Gatsby notes 2

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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
period.
Original title – Under the Red, White and Blue
Some ideas presented in the novel
East Coast vs. Midwest
Racisim
Capitalistic
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
language
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
behaviors.
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
Bootleggers
Immigration
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)
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