February 4th, 2015.



> Character and his avatar

> The Eye & ‘I’


Gatsby texts + study questions

  • Gatsby chapter 2 corrections recap’
  • The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald, 1925 HW – Read Chapter 2 and answer questions.

corresponds to A. Dream = car / road / West Egg not far from New York / billboard > consumerist society

doesn’t correspond = ashes / dark / ghosts / nightmare / unsuccessful occulist business / detroyed billboard

real > place exists

  • Does it correspond to your vision of the American Dream? Why? Why not?
  • # my vision > positive vision /> destroyed billboard / landscape covered in ashes / no one except the eyes on the billboard / gray / disappearing men
  • impression of sadness / nightmare / ghosts / death / disillusion
  • Is this passage real or fiction? What does it describe ? Represent? Real > details about the landscape / road / billboard > real places / really existed Fiction > metaphors / landscape turned into human / men or ghosts > imaginary
    • unreal > men are compared to insects and the road is alive
    • road > animated / living creature > personification

poetry + narration > poetic prose

  • Find 2 metaphors. Explain. Eyes of billboard > eyes on the narrator / reader / personification/ metonymy > eyes = the whole billboard (metonymy : one part = whole person)
    men compared to insects > animalisation

Literary technique in Gatsby > Nick Carraway as the avatar of Fitzgerald because he comes from a poor background like the author. His vision is a mix of admiration and criticism.

This narrator represents / embodies the ambivalent vision of the American Dream / > avatar of Fitzgerald’s vision.

  • Gatsby chap 3

American Dream > rich people / happy few having a party / corresponds to RnB video clips ‘bling’

for us it’s just a dream / unattainable / impossible

extravagant food, Rolls Royce as a taxi for the guests, orange juice machine, Gin and liquor under Prohibition, full jazz band > opulence / greed / expensive / Gargantua?


  • European words used to sound posh / chic but extravagant style to show off culture. The language doesn’t sound American but European.
  • It’s refined and sophisticated. > to describe a posh party Fitzgerald and his avatar / the narrator / Nick Carraway use posh words.
  • Metaphors = air / laughter : smell / sound > synaesthesia. (Baudelaire)
  • Caricature of the extravagant American Dream but also a pleasure in describing it with sophisticated style.
  • The point of view and the writing style are ambivalent / ambiguous. They both show admiration and criticism of the American dream.

accumulation / ternary rhythm

animalisation = men and women as moths or bugs > insects which live at night and are attracted to light / money

Running metaphor of money and light impresses the reader but at the same time we realize it’s a sham.

  • VOA English The Roaring Twenties audio doc

VOA English The Roaring Twenties audio doc


After WW1 > young Americans / soldiers opposed old traditions, wanted to feel free and independent, discussed new subjects.

Women got the right to vote in 1920s, listened to jazz, danced and drank alcohol in public places with men. They worked during the war and carried on working after but it was easier thanks to machines so they spent less time doing the house chores.

Two inventions revolutionized people’s ways of living: the radio and the automobile which became symbols of freedom and also urged people to buy new products.

But not everyone enjoyed the new living conditions, life was still hard in small and rural areas for foreigners / immigrants and African Americans. Also women were still spending long hours working at home and taking care of their families.


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