Sunday, June 6, 2010

Old Money V. New Money

In the novel The Great Gatsby, there is a role of new money and old money, not a new form of currency, but those who are new to wealth, and those who have had it in their families for a long time. Both are in the same class of wealth, but new money and old money spend their wealth differently, and have different maturities while handling their money.

The newly rich, or the new money, like Jay Gatsby, live in West Egg. "Fitzgerald portrays the newly rich as being vulgar, gaudy, ostentatious, and lacking in social graces and taste."( Gatsby is a perfect example of this. Gatsby tries to be all flashy and impressive with his money, which is very irresponsible and unwise. He drives a fancy car, a Rolls-Royce, has a monstrous mansion bu himself, and throws parties non-stop to impress people, and to try to lour Daisy back to him. He uses the newly wealth he has to do this, which he obtained from a life of crime, in the bootlegging business.

The old money, people of East Egg, aren't as irresponsible with their wealth, and know how to handle what they have. "What the old aristocracy possesses in taste, however, it seems to lack in heart, as the East Eggers prove themselves careless, inconsiderate bullies who are so used to money’s ability to ease their minds that they never worry about hurting others"( Daisy and Tom Buchanan are a perfect example of this selfishness. They both will simply move on, and leave the messes that they made for somebody else to clean up. They're both never satisfied, and cheat on one another. These East Eggers are no better than the irresponsible new money from West Egg.

In conclusion, new money is less responsible, but despite that quality, people like Gatsby are caring and have a big heart, and actually do give a damn about other people. The old money knows how to handle their money, but being so used to that wealth are extremely selfish, and come off to be worse people, like Tom and Daisy Buchanan.

Sources: The Great Gatsby

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Unrequited Love

Unrequited love is a kind of love that can't be reciprocated or returned, even though it's usually desired. In the novel, one of the major characters, Jay Gatsby, has this sort of romance towards his old flame, Daisy Buchanan. When he went off to war, even though Daisy promised to wait for him, she couldn't and married Tom. Gatsby was poor and Daisy wanted more, desperate for affection. When Gatsby returned home, he did whatever he could to win Daisy's heart back and earned money and riches. Nick, Gatsby's neighbor, did the favor of reuniting him with Daisy but after all the time they spent together at his mansion, he still wanted more from her. He expected her to tell Tom that she has never loved him, and leave him, but she couldn't. She loved Tom and she'd be lying if she said she didn't. Daisy couldn't give the love that Gatsby expected from her.

Another example of an unrequited love in the text includes the relationship between Myrtle and Tom, which, in some ways, can relate to the one that Gatsby and Daisy share. Myrtle is married to poor man, George Wilson, and lives in the valley of ashes. She doesn't have much since they struggle with business, and yearns for more. She's not satisfied or content with what she has which brought her to a rich guy like Tom. With the kind of money that he has, he's able to provide her with the kind of "love" that she's been wanting and waiting for, but Daisy seems to get in the way between them. Even though Tom is cheating on Daisy, he still has much love for her, which holds him back from giving all of his love to Myrtle.

The love that Jay shares with Daisy and that Myrtle has with Tom is unrequited because the love is not returned, or at least, not enough love. Even though Daisy spends a lot of her time with Gatsby, he expects so much more from her, more than she can give because of her love for Tom. Myrtle is the same way around Tom, even though she has a husband of her own. Because of this unrequited love, Jay and Myrtle are overpowered by jealousy and selfishness.

sources: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

East Egg Vs. West Egg

In the Great Gatsby, there are two cities, East Egg and West Egg, which are separated by the Valley of Ashes. What city you live in between the two, shows if you are from a wealthy family (East Egg) or if you are new to wealth (West Egg).

People in East Egg come from families that always had money. They're more snobby, greedy, and mean than people from West Egg, as those from East Egg are generally less-sophisticated, and a more innocent type of people, as they haven't been consumed by material possessions, money, and greed their whole lives. The Buchanans, for example, are a family of East Egg, which Tom Buchanan was born of a wealthy family, and the greedy Daisy, who married into this money. They have a very large mansion for a home, and are a somewhat of a stuck up family. East Egg is portrayed as corrupt in the novel, and and is moral-less, compared to the more humble West Egg.

According to F. Scott Fitzgerald, the West Egg is "less fashionable" with "wide lawns and friendly trees." Most of the people that live in the West Egg have morals and ethics to live by, rather than their own money, such as Nick Carraway. After Nick does Gatsby the favor of reuniting him with Daisy, he offers Nick the chance to take part in Gatsby's business and earn more money. Even though Nick struggles to sell bonds, he politely declines, realizing that Gatsby was only returning the favor. This shows that Nick has dignity, and doesn't live off the image portrayed by how much money he has or makes.

Sources: The Great Gatsby

Sunday, May 30, 2010


concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself: seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others
arising from concern with one's own welfare or advantage in disregard of other

Most of the characters in The Great Gatsby are overcome with greediness and selfishness. Jay Gatsby is one of the main examples. After rekindling the lost love of an old flame, Daisy, he still continued to want more. Even though she was married to Tom Buchanan, she was impressed by Gatsby's wealth and riches and spent more time with him at his luxurious mansion, but Gatsby expected more. He wanted her to tell Tom that she has never loved him and leave to live with Gatsby. He pressured Daisy, unaware of her love for Tom and the difficulties she faced.

Tom, Daisy, and Myrtle were also victims of one of the seven deadly sins. Tom cheated on Daisy with Myrtle, while Daisy cheated on Tom with Gatsby, and while Myrtle cheated on George. They all cheated on their lovers, wanting more. They weren't satisfied or content with what they had and let their greediness overpower them.

Sources: The Great Gatsby

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dan Cody

Dan Cody appears in the novel for a short time, and it mentions how he played a large roll in how Jay Gatsby's life and future will play out.

James Gatz was a janitor at St. Olaf’s in Minnesota, which he did to pay his tuition to attend the school. This didn't last long because he was embarrassed of the humiliating janitor work, and dropped out only after two weeks. He went off to Lake Superior and fished for salmon to earn his keep. One day, an event that would change James Gatz life, he saw this yacht, and rowed out to warn the man who owned it, Dan Cody, a very wealthy man who made his fortunes from mining for silver, that a storm was soon to come. Cody was very grateful for this, and took James Gatz under his wing, and hired him to be an assistant. James Gatz saw a taste of luxury. He knew this is what he wanted in his life, and soon changed his name to Jay Gatsby.

Gatsby was very inspired by Dan Cody, and Dan Cody thought Gatsby to be smart and ambitious, and Gatsby had a lot of his trust. Cody was a pretty heaver drinker, requiring Gatsby having to watch over him while he was on a drunken binge. This inspired Gatsby to never really get involved with alcohol, accept for a few drinks here and there after he saw what it did to a person. Gatsby watching over Cody drunk also showed many trust and respect points. After not too long, Cody was taken out of Gatby's life when
Ella Kaye stepped aboard Cody's yacht one night, and Dan Cody "inhospitably died." Cody left Gatsby $25,000, but Cody’s mistress prevented Gatsby from obtaining this inheritance.

Cody left a big impact on Gatsby's life, and Gatsby dedicated himself to becoming a wealthy, successful man like Cody. Gatsby has a portrait of Dan Cody hanging in his bedroom. Who knows how Gatsby would have ended up without theI influence of Cody in his life. I believe that Cody completely shaped Gatsby into being the man he came out to be.

Sources: The Great Gatsby

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


-intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness; disposed to suspect rivalry or unfaithfulness
-hostile toward a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage
-vigilant in guarding a possession

There are many moments of jealousy in The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. One main example includes Jay Gatsby's resentment towards Tom Buchanan, Daisy's husband. Gatsby has always loved Daisy since the day they met, but when he left to war, she was in need of affection, and ended up falling in love and marrying Tom. Gatsby yearns for the past and hopes to win Daisy's heart again through his riches and luxurious lifestyle, but has difficulty with Tom in between. Gatsby feels that he'd be the better man for Daisy.

Even though Tom is cheating on Daisy with Myrtle Wilson, there are still some moments where she feels jealousy towards Tom's wife. Because Myrtle is from a lower class, she envies the things they have and wants more in her life, which is what brought her to Tom. She wants to be his only lover. Even when Tom, Nick, and Jordan stop by the garage in the valley of ashes to get gas, Nick "realized that her eyes, wide with jealous terror, were fixed not on Tom, but on Jordan Baker, whom she took to be his wife (pg 125)."

Nick Carraway is struggling bonds salesman that lives next door to Gatsby's extravagant mansion. Although Nick politely declines Gatsby's business offer to help Nick earn more money, he's still jealous of Gatsby's wealth like everybody else.

Sources: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Green Light

The color green symbolizes hope. This green light is across the courtesy bay, which separates East and West egg. This light is located on the dock of Daisy Buchanan, the love of Jay Gatsby's life.
Jay Gatsby stares at this light, across the bay, symbolizing the hope that he will once again meet Daisy, and have the possibility that they will have a future together. In the novel it mentions that Jay Gatsby would stretch out his arms to the light, and this would be the closest that he was able to get to Daisy at the time, and is in hopes that this green light will guide him to his goal to be with Daisy once again in the future. Later on in the novel, a heavy mist is in the air, and it covers up the green light, possibly showing that there really isn't hope for Gatsby to get Daisy, and that this green light on the end of Daisy's doc is just a green light and nothing

There is also another meaning for this green light, that doesn't exactly relate to Jay Gatsby's hope to reunite with daisy one day. "in the final chapter of this novel, Fitzgerald compares Gatsby's green light to the "green breast of the new world", comparing Gatsby's dream of rediscovering Daisy to the explorer's discovery of America and the promise of a new continent. It also compares how Gatsby is all into his material possessions, to how America is become fixated in greed and wealth, and all these dreams dies due to the greed and superficiality.

Sources: The Great Gatsby

Thursday, May 20, 2010

1920's Gangsters

The Prohibition era during the Roaring 20's sparked new waves of gang-related crime such as bank robbery and bootlegging. American gangsters usually controlled gambling, prostitution, and liquor stores, while making booze and money, fancy suits, diamond rings, guns, and women. Even though most were murderers and criminals, many gangsters were involved in social, economic, and political problems during the time.

Even though bank robberies and bootlegging were happening everywhere, most gangsters were found in the same area. After commiting a crime, they would usually flee to a neighboring state as their hideout. If criminals weren't hiding out, they were spending their time in jail.

Some of the most infamous gangsters include Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger, and Al Capone. They became legends as their deadliest and wildest stories hit the front pages of the newspapers. They were among the most notorious criminals at their time. Even though each of the them had their jail time, they still continued to commit crimes in their own adept and secretive way.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Film Versions of The Great Gatsby

There are four different film versions of The Great Gatsby. The first filmed version of The Great Gatsby was a silent film, released in 1926 and made by the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation and Paramount Pictures. The run time of the film was 80 minutes long and was based on the stage play The Great Gatsby, adapted by the original novel. No copies of this movie are still in existence.

The Second film version of The Great Gatsby was released in 1949 and was made by Paramount Pictures. This black and white colored film was a bit longer than the first one film, and this one runs in at about 91 minutes.The third version of the film, this time a colored film, was released in 1974, and was distributed by Paramount Pictures and Newdon Productions. This version is longer than the first two films and clocks in at 144 min. This Film won two Acadamy Awards for best costume design and best music.

The fourth version film on The Great Gatsby was released in 2000, as a television film, made by the A&E Cable Network. This version isn't much different from the rest of The Great Gatsby film versions, but by reviews, is said to be the best representation of The Great Gatsby yet. Though this is the last version of the novel filmed so far, it is rumored that there may be another version of it in the future, boy i hope there isn't, four versions of the film is enough, five is just ridiculous.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Women of Gatsby

Daisy Buchanan is Nick Carraway's cousin. She's also the woman that Gatsby loves. She fell in love with Gatsby when he was training to be an officer in Louiseville, but she ended up marrying Tom Buchanan, a wealthy and powerful man. They live in the East Egg of Long Island but they end up having problems with their marriage.

Jordan Baker is Daisy's friend. Nick becomes romantically involved with her later on in the book. She's famous and a competitive golfer. She's a beautiful young and dishonest woman and an example of "new money" during the 1920s. She cheated to win her first golf tournament.

Myrtle Wilson is Tom's lover, even though she already has a husband, George Wilson. George owns a garage in the valley of ashes and they don't have much, so she desperately looks for a resolution, and chooses Tom even though he only treats her as an object to be owned.

(information from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The 1920s

The Roaring Twenties was a time of music, fashion, rebellion, and was different from other periods of time in history.

Music and dancing in the Roaring Twenties was usually face paced, and full of energy. People used these dances and music to get away from their problems, and from the thought of war. Most of the dancing went to jazz music, and many thought of the dancing as scandalous because the dancing had much contact with their partner, which was uncommon in earlier dances. A popular dance of the era was the Charleston (the dance in the picture above) which it "characterized by outward heel kicks combined with an up and down movement achieved by bending and straightening the knees in time to the music."

Fashion in the 1920s was a dramatic change from the years before. Dressers were made lighter than before, with different colors, full of patterns, and were shorter than they were before. Hats, shoes, stockings, handbags, dresses and jewelry were what was in style for women, all full of vibrant colors. Men's styles consisted mainly of wearing suits. Some of these suits had loose fitting sleeves, were worn with belts, double breasted vests, and trousers began to get cuffed at the bottoms.

Rebellion was a big part of the Roaring Twenties. Many women changed their styles to the the flapper style, which rebelled against the previous style of women, with looser fitting clothes, short hair cuts, public smoking, and tons of make up. Many people also ignored prohibition, and drank and partied quite frequently. Many would attend speakeasies, secret places that sold alcohol.

The fun of the Roaring 20s ended in 1929, when on October 29 the stock market crashed. "On the morning of Thursday, October 24, 1929, stock prices plummeted. Vast numbers of people were selling their stocks. Margin calls were sent out. People across the country watched the ticker as the numbers it spit out spelled their doom. The ticker was so overwhelmed that it quickly fell behind. A crowd gathered outside of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street, stunned at the downturn. Rumors circulated of people committing suicide."


Friday, May 14, 2010

The Men of Gatsby

Nick Carraway is the narrator of the novel. He's a young man from Minnesota that went to Yale and World War I. In the beginning of the novel, he goes to New York City to learn the bond business. He moves to the West Egg, next door to Jay Gatsby. Later on in the book, Nick helps Gatsby rekindle a romance with Nick's cousin, Daisy.

Jay Gatsby is a wealthy young man that lives in a great mansion in the West Egg, next to Nick. He's famous for throwing extravagant parties every Saturday night, but nobody really knows much about him or his history. Nick learns that Gatsby fell in love with Daisy while training to be an officer in Louiseville and that he made money through criminal activity.

Tom Buchanan is Daisy's wealthy husband. He used to be a member of one of Nick's clubs at Yale. He has a strong and well built appearance. He's an arrogant, racist, sexist, and inconsiderate person. He's been cheating on Daisy with Myrtle Wilson.

(information from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

King of the Jazz Age Literature

The author of The Great Gatsby, Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, was born on September 29,1896 in St. Paul, Minnesota. He started writing in the school newspaper as a young thirteen year old boy when he entered St. Paul Academy. When he attended the Newman school, a Catholic Prep School in New Jersey, Father Sigourney Fay encourage Fitzgeral to follow his dreams and ambitions. Later on, he went to Princeton and strengthened his writing abilities.

In 1917, he joined the army to fight in WWI and was assigned to Camp Sheridan in Alabama. In Alabama, he fell in love with Zelda Sayre, but after she rejected his marriage proposal due to his lack of success, he went back to St. Paul to work on one of his novels, This Side of Paradise.
After his novel was published, he became wealthy and successful enough to marry Zelda in New York. He moved to an apartment in New York City and worked on his second novel, The Beautiful and the Damned.
In 1921, Zelda became pregnant and they went back to St. Paul. Later on, their daughter, Frances Scott Fitzgerald was born.
In 1924, Fitzgerald moved to France to work on another novel, The Great Gatsby. The next year, when it was published, the sales were disappointing but movie deals brought in more money.
In 1927, he moved back to the United States and noticed that Zelda had been behaving strangely. A few years later, she had a mental breakdown and entered a clinic for treatment. Fitzgerald had to postpone writing his novel to write short stories to pay for her bills.
He wrote and published Tender is the Night, hoping to earn enough for his family but he was disappointed again. By 1936, he was continually drinking and poor, so he went to Hollywood to become a screenplay writer. He fell in love with Sheilah Graham, a columnist. He returned to writing novels and worked on The Love of the Last Tycoon, but he died from a heartattack in Sheilah's apartment on December 21, 1940.