the great gatsby
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The Great GatsbyMultigenre ProjectNicole Cafarelli
The Great GatsbyThe Great Gatsby is considered one of the greatest American novels. Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the novel is a picture of 1920s lifestyles and culture: the post-war, prohibition, Jazz era. Complete with dynamic characters and introspective foresight into the world of the wealthy, and the changing times, The Great Gatsby captures Americanism and the pursuit of the American Dream. Narrated by Nick Caraway, the humorless bystander in a world of power and corruption, the story follows the tragic rise and fall of Jay Gatsby and his own pursuit of the American Dream (displaced into his quest for Daisy Buchanan). The novel also mirrors the writers own life and troubled relationship with Zelda Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby both satirizes and immortalizes 1920s pop culture. I chose the novel because of my own personal interest. I fell for its intriguing characters and depictions, as well as its flair for crossing the generation gap. It is as equally light-hearted and dark as its characters and is not only an informative teaching piece, but an entertaining tale of love, loss, and betrayal as well. Ive read the novel as both a student and a teacher and have found that the opportunities for historical relevance and research are boundless.
The Great Gatsby 1. Francis Cugats jacket for The Great Gatsby. New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1925. First Edition Facsimile published by Collectors Reprints, Inc., New York, 1988. Artifact 1: The title and cover artWhile F. Scott Fitzgerald was writing The Great Gatsby there was much speculation over the infamous title and cover art. Francis Cugat was paid 100 dollars by Scribners Library to design the cover, but little is known if the art was designed before or after seeing the manuscript. Some speculate that Fitzgerald even adapted the manuscript to fit with elements of the final cover art. What is known, through transcripts of conversations between Fitzgerald and his editor Maxwell Perkins, is that both the title and the cover art went through a number of changes before ultimately molding together to become one of the most notorious prints of fiction in American Literature. Despite his love for the cover art (thought the new jacket was great), however, Fitzgerald was quoted as not actually approving of the choice of adjective in the final title selection.The Great Gatsby is weak because theres no emphasis even ironically on his greatness or lack of it. However, let it pass.
September 10th: There is certainly not the slightest risk of our giving that jacket to anyone in the world but you. I wish the manuscript of the book would come, and I dont doubt it is something very like the best American novel. Maxwell PerkinsAmong the Ash Heaps and MillionairesTrimalchio in West EggTrimalchioOn the Road to West EggGold-hatted GatsbyThe High-bouncing LoverGatsby
Rejected Proposed Titles:
Your own cover for the book and why you drew it the way you did.
Artifact 2: Long Island Then and NowOne of the major themes in the novel revolves around the conflicting differences between Eastern and Western values as represented in Fitzgeralds East Egg and West Egg. The novel takes place on Long Island during the 1920s, which is geographically designed to conceptualize the bitter divide between old world and new world culture, class, and money, with the vast wasteland in between.The parallel railroad and roadway in the novel also represent the changing times. Running through the dying valley of ashes, where its desolation is further emphasized with the acquisition of new money (West Egg, home of Gatsby) and perseverance of old wealth (East Egg, home of the Buchanan's) through devious and uncivilized means that leave hard working men and women disposable- enter Jay Gatsby (whose new money is only hinted as being acquired through bootlegging liquor) and Tom Buchanan (whose affair with the humble Myrtle, demeaning friendship with her unsuspecting husband George Wilson, racial commentary, and abusive tendencies emphasize his single-minded quest of self-preservation and ignorance).
Your own poem about Long Island
Or, a poem you liked about Long Island
Artifact 4: New York Times Book Review, The Great GatsbyApril 19, 1925Scott Fitzgerald Looks Into Middle Age By EDWIN CLARK
Of the many new writers that sprang into notice with the advent of the post-war period, Scott Fitzgerald has remained the steadiest performer and the most entertaining. Short stories, novels and a play have followed with consistent regularity since he became the philosopher of the flapper with "This Side of Paradise." With shrewd observation and humor he reflected the Jazz Age. Now he has said farewell to his flappers-perhaps because they have grown up-and is writing of the older sisters that have married. But marriage has not changed their world, only the locale of their parties. To use a phrase of Burton Rascoe's-his hurt romantics are still seeking that other side of paradise. And it might almost be said that "The Great Gatsby" is the last stage of illusion in this absurd chase. For middle age is certainly creeping up on Mr. Fitzgerald's flappers. In all great arid spots nature provides an oasis. So when the Atlantic seaboard was hermetically sealed by law, nature provided an outlet, or inlet rather, in Long Island. A place of innate natural charm, it became lush and luxurious under the stress of this excessive attention, a seat of festive activities. It expresses one phase of the great grotesque spectacle of our American scene. It is humor, irony, ribaldry, pathos and loveliness. Out of this grotesque fusion of incongruities has slowly become conscious a new humor-a strictly American product. It is not sensibility, as witness the writings of Don Marquis, Robert Benchley and Ring Lardner. It is the spirit of "Processional" and Donald Douglas's "The Grand Inquisitor": a conflict of spirituality set against the web of our commercial life. Both boisterous and tragic, it animates this new novel by Mr. Fitzgerald with whimsical magic and simple pathos that is realized with economy and restraint. The story of Jay Gatsby of West Egg is told by Nick Caraway, who is one of the legion from the Middle West who have moved on to New York to win from its restless indifference-well, the aspiration that arises in the Middle West-and finds in Long Island a fascinating but dangerous playground. In the method of telling, "The Great Gatsby" is reminiscent of Henry James's "Turn of the Screw." You will recall that the evil of that mysterious tale which so endangered the two children was never exactly stated beyond suggested generalization. Gatsby's fortune, business, even his connection with underworld figures, remain vague generalizations. He is wealthy, powerful, a man who knows how to get things done. He has no friends, only business associates, and the throngs who come to his Saturday night parties. Of his uncompromising love-his love for Daisy Buchanan-his effort to recapture the past romance-we are explicitly informed. This patient romantic hopefulness against existing conditions symbolizes Gatsby. And like the "Turn of the Screw," "The Great Gatsby" is more a long short story than a novel. Nick Caraway had known Tom Buchanan at New Haven. Daisy, his wife, was a distant cousin. When he came East Nick was asked to call at their place at East Egg. The post-war reactions were at their height-every one was restless-every one was looking for a substitute for the excitement of the war years. Buchanan had acquired another woman. Daisy was bored, broken in spirit and neglected. Gatsby, his parties and his mysterious wealth were the gossip of the hour. At the Buchanan's Nick met Jordan Baker; through them both Daisy again meets Gatsby, to whom she had been engaged before she married Buchanan. The inevitable consequence that follows, in which violence takes its toll, is almost incidental, for in the overtones-and this is a book of potent overtones-the decay of souls is more tragic. With sensitive insight and keen psychological observation, Fitzgerald discloses in these people a meanness of spirit, carelessness and absence of loyalties. He cannot hate them, for they are dumb in their insensate selfishness, and only to be pitied. The philosopher of the flapper has escaped the mordant, but he has turned grave. A curious book, a mystical, glamorous story of today. It takes a deeper cut at life than hitherto has been enjoyed by Mr. Fitzgerald. He writes well-he always has-for he writes naturally, and his sense of form is becoming perfected.
The New York Times review of The Great Gatsby both captures the essence of the novel and its writer. It establishes Fitzgeralds growth in writing and evolution from the Philosopher of the Flapper to one of those entering middle age, entering marriage, and desperately still seeking the other side of paradise. Critiquing the heart of the matter in the novel, The Great Gatsby" is the last stage of illusion in this absurd chase. For middle age is certainly creeping up on Mr. Fitzgerald's flappers. One of the central components of the novel is this sense of neverland the characters live in, stuck between reality and fantasy, both bored and ambitious. The style of Fitzgeralds writing also parallels his story and characters, mimicking its one-dimensionality. All of this, of course, is meant to reflect the true nature of Fitzgeralds post-war age- a transition period where no one has yet established themselves as concrete members of society because theyre either holding on to the past or an as of yet unaccepted future.
Your own book review of The Great Gatsby.
Artifact 5: Cartoon mocking underwhelming narrator, Nick Caraway and the Gatsbys other key playersThe novel c