THE GREAT GATSBY CHAPTER 4
• CHARACTERISATION – GATSBY, NICK, DAISY, JORDAN • STRUCTURE/STYLE • SYMBOLISM • SETTING
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.
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 • 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 • “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 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 - 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/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 themes of the novel so far. • “Reach me a rose, honey, and pour me a last drop into that there crystal glass. ”
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.
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