Thursday, April 2, 2009

Gatsby Fishbowl: Chapter 2


Remember to show your professionalism, your literary passion, and your unique perspective of Gatsby. Enjoy!

70 comments:

lesliel said...

Do you guys think that the valley of ashes could be a big metaphor to the relationships that are forming or that have formed?

brennanl said...

leslie-
I think that the valley of ashes represents a kind of death, which could be relationships too.

RayS said...

I think the valley of ashes could represent the american culture at the time along with the relationships...they are all going down hill.

KelseyL said...

I was confused as to who Doctor T. J. Eckleburg is and why Nick keeps mentioning him at the beginning of the chapter.

clarao said...

leslie-
i definitely think it could represent all the confusion with the relationships between everyone

jkeefer said...

Leslie- Yes, I think the Valley of Ashes a metaphor for the relationship between Tom and Daisy. The reason why is because when the wood(relationship they have) burns, there is nothing left for them to hold onto. Thus the ashes have been formed.

maddisonm said...

lesliel- yes, I do think that the valley of ashes is a metaphor for the poor, corrupted part in every human and society.

Kalyn K said...

Hey guys so I was wondering what you guys though about the usage of color when describing the valley of ashes. Fitz uses the word gray and black a lot do you think that it could be a metaphor for something?

maddieh said...

Leslie- I think that the valley is supposed to represent a part of the human soul, kinda. It's like the mutilated, dirty, forgotten part of yourself that you don't want to acknowledge. Whereas the city is so glitzy and it's where you want to be. I don't know if that makes sense, though.

kristinah said...

I agree with RayS on the valley of ashes and that it could represent the relationships and society.. that it is all "dying" and going on the more negative side.

Maddie.Turley said...

Leslie~

Ashes tend to be a form of either release or rebirth. The phoenix rises from ashes when it's reborn. When someone dies, their ashes are usually released in nature or in the wind. It seems to me that, American culture and relationships are very surface level, very shallow. I believe it gives the impression that relationships in the book are slowly getting higher and higher, until there won't be such a thing as true love when you can get someone with money or sexy looks.

brennanl said...

I was really confused at the end of the chapter what was that?

nicolek said...

I think that the valley of ashes is kind of an empty destructive place. Tom's mistress lives there and it just shows that everyone these is kind of like ashes, shells of people. It's like that quote "ashes thake the forms of houses and chimneys and ,rising smoke, finally,... of men"

lesliel said...

Jason,
You could infer that many things can grow out of ashes. Do you think that could have a metaphorical relationship with Tom and Myrtle?

maddieh said...

Kelsey-
The doctor was an eye doctor who bought a billboard. And it was just a pair of eyes on it.
I think that Nick talks about them so much because they are so big and imposing, like someone is watching him. I think that they scare him.

kristinah said...

Maddie- do you think that the differences between the city and the valley of ashes could relate to east egg and west egg in what they symbolize? does that make sense?

jacqui said...

I think it interesting the change that occures in Mrs. Wilson as the chapter moves on. She goes from living in poverty to being taken around with Tom and having him buy her things such as puppies and perfume. This introduces her to a new life style which she really enjoys. Do you think this is bad that Mrs. Wilson is living such a double life and Tom is gloifying it so much?

Alyssa S. said...

Brennan- It was just basically saying that Nick and everyone else got really drunk and Nick somehow ended up at the train station, but he doesn't remember how.

jkeefer said...

Leslie- It's possible, but we haven't really gotten far enough in the book to find that out

MollyS said...

Leslie- I actually thought of the valley of ashes as a physical representation of the mindset of the typical 1920's person. The concept of a countryside valley is beautiful, and this is a lifestyle that was so perfect and glamorous from the outside, but when you look into the life or the valley, it is more like it is composed of ashes, so easily crushed, so easily blown away.

KelseyL said...

I was just wondering why Tom and Myrtle try to hide their affair when they are going to New York on the train when they have already been advertising their affair in public restaurants.

lesliel said...

Bren,
I think there might be a lot of little symoblism in the end of the chapter, but I was trying to figure it out too.

nicolek said...

So I have a question: why do you think Tom and Daisy still stay together and Myrtle and her husband stay together even if they hate each other? What does this say about marriage in modern times?

jkeefer said...

Kelsey- They don't know who they will meet on the trains, so I believe that they make sure there is no one they know before they "go public"

lesliel said...

Molly,
That is a great point. Behind the glamour there always seems to be a "dark" side.

maddieh said...

Kristina- Yes! I think there are a lot of opposites that are paired together in this story. I see Daisy and Tom as opposites and West and East Egg both represent very different parts of society. But I think the one thing that kind of connects all of them is secrets. Everyone has a secret in this book.

helenp said...

I think the valley of ashes is the disconnect between east egg and west egg. Why would fitzgerald write this affair into the book? What was his purpose and what does it say about his life?

catherinec said...

BrennanL- I think that Mr. Mckee and Nick were boh tired of the long-lasting party and current drama and decided to leave. Then, Mr. Mckee offered to show some of his works to Nick, but strangely he was in bed which is what I'm confused about too...

jacqui said...

brenna-
at the end of the story basically they are haing another party and people are coming and going and they are all ending drunk.

Looking into the inner circle....they are talking about that divorce is NOT okay in this society but affairs are. Do you think this is true within Gatsby? Is that okay?

maddisonm said...

What is this passage saying? What is its message?
“Yet high over the city our line of yellow windows must have contributed their shade of human secrecy to the casual watcher in the darkening streets, and I was him too, looking up and wondering. I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life” (page 35 without the yellow band)

Alyssa S. said...

Nicole- I think it just shows the mindset of the 1920's. Divorce is unacceptable at the time, so they all openly have affairs, and somehow that is ok.

brennanl said...

jaqui- I think that Myrtle's double life and Tom glorifying it represents society and its love for materialistic things. It could also display the foundation/ depth of their relationship.

Kalyn K said...

Nicole-The reason they are still together because it wasn't socially accepted to have a divorce then

kristinah said...

Jacqui- I think that the fact that she is living a double life is bad but maybe it is more of a sudden and abrupt change of lifestyle for her more than a double life. It is kind of like if you marry into riches from being poor.. that isnt a double life ya know?

Maddie.Turley said...

Nicole~

I believe Tom and Daisy stay together, trying to keep up the false appearance that everything is fine. Again, they put on a mask, because there is a lot more criticism and gossip that occurs with a divorce or affair. I think, they desperately hope that they still have true love and that their lives are still staying perfect, especially during the times they aren't.

KelseyL said...

jkeefer
But they go out in public together on page 24 it says "His acquaintances resented the fact that he turned up in popular restaurants with her and, leaving her at a table, sauntered about, chatting with whosoever he knew." So they aren't really trying to hide it in public, but they do on the train so I was just confused by that.

maddieh said...

Nicole- I think everyone just wants to have their cake and eat it too. Obviously, Tom would be happier with Myrtle but he likes the status that being with Daisy gives him. I think that he is just very preoccupied with popularity, in a way.

jacqui said...

kristina- yeah i get what your saying but when you get married you don't go back to being poor after you marry rich. So thats why it almost seems more like a double life cause she goes back and forth so much.

prestonK said...

I agree with Dennis' comment on affairs, they can be hidden, divorces cannot be avoided. I think that even though Myrtle talked to Nick about the affair (slightly), she knew at that point that he was aware of the affair. Some of the others in the appartment may have not known so much.

helenp said...

I don't think Tom and Myrtle or Tom and Daisy really love each other. They just use each other for their own benefits.

jkeefer said...

preston- Yes, I dont believe that all the other people were quite aware that Tom had another lady in another place

catherinec said...

Strangely enough, I saw Myrtle resembling Daisy. They have similar personalities with that always joyful and bubbly behavior. I thought it was also strange that Tom was trying to get away from Daisy by be with Myrtle, yet Myrtle and Daisy are so alike.

kristinah said...

Maddieh- I have noticed that too! But I was researching on Fitzgeralds writing style yesterday for my outline and I figured that Fitzgeralds writing often has that secret... that one mysterious character, idea ect. it is one of his styles of writing. I think that it really helps him to connect all of his characters but leave it open enough for the reader to interpret it for themselves. It leaves that element of mystery to keep the reader engaged and interested.

jacqui said...

preston-
i think your right when you say that some of the peple in the room might not even know they are having an affair. And going along with that, it prob wouldn't even matter if they did know because of the society they are in.

lesliel said...

Maddisonm,
I think that passage is a sort of comparison to how Nick feels trapped and unable to get away. In the first part of the paragraph he says, "I wanted to get out and walk eastward toward the park throught the soft twilight, but each timei tried to go I became entangled in some wild, strident argument which pulled me back..." (Fitzgerald 35)

Alyssa S. said...

Cat- I saw that similarity too. They both seem to be spontaneous, outgoing people and have similar outlooks on life, they are just living life from different perspectives.

jkeefer said...

Do the eyes portray a similar meaning as the "Big Brother" in farenheit 451?

RayS said...

cat~I found the same thing too! but I believe Tom is trying to get away from the lifestyle him and Daisy live...like Myrtle quotes "you only live once" so why not go for something else, less highend

brennanl said...

Going off of what the inner circle is saying about the eyes, do you think that Dr. Eckleburg's eyes display insight? Since everyone else in society is so oblivious and secretive?

MollyS said...

Maddie-
I see what you are trying to say about the city being glitzy, however I don't really see this party to be glamorous. What IS Tom's definitition of his life in the city? How would he explain how it makes him feel being there?

prestonK said...

The reason that Myrtle has such nice clothes is because Tom treats her wonderful. He wants to move from place to place, people to people, always experiencing something new. In order to keep her happy, Tom buys her a puppy; "Here's your money. Go and buy ten more dogs with it" (Fitzgerald 28). Tom, even though he enjoys the rich side of life, needs to have something new.

lesliel said...

Jason,
It's in 1984. Ha ha.

Maddie.Turley said...

Jason~

I believe it might, that's another good connection. Big Brother basically WAS their society. He was the rules to be followed, he made society's regulations and standards. In Nick's society, they try to be ignorant. Ignorance is bliss, and they would rather not look upon the things that disturb them most. Also, if we're focusing on color in this book, why do you think the eyes were yellow?

RayS said...

jason~ i think you mean 1984...and no, i think the eyes just represent the lack of sight people may have to the scandals that are preformed.

jkeefer said...

Leslie- still, does it portray a simiar feeling

helenp said...

In the inner circle Nicole brought up colors. In this chapter I noticed that blue and white came up more than any other colors. What do you think the blue and white signify? Blue is supposed to be a calm color and white is pure. White is mentioned after Myrtle is introduced.

Alyssa S. said...

Brennan- I saw the eyes as truth. Like everyone sees the truth, yet they don't face it because they don't like what the truth says about them. So they cover it up. So I think the billboard of the eyes represent the truth that is displayed, and states that everyone knows the truth.

helenp said...

I just looked up the symbolic meaning of yellow, and apparently it can represent deciet. I think that this is a theme in the book, deception. Maybe the eyes witness this deception.

lesliel said...

Jason,
I think it might. Since they're doing something that isn't "moral" in that time and society, the secrecy behind it and the eyes seem to be connected.

maddisonm said...

catc- I think that goes to show that people in society are always yearning for more, few people can be happy with what they have, we are always on a quest for what is new and exciting. What do you think?

prestonK said...

I agree that everyone has a different side to themselves. In response to not knowing about Nick's sides, I think that even though we do not see a definate side we can relate it back to his judging/non-judging personality. He wants to create a pure image for himself even though he is human and judges others.

catherinec said...

AlyssaS- I completely agree. The eyes are not necessarily there to watch over society. They are there to remind society of their past and the truth of their lifestyle.

Alyssa S. said...

Helen- I definitely agree with what you said about the theme of deceit. It has been a major factor in both modern stories we've read, not only the deceit between others, but the deceit of one's self.

maddisonm said...

helenp- if you look at my previous comment about the passage on page 35, it talks about a line of yellow windows...what do you think it is saying?

Maddie.Turley said...

Helen~

Yellow can mean deceit, possibly also wealth. Perhaps the two are connected? And yes, there is a strong sense of deceit inside the marriages and within the affairs. I was wondering if, one has wealth, or when wealth is involved, an individual would feel they have the right to deceive? That's at least the impression I receive from Tom's mistakes and actions.

Kalyn K said...

Helen- I agree with you when pertaining to the yellow eyes being witness to the deception.

MollyS said...

Nicole-
I think that they stay together because they have a desire to live the perfect life in the perfect world, with the seemingly perfect partner. I think that if they had been together in other places then maybe the relationships would last, but its seems that the valley of ashes and East Egg has put a stopper in their love.

I wonder what their loves would be like if they switched places? How would everything be different if Tom and Daisy had lived in the Valley of Ashes and if Myrtle and Wilson had lived in East Egg?

jacqui said...

Does Mr. Wilson know more then he is letting on?
i like Maddies point on the inner circle that you only except what you want to except even with the pominet signs.

prestonK said...

I don't believe that it matters at all what Mr. Wilson thinks. I find that Myrtle wants Tom enough to care less about him.

jkeefer said...

I think Mr. Wilson is a wack job... He is willing to let his wife hang out with Tom, just so Tom can buy a car.