Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Gatsby Fishbowl: Chapter 1


Welcome to the world of Gatsby! This is your forum for discussion--a place to show what was going through your mind while reading Chapter 1 and to explore what new ideas and epiphanies the inner circle is sparking for you.


Your goal is to participate both thoughtfully and frequently. Remember to hit the F5 key to refresh. Enjoy!

72 comments:

ErinO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jkeefer said...

Why is Tom so inquisative towards Daisy? She isnt the one cheating...

nicolek said...

I was a little bit confused about Tom and his wife. They are described as being a part of a "secret society" and they seem to be of the higher class but there was something odd about them. I felt like the wife might be hiding something?

maddieh said...

Jason- I thought Tom acted a little more aloof toward Daisy. She tried to be charming and all but he seemed distant from the entire party.

KelseyL said...

I think that Tom and Daisy are kind of similar to Fitzgerald and Zelda, how they move around a lot never staying in the same place for more than a year. Also how there is an affair occuring in the marriage but they act like nothing is wrong and trying to put on an act for others so they don't know about their problems.

ErinO said...

I beleive that TOm is upset because Daisy is still holding on to him. It seems to me, that both parties of the couple want to be free, yet both people are holding each other from being free. It seems as if Daisy's forgiveness and contentment of keeping with Tom is jailing them both: Daisy is not truly free and Tom is not free from Daisy.

catherinec said...

Just as we have discussed, after I read chapter one i felt as though the atmosphere throughout the dinner party was awkward and uncomfortable. I targeted this "uncomfortablenss" to Tom's affair with another woman, yet I feel as though there is something else to blame. Any ideas?

nicolek said...

maddie- I agree. Tom kept getting up and leaving from dinner and he would always dismiss comments Daisy made. It seems like that painting we just looked at, they are married but they are so distant from each other

maddieh said...

I had a thought about Zelda and Fitzgerald's love life. In the movie it said that he always based the golden girl of his books off of Ginevera, not Zelda. In this book, Daisy is the golden girl. So I think he never got over her and Zelda was kind of a second love.

brennanl said...

Who do you think is a stronger charachter? Tom or Daisy?

catherinec said...

Erin- I got the impression that both Daisy and Tom have the urge to separate, yet their two year old daughter is keeping them together.

lesliel said...

Nicole,
Maybe the love that Tom and Daisy have for each other is concealed in a way. Like maybe they haven't been open to each other like people should be, so they may feel awkward around each other.

jkeefer said...

Ein- But Tom said that Daisy was the only one that he has truly loved and will truly love forever. Later in the book, he reveals this love. They may feel as though they are jailed by each other, but they appear to not be able to live wiothout eachother

ErinO said...

Hey everyone!
This sounds a bit strange but I had a weird idea last night:
Okay, to me, it seems as if Scott (Fitz) wrote himself into the book as both a mix of Daisy and Tom. Based upon what we learned about from his life, Scott seemed to want to stay with Zelda and love her, but wanted to be free from the responsibility of holding onto Zelda. IN this way, Scott is like Daisy, persistantly holding on, and is also like TOm, holding on, but wanting to break free.

KelseyL said...

It also kind of seems like Tom is kind of controlling and likes to have things his own way. I think that he has standards on how women should act and so Daisy has fallen into this image that Tom has imprinted on her.

Alyssa S. said...

Cat- I agree that it seemed awkward. I think the fact that the people at the party didn't seem to really know each other that well. I believe this added to the awkwardness of Tom's affair because no one knew what was the "acceptable" way to react.

AllisonS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maddie.Turley said...

I agree with catherinec, the atmosphere of the dinner party was extremely uncomfortable. I immediately didn't like Tom and I feel like he wants to present others an appearance placed over flaws. A mask of sorts. Daisy puzzled me, I didn't really understand why she continuously agreed with Tom and such, even though it was painfully and apparently obvious she didn't like him as much as was presented. I can sense an irony behind this scene, as if something is missing, something isn't being said or implied, that needs to be revealed to fully understand it.

jacqui said...

I like what Kelsey and Erin said
I feel like within their marriage there are many issues and problems but like Kelsey said they act like nothing is wrong. It seems like they brush their issues under the rug. Daisy's actions around Tom seems like she is always trying to please him and forgive for the affair that is continuing to occur. This then traps them into a marriage of bitterness and both of them wanting to break away but yet they are stuck together

Maddie.Turley said...

Kelsey- I definitely agree with that. He has placed Daisy with expectations that are a bit too high for her to really become. But at the same time, to all appearances, she seems to be giving off the illusion of the "perfect girl" for Tom. This, in turn, tends to give men an advantage of power.

AllisonS said...

I think Tom needs to be right. He acts almost aloof and bruteish. Daisy seems to be just going along with it because it is easier than to disagree

maddieh said...

Bren- I think that the are polar opposites. Daisy speaks in a whisper and Tom has a husky, loud voice. They said that she speaks so low to get people to lean in closer to her. So I thought that Daisy wants a few close people in her life and she is guarded. Tom is louder and demands attention. So I think that they are both strong. She is protected and he has a strong personality, which can help them both out in the long run.

AllisonS said...

Is tom trying to be well rounded? How does Tom represent Fitzgerald?

Alyssa S. said...

Allison- I agree. Daisy just seems to agree with whatever Tom says, but the way she speaks kind of gives me the impression that she strongly disagrees with him, and wishes she could stand up to him, bu she never does.

catherinec said...

I just have a clarification question: What does Nick do for a living? He says he is a "bond man", but what is is?

nicolek said...

I completely agree with Maddie T, it seems like Tom is putting on a mask and that they all are. They are hiding behind money and a high class society to pretend that they are happy but under the surface they all have secret problems.

jkeefer said...

maddie_ I think you hit the nail on the head... Daisy wants to have power over others by making them friends and "family". Tom wants power over others by use of [force?]

ErinO said...

Hey those who think the party was awkward!
I agree with you completely. The party was awkward, but I beleive that this awkwardness should be blamed on Jordan, not Daisy and TOm's affair. The bluntness and strict, secretive behavior of Jordan is uncanny to me. For some reason, I don't think she should be trusted. Well, then again, this first impression could be intential to throw us off.

brennanl said...

Allison- I noticed that Tom (as the narrator remembered him) was a lot like Fitzgerald, and then the later Tom is like the man Fitzgerlad kind of wanted to be.

jkeefer said...

a bond man is pretty much a financial consultant... if that helps

matthewg said...

I found the light that the narrator notices Gatsby looking towards very interesting. The part in particular is: "Involuntarily I glanced seaward—and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock." From a second time reading The Great Gatsby, this passage had much more significance and even some symbolism.

Has anyone else read The Great Gatsby before this and found passages that stand out more than before?

AllisonS said...

Erin,

I think that Jordan is the only one that can be trusted. She doesnt hide behind her words. Her blunt fashions lets people just see how she is.

Maddie.Turley said...
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jacqui said...

cat- i think its interesting that you bring up the 2 year old daughter because parents often feel held and bound by there children and think that is a reason to stay in a marriage. I wonder if there was thoughts of ending the marriage or if like Alyssa said it was deemed "acceptable" and Tom and Daisy didn't even think about divorcing because of an affair

catherinec said...

With all of this masking of true feelings, how does Ms. Baker fit into the story? The narrator states, "I had heard some story of her too, a critical, unpleasant story..." so is she hiding something too?

ErinO said...

Hey everyone
I kind of agree with Diasy's idea of ignorance. Some things are not really meant to be heard or thought about. I beleive that Daisy needs to hilight this point in order to deal with her husband's affair. By saying that it is good to be girl, and by saying that its good to be beautiful, she reveals a lot. By pointing out beautiful, it seems as if she is saying that she is to blame for the affair and that she is the reason her husband is always away.

Alyssa S. said...

To go with the inner circle discussion, I think it shows how Daisy sees the role set for women. She believes that women are valued much more for there looks than there looks than brains, so she hopes her daughter will be a fool so she can get far in life.

maddieh said...

Matt- I read Great Gatsby over Spring Break. It's interesting to see how much is kind of glazed over and kept hidden until Fitzgerald wants you to know it. He lays it out there but doesn't point out it's meaning until the time comes.

Maybe this is a Modernism thing?

nicolek said...

I was curious about Jordan. I agree that she is the one honset character but it as odd how she was so quiet and they said that she spends most of the time not doing anything at all. I'm not sure what to think about her.

AllisonS said...

Alyssa,

I agree with you but it's really sad that a women could not get ahead. But what does that really mean? Do they mean by marriage or do they mean in like a working life? Ig her daughter only wants to be a good wife like Diasy tries to be then she must be a fool

ErinO said...

Hey everyone
Has anyone noticed the racial comments? People keep referring to "white" an other racial determinates. Does this mean anything or relate to anything in particular? Is it significant?

Maddie.Turley said...

I agree with Alyssa, Daisy feels like, in order to get anywhere in life, you must act a fool and look beautiful. She obviously isn't a fool, but she acts like one, especially around Tom. She maybe knows that her daughter could get farther and be more successful in life if she was the same way.

brennanl said...

Going off what leslie just said- what is the "unquiet darkness"? was it just literal or more of a feeling?

nicolek said...

Mrs. Leclaire said to pay attention to colors. Throughout this chapter there has been a lot of red and white and of course the green light. What do you think these represent?

Alyssa S. said...

Allison- I think it means that Daisy hopes her daughter will be a fool, because she doesn't believe brains will get her anywhere in life, only looks will.

maddieh said...

Erin-
They talk about white in other ways than race too. Jordan and Daisy were wearing white dresses. I think that white is supposed to be pure and perfect but it can be tainted and dirty so easily.

AllisonS said...

Alyssa,

Okay thanks.

ErinO said...

Hey everyone!
Has anyone noticed the constant theme of "boats", "water", and "wind?" They all refer to moving on and forward. What exactly do you beleive this symbolizes in the book?
Has anyone read the last paragraph? I always read that first and again the boat and sailing is present. Why is this prominent?

jkeefer said...

i see the red as the color of blood. This blood is shed not physically, but I feel that the silence is like a quiet war.

Maddie.Turley said...

Nicole- That is an interesting connection. I've been thinking about the green a lot. Right now, all I can think of is what the color green is associated with. Grass, trees, stoplights for "go"... Perhaps it symbolizes freedom?

catherinec said...

Erin- I've noticed the racial comments also, especially when Tom was talking about this book that he had read by Goddard. I was surprised about how many times he emphasized the importance of white dominance, yet it kind of goes along with his personality about feeling above his wife.

KelseyL said...

Gatsby is kind of a mysterious character and the passages at the end of the chapter make you wonder about Gatsby and they make you want to find out about him.

Maddie.Turley said...

Jason- That's good, but what would be the two opposing forces of the "silent war?" What two sides do you feel are represented?

ErinO said...

Hey Cat
I completely agree with you on that. It does provide more evidence of Tom's desire to be higher than others.

AllisonS said...

Maddie,

I feel like the opposing sides are Tom and Daisy well at least in this chapter. I think it may turn into Gatsby and Nick.

jkeefer said...

Maddie maddie turley- The two forces would be Tom and Daisy. Their silent war is obviously present to Nick. I see Nick as a mutual force that isnt sure which side to support. Seeing that both persons are important to him

maddieh said...

Erin-
Water and wind always seem to push things forward. Like when the wind was blowing into the room when Nick first saw Daisy and Jordan, it's setting things in motion. And water is like life (its always moving but never the same), so the water seperating West and East Egg is symbolic of two seperate lives, that are so close, but can't be together.

nicolek said...

Maddie- I have also heard green means happiness or is like the happiest color or something like that so maybe it means that he is staring at the green light thinking of happier times or if he reaches the light he will be happy

prestonK said...

On the topic of Gatsby being brought up and always pushed off... I think that Gatsby, being the provider of the books name, portrays the "blanket" overlay of the "known/unknown" uncanny feeling that you are touching the iceberg but never diving under water. No one knows who this man is, why he has so much money and lives next to Nick. There is something about him that is untouchable and unattainable, perhaps there is not even a want to attain what is hidden.

Alyssa S. said...

I feel like Nick is reliable narrator because he is new to this lifestyle and these people, so he doesn't have a bias yet. The only thing he has to go on is the backgrounds of these people, and first impressions.

Maddie.Turley said...

Jason/Allison- That makes sense. Jason, I believe that Nick might choose Daisy over Tom to support in a battle, because I don't feel the mutual connection between Nick and Tom that I do with Daisy and Nick.

matthewg said...

Maddie- I think hidden meanings are a huge part of modernism, and his descriptions and adjectives that at first can be taken at face value, can all be revealing things about the characters, and maybe Fitzgerald himself.

jacqui said...

erin
i read the last paragraph again I see that Gatsby is looking seaward and it mentions the dock. I think this not only is an awkward setting to place Gatsby in and really spur of the moment. But when adding the comments about the sea it makes Gatsby seems as he is not a concret character and that he will be in the story but he is "moving" like almost in search of bigger things that arn't directly related to the story... idk if that quite makes sense.

Maddie.Turley said...

Nicole- Yes, but I've heard it also really supports jealousy. DO you think that perhaps Nick wanted, just for a moment, to be in on the lives of his friends? Be one of them instead of apart from them?

maddieh said...

Maddie-
Well Nick is different from the other West Egg people because he has friends on East Egg. He kind of acts as a bridge between the two.

prestonK said...

The topic of judgement is completely dependant on how "judgement" is defined. I agree with Dennis, you can suggest, or promote ideas without judging others. Even still I think that Nick has judged those around him because it defines how people act towards each other.

ErinO said...

Hey Jacqui
That makes perfect sense and I agree with you. Gatsby seems to be a character that always is moving and always wants to move.

Hey everyone
In reference to Gatsby, he fits in with those on East but lives on West. Why is this so? Why does he live away from his society's place almost?

Maddie.Turley said...

Maddieh- That is extremely odd... East and West tend to be opposing forces. Obviously, his friends on both areas of the "eggs" are not extremely connected and are a bit judgemental. Nick seems to be the one individual that is bridging together the forces of society.

Kalyn K said...

Hey everyone! So it looks like you guys talked about the relationships of the characters especially when with Daisy and Tom. I feel that Fitz is the type of writer who uses personal experiences throughout all his characters. I think it was Erin that pointed out how both Daisy and Tom reveal a little piece of Fitz’s own life. I think using his own life allows for Fitz to have a greater understanding of his own situation.

Moving on to Gatsby… I agree with Jacqui that he is just the type of person who will always be on the move. But that leaves me wondering why and what is Fitz’s point of making Gatsby like that.

RayS said...

Jason~ I dont think Tom is inquisative towards Daisy, I think he is quite the opposite. He doesn't seem to be interested in her at all while Daisy seems to be questioning him, and his motives to cheat on her.

RayS said...

Alyssa~ Nick may seem reliable, but first impressions can be deceving, so his word could be just as altard as the gossip about Gatsby

RayS said...

Allison~ Tom,I think, may represent Fitzgerald through his relationship through Daisy. They stay married even though they have deffinate problems.