Gatsby notes 2

The Great Gatsby is often described as the quintessential
American novel , meaning it is most reflective of America
and Americans.
Fitzgerald set out to write a novel that would be reflective of
his time
Original title – Under the Red, White and Blue
Some ideas presented in the novel
East Coast vs. Midwest
NYC as center of the universe
Ties to Jazz lifestyle
The Great Gatsby is a book of contradictions.
Prohibition – the alcohol flows
Quintessential novel of America – Fitzgerald wrote it as an expatriate
in Europe
Reserving all judgments (Nick at least says) – very judgmental
Daisy’s voice so compelling – she doesn’t say much
The book is contradictory but represents America then and now!
Fitzgerald’s looks at American institutions, social policy and American
He takes an iconoclastic approach.
Iconoclastic - One who attacks and seeks to overthrow traditional
or popular ideas or institutions.
He shows how things look promising from a distance, but don’t look
too closely.
How is the American Dream portrayed in the novel?
Setting – 1922
Post WW I
Breakdown of national boundaries and identities
Internationalizing of literature, art, culture
Women rejecting Victorian era norms of dress and customary
behavior for women
Jazz age
Midwest vs East
“When I cam back from the East last autumn I felt I wanted the world to
in uniform and ata sort of moral attention forever.”
Nick’s family in Mid-west for three generations.
Daisy and Tom had been in Mid-west (Chicago)
Study collections