Monthly Archives: April 2008

The Great Gatsby PowerPoint (mathandscience0, assigned)

Slideshows with linked videos don’t upload well, so I post here each “section” of the slideshow. If you play the videos, make sure the sound on your computer is not muted.

The Great Gatsby Project, By Jason

The Great Gatsby, although containing a plot, is a novel primarily about sharing Nick’s view of Gatsby with the reader. Therefore, the most important passages to the novel are not only the ones that develop the plot, but the instances in which Nick learns information about Gatsby that causes his perception of Gatsby to change. In the first chapter, Nick tells the reader that Gatsby “represented everything for which [he has] an unaffected scorn.” This is a clearly negative opinion of Gatsby, but Nick also tells us in the same paragraph that he eventually came to admire Gatsby. The passage I choose depicts the scene in which Nick, for possibly the first time, clearly has a lasting positive opinion of Gatsby.

This portion of the passage is the background that Jordan told Nick. In this scene, both Nick and the reader learn much about Gatsby’s past and Daisy’s past, and everything about Gatsby’s past with Daisy. Gatsby wanted Nick to learn about his past and Daisy’s past through Jordan Baker. As will be shown in the next scene, Gatsby seems to want to distance himself from the possibility of rejection as much as possible. This shows that he believes Daisy will be, or already is, very important to him.

It is in this section of the passage that Nick’s opinion of Gatsby changes. To Nick, Gatsby becomes someone who has “an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as [he has] never found in any other person.” Gatsby’s humble request shows his subtle reliance on others and his hope that these others will acquiesce. The fact that he engineered the entire situation demonstrates Gatsby’s meticulous nature and his ability to plan ahead. It is possible that this was the instant that Nick began to admire Gatsby, when Nick discovered the gigantic scale of Gatsby’s plan to reunite with Daisy.

Videos made and presented using Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007, Windows Media Encoder, Windows Movie Maker, AT&T TTS Software, Google Video, and the Alice program.

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The Great Gatsby (Assigned)

Passage:

A moment later she rushed out into the dusk, waving her hands and shouting-before he could move from his door the business was over. The “death car” as the newspapers called it, didn’t stop; it came out of the gathering darkness, wavered tragically for a moment, and then disappeared around the next bend. Michaelis wasn’t even sure of its color-he first told the policeman that it was light green. The other car, the one going toward New York, came to rest a hundred yards beyond, and its driver hurried back to where Myrtle Wilson, her life violently extinguished, knelt in the road and mingled her thick dark blood with dust. Michaelis and this man reached her first, but when they had torn open her shirtwaist, still damp with perspiration, they saw that her left breast was swinging loose like a flap, and there was no need to listen for the heart beneath. The mouth was wide open and ripped at the corners, as though she had choked a little in giving up the tremendous vitality she had stored so long.

Analysis:

          In the novel, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, one of the most important scenes to take place is the scene where Myrtle Wilson is killed. I chose to elaborate on this scene from the novel because if Myrtle Wilson hadn’t been killed, the rest of the events in the novel wouldn’t have unraveled the way they did. If Myrtle hadn’t died, then her husband wouldn’t have killed Gatsby and himself, and he and Myrtle would have moved out west to start a their lives fresh. However, while in the middle of an argument with her husband, Myrtle ran into the street and was struck by a car and killed. This car happened to be Gatsby’s car, and it was being driven by Daisy. Once Myrtle was killed, Wilson sought revenge from Gatsby, killing Gatsby and then himself. This once particular scene in the novel brought about the end of three lives and a tragic finish to that summer.

          I chose to represent this scene in the form of a book. Each page in my book represents a different point in that scene. The first page is a picture of Myrtle running off into the sunset, into the street, in order to get away from her husband. I interpreted this as Myrtle running off into the end of her life, just like the setting sun is the end of the day. As Myrtle runs toward the setting sun, she is running toward her death. On the second page, I drew the “death car”. This car is yellow because it is Gatsby’s car, but also because Daisy has control over the car. I drew Daisy as the grim reaper because she took Myrtle’s life without looking back. On the third page, I drew the blood gushing from Myrtle’s body mixing in with the dust like described in the novel. This represents Myrtle’s life gushing away from her, and it is too powerful so she has no way of stopping it. On the last pages I drew Myrtle’s grave. This grave shows the finality of Myrtle’s death and how she really isn’t coming back. I drew Daisy’s covering her grave because, in the end, it was Daisy who took the life of Myrtle and covered any vitality that she had left.

          I chose to play the song Oh! Darling by the Beatles because I felt that this song correctly represented how Wilson felt at the time of Myrtle’s death. The lyrics,  “When you told me you didn’t need me anymore Well you know I nearly broke down and died” demonstrate when Wilson felt that life wasn’t worth living without Myrtle. This feeling ultimately lead to the murder of Gatsby and Wilson’s suicide.

 

“Watching Over Nothing” [assigned]

Photobucket
Jay Gatsby, in his pink suit, watches the Buchanan household for Daisy.

It seems as though Gatsby wasted his life when he did not accomplish his sole goal to win Daisy’s heart. Nobody but Nick, and Owl Eyes came to his funeral, and that shows that nobody was truly affected by his existence. When Gatsby thought that he had finally won Daisy’s love, Daisy was just using him to spite Tom. Throughout the novel, Gatsby believes that he could reinvent the past so that he and Daisy would be together, and he has never stopped believing it. The reader knows the truth that the love Gatsby gives Daisy is unrequited, but Gatsby never has the chance to know that his love is not returned.
This scene is a perfect example of the “love corner” that is going on in the book. It is not a “love triangle” because of the simple fact that no one is returning love to Gatsby. It looks as if Gatsby could be cut out of the entire picture because he stands afar on the big lawn of the Buchanan household. To further isolate him, he wears a distasteful pink suit, which he only wears because of Daisy. He stands outside of the picture, waiting for Daisy to send him an SOS so that he can come save her. The scene is representative of Gatsby’s wait for Daisy’s love. The facts of unrequited love remain the same for this scenario, Gatsby was “watching over nothing.”
The fact that Gatsby was confident in his plan to win Daisy gives the reader hope, but in this scene, where Daisy and Tom are “not happy, but not unhappy,” the characters let the reader know that their marriage is stronger than a long lost friend who would give his life for his love.
One is comforted by the fact that Gatsby did not give up hope, but the truth remains that no matter how close on the Buchanan lawn Gatsby stands, he cannot reinvent the past, for there is not one caring person there to recreate it with.

Gatsby’s Tea Party Assigned

I feel that a very significant part of the story is when Daisy is invited over to Nick’s cottage for tea.  This is the point in the novel when Gatsby tries to recreate where he was five years ago.  A happier time, before he went into the military.  Gatsby wants things to be just how they were before he left.  Gatsby takes great comfort in seeing Daisy’s porch light on every night.  It makes him feel close to her.  Gatsby still loves Daisy and he wants Daisy to love him again.  So, Gatsby comes up with a plan.  Nick, Gatsby’s friend, lives right next door.  Daisy is Nick’s cousin.  Wouldn’t it be convenient if Nick invited Daisy over for tea and Gatsby happened to be there too?  Although things looked promising, what Gatsby did not understand is that you can never recreate the past. 

When Nick calls up Daisy he tells her that she should not bring Tom, her husband.  Instead of asking why not, she responds with “who is Tom?” Daisy does not truly care if he is involved in this tea or not.  Inside, Daisy still has some type of feelings for Gatsby.  If she did not have such strong feelings for Gatsby, she would have wanted Tom to come with her.

The day that they are scheduled to have tea is a very rainy day, which sets the mood as gloomy.  This weather is nerve racking for Gatsby and he thinks that Daisy is not going to show up.  As the day progresses, the weather begins to clear up.  As the weather clears up, the tea party seems to get better, and the day turns out great for Gatsby.  The tea party goes exactly how he wanted it to go.

Gatsby wants the day to be perfect.  Gatsby is concerned that Nick’s house is not good enough to impress Daisy.  So, Gatsby sends his gardener over to Nick’s house to groom Nick’s lawn.  Gatsby sends over flowers so that Nick’s garden would look pretty.  Gatsby wants to make sure everything is perfect for Daisy.

Gatsby comes to Nick’s cottage dressed elegant and but he is very worried.  Gatsby wants to make sure he does everything right in order to impress Daisy.  He really wants to impress her. Gatsby has been awake and stressed out about recreating the past, and making everything perfect, he has had no time to sleep.  When he first gets to Nick’s cottage he has big bags under his eyes.  He is so tired that when Nick talks to him, he cannot even pay attention and stares blankly.  If Gatsby was not so worried about impressing Daisy and had gotten some sleep, he would have been able to function better at the tea party.

Gatsby tells Nick that he read in the newspaper that the rain was supposed to stop.  Gatsby’s greatest concern is that the afternoon goes right.  He wants to make sure that Nick has the highest quality tea and cakes because he is so concerned about impressing Daisy.  His main goal after all is for Daisy to leave Tom and come back to him.

Fashion of the Roaring Twenties- smileinc1120, ilikebutterflies, cheer2191x

Fashion and Lifestyles of the Roaring Twenties

Several fashion statements that emerged from the flapper fashion of the roaring twenties still exist or have reemerged in society today. From flapper’s high heels to bobbed haircut, reminiscence of the twenties are present in current lifestyles.

There are several periodic examples in the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Nick says: “I have been drunk just twice in my life…” (Fitzgerald 29). This is a result of the prohibition movement.

“In the main hall a bar with a real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of his female guests were too young to know one from another” (Fitzgerald 40). Another result of prohibition.

“The last swimmers have come in from the beach now and are dressing up-stairs; the cars from New York are parked five deep in the drive, and already the halls and salons and verandas are gaudy with primary colors, and hair shorn in strange new ways, and shawls beyond the dreams of Castile” (Fitzgerald 40). This shows the automobile craze, the fashion statements of the bobbed haircuts and feather boas.

“…and a great number of single girls dancing individualistically…” (Fitzgerald 46). Women were now more independent and did not need a man to dance with.

In the 1920’s, Flappers were changing the ways of the Gibson Girl. Dress lines were dramatically shortened, hair was chopped off, and some dared to paint their faces in makeup. The doll’s outfits we created include Flapper inspirations, along with a modern twist. Feathers and fur were big with the flappers. Extravagant, sparkling outfits were common pieces for a Flapper to wear while going dancing. Head scarves covering short cropped hair were also trendy, as well as long beaded necklaces. Drawing inspiration from some of these Flapper fashions, we created a few outfits for our little Flapper Girl, ranging from dancing outfits to a casual outfit, and even fancy evening wear. The bold colors such as hot pink and purple added a modern look. Along with the eye popping colors, the bags our doll is sporting really modernize the look. The zebra print bag, with a strap decked out in polka dots encompasses some of today’s fashion, along with the large fur bag with a sparkling strap. Bold colors and outrageous prints are big among the fashionable in today’s society. The polka dot pattern that appears in some of the outfits, whether it is part of a dress or headband, are quite popular among the young and fashionable of today’s stylish individuals.

THEN & NOW…

Long Necklaces continue to be a fashion from the 1920s to present

Long necklaces continue to be a fashion since the 1920s

Bobbed Haircuts can also be seen on the social scene in the 1920s and present

Bobbed haircuts were popular in the 1920s

Feather Boas were characteristic of flapper girls in the 1920s and are still worn today

Flowing Flapper Dresses are the most commonly associated with the Roaring Twenties and are still around

Weather in The Great Gatsby (Assigned)

Passages Chosen:

“The day agreed upon was pouring rain. At eleven o’clock a man in a raincoat dragging a lawn-mower tapped at my front door and said that Mr. Gatsby had sent him over to cut my grass.” (Fitzgerald 88)

“ ‘Come here quick!’  cried Daisy at the window. The rain was still falling, but the darkness had parted in the west, and there was a pink and golden billow of foamy clouds above the sea.

“ ‘Look at that,’ she whispered, and then after a moment: ‘I’d like to just get one of those pink clouds and put you in it and push you around.’ ” (Fitzgerald 99)

“The next day was broiling, almost the last, certainly the warmest, of the summer. As my train emerged from the tunnel into the sunlight, only the hot whistles of the National Biscuit Company broke the simmering hush at noon. The straw seats of the car hovered on the edge of combustion; the woman next to me perspired delicately for a while into her white shirtwaist and then, as her newspaper dampened under her fingers, lapsed despairingly into the deep heat with a desolate cry.” (Fitzgerald 121-122)

 

Analysis:

These multiple passages show how the weather surrounding the events in a story can help the reader to determine the mood of the story at that moment. For example, on the day that Gatsby is planned to meet with Daisy, it is raining prior to the meeting. In this situation, the rain represents both a melancholy mood and an anxious mood. Gatsby in beginning to doubt himself in asking Nick to do this favor for him and the rain reflects the fact that he is unsure of himself. However, when Gatsby and Daisy rekindle their friendship and love, the weather clears up and becomes sunny and beautiful out. The sudden change in weather shows the change in the character’s feelings. Now, both Gatsby and Daisy are comfortable with each other and are enjoying both their memories together and the fact that they are back together.

Also, towards the conclusion of the novel, as tension begins to rise, the weather becomes very hot. Usually with hot weather, tempers begin to rise and people become more short-fused. Fitzgerald shows this by describing how the surrounding characters are acting. For example, the woman at the train station and the people around her assume that Nick is a thief when he attempts to pick up her dropped pocketbook.

This use of the weather to portray the mood of the story was used magnificently by William Shakespeare. The two examples that come to mind are from Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, as Macbeth prepares to kill Duncan, he is surrounded by terrible rainstorms. Unlike in The Great Gatsby however, these storms reflect the corruption of the order instead of just anxiety. In Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio and Tybalt’s battle is accompanied by extremely hot weather, like the conclusion of The Great Gatsby. As in The Great Gatsby, the boiling weather creates tension and flaring tempers, and in this case, leads to a fight and a death.

 

*Picture Coming As Soon As I Can Find The Cord To My Camera. =) *

 

The Grass Isin’t Always Greener on the Other Side