There are many kinds of heroes; Batman, Super Man, Daril Devil, and others. All this heroes fight crime, literally, Gatsby in other way doesn`t. For me Jay Gatsby is a hero, just because, and only because I admire him for the kind of person he is in a decade that everything was grotesque and banal. He didn`t care if the world was ending, he just wanted to met Daisy again. Ok, that the way he did met Daisy again was wrong, given though she was married and having a “good life” (saying about the American dream). Come on, look how Fitzgerald describe the Buchanan`s house.
“Their house was even more elaborate than I expected a cheerful red-and-white Georgian Colonial mansion, overlooking the bay. The lawn started at the beach and ran toward the front door for a quarter of a mile, jumping over sun-dials and brick walks and burning gardens—finally when it reached the house drifting up the side in bright vines as though from the momentum of its run. The front was broken by a line of French windows, glowing now with reflected gold and wide open to the warm windy afternoon” ((E-book, Great Gatsby, Scott F. Fitzgerald)
http://www.webwombat.com.au/entertainment/movies/images/aviator-1.JPG But any way, coming back to our question, I stick with the idea that Gatsby is not a normal comic book hero, he is not fighting crime (he is actually an outlaw), but I would put him in the section of anti-hero, a character that is good, but his personalities has seriously ups and downs, always fighting not crime, but himself.
This I how I pictured Gatsby, (please Miss Evans, watch the movie “The aviator” I beat you will Like it):
* Who is the central character of the novel, Nick or Gatsby? Why?
Knowing who actually the main character of the novel was, “The Great Gatsby” also was hard for me, given though the book starts talking about other, completely deferent person, and indicates that Gatsby wasn`t the narrator.
“Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction—Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn. If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures”
(E-book, Great Gatsby, Scott F. Fitzgerald)
Later on the novel we notice that Gatsby was a differential on Nick`s life what I guess, changed it. The novel talks a lot about Gatsby, how he is, what he normally does, buy in the novel we only know what Nick knows. So I can say that the main character is Nick, because the novel (even having Gatsby`s name) tell the life, not of Gatsby, but Nick`s. The influence that moving east made on him, the idea of lots of money, how society is controlled by the richest, and how obsessions can drive you to your tomb. All of that is influencing Nick, and we know how he changes throughout the novel. Gatsby is only one more thing (person) that makes Nick see how the world of that decade is.
“His responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name of the “creative temperament.”—it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again. No—Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men”
(E-book, Great Gatsby, Scott F. Fitzgerald)
* What you understood from the last page of the novel? Referent to past and American history.
“And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy's dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter—to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning——
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” (E-book, Great Gatsby, Scott F. Fitzgerald)
I once hear that the life is like a stream, and we are Koi fishes following it or try to go against the flow. If we are the ones who follow the stream, we are most of the time happy, because what happened is past, and we “keep moving forward” (as Walt Disney said). But if you fight against the flow, mostly we are discontent about almost everything, because we keep touching that old scar, and hurting ourselves by doing it.
This quote from “The Great Gatsby” say that that people (I`m not quite sure who “we” are) keep bad memories, that is always consuming themselves, rather than keeping what they learned from that awful occasion. Perhaps Gatsby, he kept the injuries from a bad occasion, where he had to leave Daisy because he was going to World War I, but then he came back seeking for the glories of his past, looking to see if he could find the happiness that he lost (Trying to light the candle of his heart again), without noticing that the green light “was already behind him”. She was married.
· Is there a Gatsby or a Carraway inside of you?
I won`t say that there is a whole Gatsby inside of me, first of all I`m not rich and eccentric, and second I am not seeking to heal the wounds of my past (I prefer to learn with them). But there are some characteristics from him that I might have, like don`t worrying by what others think of you. Like the rumors that people were saying about him.
“ “There's something funny about a fellow that'll do a thing like that,” said the other girl eagerly. “He doesn't want any trouble with ANYbody.”
“Who doesn't?” I inquired.
“Gatsby. Somebody told me——”
The two girls and Jordan leaned together confidentially.
“Somebody told me they thought he killed a man once.”
A thrill passed over all of us. The three Mr. Mumbles bent forward and listened eagerly.
“I don't think it's so much THAT,” argued Lucille sceptically; “it's more that he was a German spy during the war.”
One of the men nodded in confirmation.
“I heard that from a man who knew all about him, grew up with him in Germany,” he assured us positively.
“Oh, no,” said the first girl, “it couldn't be that, because he was in the American army during the war.” As our credulity switched back to her she leaned forward with enthusiasm. “You look at him sometimes when he thinks nobody's looking at him. I'll bet he killed a man.” (E-book, Great Gatsby, Scott F. Fitzgerald)
Gatsby only worried about it when Nick started believing that the rumors were true, then Gatsby explained what was and what wasn`t true.
I would say that I`m more like Nick, he calm, don`t mess with people (that he don`t know). One thing that sometimes is a weakness, is the size of his (I hate to say it, but mine too) heart, caring too much for everybody sometimes is bad, people take advantage of you (I did not noticed that anyone took advantage of Nick on the novel, but my point is that can happen). Nick is also this type of man that fits in several types of environments, what when I want to, I do it.
· What is “Jazz Age”? And how it connects to the novel?
The “Jazz Age” is the period between the two World Wars, is the period in the United States where I see the corruption taking the U.S.A, and leading the North American market to the Great Depression. In the 20`s the Jazz music had a great popularity, where singers like Louis Armstrong, The King & Carter, Fletcher Henderson, and other were known.
In “The Great Gatsby” we see that society is corrupted, Gatsby is not the type of man that I would leave my baby with. Further in the novel we see that Gatsby is a drug-dealer who works for the mob (not the type of person who respects the law). The idea of adultery that we see often throughout the novel with Myrtle and Tom, and Daisy and Gatsby is one type of corruption that in modern days is punished. “The Great Gatsby” is a novel that shows us the reality of that time. Perhaps, the idea of money, if you had more and for a highest price it means you are better than others, those are the type of thoughts that the novel pass to us.
“I never care what I do, so I always have a good time. When I was here last I tore my gown on a chair, and he asked me my name and address—inside of a week I got a package from Croirier's with a new evening gown in it.”
“Did you keep it?” asked Jordan.
“Sure I did. I was going to wear it to-night, but it was too big in the bust and had to be altered. It was gas blue with lavender beads. Two hundred and sixty-five dollars.” (E-book, Great Gatsby, Scott F. Fitzgerald)
We also see in the quote above, that people are moved by pleasure, they don`t think two times before acting stupid or doing something that might hurt someone, they just do it.
· Explain the symbols of the novel (Green Light on the dock, Valley of Ashes, and Eckleburg`s eyes)?
The green light at the end of Daisy`s dock represents the hope that Gatsby has to re-met Daisy again. He wants what he lost when he went to the war: Daisy`s love. At the beginning of the novel, Nick`s first vision of his neighbor is Gatsby`s arm stretching his trembling arm trying to reach the green light. Later on after Daisy and Gatsby met again, they see that a mist covers the green light, what mean that Gatsby realizes that he must accept Daisy like she is, rather creating a fictional image of her.
“Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever....Now it was again a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one” (E-book, Great Gatsby, Scott F. Fitzgerald)
The valley of ashes is the mid-point between the city of New York and the island of West Egg.
“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 men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air” (E-book, Great Gatsby, Scott F. Fitzgerald)
The valley is the environment where grotesque situations happens, perhaps was in the valley that Tom had an affair with Myrtle, was in this same valley that Daisy kills Myrtle with Jay`s car and the same place where George Wilson decided to kill Gatsby.
The pair of blue eyes without a face looking out at the valley of ashes, which provides to it an eternal presence of creepiness and looming, plays an important significance in chapter VIII. When George is stricken by sorrow he refers to the billboard as God. After Myrtles dead George reveal to Michaelis that he had locked Myrtle in a room and told her that God new the deeds that she had done.
“God knows what you've been doing, everything you've been doing. You may fool me but you can't fool God! ...God sees everything” (E-book, Great Gatsby, Scott F. Fitzgerald)
Fitzgerald make us understand the central theme of the modern novel, and that God is seeing how his paradise (Earth) is being destroyed, reduced to ashes by modern man.
· E-book, Great Gatsby, Scott F. Fitzgerald - http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/f/fitzgerald/f_scott/gatsby/ (Accessed on 11/01/2010 )