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Flashcards in Chapter 3 Deck (12)
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Give a brief overview of the chapter.

Nick reserves an invitation to one of Gatsby's famous parties and visits his neighbours mansion for the first time.

Nick spends the evening with Jordan Baker trying to find the host of the party, Jay Gatsby, but they just hear a lot of wild gossip and rumours. When Nick finally meets Gatsby he's nothing like what he expected.

Gatsby speaks to Jordan about private matter but Jordan refuses to tell Nick what Gatsby said.

After the party Nick gives a brief description of his life in New York and his developing relationship with Jordan.


What kind of language is used for some of Gatsby's party? (In the first paragraph)

The poetic language lends a magical atmosphere to the parties. Gatsby's 'blue gardens' are alive with 'the whispering and the champagne and the stars' - the list form draws together sound, taste and sight.


What happens to the party as the evening progresses?

The pace of the party increases as the night goes on and Nick's perspective changes as well.
Initially, Nick sees everything from far away and it seems romantic and poetic: 'floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter'.


What do the wild excess and drunkenness at Gatsby's parties suggest?

The wild excess and drunkenness at Gatsby's parties suggest that Fitzgerald wanted to give a sense of both the depravity and the hedonism of the wealthy in 1920's America. There's a sharp contrast between the bad behaviour of the guests and the magical surroundings. This highlights both Nick and Fitzgerald's simultaneous attraction and repulsion for the era.


What is an eponymous character?

An eponymous character is the title character of the work e.g. Gatsby in The Great Gatsby


Who is the 'stout, middle-aged man, with enormous owl-eyed spectacle'?

this man is later known as 'Owl Eyes', who is amazed at the fact that Gatsby's books are 'real'. Fitzgerald uses Owl Eyes the tension between appearance and reality in Gatsby's life. The books are real but have never been read - they are props.


What does Owl Eyes emphasise in the Egg community?

Owl Eyes emphasises the importance of appearance in the Egg community. He praises Gatsby's attention to detail in maintaining the illusion that he is a well-read gentleman. He compares Gatsby to David Belasco, a Broadway producer known for his realistic sets, as if Gatsby's an entertainer or illusionist.


How is Owl Eyes a symbolic presence in the library?

Owls are traditionally seen as symbols of wisdom and Owl Eyes is the only guest to see through Gatsby's persona. However, Owls are also seen as bad omens.


How does Owl Eyes foreshadow the events that take place further on in the novel?

-Owl Eyes mutters to himself that "if one brick was removed the whole library was liable to collapse". Fitzgerald using Owl Eyes to emphasise that if one part of Gatsby's outward image were to falter, the entire illusion would be shattered. This foreshadows the way that Gatsby's life will fall apart.

-Owl Eyes is involved in a car crash as he leaves the party. He's mistakenly thought to be the driver "you don't understand... I wasn't driving". This foreshadows Gatsby's involvement in Myrtle's death.


What rumours surround Gatsby at the party?

Gatsby is said to of "killed a man" and to have been "a German spy".


What does Jordan hear about Gatsby?

Jordan is told that Gatsby "was an Oxford man" and nick starts to imagine a "dim background" but when she says she doesn't believe it the mystery starts building again. All that Jordan knows is that he "gives large parties".


What does Nick notice about Gatsby's smile?

Nick notices that Gatsby has 'a quality of eternal reassurance'. Nick describes the smile using words like 'believe','impression' and 'convey', and comments on Gatsby's affected 'formality of speech' - this gives an early hint that Gatsby's smile and speech are part of a deliberately crafted persona.