The Great Gatsby Essay Sample
1. How does Nick describe himself at the beginning of the novel? As tolerant, and smart 2. How does Nick describe Tom Buchanan? One of the most powerful ends that ever played football and sturdy, straw haired man with a rather hard mouth and supercilious manner. 3. Who is Jordan Baker? Daisy’s friend
4. What is Gatsby doing when Nick first sees him? Standing on the lawn starring towards the city at a single green light
1. Describe the ambiguity in Nick’s initial descriptions of Gatsby. That Mr. Gatsby is a mystery, he doesn’t know anything about him but he seen him once and then he disappeared. 2. How does the tone of Nick’s description of Tom reveal Nick’s feelings about Tom? That he thinks he is an arrogant man and isn’t very nice to people at all. Doesn’t like him. 3. How would you describe Daisy’s state of mind during dinner? What does she say and so that helps reveal her inner conflicts? She is stressed and overworked. Her husband has another woman in new York and she knows about it. She thinks at all women are fools.
“It’ll show you how I’ve gotten to feel about–things. Well, she was less than an hour old and Tom was God knows where. I woke up out of the ether with an utterly abandoned feeling and asked the nurse right away if it was a boy or a girl. She told me it was a girl, and so I turned my head away and wept. ‘All right,’ I said, ‘I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool–that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” 4. Nick thinks that, given the state of their marriage, Daisy should leave Tom, but it is clear to him that she has no intention of doing so. What indication is there that Tom and Daisy are closely linked despite their marital difficulties? They have a daughter together and daisey loves tom. 5. What indications are there that the green light will have a powerful emotional significance to Gatsby? Mr. Gatsby was trembling while he was starring at the green light.
Chapter 2: The Facts
1. How does Nick meet Tom’s mistress? In a car garage when he goes out to lunch with Tom. 2. How does Myrtle react to Tom’s arrival? She bosses her husband around. 3. Describe George Wilson. How does he react to Tom’s arrival? He asks if Tom is going to sell him his car. George seems naïve thinking she is off to see her sister in new York all the time. 4. How does Myrtle behave as the party progresses? Trying to get everyone’s attention by changing her clothes and modeling.
1. Describe the setting of the valley of ashes where George and Myrtle live. What aspects of the setting imply that it is intended to have a symbolic meaning as well as a literal one? It’s a dumping ground. He says that the ashes take form of houses and chimneys and even men, meaning that things there aren’t what they seem. 2. How does Fitzgerald describe Myrtle Wilson? Does her physical appearance reflect her character in any way? Faintly stout, but she carried her surplus flesh sensuously as some women can. Yes her appearance reflects her character. 3. Compare the setting of the party in this chapter with the setting of the party in Chapter One. The setting in chapter one was more sophisticated and calm, the party in chapter two was more casual and wild. 4. Why does Tom attach Myrtle at the end of the party? How does this exemplify Fitzgerald’s description of Tom in Chapter One? He broke Mrs. Wilson’s nose. That he is an arrogant jerk who only cares about himself.
Chapter 3: The Facts
1. Describe the two ways in which Nick differs from the other guests at Gatsby’s party. He was actually invited to the party while other people just showed up, and he cared about meeting with Mr. Gatsby and everyone else did not care where he was. 2. What does Nick think of Gatsby when he first meets him? That he was picking his words with care. 3. Describe the events and atmosphere of the party. Elegantly planned, has lots of drinking, and seems that everyone is having fun and it has lovely music. 4. What does the owl-eyed man in the library find extraordinary about Gatsby’s library? That all the books were real. 5. What does Nick learn about Jordan Baker after he has sent some time with her? That she is very dishonest and lies about everything,
1. Why does Fitzgerald describe the party (in the passage beginning By seven o’clock the orchestra has arrived’) in the present tense? So we can experience what Nick is experiencing that night, so we can understand. 2. How does Nick characterize the guests at Gatsby’s party? What do his characterizations tell us about how Nick feels about most of these people? What sense of life in the Jazz Age do we get from the description of this party? He thinks they are shallow. It tells us that he doesn’t really like any of the people at the party. The sense of life I get from the Jazz Age is that it’s for filthy rich. 3. Describe the ambiguity in Gatsby’s character that strikes Nick. That Gatsby seems to be confident but in reality he is not. 4. Describe two incidents involving automobiles in this chapter. What role do automobiles seem to play in the novel so far? When owl eyes ends up in the ditch, and then when Jordan crashes. Seems like automobiles are just a symbol of money and recklessness of drunken people.