Gig Harbor AP Language Reads The Great Gatsby discussion

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message 1: by Haley (new)

Haley | 11 comments Hey people who decide to actually stick with goodreads. :)I wanted to ask whether people have found really interesting color presentations throughout the book. I actually really enjoy finding colors myself. A fascinating one that I happened to find was on page 57 and 58. Fitzgerald talks about a "tall red haired young lady" and then points out, "her heavy beaded eyelashes they assumed an inky color". He was describing a young lady who started singing on stage at a large party that Gatsby was hosting; however, she was sobbing more than singing. The colors show that she was angry from a death or mourning over a loss possibly due to the inky color of black. Now, after hearing my interesting comment, what are your favorite or interesting color findings?

message 2: by Michael (last edited Jan 12, 2009 07:53PM) (new)

Michael Bouterse | 20 comments Mod
Thank you, Haley! You're my new best friend!

As for colors, green intrigues me most. It's only appeared twice (as of chapter five), and both times only in association with Gatsby and his love for Daisy. It's the "Gatsby color," I rather think, a color whose rarity symbolizes Gatsby's uniqueness, which I believe is what Carraway describes as his "extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as {Carraway has} never found in any person and which it is not likely {he} shall ever find again" (6).

For as Carraway realizes, Gatsby is utterly unlike his upper-class cohorts such Buchanan, Myrtle, or Gatsby's partygoers insofar as he is not frivolous. Gatsby is passionate, a man who, possessed of a desire for Daisy that is not materialistic but truly, honestly, innocently ardent, will lose himself to the world staring at a vague dim green light across a bay in pursuit of the one he loves. He waits three years to buy his specific house not for want of its lavishness but so that he can be opposite his Daisy; and I would even argue that Gatsby's entire accumulation of wealth is a desperate articulation of his love for Daisy. Look what Carraway tells us:

As I went to say goodbye I saw that the expression of bewilderment had come back into Gatsby's face, as though a faint doubt had occurred to him as to the quality of his present happiness. Almost five years! There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams--not through her own fault but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart. (101)

Gatsby, the man with the "ghostly heart," so passionately longs for Daisy that it spills over. It's a very hard thing to psychologically pin down; but Gatsby's wealth, in my opinion, is an articulation of his desire. Yes, he knows that this sort of wealth shan't make him satisfied, but that's just the point. Materialism is addictive: the more things he acquires the more Gatsby will want; his desire--not desire for one particular thing but spiritual disquiet to which desire is akin--will increase. So Gatsby manically tries to augment the richness of his life times n. He makes materialism his form of emotional masturbation, if I might make so raunchy. Why? Because it's through wealth that Gatsby longs most, and when he longs most he is closest to Daisy. And I needn't explain to all of us--we teenagers who have had at least a crush or two and can think and feel with our own souls just fine, thank you very much--why we are closest to what we love when we don't have it.

message 3: by Haley (new)

Haley | 11 comments Michael I couldn’t agree more to everything you said!!!
It seems to me that people perceive Gatsby as this ghostly figure of wealth and mystery that many don’t realize his true passion for anything, mostly directing it to Daisy. These partygoers are too busy trying to present themselves as being “high and mighty” so that they feel as high of class as they believe Gatsby to be. I don’t understand these people that want to be something their not! Which brings me to my next conclusion...
All of the people think of Gatsby in envy and believe the rumors that he is some psychopath killer on the loose. You know. But Gatsby isn’t even trying so hard in being that at all in my opinion. His love for Daisy is presented through the color green, of which I definitely agree with you on that as well. I think that the reason that Fitzgerald hasn’t incorporated green in that much is because it only is presented when he describes Gatsby’s love for the dear woman of which he longs for. I am definitely going to pay more attention to the color green and what is brought out by that color. Also, if I am mistaken, I feel as though Nick is kind of represented through the color white. To me this stands out and shows that he is the speaker and the one who is important in this story aside from Gatsby. Then you have Gatsby and to me he is still presented through shadows and one whose past and present has to keep getting unwound through all of the different threads spewing from his mind and life – like Daisy.
And about the teenager idea that you talked about. I couldn’t agree more! Even though we have felt things the same as adults have, we have always wanted to become close to them even though we may be far apart.

message 4: by Michael (new)

Michael Bouterse | 20 comments Mod
Wow. I had never thought of the "Nick = white" thing. I'll be following that one from now on...

message 5: by Haley (new)

Haley | 11 comments Ha ha you should. I just thought about how Nick and Gatsby are so different. Nick with white and Gatsby with black and shadows. But I think that in the long run, their going to be similar in a way like how opposite (colors) attract.

message 6: by Michael (new)

Michael Bouterse | 20 comments Mod
Hi, guys.

In honoring a request of Mrs. Gilbert's, I've locked this thread. She had requested that we not get into extensive discussions on color right now since we'll be doing some writing on the subject later, to be based on our own independent thinking instead of collaboration.

But the bits about Gatsby's and his character into which this thread has wandered can easily be continued in the "Gatsby" thread.


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