Now with Carraway

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Dan Cody

Though sparsely referenced in the story, Dan Cody is an important character. According to chapter 6, he was a mining/metal tycoon who had been touring the in a yacht when he met Gatsby. This meeting is the origin of the Jay Gatsby we know in the story. On impulse, he changed his name from James Gatz and invented the details of his life he would stand by until the end of the story.
Cody served as Gatsby's mentor, and may have been the one who taught him the business practices that would serve him as a bootlegger later in life. He was apparently a heavy drinker, as Gatsby's primary responsibility was to watch over him and prevent him from damaging anything during his drunken binges. This may have influenced Gatsby's tendency to not drink even though liquor is the star attraction at his parties.
It is implied that Cody was assassinated by a covetous mistress. He left Gatsby a $25000 inheritance, which he was never able to claim due to the use of some obscure legal device against him by the mistress. This formed the starting point for Gatsby's story, as without money to support him or Dan Cody to follow around he ended up in the army, where he met Daisy. This fact makes Dan Cody a sort of lynch pin for the entire story, without him, the rest would never have happened.

Source: The Great Gatsby,

Thursday, June 3, 2010

East Egg v.s. West Egg

There is one major difference between East and West Egg, and that is the kinds of people that live there. In East egg, live people that have family money, that is money that came from parents or grandparents. Their ancestors succeeded in business or other fields and accumulated money that they passed down to their family. They do not like the people that live in West egg because of the way that they accumulated money. Tom and Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby live in East Egg.

The inhabitants of West Egg became wealthy very recently through successes in business or some other form of trade. They do not have wealthy ancestors, these people are called New money. Gatsby lives in West Egg because he was poor most of his life and only recently came in to a great deal of money from selling alcohol illegally. He is involves in bootlegging and that is how he was able to buy his house in West Egg.

This is the only difference between the areas of East and West Egg.

Selfish People

Several characters in Gatsby could be characterized as selfish, either is a material or spiritual sense. Tom seeks to maintain both a wife and a mistress without consequences and without losing the love of either. Daisy on the other hand, is portrayed as too impatient and spoiled to wait for Jay to return for her, marrying Tom only because she herself wanted her future decided right then and there.

Throughout the novel, Tome displays a rather distasteful selfish trait: greed. Even though he purportedly can't stand Daisy, the idea of her seeing anyone else (while he is already cheating) infuriates him. He wants the people in his married life to sit around and wait for when it's convenient for him to acknowledge their existence whilst he runs around with other women, and the idea that they could get along independent of him fails to register in his mind.

Daisy is selfish in a slightly different way. She acts spoiled and impatient, and makes a snap decision without considering the consequences for others. She "want[s] her future decided right then and there, and by some for- love, money, practicality". This leads her to marry Tom, despite having promised to wait for Gatsby. This selfishness actually serves as the catalyst for the entire action of the plot, as it was Gatsby's failure to reach his goal of Daisy's love that draws him into the bootlegging business in the first place, and his conflict with Daisy's husband that eventually brings about his downfall. Had there been no fight in the Plaza Hotel, Daisy wouldn't have tried to sooth herself by driving, wouldn't have hit Myrtle, and Tome wouldn't have had the means nor the motivation to send a vengeful Wilson after him.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Women of Gatsby

Daisy Buchanan: Daisy is Nick's second cousin twice removed. She hails from Louisville and married Tom Buchanan there. She possesses a charming personality that led to her winning the hearts of nearly everyone she dated (which was a lot of people). Her behavior and mannerisms are rather eccentric, unlike those of any other character, though this may be explained by her speaking in a Chicago-dialect of the 1920's vernacular, as all other characters in the story are from other parts of America. She is Gatsby's object of almost obsessive love and his primary motivation for accruing so much wealth.

Jordan Baker: Jordan is a professional golf player with a slightly tarnished reputation following a scandal in which she was accused of cheating in a tournament. She is Nick's love interest in the story and a long time friend of Daisy's. Toward the end of the story she claims to be engaged to another man in order to break off her relationship with Nick. Nick goes along with her story, but believes her to be lying.

Myrtle Wilson: Myrtle is the wife of George Wilson, the owner of the gas station and Tom Buchanan's mistress. She is killed in chapter 7 when daisy runs her over with Gatsby's car. She may have come form a rich family, as she is described as having an illustrious presence in contrast to the other inhabitants of the valley of ashes region, and her (over)reaction to her husbands borrowing of a suit to get married in. She appears to have lost any affection for her husband long ago.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


The main source of jealousy in the novel is between Gatsby, Daisy and Tom. Gatsby is jealous of Tom and Daisy because he loves Daisy greatly. She and him were very much in love before he went to the war. For various reasons she could not marry him and decided to marry Tom instead who was very rich. This makes Gatsby very mad because now he has money and he wants her to come back to him.

He and Daisy had been seeing eachother after they were reunited by Nick and Jordan. Even though they are together in a way Jay is still jealous of Tom and wants to tell him that she is gonna leave him. He seems very uncomfortable when he is around Daisy and Tom. When he sees their daughter al his jealousy rises because she reminds him that Daisy is with Tom.

There is also a small second instance of jealousy between Mr. and Mrs. Wilson. Later in the story Mr. Wilson discovers that his wife has some sort of life away from him. In his jealosy he decides to lock her up in the second story over his garage. He also tells Tom that they are planning to move out west, this is an effort to get her away from whoever she is seeing. He was so jealous that he wants to leave his business and his life.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The very intersting Men of The Great Gatsby...

Tom Buchanan: Tom is married to Daisy and Gatsby is very jealous of him for that. He is described by both Nick and Daisy as being very muscular and having a big body that blocks out doorways and very clumsy. Daisy used the word "hulking" to describe him and that annoys him very greatly. Tom and Nick met in college and they became very good friends. Due to his big size he was a great football player, now he raises polo ponies and drifts around wherever people play polo.

Nick Carraway: Nick went to college at New Haven, where he met Tom, and graduated in 1915. Shortly after graduating he entered the "Great War" where fought for the U.S. after the war he felt restless and decided to move east and learn how to sell bonds. His father decided to finance him for a year and he moved east in the spring of 1922. He moved to an area named West Egg next to a man named Gatsby and across the bay from his cousin Daisy. Nick is a person who does not judge other people because he know others aren't as fortunate as him.

Jay Gatsby: Jay Gatsby was once know as James Gatz before he changed it because he did not like it. His parents were unsuccessful farmers and he never really accepted that they were his real family. He worked as a clam-digger in lake superior for a while until he met Dan Cody. He came into some money because of Cody and became a bootlegger later in his life. During his time in the war he fell in love with a woman named Daisy, after the war they lost contact until they moved in the same area of East and West-Egg. He hopes that now that they are reunited they will once again be together with the help of Nick. Gatsby throws great parties in hopes of luring Daisy, but it doesnt work.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Great Gatsby Film Versions

The Great Gatsby has been adapted to film 4 times, in 1926, 1949, 1974, and 2000. The 1924 version was a silent movie adaptation of a stage play, with a lighthearted tone and a running time of about 86 minutes. Reviews of the film suggest it was the most faithful adaptation of the novel, but the only surviving footage from the film is a small trailer held by the national archives. The 1946 version is a lost film as well, as no prints of the film are known to exist. It is known that the cast of this movie underwent several shifts after some actors were dropped and others left in protest.(Above: The 1946 film's advertisement poster)

The 1974 version is the most popular version, and the one we are currently watching. It was Paramount's third attempt at filming Gatsby, after the above 2 movies. The film starred Robert Redford as Gatsby, Sam Waterson as Nick, Mia Farrow as Daisy, and Lois Chiles as Jordan. The film was directed by Jack Clayton and produced by David Merrick. Originally, Robert Evans held the screenrights so that his wife could play Daisy, but he gave them up when she left him for Steve McQueen. The original writer was Truman Capote, who was replaced by Francis Coppala. (Right: Marquee for the 1974 Version)

The 2000 version was a made for TV movie. The production was a collaboration between America's A&E and Britain's Granada Productions. It starred Toby Stephens, Mira Sorvino, Paul Rudd, and Martin Donovan as Gatsby, Daisy, Nick, and Tom. The film's script is based on a teleplay by John McLaughlin. The film saw limited release and is now virtually unknown. (Right: The 2000 version's ad)