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Flashcards in Chapter 1 Deck (25)
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which characters are we introduced to in the 1st chapter?

Nick Carraway, Tom Buchanan, Daisy Buchanan, Jordan Baker, Jay Gatsby


what egg do Nick and Gatsby live on?

West Egg. Tom and Daisy are on East egg.


what does west egg represent?

New money - money that has been earned (Gatsby and nick making money in business)


what does East egg represent?

Old money - money that has been inherited (Tom inherited his money)


what does nick do for a living?

moved to west egg to start a career in bonds in New York

bonds - finance


What is Jordan Baker?

a professional golfer.


What is revealed about Tom in the first chapter?

He's a racist - "have you read the rise of the coloured empires by this man Goddard" book about threat to white civilisation) - author actually Stoddard - misspelt because Fitzgerald wanted him to focus solely on racism.

He's having an affair - "Tom's got some woman in New York"


When Nick arrives home from the evening who does he see? what are they doing?

He sees Gatsby. 'He stretched out his arms towards the dark water in a curious way'


Whats the point of the first chapter?

to set the scene for the rest of the novel.


What do we learn from the first chapter? (1)

It is made clear that the events have already taken place. 'the history of the summer really begins on the evening I drove over there...'


what do we learn from the first chapter? (2)

most of the characters and their names. Even Myrtle is present in a way - her phone call interrupts dinner.


what do we learn from the first chapter? (3)

Nick talks about Midas, Morgan and Maecenas 'unfold the shining secrets that only Midas and Morgan and Maecenas knew'.
All three men were known for their renowned wealth . Morgan and Maecenas were real men, whereas Midas's story was a greek myth. by mentioning both real and mythical people in the first chapter. this hints that reality and myth will be mixed throughout the book.


what does nick claim that makes us think he has strong moral, family values and that he is tolerant?

Nick remembers a piece of advice that his father had given him "...all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had"


How does Fitzgerald emphasise how different the population of the Eggs and the eggs are?

Uses superficial similarities - "they're identical in contour" but dissimilar "in every particular except shape and size"


What does Nick describe the old west as?

-Old fashioned and represents family values - the Carraway's are "prominent, well to do people" "clan" and Nick's father runs the same hardware business that his great uncle set up.
-possibly dishonest under the surface -the 'founder' of Nicks family avoided the civil war by sending a "substitute" and they all pretend that they are "descended from the Dukes of Buccleuch"
- Gatsby is also from the Midwest and he is also dishonest because his real name is James Gatz, he has an illegal career and he lies a hell of a lot.
-Fitzgerald is fro Minnesota which is in the west/midwest


What does Nick describe East Egg as?

Conservative and aristocratic but not as refined as it appears. E.g. Tom is "aggressive" and "hulking", where typically the upper class should be polite and well-mannered.

Fashionable but fake. its appealing surface hides unattractive realities (again bringing up theme of appearance and reality) - the Buchanans' marriage isn't as happy as it seems, and Daisy's looks mask a bored, cynical and empty interior.


What does Nick describe West Egg?

Home to a new rich who've made their own fortunes rather than inheriting money - "the less fashionable of the two" - most of the residents don't have aristocratic breeding or wealthy family connections but Nick is a exception.
Characterised by extravagant displays of wealth that are in poor taste, e.g. Gatsby's mansion.


What does the dinner conversation highlight in the characters?

Prejudices - sexism towards woman and racism towards black people.


How does Fitzgerald present racism?

He mocks it... Tom is incoherent and "full of hesitation" - the reader isn't supposed to empathise with him.

In doing this, Fitzgerald is highlighting the fear of immigration in America in the 1920's.


How does Fitzgerald present sexism in the Great Gatsby?

In some ways, Daisy and Jordan are seemingly independent and satisfied. their eyes are "free from desire" and Nick portrays them as being in control of the social gathering - "they accepted Tom and me". But ultimately, in the 1920's the society that the great Gatsby was written in was very sexist.
-Tom suggests that "the oughtn't let her run around the country this way"
-Daisy believes that her society doesn't value intelligence in women, which is why she hoped her daughter would be a "beautiful little fool".
-Her comment hints that, although she ignores Tom's infidelities (adultery), she's upset by them. she believes she'd be happier if she was a "fool" who didn't realise he was cheating.
-Daisy has some control over Tom - she shakes "her head decisively" and won't let him answer the second call. but still has to pretend with "tense gaiety" that everything is fine and put a brave face on her humiliation.


What does Nick see Gatsby doing at the end of the chapter?

Nick sees "a figure" reaching out towards a "single green light". Nick doesn't know what the light represents to Gatsby which creates a mystery, enthralling the reader.


How is it is shown that Gatsby is desperate to reach the green light?

"...I could have sworn he was trembling" - Gatsby's obsessive focus on this distant point is striking. he's so desperate that he is trembling.


What do we first learn about the character?

He has a powerful desire for a mysterious aim - this suggests that that this is the most important aspect of the character. in contrast, the East Eggers have a obvious lack of motivation or drive.


What does Fitzgerald use light for?

Fitzgerald uses light to symbolise dreams and desires - the green light represents Gatsby's dreams (his dreams of the money to get Daisy to notice him - the green light represents his want for Daisy). - his 'stretched out' arms explain that he is still trying to get it.
In contrast, Daisy's "why candles" and the fact that she 'snapped them out' could symbolise that she has given up on her dreams.


How else does Fitzgerald use light?

When conversation is friendly, the light is soft and 'rosy-coloured' - this makes it seem warm and happy.

When Tom's mistress phones 'the glow faded'. This suggests that things aren't as happy as they seem.

The shift from natural to artificial light as they move inside reflects the fact that Nicks romantic views of Tom and Daisy's life have been shattered.