Friday, April 3, 2009

Gatsby Fishbowl: Chapter 3


Hello, outer circle!


Here's my suggestion for stepping up the level of conversation today: Try bringing textual passages into some of your comments. Fitzgerald revised and revised each line of Gatsby--let's pay some homage to his language.


One other suggestion: Try getting into a hotseat. It's fun. Enjoy!

102 comments:

josed said...

Testing...

Dennis K said...

test

AllisonS said...

Who really is Gatsby?

brennanl said...

There are so many different personalities in this story- what do they have in common? How do they relate to Gatsby?

aaronw said...

Do you think that the man in the library, and then the car crash, is a significant character? Is it something from Fitgerald's life?

Dennis K said...

Do you think Gatsby is truly related to Wilhelm, or is this simply a myth?

aaronw said...

You don't really need to test, you know........

aaronw said...

Dennis: Wilhelm is the kaiser of germany right?

josed said...

Who really is Gatsby? Hm... well, to me, that's a rather vague question. It seems to me beyond question that what's most important about Gatsby is what's missing about him: it's that green light. He tries to cover up the hole that the green light left in him with wild, huge parties.

My question is what the Owl-Eyed Man represents, sitting alone in that library.

AllisonS said...

Dennis,

I think it is just a myth or gossip. We can't really know who he is yet. He just seems quite and distant.

Kalyn K said...

Allison- What do you mean who really is Gatsby?

Dennis K said...

Aaron, yea that's true. He ruled during WWI.

maddieh said...

Why do you think Owl Eyes was so surprised that the books were real when he was in the library? What does this say about Gatsby? (pg 46 without yellow stripe)

AllisonS said...

Kalyn,

Well after all the party gossip, who do you really think he is? Is he just a rich man, is he a murderer? What do you think?

RayS said...

aaron~ I think The man in the library represents who fitzgerald really is, an alchoholic who doesnt know what to do but he does know he wants to write something brilliant, something real...that why the man is so involved with the the book being "real"

maddisonm said...

Why is Nick, who is “…one of the few honest people that [he has] ever known” attracted to Jordan who is “incurably dishonest”??

helenp said...

I think that Gatsby is intentionaly surrounded by mystery. Everything is a myth in relation to him. He represents how truth is lost in this society

KelseyL said...

maddieh
I just think that he was really drunk and he didn't really expect Gatsby to have real things. Maybe the guy in the library just thought that Gatsby was putting on a show but really he isn't.

brennanl said...

maddie-
I think that it represents the people in society- they are all fake and the same, and it was Fitzergeralds way of displaying lack of individualism

maddieh said...

Dennis- I don't think Gatsby is related to him but it's a testiment to Gatsby that people would go to the trouble of believing or even making up that rumor.

nicolek said...

For what the inner circle is talking about: I agree with what leslie is saying. There has to be a reason that Gatsby would actually invite him and he seems very genuine. That also connects to the man in the library saying that Gatsby was the only one who is actually real and not fake.

aaronw said...

Maddie: I think it was a mixture of him being drunk out of his mind (he said he hadn't been sober for a week) and the fact that only public libraries had such extensive collectons of books.

Maddie.Turley said...

Allison~

Gatsby is a rather broad topic to try and define. There is an element of significance about him, something that allows you to understand that he is extremely important and someone to watch, but there's also the idea that something is missing. Gatsby feels distant, I sense a mystery, something that is being omitted from his existence and his character that makes an individual wary of him.

Dennis K said...

Allison- Gatsby seems too artificial to understand yet. He chooses not to socialize during his parties and seems to be highly selective with his friendships. He is confined, yet at the same time "everyone's" been to his house.

josed said...

To Dennis: it's far too extravagant to be real. And besides, how reliable are drunk party-goers? I think we'll find out about it in due time.

As to Brennan's question: Most of them are random people who give light into Gatsby's character. The important characters are often alone and separated from the crowds: The Owl-Eyed Man, Nick, Jordan, and Gatsby.

Has anybody else gotten the impression that Gatsby stays anonymous and watches his parties just to make them all about him? In a normal party, the host would be just as crazy as the guests.

matthewg said...

I think that all the questions that everyone has asked kind of answers Allison's question. Dennis asked if Gatsby was really related to someone, Aaron asked if the man in the library was a significant character, and I'm sure there are many other questions dealing with Gatsby and his parties.

The answer that you have provided with your questions is that Gatsby is a mystery, and none of the characters know much about him at all, except that he hosts great parties.

KelseyL said...

maddisonm
I had that same question. I think that maybe it is just something new and exciting in his life. Like maybe he thinks that she will add variety to his life or something like that.

RayS said...

maddison~ Nick might be attracted to her, because like many of the other charecters,, he wants something diffrent in his life, aside form just his honest life

jacqui said...

aaron-
i was kinda thinking the same thing about the man in the library and in the car that goes in the dtich. The events just seem really ramdom to me and not relivent to the story so i'm not sure why Fitzgerabld includes those two part in the story. but i think there is a deeper meaning or he becomes a mojor character later on.

nicolek said...

Maddie h- I was thinking about that too. I'm not sure why he would think they were fake in the first place but it just shows that Gatsby doens't do things just for show he does it for himself. He seems to be the only real character in this story and that's what sets him apart

aaronw said...

Ray- I didn't think that the drunk man in the library was Fitzgerald himself. Thank you for the enlightenment :)

maddieh said...

Do you think Gatsby doesn't interact much with the people at his parties because he is antisocial or something else? Does he just not like all the people or is the right person not there?

Kalyn K said...

Allison- I think that Gatsby is the observer at this party and there is a sense of longing for something else. It is kind of like the yellow eyes on the buildboard yesturday; he sees all the truth of his soceity but he will never speak it which slows eats at his soul. (Yes I know that was a little dramatic)

Dennis K said...

Jacqui- that may be true; consider the green light at the end of ch.1. It's supposed to have significance later on, but when I first read it, I found it kind of trivial.

Maddie.Turley said...

Jose~

I don't believe Gatsby wants the party to be all about him. There is an irony, a satiristic side of him that is felt throughout the house. I feel like, perhaps, be is amused by people in general. He doesn't particularly seem to like people nor does he want to be social with them, but he does select few friends that he genuinely seems to like, and is very distant with the rest.

helenp said...

MaddieH
- I don't think he is antisocial, I think Gatsby is above the superficial nature of these parties. They are just lying to themselves by focusing on Gatsby and ingnoring their own problems, but Gatsby wants the truth and honesty.

maddisonm said...

In the movie on F. Scott Fitzgerald, it said he often writes about a "golden girl." Is there a "golden girl" in The Great Gatsby?

josed said...

Has anybody noticed a strange use of color in this book? Example: the green light, the yellow tinted glasses?

Nicole brought up a good point yesterday: yellow appears to be a color that is related to parties and immorality: the yellow-tinted shades of Dr. Eckleburg, or the description of the music at Gatsby's party described as yellow.

Any other Color Connections?

aaronw said...

Maddie: Idk i think that Gatsby is just the kind of man who is mysterious like that. He has his own motives and his own reasons why he does what he does.

RayS said...

maddie~I feel Gatsby doesn't socialize with his guests because he is an observer, he sees the deception that lies in thier life, and he hears the gossip that others proclaim about him, and he doesn't want to be apart of it

brennanl said...

Helen-
Why do you think Gatsby throws these parties if hes above them?

nicolek said...

Do you think that its true that Gatsby is afraid to be alone? Or why would he throw so many parties?

maddieh said...

Maddison- I think Daisy is supposed to be the golden girl. She is beautiful and mysterious but open and welcoming too.

Dennis K said...

Maddie- I think Gatsby is just too rich and content to abuse liquor and party constantly like his counterparts. People went to parties during the 20s to escape the negative aspects of the world. Gatsby has it all, so he doesn't need to party.

jacqui said...

maddie h
I think that he is not antisocial I and enjoys having his parties but I think its interesting that most of the people that come to the party aren't even invited but Gatsby has no problem with that. This and the genuine interest in his guest like buying the lady a new dress when she riped hers, Shows me that he wants to hold parties and enjoys them as guests

aaronw said...

Maddison: I think that Jordan is the golden girl right now in the story.

josed said...

The inner circle brought up a good point: why might Gatsby have brought Jordan into her office? It's really strange: she says it was marvelous and amazing, but at the same time, she's dishonest, so what could it be?

Maddie.Turley said...

Nicole~

Many times, the quote is, "You can feel the loneliest in a crowded place." I was wondering about that as well. If he was so distant and rather an elusive figure throughout his own house, why did he throw so many extravagant parties with so many people?

helenp said...

Bren
-I think he is surround himself with people in order to avoid facing how alone he is. He wants the truth, but only if it is good. He wants the company, but he doesn't want to becomes the company.

nicolek said...

Joe- also the two women were wearing yellow dresses

maddieh said...

Nicole- I think Gatsby is looking for something more from his parties. They might have been fun at first and now they are just habit. He has outgrown them and is now branching out to Jordan and Nick to find that missing peice in his life.

Kalyn K said...

Nicole- It seems like Gatsby is acting like he what he feels people expect from him and that's his reasoning for throwing so many parties.

jacqui said...

Dennis I like your comment about Gatsby has everything he wants so he doesn't need to party. Do you think this is true? That Gastby really doesn't need to get away from anything because he is completly happy?

josed said...

I'm thinking the Golden Girl cannot be discovered at this time... there's Daisy, Myrtle, and Jordan. I don't know, I think Fitzgerald's golden girls are unattainable, and here Jordan seems to be rather friendly and approachable to Nick.

josed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nicolek said...

Maddie T- I think that the other maddie brought up a good point about that. Maybe he is just waiting for the right person to come to his parties. That would explain why he is so reserved because he is just observing his party guests

maddisonm said...

josed- I noticed that the color yellow comes up numerous time in the book, the twins in the yellow dress, the line of yellow windows, the use of yellow on the cover picture...what is Fitzgerald trying to say? That society has immoral roots?

maddieh said...

Jose- Jordan thrives off of gossip. If Gatsby told her something juicy, she wouldn't lie about it.

KelseyL said...

There seems to be some sort of significance to not drinking, because Gatsby doesn't drink and mentioned Daisy was mentioned in the first chapter that she doesn't drink either. Why do you think they don't drink? Or why do you think that Fitzgerald chose to have them not drink?

helenp said...

I don't think Gatsby is completely happy, but at the same time, he seems afraid of true happiness. He never builds strong connections.

matthewg said...

Jacqui- I think that the man is more of a representation of something.

A quick guess of mine is that he represents humanity as a whole. In the library, he stares at the books, realizing that they are there, but not comprehending them. Our understanding of the world and it's workings is often like this. We can stare at all the parts of the world and theorize what they are, but we don't have the power to comprehend what is actually going on, leading us to have only a drunken understanding of the world, stumbling around it, and often driving into ditches. That may sound a little off beat and inaccurate, but when you consider that the man in the library really doesn't add at all to the plot, he could very well represent something as broad as humanity, or as specific as Fitzgerald himself.

RayS said...

nicole~ Gatsby may throw these parties inorder to make himself feel less alone like the line from the song " they’re sharing a drink they call loneliness,But it’s better than drinkin’ alone" he is lonely but it's better to be alone with other people

brennanl said...

About the yellow thing- I think that yellow isnt exactly like complete immorality and everything. Its more like just tinted purity, because thats what the actual color is- white with a tint of something else.

aaronw said...

maddison: Well, if you think about it, there is lots of immorality in this story and the society then. Lots of cheating on spouses, being drunks for days on end...

Maddie.Turley said...

To bring in Mrs. Leclaire's comment, it is odd that Fitzgerald makes Gatsby a non-drinker.

I feel, that perhaps it gives him more respect from the reader and he has no inclination to be grouped with the rest of his party. It gives him major control over his own actions, it forces his character to become even more apparent and mysterious. It gives him power to have knowledge of others and their secrets, it gives him an advantage over those that completely lose control.

maddieh said...

The Yellow Color Discussers- I see yellow as a spring color which makes me think of flowers, which makes me think of Daisy. So I think that there might be a motif of yellow/flowers being a new beginning/new life.

Kalyn K said...

Brennan- I think the color yellow is suppose to be a light happy color in this chapter because the mood of parties are suppose to be light and happy.

RayS said...

Maddie T~Maybe Gatsby is a non drinker for Fitgeralds bennifit, maybe he thught his readers would respect him more...just a thought

helenp said...

Twisting the idea of Gatsby being a non-drinker, what about Nick drinking? Does that make him an unreliable narator?

maddieh said...

Matthew- I think that is such a good point! I think Fitzgerald says a lot about humanity in this book.

Maddie.Turley said...

Ray~

I believe that may be true. If we are going to compare Fitzgerald to Gatsby, in a way, it gives him a sense of morality, and makes a reader perhaps respect him more, good point.

josed said...

I wonder... The car with the missing wheel... could that represent something that is missing a piece? Maybe Fitzgerald is trying to say that society is missing something essential?

aaronw said...

Matt: I seriously think you just said one of the most amazing things. That was pure philosophy. And i agree with the guy representing humanity.

maddisonm said...

jacqui- I think it is the opposite. I think Gatsby has devoted his life to getting money and having money, so he has an emptiness in his life. He needs the parties to feel happy. Maybe he dislikes to party and drink because he finds it more interesting to observer and discover who people are. I think Gatsby likes to see people while they are drunk..he enjoys the immoral side of things.

Dennis K said...

Maddie T- And that's probably what the whole book is based on- contradicting society. Gatsby embodies this spirit; he doesn't conform. It requires strength to defy the established doctrines of society. Gatsby has done this however, and i think this may be why the book's title bears his name.

maddieh said...

Maddie T- I agree. I think maybe Fitzgerald was ashamed of his own problems with drinking so he wanted Gatsby to be everything that he wasn't.

matthewg said...

Jose- It seems to me that Fitzgerald makes a lot of points about humanity, especially that it lacks something. He definitely does not view humanity as a perfect thing, and he himself had experienced the worst of it in his life.

Kalyn K said...

Maddie H- Why would Fitz choose Gatsby as the character he wants to be?

nicolek said...

Maddie H and Matthew-
I completely agree with what you said about the library and humanity! What other messages do you thing Fitzgerald is trying to tell us?

Maddie.Turley said...

Dennis~

Very well thought out, I like the idea that he is given strength to be a nonconformist. The society is corruption, something Gatsby shouldn't be a part of. Nicely put.

matthewg said...

I just realised that sometimes I can't distinguish between Gatsby's story, and Fitzgerald's life. Do you think he wrote this to show the world how he thought of himself?

helenp said...

I think that Gatsby represents everything society is not. I also think that it is interesting that such a seemingly flawed character is the opposite of such a flawed society.

josed said...

To Kalyn: Fitzgerald would probably want to be Gatsby because Gatsby is filthy rich, sober, a war hero, and on top of all that, he manages to come off as a gentlemanly,mysterious person. Gatsby is like Fitzgerald 2.0.

Kalyn K said...

I agree with Helen. Gatsby shows the flaws within his society.

RayS said...

Kayln~well who wouldn't want to be a man who is highly regarded and respected. Gatsby is sort of elusive, Fitzgerald might wish people knew less about him.

aaronw said...

jose: He is more like what fitzgerald wanted to be. It isn't an upgrade; It's an entirely new person, one who is not like fitzgerald at all.

matthewg said...

The inner circle just pointed out that the man in the library is associated with an owl, which in turn is associated with being wise.

I'd like to expand on my previous point, and say that we see ourselves as wise. When showing off his discovery that his books are real, he is both amazed by his revelation, and proud that he is the one that came to it. Like humanity, we are proud of our achievements, but the generations after ours will look back on our greatest achievements and laugh, because we have really understood so little.

Kalyn K said...

Jose- But how do you all that is true about Gatsby? I mean it seems like a fake image. Sure some of it may be true but I do see your point.

helenp said...

I disagree that Fitzgerald would want to be Gatsby. Gatsby is everything he is not, but I think he is more like Nick. He wants to be Gatsby, but at the same time he hates him.

Kalyn K said...

Ray- But why would anyone want to be the outsider with no one to trust?

aaronw said...

Matt: Again, very true. You have been able to take a small scene i took as a funny random thing and made me realize that it is truly important to Fitzgerald and the message he is trying to get out. Thanks!

josed said...

To Aaron: Well, yeah, that's what I meant. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.

What I'm wondering is why Fitzgerald would start the chapter with the party, and end with a seemingly irrelevant description of Jordan's honesty or lack thereof.

maddieh said...

Kayln- Fitzgerald never wanted to be a failure, and I think he sees Gatsby as a success. He is rich and well known. But he is also moral too.

I've read the whole book so there's some other stuff but I don't want to give anything away.

Kalyn K said...

Maddie H- I have read the whole thing too but I agree with Helen I feel like Fitz would be more like Nick.

Dennis K said...

jose- I agree. Gatsby is really portrayed as the center stage man and it seems Fitzgerald attempts to indirectly aspire to this position. Fitzgerald had had a turbulent life and obviously needed an escape.

Maddie.Turley said...

Focusing more on Gatsby's character, not just his actions, I can sense a...sadness that surrounds his being and is perhaps covered up with his satire, his highly regarded persona. In this specific quote, "A sudden emptiness seemed to flow now from the windows and the great doors, endowing with complete isolation the figure of the host who stood on the porch, his hand up in a formal gesture of farewell." This emptiness is apparent in Gatsby, perhaps not obvious, but it's there. I'm just curious as to what it might be that saddens him.

josed said...

You know, some people in the inner circle mentioned the idea that Fitzgerald might be owl eyes. I remember in all the photos of him he had rather striking eyes. I think he took this self-deprecatory comment of himself, and decided to weave himself into the story under the alias of owl eyes. It shows that in a way, this is his story, but he is not Gatsby. He tries to give the reader this distinction.

jacqui said...

matt:
your comments are really helping me make sense of these parts in the book. Even if they don't directly apply to the overall plot it deffinatly applies to reality and life.

helenp said...

I don't really think that Gatsby is a success. He may have money, but he is not satisfied with riches. He has more depth than that. If he doesn't feel successful, how can he be successful?

maddisonm said...

Do you think that the books Owl Eyes talks about represent Gatsby in a way? He says they are “absolutely real-have pages and everything” and how they fooled him; he thought they were “nice durable cardboard” at first. Maybe Gatsby appears to people as this outer layer, and there is little known about him, but when you open him up he is full of wonderful pages.

Maddie.Turley said...

Matt~

I never realized how true that was, especially in our society today. Your comments are so relevant, and they are helping me like Jacqui said, they're really good.

ErinO said...

Hey Aaron
I think that the person in the car and in the library are Fitzgerald. You know how some authors place themselves within their fiction as side characters wacthing their fantasy unwind. I think that Fitz put himself in the book this way.

Hey Jose
I liked what you said about the green light and how it is not who Gatsby is, but what he is missing. It seems like a good moto for the time period; everyone forgets who they are (plus no one cares who they are) and everyone searches constantly for what they have lost in this life. The green light is in every character that way.

Hey Helen
I liked what you said about Gatsby and the reality of him representing how truth is lost in society. Ironically, though, I beleive that he shows that truth is lost and that dishonesty, however, in a very honest and truthful manner.

Hey Kalyn
I loved your comment about Gatsby and the yellow billboard, especially the comment about him "not speaking of that which will eat his soul" ot somethime of that kind! I believe this really exlimplifies his character. He desires something but won't press for it due to the consequences that will "eat his soul."

Hey Nicole
I think that Gatsby throws these parties not because he doesn't want to forver be alone nor because he is afraid of beginning alone. I beleive that he is afraid of forever longing for the desired item he holds these parties for, the one that these parties will help him find.

Hey Kelsey
I never noticed before that not only does Gatsby not drink, but niether does Daisy. I'm intrigued at why this is. I think it is because they both find the memory of drinking to bring them to each other and thier past, but that is a strange coincidence!

Hey Matt
I LOVE YOUR COMMENT @10:15!! It was so enlightening and so true about the world and the people in it. It expanded a lot on how people relate to each other in this novel and time period! Thanks!

Hey Everyone!
I heard you listened to "Piano Man" by Billy Joel which is one of the connections I made in my novel through annotations! (That's a bit strange if I may say so) But anywho, I was wondering who you all thoguh the Piano Man is. I understand how some of you believe it is Gatsby as he entertains and watches the people who come and tell him his woes, but his own issues alone draw him from isolation and place him with the crowd: therefore, he becomes one of the lonely ready to see the Piano Man. Thus, I belive that the true Piano Man is Nick as he isolates himself from society, not ready to judge them, but ready to witness their actions. He entertains them with his comfort and time, yet remains unchanged by the weathers the people who see him are faced with.


THANKS! THIS HAS BEEN MY EXTENDED BLOG TO MAKE UP FOR MISSING FRIDAY APRIL 3RD!!! SEE YA'LL IN CLASS!