up again closer, this time to my
face.”
 This gives the reader an interesting contrast of
someone who is actually physically there for Nick
 Contrasted with Gatsby’s elevated passion for an
idealised and distant object of desire.
Theme: Failure of the American Dream
 Initially, Gatsby’s obsession with Daisy can be seen to
symbolise the American Dream. The image at the end
of Chapter One of him as a lone figure, reaching out
for the green light, shows him striving for the object
of his desires……..
But…..
 The fact that Gatsby strives to win Daisy, who
is shallow, snobbish and fickle, reflects the
corruption of the American Dream – it has
become focused on the shallow pursuit of
wealth.
 Gatsby doesn’t care about breaking up daisy’s
marriage – ‘Nothing underhand’. The
American Dream has become about individual
satisfaction, not reaping the rewards of hard
SETTING
 “Then the Valley of the Ashes opened out on both sides of us,
and I had a glimpse of Mrs Wilson straining at the garage pump
with panting vitality as we went by.”
 This reminds us of the gulf between rich and poor – the
contrast of Gatsby’s opulent car and the desolate valley of the
ashes.
SETTING
 DISCUSSION: Look at the underlined section – what does this
add to our initial impressions of Myrtle.
SETTING - New York
 Seems bright and full of possibilities
 “Over the great bridge”
 “In its first wild promise of all the mystery and the
beauty of the world”
 “Anything can happen now that we’ve slid over this
bridge…anything at all”
 “Even Gatsby could happen, without any particular
wonder
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