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June Post #3: Casements and The Great Gatsby

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message 1: by Mr. Eric Mills (last edited Jun 11, 2016 07:25PM) (new)

Mr. Eric Mills | 9 comments Mod
In The Writing of Fiction (1925), novelist Edith Wharton states the following: “At every stage in the progress of his tale the novelist must rely on what may be called the illuminating incident to reveal and emphasize the inner meaning of each situation. Illuminating incidents are the magic casements of fiction, its vistas on infinity.” Using The Great Gatsby, describe an “illuminating” episode or moment and explain how it functions as a “casement,” a window that opens onto the meaning of the work as a whole. Avoid mere plot summary.

Reply to this using the comment link below. Write one succinct paragraph and use evidence from the text. Place your name and class period at the top of your post.


message 2: by Natalya (new)

Natalya Hill | 7 comments Natalya Hill period 1

The illuminating incident that allows the reader insight into the meaning of the story as a whole in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald was Nick Carraway’s confrontation with Tom Buchanan regarding Gatsby’s death. Nick’s ultimate realization that Tom and Daisy were “careless people” (179) is the moment which finally allows him to alight upon what is so morally corrupt and devastating about his experience in the East. The reader, therefore, is allowed into the scene a full understanding of the misunderstanding created by the responsibility of the car crash and the intertwined love affairs that Tom himself does not understand as he tries to justify his actions-- thus this scene encapsulates the entirety of the drama within one final conversation. Ultimately, the reader is left to make the final judgement as the story concludes and Nick returns home.


message 3: by Izzie (new)

Izzie Hicks | 7 comments Izzie Hicks
Period 2
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald has many illuminating incidents that allow the reader to see a casement of the literature, a window that opens onto the meaning of the work as a whole. In essence one of the most prominent illuminating incidents is Daisy, Tom, and Gatsby's argument in the hotel room and Daisy ultimately choosing her husband Tom over her affair with Gatsby. After the event unfolded, Daisy “begged again to go” saying, “‘Please, Tom! I can’t stand this any more’” (134). This event signifies that “whatever intentions, whatever courage she had had, were definitely gone” (135). The aforementioned plot development serves as an illuminating incident in the novel, leading directly to the casement: everything that made Gatsby great suddenly collapses, which in turn is symbolic of the collapse of the American Dream. No matter how dishonestly Gatsby attained his wealth, his determination and relentless pursuit of his goals are what made Gatsby great. He sought all of his success so that Daisy would want to be with him, and when she chose Tom over Gatsby, everything that Gatsby had spent so long working for collapsed. This in itself symbolizes Fitzgerald's idea of the collapse of the new and corrupt American Dream. Ultimately the scene in the hotel where Daisy chooses Tom acts as an illuminating incident for the novel; this idea leads to a casement that showcases one of Fitzgerald’s themes of Gatsby losing what makes him great.


message 4: by Veronica (new)

Veronica (veeleen) Veronica Nation, period 1

The novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald provides many instances of what novelist Edith Wharton would label as “illuminating incidents”, or magic “casements” of fiction, defined as windows that open onto the meaning of a work as a whole. One of the most important illuminations would be the introduction of Jay Gatsby himself. The reader sees Gatsby the first time through the description of Nick Carraway, who is watching Gatsby look out into the distance towards a green light. The initial confusion Nick has for Gatsby sets up the story to have a bigger meaning that what the reader might first interpret. The green lantern is a symbol for Gatsby’s hopes and dreams, his wants and who he wishes to be and what wishes to have. When Gatsby is pictured reaching for it in the first chapter, the reader does not know that the green light holds meaning throughout the rest of the novel. However, when it comes to Gatsby’s eventual demise, the reader knows the lantern’s symbol -- it is everything Gatsby could not have and could not become. The green light is foreshadowed as Daisy Buchanan’s clock, in which Daisy is someone Gatsby cannot have. Nick Carraway narrates Gatsby’s attachment to green light as “[the] dream [that] must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it.” (page 152). Gatsby is one of the biggest focuses of the book and therefore important for the rest of the story. The simple first chapter’s description of Gatsby looking into the distance, reaching towards a green lantern, is a casement for the rest of the book as a whole.


message 5: by Bridget (new)

Bridget (bridgeygelato) | 7 comments Bridget Galaty
Period 2

A major theme of The Great Gatsby is the superficial nature of identity. Throughout the novel, characters speculate on Jay Gatsby’s background. Many believe that he has had a noble or exciting past (44), but it is later revealed that Gatsby came from relatively meager upbringings and that much of his greatness was actually a front (98). Gatsby’s lies are mirrored by the double lives lived by other characters, most notably Daisy and Tom. They seek to uphold the image of being a perfect pair although they both engage in relations outside their marriage. A moment that illuminates this theme is Nick’s interaction with the owl-eyed man in the library of Gatsby’s house (45-46). This scene is a nice point of reverse parallelism to these facades. While Gatsby, Daisy, and Tom are not as great as they seem, Gatsby’s books are not only real but beautiful. The owl-eyed man’s surprise at the books being real is the same surprise that is expressed at the reveal of true nature of the characters.


message 6: by Talia (last edited Jun 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new)

Talia Gordon | 7 comments Talia Gordon, Period 1

The Great Gatsby requires some effort to interpret, despite Nick Carraway’s unavoidable insistence upon sharing his thoughts on matters, and so in reading the novel it becomes necessary to fixate on moments of insight, “casements” in which what has been mired in Fitzgerald’s antiquated language and sprawling description becomes clear. The most startling of these moments occurs in chapter seven, wherein Carraway comes to the conclusion (driven by Gatsby’s observation) that Daisy’s voice, which has been consistently remarked upon, is so beautiful because it is “full of money” (p. 120). The paragraph finishes strangely, with Carraway seeming to fade off into thought, observing “High in a white palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl,” (p. 120). It is at this particular point that both Carraway and the reader come to understand the value of money not only superficially (as has already been explored in the explicitly-detailed parties Gatsby throws), but on a very personal level. What has previously been attributed only to Daisy (the energy she carries with her, particularly in her voice) is now attributed to her wealth. This is very much a window into the truth of the novel in that it exposes the contortions wealth forces upon one’s person. It is also a rather damning criticism of the idea that The Great Gatsby is a love story-- if it were, Daisy would have been desirable on her own. Instead, the novel further establishes its criticism of upper-crust societal conventions.


message 7: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Freedman | 7 comments Ryan Freedman
Period 1

In The Great Gatsby, as in many stories, a single illuminating event, or casement, is used to reveal the meaning of a story. In Gatsby, this moment is the death of Gatsby. When Gatsby is shot, Nick is freed from the series of events that pulled him into Gatsby’s life. Tom is free to love Daisy without Gatsby’s interference. It marks the end of the events of the story and it conveys the story’s end meaning that all things come to an end and that a single person can pull so many others into their life without even so much as speaking to them, as Gatsby does with his parties. Despite this, Gatsby’s funeral is ignored by the populace. The novel conveys these meanings through this event by using Nick’s thoughts as he reflects on Gatsby’s death. When Wolfsheim refuses to come to Gatsby’s funeral, the message that Gatsby was only popular because of his wealth is displayed: “I saw that, for some reason of his own, he was determined not to come, so I stood up” (173). Nick and Mr. Gatz’s concern at the lack of funeral attendees also showcases this: “I began to look involuntarily out the windows for other cars. So did Gatsby’s Father...his eyes began to blink anxiously, and he began to speak in a worried uncertain way” (175). Therefore, the casement in The Great Gatsby is the reflections of Nick upon Gatsby’s death and these reflections reveal the message that people were only drawn to Gatsby because of his wealth, not his personality.


message 8: by Sam (last edited Jun 26, 2016 11:58AM) (new)

Sam Altman | 7 comments Sam Altman
Period 1

This novel isn't just about a failed love story. It also encompasses the decaying morals of the 1920s. The "illuminating" episode is one that parallels the 1920s America that Fitzgerald was trying to convey. This is the "Valley of Ashes" that Nick Carraway notices passing through with Gatsby. “This is a valley of ashes – a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of ash-grey men, who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air (Pg. 26)." The "Valley of Ashes" represents absolute poverty and hopelessness. The confrontation with Tom and George (Myrtles husband) shows a class division between the rich and the poor, which is a major theme in the novel. West and East Egg mask the "Valley of Ashes" which is created by dumping and direct relation of capitalism during the 1920s. The valley exists because of places like West and East Egg. So, because of the greed and morals of the 1920s, Fitzgerald was trying to show the effect of greed and wealth on surrounding areas.


message 9: by Taylor (new)

Taylor Page | 7 comments Taylor Page Period 1
Most novels have an illuminating incident that allows the reader insight into the true meaning behind the story. In the well known novel , The Great Gatsby, the illuminating moment that acted as a "casement" was the scene where Nick, Gatsby, Daisy, Tom and Jordan were in the hotel room on the hot summer day. This is when Gatsby confesses his love for Daisy in front of Tom, Daisy's husband. However, Daisy in her shallowness, sides with Tom. "Her frightened eyes told that whatever intentions, whatever courage she had, were definitely gone" (135). Up until this point, Gatsby had done everything he could to be the "perfect man" for Daisy. His one lifetime goal was to have Daisy again and when Daisy sided with Tom, it broke his heart and ended his life. This scene encompasses many themes in the novel love, the American Dream, classes and society and isolation are just a few. I believe that this scene is a major illuminating incident in the novel and is an ''eye-opening'' moment for the rest of the story.


message 10: by Gianna (new)

Gianna Neathammer | 7 comments Gianna Neathammer Period 2

The illuminating incident in The Great Gatsby is one that most readers do not recognize the importance of. This incident is a symbol, but also links to the theme of Gatsby’s journey to be with the one he loves, Daisy Buchanan. Although it might not be obvious, one of the most important meanings of the novel is Gatsby's ultimate goal to uncover the past by having Daisy as his own. This particular incident symbolizes this goal. “...he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way...I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward - and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been at the end of a dock” (20-21). The color green can be known to symbolize growth, hope and envy. Later in the novel, it is revealed that the green light comes from Daisy’s house. In Gatsby’s life, seeing the green light communicates his hope to be reunited with Daisy, his envy towards Tom Buchanan - longing to be in his place (the husband of Daisy), and his growth towards a new life, of course, with Daisy. Almost the entirety of the novel is dedicated to the hardships Gatsby goes through in order to have Daisy back in his life again. The illuminating incident of Gatsby seeing the green light functions as a window to the meaning of the novel as it serves as a foreshadow to what Gatsby’s life will be dedicated to throughout the story.


message 11: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Eisenberg | 7 comments Jenna Eisenberg
Period. 1

The last scene of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby functions as a “casement” or a window of insight into the meaning of the characters’ journeys. There, Nick Carraway revisits one of the themes of the novel highlighting the implication of history to aspirations of the future. The green light symbolizes this idea. Nick emphasizes the hardships that people experience to accomplish their dreams by exceeding and reinventing what has happened in the past, “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter-tomorrow we will run faster, stretch our arms farther...” (180). Still, people are incapable of moving past history, “Can’t repeat the past? He cried incredulously. Why of course you can!” (110). As they row onward to the green light, the current lures them back, “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past” (180). The past serves as the foundation of their dreams and for what is to come, and they are trapped in it as they try to chase their futures.


message 12: by Josette (new)

Josette Axne | 7 comments Josette Axne Period 1 (I’m pretty sure I’m this period. I can’t seem to find my schedule.)

The Great Gatsby is full of illuminating moments that capture the truthful meaning of the work. Theres the death of Myrtle Wilson, the moment when Gatsby decides to take the blame for Myrtle’s death, the discovery that every single thing that Gatsby does is for Daisy, and the horrifying twin deaths of Gatsby and Wilson. Each of these moments captures an essence of truth in the novel but, the moment that really functions as a casement and opens the novel’s meaning as a whole, is Gatsby’s death. The last moments of the novel Nick states “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter-tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…. And one fine morning- So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” (189) We can't repeat the past, I believe that's one of the major themes of the novel. The theme of past revolves around the American Dream, identity, and a love story between two lost souls. Gatsby never gets the hang of that. His passion, his life, revolves around Daisy Buchanan and the green light that he can't let go of. Because of this illuminating moment of Gatsby’s death in the novel the casement it opens is the idea of going upward and forward, having a green light that we all yearn for. In Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day's Journey into Night he states, “The past is the present, isn't it? It's the future too. We all try to lie out of that but life won't let us.” The last line in the Great Gatsby says the same thing using different words. Forwardly mobile, we are all boats against the current.


message 13: by Molly (new)

Molly Worford | 7 comments Molly Worford
Period 1
The Great Gatsby tells a story much deeper than what is on the surface, and has several scenes that could be pointed to in order to reveal the true meaning of the work. One of the most revealing ‘illuminating incidents’ in the novel is when Gatsby reveals Daisy’s affair to Tom in the hotel room. Although Gatsby expects Daisy to stand up to Tom, she ends up taking his side, saying, “I can’t say I never loved Tom… It wouldn’t be true” (133). In this scene, Gatsby loses everything he worked for in life; the wealth and popularity that he gained was only in an attempt to win over his love, and when she rejects him, everything he previously accomplished loses its greatness. Everything that made Gatsby desireable collapsed around him, highlighting the novel’s theme surrounding failure of the American dream. In the end, all of his hardwork and determination got him nowhere, leaving him heartbroken and alone. Furthermore, Daisy’s choice to stay with Tom reveals another aspect of the collapse of the American dream, as she is too shallow and scared to go after what she really wants in life. This can be applied to the 1920’s when it seemed that the American dream was impossible to achieve, whether they were held back by fear, or their hard work did not pay off. Therefore, this scene was the most important illuminating incident of the novel, setting up the themes that would surround the ending of the story.


message 14: by Coco (new)

Coco Justino | 1 comments Coco Justino

In the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, there are a few moments that could be defined as "illuminating" due to their nature of uncovering the true meaning of the story. A very relevant example of a "casement" that appeared in this novel was Gatsby's decision to lie and take the blame for the death of Myrtle Wilson. I consider this scene to have been a lens for the readers to see and understand what was the most important to Gatsby and a chance for them to realize that he was not fit for the pedestal that Nick Carraway placed him upon. Gatsby, throughout the book lies endlessly about his wealth, family, and a plethora of other things such as having been in a drug business (90). However, when Jay decides to lie about something as big as manslaughter, it leaves him susceptible to being discovered as not being very "great" afterall.


message 15: by Lauren (new)

Lauren | 7 comments Lauren Page Period1
The illuminating incident, or in other words the “casement” to the story of the Great Gatsby, is in reality a symbol. This symbol is the green light. “He stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way...I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward - and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been at the end of a dock” (20). Situated at the end of Daisy's East Egg dock and barely visible from Gatsby's West Egg lawn, the green light represents Gatsby's hopes and dreams for the future. Gatsby associates it with Daisy, and in Chapter 1 he reaches toward it in the darkness as a guiding light to eventually lead him to his goal. The story starts with the scene of Gatsby reaching for the light, but after that the light is rarely/never mentioned again. The green light also represents society’s desire and the seeming impossibility of achieving the materialistic American Dream. Near the end of the novel Nick concludes the book with these words, “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. And then one fine morning— So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”(179) This tells the reader of Gatsby’s inability to move on from the past. Everything he does in the novel is to try and recreate the past, his love with Daisy. The green light which represents his dream of reconnecting his past love with daisy, is the “illuminating” incident of the novel because it reveals the deeper meaning of the story.


message 16: by Devan (new)

Devan Nagy | 7 comments Devan Nagy
Period 2

The Great Gatsby’s “illuminating incident” is the event of Gatsby’s death and the fact that no one attended his funeral. Nick describes to the reader how at the date of the funeral, “the minister glanced several times at his watch, so [he] took him aside and asked him to wait for half an hour. But it wasn’t any use. Nobody came.” (174). This detail of the story functions as a “casement” because it displays the reality of Gatsby’s personal relationships he had during his life. Hundreds of people walked through Gatsby’s front door without knowing him personally. The whole of idea of his wealth and popularity from his massive parties made others gain the assumption that he was surrounded by many people. However, this was not the case. Wolfsheim said to “learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead” (172). Gatsby’s death showed the reader that not enough individuals fed him friendship while he was alive, resulting in them to not feel responsible for him after he passed. With this came the town’s lack of true respect for him, causing his funeral to be empty. This therefore provides a casement to the moral of the story being that Gatsby didn’t have real relationships with others besides Daisy and Nick. All of the respect that was given to him from the mass of people was not genuine; his wealth made his friendships artificial. Gatsby’s death showcases the lack of support he received from the community in his lifetime, thus standing as a casement for the illuminating incident.


message 17: by Nadia (new)

Nadia Stoker | 7 comments Nadia Stoker
Period 1

In Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the event that allowed the reader to understand the driving factor of the plot and the overall meaning of the novel was the confrontation that occurred on the extremely hot day between Gatsby, Tom, Daisy, and Jordan. The conflict began when the four of them were at the Buchanan’s house for lunch. Daisy confessed her love for Gatsby by saying, “Ah, you look so cool,” followed by a look they shared as “Their eyes met, and they stared together at each other, alone in space. With an effort she glanced down at the table,”(119). Nick goes on to explain this turning point, “She had told him that she loved him, and Tom Buchanan saw. He was astounded. His mouth opened a little, and he looked at Gatsby, and then back at Daisy as if he had just recognized her as someone he knew a long time ago,” (119). This revelation causes Tom to lose his temper and finally pushes the group to go to town in an effort to escape the heat and impending confrontation. Daisy chooses to ride with Gatsby on the way to town which infuriates Tom further. The rising temperatures paralleled the rising tensions as the day wound on, and the hysteria of the heat and infidelity crescendoed.
Once they’ve arrived in the hotel room, Gatsby says, “Why not let her alone, old sport? You’re the one that wanted to come to town,” (126) which could represent that Gatsby is defending Daisy against Tom’s hypocrisy as she loves a man other than her husband while her husband has loved women aside from her as well. The conflict reaches its climax when Daisy admits to never loving Tom. Shortly after, Daisy revokes this statement and declares it a lie because she had loved both Gatsby and Tom. This final revelation allows the reader to understand Daisy’s nature as she is indecisive and caught between two men and two very different lives. This is the casement of the book because it settles the conflict of Gatsby’s life as he has worked solely to achieve her affection. This is the moment in which Gatsby believes he has finally grasped the dream he has been chasing for most of his life.


message 18: by Elise (new)

Elise | 8 comments Elise Todd
Period 2

Have you ever wondered why it is called The Great Gatsby? Why is it not just Gatsby? Well, you would automatically think that his wealth and power would make him great, but if we really think about the title, we can see that it is not his riches that makes him great. It is his undying love for Daisy. The casement for The Great Gatsby is when he demonstrates that his love is true when he dies for her. Although he does not directly die to save her, his death is a result of his actions for her. (144) It is through this event that we realize the true meaning of the book: love, not wealth, is what makes us truly rich. No matter how hard we try to fill our lives with selfish things, we will always feel empty unless we have deep relationships with those around us. Namely: love.


message 19: by Brynn (new)

Brynn Gauthier | 7 comments Brynn Gauthier
Period 2 (I think :))
In the depths of Gatsby’s mansion, a woman sings, she decides to be sad, she cries, she weeps, she resists the inevitable physical ugliness of such weeping, people laugh, she sinks into a chair, she falls asleep, the band continues, Maybe Husbands and Maybe Wives argue, and people grow bored (51). Here is the Jazz Age’s passionate apathy. In this single paragraph, The Great Gatsby’s looming warning to those so invested in their own theatricality is illuminated. Everyone is mourning and deciding and dreaming and wanting and needing and feeling and isolating. Everyone is infatuated with giving vast life to each sentiment, but only as long as it is interesting, only as long as it serves as defiance to an age of denial and modesty. Here is the idealization of uninhibited truth, of the grandiosity of social upheaval. Here there is excess and beauty and green lights. Here is that intoxicating fervor for music, for the effervescence of bubbly drinks. Here is a group that has grown immune to exaggerated caprice. But most of all, here is the perseverance of an artificial reality. There is an overwhelming self awareness, an overwhelming want to be warm and feverish and elusive. And, evidently, maintaining it is exhausting.


message 20: by Marah (new)

Marah | 7 comments Marah Herreid
Period 3

One casement, or illuminating moment within the Great Gatsby that had a particular impact on me, was the middle flashback regarding the blooming romance between Daisy and Gatsby. There are many aspects to this book that are contradictory or not entirely clear, especially regarding the relationship between these two characters, and whether or not Gatsby's affections were genuine towards her or anyone in the novel. This was a decisive moment in the book because it created a direct comparison between the two characters' first kiss--described in dense, flowery detail by Fitzgerald and Gatsby--and the reality of Gatsby's love of Daisy, consisting of far less romanticized details. It is even insinuated in this part of the novel that prior to the first kiss that caused Gatsby to fall in love, he ended up in her home while in the military service and "Took what he could get, ravenously and unscrupulously—eventually he took Daisy one still October night, took her because he had no real right to touch her hand," (149). This, to me, clearly depicted Gatsby's underlying selfishness from the very beginning of their relationship. Also within this section, Gatsby describes her home in great detail, as well, stating, "There was a ripe mystery about it, a hint of bedrooms upstairs more beautiful and cool than other bedrooms." (148). These details that Fitzgerald includes, although seemingly unimportant, reveal that Daisy has all along been an object of wealth and validation to Gatsby, another pawn of the American dream that he has simply put on a pedestal over all others in his life (likely due to this initial intrigue he had to her). This was therefore a very defining moment of the story as it showcased the true focus of the entire novel: which is not the characters themselves, but their own self-making through each other.


message 21: by Simone (new)

Simone Elkins (princechrom) | 6 comments Simone Elkins Period 2(?)

For a casement, an illuminating window, one can look to a scene in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby with a fair share of window gazing in it. The scene in which Nick invites Daisy to his home on Gatsby’s request shows the heart both emotionally and in terms of character development. Gatsby is a man of gilded parties and absolute intrigue, Nick is especially offput by his roundabout handling of the request. The entire character and mystery that surrounds Gatsby, he is deity-like and refuses alcohol at his own parties, is swept away to reveal his motivation in this scene. Gatsby behaves like a middle school boy around Daisy, pouting over lemon cakes and flowers, exposing his motivation and the dreams he is known to cling to. By revealing the enigma of Gatsby through Nick’s observations, the story is truly illuminated. If Gatsby had remained the unassailable rich man, he would not be nearly as interesting, nor would the novel have contained as much substance.


message 22: by Alec (new)

Alec | 7 comments Alec Farmer

The novel The Great Gatsby has been considered by many to be a great piece of literature, and one of the novel’s most touched upon and informative themes is that of human identity. The entire narrative structure depends on who these characters are, and who they were. And while the whole novel serves to define these characters, the one scene that opens up the meaning of the narrative is the scene in the Hotel on the hot summer’s day. It’s here in the hotel where Gatsby’s past is revealed to the reader. Prior to this it’s only speculation on much of Gatsby’s history, whether or not he’s an “Oxford man”, and where his great fortune came from. However it’s here where Tom Buchanan reveals Gatsby’s past, in that Gatsby “bought up a lot of side-street drug-stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter”, Tom then follows this by revealing other aspects of Gatsby’s past (Fitzgerald 133). While Gatsby tries to fight back he realizes that it is useless “Gatsby looked “as if he had “killed a man” (Fitzgerald 134). The past had finally caught up with Gatsby, no longer could he hide who we was. This scene also works to demonstrate foreshadowing as the next time the past had catches up with Gatsby he is killed for involvement in a murder. Throughout the novel the past itself is brought up as something that none of the characters can escape; this particular segment though highlights this. This is where Nick realizes that he has lost who he truly was “I just remember that today’s my birthday”, and it is with this line alone that Nick’s story arc comes to its head (Fitzgerald 135). Nick finally realizes he does not belong among these people. What follows is a sudden change in his character, most likely back to who he once was. By making all of these characters have to face themselves in this one setting it creates an identity crisis, which while present throughout the whole story comes to a head in this setting. Thus it is the characters’ time in Hotel on the hot summer’s day that opens a window into the heart of the story, which is the changing identity of people when forced to deal with their present and past.


message 23: by Kaeley (last edited Jun 29, 2016 06:08PM) (new)

Kaeley Cahill | 7 comments Kaeley Cahill Period 1

In F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby, the "illuminating" moment would be at Gatsby's party in chapter 6. This is the moment that Nick realizes that all of the elegant and extravagant parties were to win back Daisy and recreate the past. In this moment the audience is finally able to see the true reason that Gatsby is the way he is. He was just a man seeking the return in love that he felt for Daisy and wanted to reconnect with all of the things he had before he moved away from Louisville. Nick Carroway states, "He talked a lot about the past, and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy. His life had been confused and disordered since then, but if he could return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what that thing was" (pg. 132). In this quote the readers are finally able to see what the mysterious, almost detached, character was searching for all along. Using his parties and crazy lifestyle, he was just trying to winback Daisy and reconnect with the way he felt 5 years ago.


message 24: by Kyle (new)

Kyle | 7 comments Kyle Friesen
Period 1

While Nick Carraway is the narrator and protagonist of the book, The Great Gatsby is about Gatsby. So after almost four whole chapters of obscurity surrounding him, it is a relief to the reader when Jordan gives Nick, and therefore the audience, insight into Gatsby’s motivation (76). This moment in the story makes clear to the reader why Nick decided to document his encounters with Gatsby. With this realization, the book makes a shift from exposition and description to the meat of the conflict, and gives a reason for Nick’s earlier comment that Gatsby, “represents everything for which I have an unaffected scorn” (20). This moment is the first time the reader gets to see Gatsby’s true character, unclouded by rumor or self-projection from Gatsby himself, showing the essence of what Fitzgerald wanted to explore in his book, the ways in which our circumstances and upbringing effect our judgement and actions.


message 25: by Evan (new)

Evan Austin | 7 comments Evan Austin
Period 1

Entrenched beneath the superficial plot of a romantic drama resides an intricate design of profound ideas. These become illuminated by a series of littered epiphanies throughout The Great Gatsby, which may be referred to as “casements” or windows into the meaning of deeper ideas. One of the major underlying themes is the idea of the past. Each character has his or her own impressions of the past and how it comes back to haunt them, however the moment that especially enlightens this concept is the conversation between Gatsby and Carraway at the end of Chapter 6, “ ‘Can’t repeat the past?’ he cried incredulously. ‘Why, of course you can!’ ” (110). For five years, Gatsby’s life was centered on repeating the past and changing it into the ending he wanted. His insatiable desire to rewrite history was the flaw that led to his inevitable downfall, the main turning point of the book. Thus the initial disclosure of Gatsby’s intentions is a casement into the meaning of the novel because it sets up the climax and carefully foreshadows the remaining elements of the novel.


message 26: by Ray (new)

Ray Hootman | 7 comments Ray Hootman
Period 2

The illuminating moment in the Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald is the argument between Daisy, Tom, and Gatsby because it allows the reader to understand the true intentions of the novel. The argument can be seen as a casement, or a window, to the rest of the story. The audience begins to see the downfall of Gatsby and discover new layers to a multidimensional book. This scene is a pivotal moment in the story because it is the end of the affair between Daisy and Gatsby. As Tom accuses Gatsby of horrific things, Daisy "was drawing further and further into herself...and the only dead dream fought on as the afternoon slipped away, trying to touch what was no longer tangible" (134). Because Daisy chooses her husband Tom over Gatsby one can now see that their love was never about the money. Daisy married Tom for stability and convenience, but she also loved him just as she loved Gatsby. However, Gatsby believed that the only way he could get Daisy was to be very wealthy. In reality the parties and the mansion and the money were not what made The Great Gatsby so great. It was his fierce dedication to loving Daisy that made him special. But because Gatsby is not the most honorable man, considering the crimes that he is involved in, Daisy will not return his love. These complex layers and ideas were not revealed until the illuminating argument that showed us the real person behind Gatsby and the real intentions of Fitzgerald.


message 27: by Rose (last edited Jun 29, 2016 10:31PM) (new)

Rose Cobb | 8 comments Rose Cobb, Period 2
One illuminating incident that was particularly evident while reading this novel was the scene in which James Gatsby's background is revealed to be James Gatz. The idea of his identity, it's conception, complications, and ultimate downfall illustrates the superficial nature of the human facade. This novel serves to promote this theme by introducing, and then revealing the actuality of, James Gatsby's character and his identity. His introduction in to the story is when this facade is established. He is mysterious, enigmatic even, staring over the water at the green light that gleams across its surface (21). This is the first indication of his true character, what with the symbolism of green in this story being indicative both growth and envy, two staples of Gatsby's true persona. Still, his earliest appearances are characterized entirely by this image, projected by both the scene involving the first of his parties Nick attends and many of his interactions throughout. The first of these interactions where we really come to see his humanity, rather than the front he puts up, is the scene in which he asks Nick for his help reintroducing himself to Daisy. His longing for her is indicative of his insecurity, the way he lusts after not only her, but what she represents, her wealth, her distinguishability. This is simply inferred, but one realizes the actuality of this inference later in the story, at a point which can be clearly identified as an illuminating moment in the story, the moment when we at last learn Gatsby, or Rather James Gatz' true identity. "I suppose he'd had the name ready for a long time, even then. His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people-- his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all. Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his platonic conception of himself... So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen year old boy would be likely to invent , and to this conception he was faithful to the end." This, however, poses an interesting query. Which of his two lives is more legitimate, the one he no longer fulfills, or the one he hollowly forces himself to embody? Could it be both? Or, perhaps, neither, caught in some sort of restless state, neither one thing or the other. Its interesting to ponder, however one would be compelled to say he achieved neither. This is particularly prevalent within his funeral scene, when only one significant member of each segment of his life arrives. This shows that despite how richly he built up his life around him, it truly was empty.


message 28: by Jackson (last edited Jun 30, 2016 03:17AM) (new)

Jackson Ripley | 7 comments Jackson Ripley
P. 2

A major plot point, or illumination, in The Great Gatsby, is the discovery of Gatsby's past. Until almost the very end, the man's history was incredibly nuanced, as false information passed from the ear's of party guests to closer friends, and eventually the likes of Daisy and Tom. Until a great revelation of Gatsby's past at his most vulnerable, he is made out to be some sort of god, one whose facade of wealth and taste could never be broken. However it is later revealed that he is, in many ways, a fraud.

During the penulitimate confrontation between Gatsby and Tom, it is revealed that Gatsby made his money not from the war (that he spent trying to get back to Daisy), and not from family inheritence (it was previously established his parents were only poor farmers), but instead through extralegal exploits with Meyer Wolfsheim. Together they "...bought up a lot of side-street drug-stores... and sold grain alcohol over the counter." (133). Here Tom exposes him, washing away any credibility he had before, except with Daisy. At his point in the confrontation she is so hopelessly desperate for the whole ordeal to be over, it would seem she can't quite register who Gatsby really is. However, Nick knows full well who Gatsby really is. Nick never really liked Gatsby, but "Human sympathy has its limits, and we were content to let all their tragic arguments fade with the city lights behind." (135). Unfortunately shortly after the whole ordeal, Gatsby tragically dies, leaving Nick no answers with regards to his past dealings or even present occupations. He confronts Wolfsheim, howeverthis is a dead end. This illumination, though very late in the story, pushes almost every character over some sort of edge: Tom snaps and confronts Gatsby about his interactions with Daisy, Gatsby in turn boldly professes his love of Daisy to Tom (who of course denies it), Daisy, though wishing simply to go home, admits she never loved Tom and fell in love once again with Gatsby, and Nick, cynically, concluded this was not the company for him. He didn't like them, in the end, speaking of both Tom and Daisy, "They were careless people... they smashed creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made..." (179).


message 29: by Kate (new)

Kate Hartshorn | 7 comments Kate Hartshorn, Period 1

The “illuminating” moment in The Great Gatsby occurs fairly quickly after Nick Carraway moves to his house by Mr. Gatsby’s. While some may look to later times, an especially important revealing moment of the novel is when Gatsby invites Mr. Carraway to his party. Nick says, “I believe that on the first night I went to Gatsby’s house I was one of the few guests who had actually been invited. People were not invited-- they went there… I had actually been invited.” (45). By giving a physical invitation to Nick, Mr. Gatsby becomes human. He is no longer an elusive character, but a real person who has a life, a story, and a motive. Through the invitation he welcomes Nick into a part of his life that few people have ever known. The real Jay Gatsby has built the life he wanted for himself, and has fallen in love. Gatsby chooses to patiently harbor that love until he finds Mr. Carraway and realizes that Nick can help. The invitation is pivotal to the entire novel. If Nick had not received it and gone to the party, he would have never met Jordan Baker, Jay Gatsby, assisted in the love affair of Jay and Daisy, had Jay’s friendship, or witnessed the aftermath of his death and desertion. Also, by Mr. Carraway understanding that not many people ever receive invitations, he is flattered to accept one and develops an attachment to Mr. Gatsby. This loyalty would not have existed if he would not have been invited to the party, and simply wandered over on his own. Fulling grasping The Great Gatsby depends on understanding Mr. Gatsby’s motives, and why Mr. Carraway chooses to remain by his side; both of which relate back to the invitation, making it the “illuminating” moment in the novel. The Great Gatsby truly rests on a single slip of paper.


message 30: by Greer (new)

Greer Ramsey-White | 7 comments Greer Ramsey-White
Period 1

The one illuminating moment in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby that opens up the realm of the deeper meaning of the novel is the encounter between Nick, Jordan, and the only guest at Gatsby’s party that seems to observe and ultimately see and understand Gatsby: this guest being, the owl-eyed man. This owl-eyed man essentially foreshadows and implies the essence of Gatsby in the East and what the East means to Gatsby. Though Fitzgerald disguises the man’s revelation with a drunken façade, he writes, “It’s a bona-fide piece of printed matter. It fooled me. This fella’s a regular Belasco. It’s a triumph. What thoroughness! What realism! Knew when to stop, too – didn’t cut the pages” (46). With this, Fitzgerald alludes to David Belasco – a theatre producer: the owl-eyed man then insinuates that Gatsby, with his real books, – “absolutely real – have pages and everything, I thought they’d be a nice durable cardboard” (Fitzgerald 45) – is ultimately putting on a show for everyone to see. Gatsby is seen tricking his guests, as even though he has a full library of books, he hasn’t read any of them since the pages haven’t been cut. This implies that he views his guests, and therefore the society of the East, to be a sham and corrupt as they use him for his fame and fortune, just as he uses them in attempt to lure Daisy as it is revealed later by Jordan, “I think he half expected her to wander into one of his parties, some night” (Fitzgerald 79). This aspect again is illuminated at Gatsby’s funeral where it is shown that no one attends, extenuating the fact that Gatsby’s so-called “friendships” were faux. Yet in fact, the one guest who does attend is again, the owl-eyed man. The owl-eyed man forms, an essentially, silent friendship between him and Gatsby without Gatsby really even acknowledging it. The man only appears twice in the book, yet is one of the only people to grasp and make sense of Gatsby that in turn, serves as an opening revelation to the novel.


message 31: by Hana (new)

Hana Lauer | 3 comments Hana lauer
Period 2

One “illuminating’ moment that happened in the book that I thought showed deeper meaning was when Nick and Jordan meet a drunk man during Gatsby’s party in Gatsby’s library. In this scene, the man goes on and on about how fascinated he is that the library is full of real books instead of fake books which he thought so before. “They’re absolutely real… It fooled me. This fella’s a regular Belasco.” (p. 46) This scene shows how the easterners thought of Gatsby. That all of him was just for show, just like the parties that he hosted which all of them always attended. But to that one man’s astonishment he realizes that Gatsby is a real man and the books aren't for show. I thought this was important because this showed the perspective of what many superficial Easterners thought of the Great Gatsby.


message 32: by Isa (new)

Isa Harris | 7 comments Isa Harris: Period 2
The Great Gatsby is filled with multiple "illuminating" moments, but there is one that reveals the true meaning of Fitzgerald's piece. In chapter seven, Gatsby divulges information pertaining to Daisy's affair in the hopes that she will speak up and defend him rather than her repulsive disrespectful husband. Instead of agreeing with her lover, Daisy cowers under the reign of Tom speaking up and saying, "I can't say I never loved Tom," she admitted in a pitiful voice. "It wouldn't be true." (133) This is both the "illuminating" moment in the piece, but also for Gatsby. There in that singular moment his world comes crashing around him; his fortune and widespread popularity lose their value because the women he achieved everything for rejected him. His failure mirrors the collapse of the American Dream and he becomes a broken man spiraling downward. This incident between these three prevalent characters in the novel was the "illuminating" scene within the piece and foreshadowed the themes that would occur at the books end. Fitzgerald uses this scene as a "casement" to show another major theme within the book being, only fools fall in love and loose in the end. Gatsby not only looses love, but looses everything he achieved in the long run making this scene all the more "illuminating."


message 33: by Hannah (new)

Hannah | 7 comments Hannah Patrick
Period 1

When Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby, he wove allegory and symbolism into each character, and the events that transpire between them in particular illuminating incidents are indicative of the societal critique Fitzgerald was trying to display. One of the most important "casements" was the argument between Tom, Daisy, and Gatsby in the hotel room. Although Daisy insists that's she's going to leave Tom for Gatsby, "'I am though,' she said with visible effort" (133), it is evident that her claim is untrue and that she doesn't plan to follow through. This is one of the most illuminating incidents in the novel, because it illustrates Fitzgerald's critique on the American dream. Gatsby is a symbol for an older version of the American dream: a self-made man who is able to acquire enormous wealth despite his lower class background. Tom, on the other hand, represents the changing face of America in the 1920s: where growing inequality meant that it was extremely difficult to become wealthy without an upper class background. Daisy choosing Tom over Gatsby symbolizes a crumbling of the old American dream, and although she at first denies that she will stay with Tom, she eventually resigns herself to the reality that she will stay with him. The scene in the hotel room mirrors society; people may try to convince themselves that they will leave Tom (the reality of a corrupt and unequal society) to pursue Gatsby (the old American dream), but eventually have to resign themselves to the reality that they have to stay with Tom because everything that once made Gatsby (the American dream) great, is crumbling.


message 34: by John (last edited Jun 30, 2016 03:47PM) (new)

John Bickle | 7 comments John Bickle
Period 1

A story of excitement and romance in the roaring twenties, the central plot of The Great Gatsby revolves around a love affair between Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan. Several illuminating incidents, or ‘casements’, can be found within F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, but the one that sheds light on the entirety of the story is found when Jordan Baker reveals to Nick Carraway what Gatsby’s intentions were when purchasing his elaborate mansion. When Baker reveals that “Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay,” the story unfolds (78). Nick even states that “[Gatsby] came alive to [him], delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless splendor” (78). This moment transforms the novel from a story of grandiose parties and the thrills of New York to a touching account of a patient lover, trying to win back what he had lost. This moment gives meaning to the rest of the story. It throws a new idea upon the reader, an idea that carries profound consequences into the second half of the novel, providing a much needed focus to the book. Because it brings new dimensions of love and emotion to the novel, while also revealing a new meaning of the first several chapters, this conversation between Jordan and Nick is the definitive ‘casement’ of The Great Gatsby.


message 35: by Tanner (last edited Jun 30, 2016 05:10PM) (new)

Tanner Gardner | 7 comments Tanner Gardner, Period 1

While F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby contains multiple scenes that could be described as "illuminating incidents," the most prominent is the confrontation between Gatsby, Tom, and Daisy at the Plaza Hotel. When Gatsby confesses his love for Daisy in front of Tom, she begins to explain that she's staying with Tom, as she states, “I can’t say I never loved Tom… It wouldn’t be true” (133). Fitzgerald elaborates on the event and explains, “whatever intentions, whatever courage she had had, were definitely gone” (135). This scene can be shown as Gatsby's biggest loss, up until his own life. Through the entire novel he worked to win over Daisy's love, and the "illuminating incident" at the Plaza Hotel proves that his efforts were not effective.


message 36: by Elise (new)

Elise Norton | 3 comments Elise Norton
Period 2

Daisy is a wealthy asshole, Gatsby’s wealth is based on moral inferiority, and unsurprisingly their reunion at Carraway’s house is a casement unfolding themes of modern wealth’s deterioration. When Gatsby makes the offer to Carraway to bring Daisy to tea, Carraway reflects symbolically. “I realize now that under different circumstances that conversation might have been one of the crises of my life” (83) which, on a macrocosmic level, foretells the remainder of the novel. The fact that two highly wealthy people are meeting at Carraway’s smaller house gives insight into the larger situation, that shallow eastern life is encroaching upon his western origins. There is a histrionic scene in which Daisy is overwhelmed with Gatsby’s luxe shirts to the point of sobbing (92), a very telling beginning of what is to come in the novel in terms of turmoil and excessive materialism. “(Daisy) saw something awful in the very simplicity (of the west) that she failed to understand” (107). Given Carraway represents the west, when he says “Gatsby didn’t know me at all now” (96), the plot pivots into a focus on the east. Because Gatsby’s affair with Daisy is ultimately superficial, the east loses its substance as a place of promise and loses its merit in the eyes of Carraway.


message 37: by Estee (new)

Estee | 5 comments Estee Dechtman
Period 2

The beauty of The Great Gatsby is that each discovery helps to illuminate the plot in some way, shape, or form. The first “illuminating moment” was towards the begging of the novel when Nick is invited to his first Gatsby party. Nick’s western foundation is seen when he wanders away from the extravagant night life at the party and into the library. He runs into a old man exploring each book, picking up every novel in awe of its pages and words. Evidently the man is drunk and is in look of an adventure of sorts. He then recites one of Fitzgerald’s most famous quotes, “I've been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit in a library.” This man, also referred to as Owl Eyes symbolizes the struggles in society at the time of the novel. This quote discusses a man who drinks to be social and have a good time, but he wishes to transition his lifestyle to a more prestigious and studious one. This is representative of the idea that a person's true personality is shown under the influence of alcohol. The fact that people attempted to use alcohol to hide their problems and what they truly wanted, but they often got lost in themselves. This is an illuminating scene that set the tone for the rest of the novel.


message 38: by Jacob (new)

Jacob Schwartzberg | 7 comments Jacob Schwartzberg

The Great Gatsby has a number of moments that could be considered the "illuminating moment." However, the best representation of this idea that one scene or section reveals the entire work is the car crash scene. In the end, Nick leaves Gatsby standing there alone, proving that he has been destined to be alone for the entire novel. This is the illuminating moment because it is clear that Gatsby has tried tirelessly to win Daisy's affection from page one. Despite his efforts, he still ends up standing alone in the moonlight.


message 39: by Mackenzie (new)

Mackenzie W-B | 8 comments Mackenzie W-B
Period 1.
The most illuminating moment in Fitzgerald's novel surrounds the narrator's realization that moral character transcends wealth and class. In a sea of incidents in which Carraway and the people around him are continually absorbed in their own lives and pursuit of wealth, there are a few magic "casements" that shine through to illuminate some greater truth. After Wilson exclaims that he and his wife "want to go west" (111) as a symbol of the desire to leave behind extortion and moral decay, Carraway says, "...it occurred to me that there was no difference between men, in intelligence or race, so profound as the difference between the sick and the well" (111). "Sick and well" could be interpreted to represent morally sick and morally well, meaning that Carraway realizes in this moment that moral integrity rather than race, class, or intelligence, is the prominent differentiator of people. This is an illuminating moment in the novel because this humble realization serves to give the reader insight into what Fitzgerald really intended in a seemingly superficial novel about various parties. The setting only enhanced the deeper meaning surrounding the decline of American ideals and moral integrity at the hands of a more prominent desire for wealth and status. The moment when Carraway realizes there is no difference between men except for in their principles, proves to be a revelatory scene in the novel, as Carraway breaks through the facade of class in order to appreciate the more important American value of moral integrity.


message 40: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah Nichols | 7 comments Rebekah Nichols, Period 2:
In “the Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald one “Casement” or illuminating moment in the book is the interaction in the beginning of the book between Nick caraway and his father with the specific quote “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “ just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” This quote creates an image and sets the tone for all of caraway’s future interactions throughout the book. Because this quote sets a tone for so many things I find that this makes the perfect casement for this novel. This is a very illuminating moment for caraway and it impacts the way he approaches his life in NY and his interactions especially with Daisy and Gatsby. Throughout the book the reader can use this moment to analyze caraways actions and perspective. It is interesting to see the way caraway applies this logic to Gatsby’s death and how all of caraway’s reflections apply his father’s advice.


message 41: by Bella (last edited Jun 30, 2016 08:58PM) (new)

Bella Speelman | 7 comments Bella Speelman period 2
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald illustrates many moments that author Edith Wharton would tag as being “illuminating incidents” that act as windows into the true meaning of the novel. One of the most important moments that act in this way is the moment in chapter six that Nick decides to tell us of Gatsby’s real past. Jay Gatsby, originally James Gatz, was born in the Midwestern United States into poverty and through hard work, ended up in New York with a great deal of money. This is an “illuminating incident” in the novel because it is a major part of how Fitzgerald is able to demonstrate the American Dream in his novel, which during this time was in rapid decline. Gatsby’s story of going from poverty to wealth and moving from west to east clearly illustrates the money, good job, big house and nice clothes that have become a definition of what the American dream is. This goes to show at the end of the novel what happened to the American Dream during the 1920s, and how many people’s lives and dreams became corrupt as a result of their newly gained wealth.


message 42: by Emma (new)

Emma Cohen | 7 comments Emma Cohen
Period 1
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald revolves around the love affair between Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan. The illuminating moment or “casement” that sheds light on the entirety of the story is Gatsby’s death. This moment shows the extent to which he was willing to go to win back Daisy. “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us” (180). He was unable to live outside of the life that he had lost and it ultimately lead to his demise. This moment gives meaning to the entire story that proceeds it by revealing the depth of love and emotion that is seen throughout. It sheds light on the lack of morality of the East and brings the novel full circle.


message 43: by Grace (new)

Grace | 4 comments Grace Burns, Period 2
A single illuminating, or casement, is defined as a moment within a story where the meaning of the work is explained. In The Great Gatsby, like all great novels, this moment is revealed. In the novel, the purpose of the book is shown when Gatsby dies. Gatsby's death allowed many events to occur then, but the most important are the fact that it allowed Carraway and those that were left to see that, although you can achieve the American Dreams, it always comes with consequences and sacrifices. Gatsby’s sacrifice was his death, but this allowed others to see the real meaning of what wealth, power, and desire can do to you. It allowed characters to reflect then on what they want and what they’re willing to sacrifice to keep it. Fitzgerald helped to foreshadow the casement by making it apparent that mortality was going to be a major theme, “So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight” (129). Another purpose of the casement of Gatsby's death was to show that wealth still isn’t everything. When Gatsby died hardly anyone cared, showing Carraway that Gatsby was only liked for his power, wealth, and parties and not who he was.


message 44: by Chiara (new)

Chiara | 7 comments Chiara Walz
In The Great Gatsby the author F. Scott Fitzgerald often hides deeper meanings in different symbols. These symbols can also be something known as a casement (a window that opens onto the meaning of the work as a whole). An example of this is the famous eyes. In the valley of ashes there is a billboard with big blue eyes; these are the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg. Fitzgerald makes sure the reader can’t miss them because he wants them to understand that the eyes represent those of God. George even takes Myrtle to a window where they can see them and he says “You can’t escape the eyes of God”. The eyes see everything that the characters do. This is an important idea, because God then sees all the troublesome decisions they make. The overall theme is that they have to be more wise about their choices because God will always see them.


message 45: by David (new)

David Cardoza | 3 comments David Cardoza
Per 2.

The moments in The Great Gatsby which (quite literally) illuminate the meaning of the novel, involve the recurring visual motif of light, which is used to allude to the connections of the characters, and to Gatsby’s chameleon behavior.

The light, first off, is symbolic of Gatsby’s reinvention. It’s even shown within small time increments - such as during his change of attitude in his first confrontation with Daisy amidst Cassidy: “He glowed”, Fitzgerald describes, after his attitude changes from “Rude”...“like a little boy” to that of “an ecstatic patron of recurrent light” (90). (sidenote: even when he shifts again to anger in this scene, yelling at the piano player, he shuts the light off).

Then there's the green light of inevitability: of death and dreams and of time - three very broad subjects, yes, nonetheless important to the mirage which is Gatsby’s exitance. It’s presented as an ominous form, seen first during Nick’s initial sighting of Gatsby, which brings forth the thought of the light serving to foreshadow a connection to be made between the two. The same scene is played out between Gatsby and Daisy later on. Unfortunately though, the reader can assume that these connections, will be unreachable, as the light is “minute and far away”(24). All the lights reoccur, creating emphasis on Gatsby’s taintedness, which is ultimately his weakness, and will bring the death of him.


message 46: by Riley (new)

Riley Watson | 7 comments Riley Watson
Period 1
One scene illustrated in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby that particularly stood out to me as illuminating was Gatsby’s confession of love to Daisy just before Tom in Chapter 7. This scene stands out to me specifically due to Daisy’s own reactions and confessions. In the events leading up to this scene, Gatsby and Daisy seem to be getting closer to the relationship they once held together before the war. Considering Daisy’s feelings for Jay, the reader would most likely assume that she would eventually comply with his request. Yet when she bursts out in fear, “‘I did love him once, - but I loved you too” (132), her relationship with both Gatsby and Tom is forever compromised. Not only is this scene shocking in terms of unexpected plot points, but shows a great deal of emotional damage for every character in the scene. I found on of the most “illuminating” lines of the scene to be, “Her voice was cold, but the rancor was gone from it. She looked at Gatsby. ‘There, Jay,’ she said - but her hand as she tried to light a cigarette was trembling” (132). Fitzgerald’s description of Daisy’s physicality and speech reveals the deep fear and shame in which she battles internally. This fear manifests the other four characters in the room aswell, as Nick describes, “I glanced at… Jordan, who had begun to balance an invisible but absorbing object on the tip of her chin. Then I turned back to Gatsby… He looked… as if he had “killed a man” (134). It is in this scene where the reader first feels the sense of darkness and tragedy that grows as the novel progresses towards its ending.


message 47: by Katie (last edited Jul 03, 2016 06:42PM) (new)

Katie Luchtenburg  | 7 comments Mr. Eric Mills wrote: "In The Writing of Fiction (1925), novelist Edith Wharton states the following: “At every stage in the progress of his tale the novelist must rely on what may be called the illuminating incident to ..."

Katie Luchtenburg
P. 2
In ‘The Great Gatsby’ there are numerous moments that serve as casements to different aspects of the story, and ultimately provide clarity for the novel as a whole. The most striking illumination brought on by a moment was that brought upon by the car crash and Myrtle’s death. Although this moment also serves as a climax, the reader is exposed to Daisy’s selfish behavior in her decision to allow Gatsby to capture all the blame, along with the true depth of Gatsby’s obsession with Daisy. “I’ll say I was. You see, when we left New York she was very nervous and she thought it would steady her to drive- and this woman rushed out at us just as we were passing a car coming the other way" (143). Up to this point Gatsby and Daisy are drenched in romanticism by Nick Carraway, but Myrtle’s death ends this. With this, Gatsby reveals the truth of his upbringing, Daisy’s refusal to marry him as a poor man. Nick peeks into the Buchanan house the night of the car incident, which allows both him and the reader to see the true selfishness that lies inside of Daisy and Tom. “There was an unmistakeable air of natural intimacy about the picture, and anybody would have said that they were conspiring together” (145) The facade of charisma and wealth built around Jay Gatsby falls, and his dreams seem to fade before his death, as he has built them around Daisy. “”Jay Gatsby” had broken up like glass against Tom’s hard malice, and the long secret extravaganza was played out.” (148)
This moment in the book for me is the most illuminating, as it breaks apart all of the character’s the reader has grown used to and exposes the fact that they are all struck by the human condition. Though they each have their “cardinal virtues” (59), they are ultimately all just humans and though their mistakes bare more depth and are more extravagant, they are struck with the same human oblivion as the reader. This lonely, nostalgic illumination suddenly brings clarity to the picture as a whole. There is no happy ending, and the death of Gatsby and the exposure of the Buchanan's as “careless people” (173) merely accompany the idea of oblivion and humanity as Gatsby fades into an Eastern Urban legend destroyed by false accusations surrounding Myrtle’s death and “the organic future recedes before us” (180).


message 48: by Gabby (new)

Gabby Wagstaff | 6 comments Mr. Eric Mills wrote: "In The Writing of Fiction (1925), novelist Edith Wharton states the following: “At every stage in the progress of his tale the novelist must rely on what may be called the illuminating incident to ..."

Gabby Wagstaff
P. 1
‘The Great Gatsby’ is filled to the brim with illumination that can be found in the wonder of F. Scott Fitzgerald's words. The true depth of the novel can not be found in the plot or even the sincerity of the characters; but the magical realism that weaves the notation into existence. I find the final paragraph to be the most luminescent and casing as it leaves the reader with a bittersweet aftertaste and is the final thread in the novel. It shows the reality that is difficult to find in the otherwise fantastical writing. He does not sugarcoat that intrinsic reality of human life, but instead leaves the closed door to be stared at and understood: life does not always have happy endings and humans are only that. “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter-to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther...And one fine morning--- So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past” (180).


message 49: by Trinity (new)

Trinity | 7 comments Trinity Grant, Period 2

The Great Gatsby is an allusion in its whole, meaning that almost every aspect of it is a symbol for something else. The largest example of this would be Daisy, and the flowers that seem to follow her character around. There are flowers in her house that she lived in with Tom, Gatsby brought her bouquets to rekindle their lost love. Early on in the story, there was an incident between Daisy and Nick. Nick was asking about Daisy’s baby, and she got agitated about the question. She then bickered on about the child being a girl, and how unfortunate it was that the child was female. “I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool- that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” (17).

This ramble is illuminating to some of the ‘mistakes’ Daisy makes later on in the story. Which, could be said are foolish. When she rekindles her affair with Gatsby, and flirts with him in the presence of Tom. She even listens to Gatsby later on, when he practically forces her to lie to Tom, and tell him that she never loved him. “She never loved you, do you hear?” He cried.” (130). “I never loved him,” she said, with perceptible reluctance.” (132). This is seen as a helpless (foolish) action. Being that she is a beautiful woman pushed around by two men. These encounters center the plotline of the story, and therefore this event illuminates to The Great Gatsby’s center.


message 50: by Maxwell (new)

Maxwell Ryan | 5 comments Maxwell Ryan
pd. 2

In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald created many illuminating moments. You don’t find out about Gatsby knowing Daisy until the first party after Gatsby speaks to Jordan Baker alone. You then know that many years ago Gatsby and Daisy had a relationship, and all we knew was that he was in the army when he knew her. Much later in the novel, Gatsby and Daisy meet again in Nicks home, and afterwards they become much closer than before, and Daisy attends a party with tom. After the party, Gatsby tells Nick everything about him and Daisy, he says that Daisy has to say she never loved Tom before her and Gatsby can be together. (Pg. 110) Nick says “I wouldn’t ask too much of her” and “You cant just repeat the past.” This was an illuminating moment to me in a way that wasn’t really obvious until later in the book. Gatsby thinks he can repeat the past, but too much has changed, Daisy didn’t wait for Gatsby and did fall in some form of love with Tom, and this all comes to fruition in the hotel room. (pg. 132) Daisy can’t say that she never loved tom, “I loved him once but I also loved you too!” Daisy cries at Gatsby, and this shows that even if he did repeat the past it would be flawed, and Daisy outright claims “You ask too much of me!” making chapters 6 and 7 one big illuminating moment that shines the main point of the book, which is not holding onto your dreams too long. Gatsby longed for the days when he felt that he was the only man Daisy loved, but those days were long gone. Nick learns this lesson; at the end of the book (pg. 177) Jordan Baker and Nick caraway have their last conversation, at the end, Nick walks away, “angry and half in love with her” after reminiscing on a talk they had about bad drivers long ago. He remembered a time with Jordan just 3 months ago where they were friends, and Nick had an affinity for Jordan, but Now Nick knows not to hold onto a dream, or the past, because it wont end well.


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