GSFR Chapters 1-2

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98 Replies to “GSFR Chapters 1-2”

  1. To Kawami’s point about the treatment of Daisy, I agree that Nick’s views and actions around Tom’s affair reflect a greater issue of lack of feminism in society at the time. Through small actions in the narrative, it becomes clear that strong male characters have the power to make decisions and actions as they wish.

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  2. Building off of Shannon’s point, I think the unhappiness within Daisy and Tom’s marriage underlines a deeper “fakeness” in East Egg. It seems like their wealth is keeping them from finding true happiness and meaning in their lives, so Tom just goes to parties and finds mistresses instead.

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  3. I agree with Zach. Nick doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere. The story is divided into two distinct sections and nick seems like he is just thrown in, like he doesn’t really belong. This is reflected in the way he carries himself and acts towards Tom and daisy and Myrtle, he is a passive character who kinda just floats around observing

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  4. Agreeing with Kawami’s point. I think the behaviour of Nick is just the general attitude towards women of the time. That the mistreatment of women was not looked down upon as much as it is today. That why it may seem odd to us that Nick is aware of the situation but not doing anything about it. Women were more perceived as objects.

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  5. Good relation to Scott and Fitzgerald Celina! I didn’t catch that. Since Daisy is based on Zelda Fitzgerald, maybe we’ll see more comparisons in the future too.

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  6. Building off Shannon and Zach’s points, I wonder if Tom and Daisy’s relationship started off in poor form, or slowly decayed over time due to them becoming more restless and bored with life?

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  7. Based off Shannons point:
    Saying that Tom and Daisy don’t seem happy together.
    But why did Tom lie by telling Myrtle that Daisy is a Catholic and cannot get divorced. When Nick knows that Daisy is not a Catholic. Does Tom still want to be Daisy? Is he in love with her or the idea of her?
    I think he likes having a person like Daisy because in society she looks good whereas Myrtle is low class and grew up very different from Tom and Daisy. In their society Daisy is much more accepted.

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    1. Yeah other Li I think he wants to stay with Daisy just because she makes him look good. She’s high class, pretty, and accepted. If he were to get divorced with her there would be backlash among his friends and family, which seems solid to avoid.

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  8. Kawami’s point about Nick’s surprise at the assertiveness of Daisy and Miss Baker is important. It demonstrates that that even though Nick claims to be non-judgmental, he is still a well-off, white male in the 1920’s in America. He may not be as racist or sexist as Tom but he will still have the prejudices that come with being raised in a 1920’s era privileged white society.

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  9. Going back to Zach’s comment about the valley of ashes, I think Nick’s description juxtaposes the riches and wealth of both of the “Eggs” with the desolate, ruined area of the valley.

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  10. Did people get the impression that nick also previewed Daisy like this? Does he think that she’s shallow or is he more sympathetic to her circumstances like Kawami/shannon suggested?

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  11. To Daniel’s point about her being shallow, I agree that it’s difficult to tell what is really underneath the surface. She clearly has a backstory that we haven’t hear a point of view on. This is necessary to see how Tom’s treatment of her has really affected her.

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  12. On Daniel’s point, I think that Daisy wants her daughter to be a fool – a little stupid – so that she doesn’t understand and see the sexism and hardships she faces.

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  13. On Kevin’s point – I don’t think Daisy is actually shallow, since she recognizes gender norms in the 1920s by making the “beautiful little fool” comment. She seems aware of the flaws of the world around her, but since she grew up in wealth, she doesn’t have an opportunity to do anything about it. I think it’s her circumstances that makes her appear shallow, since that was the societal expectation at that time.

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  14. I think that she may Daisy may not be as shallow as we think, as she is aware of her situation as seen by her knowledge of being cheated on by Tom and saying she wants her daughter to be a fool. She may be trying to cast the illusion of sophistication, but there is clearly a layer of turmoil underneath this surface that she is trying to find, so maybe we’ll find out more about this later on in the story.

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  15. Supporting Kawami’s point that Daisy’s character seems more intricate than than superficial. Daisy may come off as surface level especially in front of her husband because revealing her true emotions may leave her vulnerable to her rather emotionless husband. We first get a glimpse at Daisy’s more intimate side when she was talking alone with Nick, but when Tom asked Daisy what she and Nick were talking about she hides it from Tom.

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  16. I agree with Kawami’s point on how Daisy is treated poorly and how women in general are treated poorly at the time. I think the perception of women at the time has also seeped into Daisy own beliefs. Daisy mentions that she hopes her daughter “is a fool, that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world” which shows how her beliefs have been corrupted society. That being said, I think Daisy knows that the treatment of women is unfair but she feels resigned to the fact that nothing can be done.

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  17. I agree with what is being said about daisy being suppressed and coming across as shallow only because that’s what’s expected of her. When Tom was talking about white supremacy, it wasn’t clear whether daisy agreed or not; maybe she’s afraid of contradicting Tom or speaking her mind, since we know he’s abusive to her

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  18. I agree with Shannon and Kawami. I think Daisy is not shallow and is very intelligent and capable but this is constricted by Tom’s dominance. She wishes for her new-born daughter to be a fool so she does not feel held back when she is born into similar circumstances. She hopes her daughter will be a fool so she is not aware of the constrictions that exist and can be happy about the simple things. Ignorance is bliss!

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  19. I agree with Shawn’s point. I think there is significance in Myrtle Wilson wanting a dog, though it may have seemed erratic at the time. The roaring 20’s was a materialist era where people were tempted wherever they went. The fact that Myrtle pleaded and begged “How much is it?” (27) and bought a dog without any thought exemplifies the mindset of the people living in the 20’s. A dog is a 15 year commitment, but there was no such thing as commitment during this era.

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  20. Austin – culture doesn’t change instantaneously. Although there were massive movements to give women more rights, that doesn’t mean that it became widely accepted instantly for women to take power over their own lives. Especially married to someone like Tom, it’s incredibly difficult for Daisy to escape – where is she going to go? What repercussions will she face?

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  21. I think Daisy is actually aware of the treatment of women at the time. She seems to have her own opinions and speaks up during conversations. When Daisy says “a beautiful little fool” it may relate to the flappers of the 1920s and how she wants her daughter to be carefree and live a more powerful freeing life.

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  22. On Austin’s point – I have a question for everyone:
    What “foul dust floating in the wake of [Gatsby’s] dreams” could Nick be referring to on page 8, based on what we’ve learned about the characters so far?

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    1. Chippy, I think this may refer to something that happened in the past and it’s effects are still looming. Floating dust takes a long time to fully settle, so this may mean that a detrimental event that happened in the past may resurface… exciting!!

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  23. I agree with Shawn, Daisy stays with Tom because she is reliant on Tom. She would be cast out of her class if she divorced Tom, and she certainly wouldn’t enjoy the riches she has with Tom. Daisy lives a sheltered life, and while she may be independent enough to be assertive and challenge Tom occasionally, she is too daunted by the prospect of what he life could be if she divorced Tom to really explore the extent of her independence.

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  24. I agree with Shannon and Zach’s point on the relationship between Tom and Daisy being a bit troubled and filled with annoyance. In the first two chapters there is a moment on page 22 where Daisy describes how she seen and done everything, alluding to how she is now just bored with her current life. Due to that attitude, it makes Tom, a person who is noted to yearn for the action he use to have, to cheat on Daisy for Myrtle that gets excited and genuinely happy unlike Daisy. Could Tom still have feelings for Daisy like Zach’s first point on Tom hitting Myrtle for bringing up Daisy, thoughts?

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  25. Like Austin and Celina said, Gatsby is well introduced in a way that get me curious as a reader. By bringing in all the characters to Gatby’s presence – by saying that everyone is aware of him, Nick’s curiosity grows. This also makes grows curiosity about Gatsby in general.

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  26. Gatsby is introduced in the novel, with Nick describing Gatsby’s house and the insane way that he was acting outside on his lawn. Linking with Daniel and Austin’s points about Gatsby’s bad reputation and the character himself.
    Initially we are told that he is rich through family money, but then Nick describes the weird way that Gatsby was acting. Hooks the reader to want to know more about Gatsby. Who is this mysterious man? Why did Fitzgerald choose to only include these glimpses of Gatsby in the first two chapters?

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  27. On Celinas point, does gatsby allow or create these rumours to make an aura of mystery around himself and give himself more power and influence over people through his reputation?

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  28. On the topic of Gatsby, it is interesting how the author has built up the aura around Gatsby without even revealing his character. Gatsby has become a motif within both chapters as this looming figure. Fitzgerald does an excellent job with building tension with this.

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  29. To build up off of Shannon and Celina’s point, I thought that Fitzgerald was purposely building up suspense and anticipation by tantalizing us with Gatsby’s mysterious persona. By sprinkling the novel with small snippets of information, he urges us to read on, which is quite a clever technique!

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  30. I think Daisy hoping that her child is a “beautiful little fool” contributes to the idea that the East Egg is stuck in it’s old ways, where woman are looked at as “trophies” as was discussed.

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  31. Gatsby! What is his relevance in the story? Nick seems to speak highly of him in the novel. Will this cause a biased view of the character Gatsby to be presented, omitting another side of him?

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    1. Claire – Standing by my earlier points, I think that nick is a trustworthy narrator and won’t omit any of gatsby’s actions, but he might present gatsby in a positive light as he does think highly of him. Reading with this in mind, we can make our own judgement calls about gatsby.

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    2. Nick has built up an entire character for gatsby based off of what he has been told and what he has observed. I think that in a way, the portrayal of gatsby by the townspeople has dehumanized him to a surface level. This may be wrong, but I thought that maybe the people don’t know gatsby at a very human level and know more of the idea of gatsby

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  32. Kawami- I completely agree with what you said “ignorance is bliss”. In the world they live in, women are pretty much helpless and depend on their husbands. Being a “little fool” and being unaware of the dysfunction in the society lessens the normalized feeling for women of being treated like an object. She will grow up thinking everything makes sense and that there is nothing wrong and that’s better than realizing there is a problem but being unable to do anything about it.

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