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)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Green Light at the end of Daisy's Dock

Gatsby moved in to the house on the West Egg side and from his house he can see very faintly a green light that is at the end of Daisy's Dock on East egg. Gatsby fell in love with Daisy years ago before he went to war. He has not seen her since and he is very obsessed with meeting with her one again.

To him the Green Light means hope and his dreams of once again being with Daisy. Whenever he sees that light he thinks of her and how much he loves her. That green light also means Gatsby's jealousy of Tom, Daisy's husband. Gatsby is jealous because he feels he should be married to Daisy and the phrase "green with envy" backs this statement. He feels that he and Daisy would be very great together and wants Nick to bring them together.

In Chapter One of The Great Gatsby, he reaches from his house toward that green light as if reaching for his ultimate goal, Daisy. The fact that it is very distant and barely visible lets us know that it is a dream that wont come true. The importance of the light is very significant because it gives us something on which to attach the longing Gatsby has for Daisy.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald was born September 24, 1896 to Edward and Mollie Fitzgerald. His full Name was Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, and was the second cousin of the writer of the Star Spangled Banner. Following Edward's failure as a furniture manufacturer, the family moved to St. Paul and began living off of Mollie's inheritance from her successful family. Fitzgerald attended the St. Paul Academy, where he published his first ever story in the school paper. He would later attend Princeton University, but would neglect his studies in favor of focusing on his literary apprenticeship, under which he wrote lyrics for the school's musicals and contributed to the Princeton Tiger. The poor performance this caused would land him on academic probation.(Right: Fitzgerald in Business attire)
Demoralized by his probation and unlikely to graduate, Fitzgerald enlisted in the army in 1917 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He was convinced that he would be killed WWI and rapidly wrote a novel entitled "The Romantic Egotist". This event may have influenced Jay Gatsby's life story, wherein he hoped to be killed in the war and felt aimless and lost in life. The war ended before Fitzgerald went overseas however, and before his discharge he fell in love with Zelda Sayre in circumstances similar to those of Daisy's and Gatsby's in the story. Fitzgerald became a celebrity almost overnight after the publication of "This Side of Paradise", but his reputation as a playboy impeded proper analysis of his work. (Left: Fitzgerald in his Army uniform)
Fitzgerald married Sayre soon after publishing Paradise, but their marriage was tumultuous due to Fitzgerald's drinking and Zelda's infidelity. They moved to Europe and toured the continent in 1924 whilst Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby. This is referenced in the book as part Daisy and Tom's back story. Though lauded critically, the book's sales were somewhat disappointing. The Fitzgeralds returned to America in '31 to live in Montgomery, but Zelda suffered a relapse from a nervous breakdown the previous year and would spend the rest of her life in sanitariums. Francis's life began to "crack up"a after this, he was unable to write commercial stories and lived in hotels. His son Scottie, lived in a boarding school under the care of the Ober family. He worked for several years as a freelance scriptwriter in Hollywood before dieing of a heart attack in 1940. He died believing himself a failure and would not achieve "enduring writer" status until 1960. (Below: The oldest surviving copy of Fitzgerald's first published work)
information from

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Old vs. New Money

Old Vs. New money refers to a system of classifications for wealth. "Old Money" families are families who have steadily built their wealth over generations. "New Money" people are either individuals or groups that have acquired wealth over the course of a few decades. Societal views on the two classes of wealth differ. (Below, left: European Nobility's wealth often predates recorded history)

Old money is what usually comes to mind when people talk about wealth. The "old money" idea is one that stretches back to the medieval period. Prestigious titles, trust funds, and titular buildings (ex: Rockefeller Center) are the hallmarks of this class. Old money families include the aforementioned Rockefellers, the Carnegies, and the Vanderbilts. You may notice that each of these families first began accruing wealth during the Industrial Revolution. Rockefeller came to monopolize the oil business, and Carnegie founded a Steel Industry giant from almost nothing in the same era. Most non-European nobility families of this class owe their wealth to an Industrial entrepreneur.(right: Rockefeller Center)

The New Money class includes the likes of Bill Gates and Oprah, people who have risen to fabulous wealth mostly independently. This also applies to families with comparatively young generation-spanning wealth, such as the Hiltons. It is likely that as times goes on, said individuals will produce dynasties that will become Old Money families. How long this will take cannot be precisely determined, as their is no set number of generations a family must enjoy wealth before being considered "Old Money"(Below: Bill Gates)

Information thanks to

Friday, May 14, 2010

Flappers: The New Women of the 1920's

Before the 1920's women dressed in very long skirts with shirts that had collars, they also had to keep their hair very long. As WWI neared they began to change their appearance in small ways.

This is how they dressed prior to the 1920's and the first World World War.

Many people saw WWI as being started by the mistakes and beliefs of the older generation, they saw so much death as a soldier or as being a nurse that tended to the wounded. young women wanted to move away from the old ways that they believed brought death. After the war was over it was very difficult to adjust to life the way it was before. They decided to change their appearance, by cutting their hair, being more revealing, and rebelling against their elders.

The term "flapper" was first used in England to describe young women who had not yet fully matured. Authors such as F. Scott Fitzgerald described them as "lovely, expensive, and nineteen." They were also noted to trim down all of their clothing to make moving around a lot easier. Their outer clothing which was called "garconne" or "little boy." To look more like a boy they would wind strips of cloth around their chest to flatten it. All of this characterized the new women of the 20's who rejected the old ways.

Information on the Flappers:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The 1920s

Before I begin let me just ask, "the Japan's Yakuza"? Really? Who's the idiot writing this thing? Oh wait...

(BTW the previous post is not recommended for children, the elderly, or wussies. Contains violence, censored cursing, violence, grown men acting like rude middle-schoolers, and violence)

Moving on. The "Roarin 20's" were a time of unprecedented prosperity (however artificial) in America. The "associated state" between government and big business provided much needed work-place reforms, stable prices, and industry-wide standards. Lower classes could buy on credit, paying a down payment followed by installments for nearly anything. Up until Black Thursday, most of society was in the stock market and enjoyed the benefit of rapidly inflating stock prices and the resulting cash flow. (Left, above: Yep, that's pretty much what life was)

Americans first developed a homogenized national culture during this period. Movies (the silent kind) in particular, which were as cheap as a nickel and shown non-stop all day, gave people all across the nation a single pastime to share and talk about. In addition, the mass production of the automobile provided people both with private transportation for both work and recreation. With a car for every 5 people, the isolation of rural life broke down, the suburbs grew, and Kansas city gave birth to the first shopping center ( I'll leave whether or not that was a good thing up to you).( Below: What some claim was the first Model T to roll off the assembly line)

All was not well however. Among other problems the Ku Klux Klan was reborn in this era under the nativist movement, which pushed for all immigrants and cultures to be absorbed into the dominant "American" culture, on the basis that radicals like anarchists and socialists would undermine the nation. In response to these pressures, Congress passed the National Origins Act, which restricted immigration to maintain the ratio of ethnicities and nationalities present in America as of 1924. As if that weren't bad enough, science and religion renewed their long standing conflict with the Scopes Trial, where a school teacher was convicted (in only 8 minutes) for teaching the theory of evolution rather than biblical creationism. The statute outlawing Darwin's theory in schools would remain on the books for more than 30 years. (Right: HA HA HA HA HA HA!...)
Deadliest Warriors ran a simulated confrontation between the Mafia from Jesus's post and the Japan's Yakuza. You can view it here:

Have decided to add some Vault-Lad approved Jazz typical of the era to the blog. Your're listening to Sid Philip's Boogie Man, courtesy of Fallout 3.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


During the Era of Prohibition (1920-1933) the Mafia/Gangsters became more powerful beacuse they saw a way to earn big money selling alcohol illegally. They were know as "bootleggers" because they smuggled the liqouor in their boots. They developed illegal underground bars called "speakeasies" because you had to whisper a password to get in. Inside the bars there was gambling and prostitution. Due to the great demand of alcohol the illegal bars were very successful for the Gangsters.

One of the most famous gangsters was Al Capone. He was in charge of running the underground alcohol business in the city on Chicago. Based on some records it was found out that he was making approximately $60,000,000 from bootlegging liquor, he also made $10,000,000 from racketeering. This was when gangsters threatened shop and business owners with violence unless they paid them money for so-called "protection."

Monday, May 10, 2010


Prohibition (a.k.a. "the noble experiment") refers to the period 1916-1933 when the 18th amendment to the US constitution banned the sale, transportation, and manufacture of "intoxicating liquors" in the United States. It was proposed by lawmakers after significant pressure from the Temperance Movement, which regarded alcohol as the source of/catalyst for numerous societal ills. It would later be supplemented by the Volstead Act, which set standards for exactly what an "intoxicating liquor" was, as well as protecting the manufacture of alcoholic spirits used in science and industry. (Left: headline announces the beginning of prohibition)

The amendment was respectful to the people of the US. It specifically did not ban the possession or consumption of liquor, leaving those already in possession of it in the clear. In addition, it exempted liquors used for religious purposes from the ban. Lastly, it provided 1 years time from ratification before the law went into effect, providing distillers and liquor merchants with time to seek alternate employment. (Right: Overzealous supporters of the law symbolically destroy a barrel of whiskey)

Prohibition had serious unexpected consequences. Chief among these is the fact that it didn't eliminate the "the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors", it just moved them from the hands of legitimate businesses into those of criminal empires. Violence between competing factions of moonshiners (illegal manufacturers) and bootleggers (illegal transporters/sellers) became a serious hazard to the populace. On top of this, alcohol consumption went from a common activity to a romanticized, "forbidden fruit" luxury in stylish, illegal taverns called "speakeasies".( Below: a speakeasy)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

This is a blod dedicated to the Great Gatsby as part of Ms. Donahue's 11th grade English Class