February 8, 2005

Agenda item for The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald does a good job of using nature and the weather in his settings througout his novel, The Great Gatsby. In the first chapter this is particularly evident. In the scene when Nick visits the Buchanans the setting is very beautiful. It is almost the second longest day of the year. Is this set up to mirror how Daisy feels about her and Toms marriage? It seems like Daisy feels like theri marriage just drags on. She says that she wants to celebrate the longest day but alwasy forgets. Maybe this in some way parallels her marriage. She wants to love and celebrate Tom, however she can not do so. Also it was just a beautiful summer day. This i feel, is mocking the Buchanans relationship. A dark rainy day is what the reader may expect but Fitzgerald picks a sunny day, which i think better illustrates his point.
Another instance where Fitzgerald uses the setting to illustrate his point is when Nick arrives at home after leaving the Buchanans for the first time. His mind is completely filled with many thoughts. He is unnerved about all that he has learned about Daisy and Tom. Fitzgerald creates a restless night or what he calls, unquiet darkness. In this scene the atmosphere parallels what the characters are actually feeling. Not only is Nick uneasy but Gatsby is uneasy as well, for he was staring off into the distance at a pale green light.
Fitzgerald does a great job of integrating the setting into the plot of the story.

Posted by MaggiQuinlan at February 8, 2005 7:25 PM

Great point Maggi. The first thing I noticed right away was the dynamite imagery that Fitzgerald incorporates with his narrative. There's a lot to learn from him.

Posted by: Neha at February 8, 2005 8:50 PM

Funny thing about the light, it means so much to Gatsby since it signifies everything he yearns for, but once he meets Daisy, it's just a light.

Posted by: Tim Traini at February 8, 2005 10:32 PM

Very nice work picking out the settings and their relationship to what is occuring in the story. I would have never thought about that if you had not brought that up in your blog. I see your points now and I find it quite interesting that you could make the comparision between the two like you did.

Posted by: Stephanie Watson at February 9, 2005 12:02 AM

You made some excellent observations. I agree that when I first read the story, I was captured by Fitzgerald's illustrative style of writing... it really helps to create a visual of the story, feel like you're there. Also... I found your correlation to the longest day of the year and Daisy's feelings about her marriage to Tom significant. I am not sure if it was intended that way, but that was a great connection you made! Keep up the good work! :)

Posted by: Kayla Turano at February 9, 2005 12:05 AM

Maggi, did you happen to notice that throughout the duration of the book the weather grows hotter and more humid--more unbearable--until the climax? Perhaps if you haven't gotten to that point in the book, you'll be able to look for it. I really admire Fitzgerald for his abilities with imagery and setting structure. It can really add so much more to a story.

Can you find any reasons that Fitzgerald might have chosen green as the color of the light to represent the yearning for Daisy? I'm just wondering what your insight on this might be.

Posted by: Karissa at February 10, 2005 9:25 PM

when daisy and gatsby met, it was a rainy day, but then they awoke to each other and the sun came. As when gatsby died it was the end of summer.

Posted by: San Pham at October 16, 2005 11:08 PM

i was surprised to discover another woman with a name spelled exactly like mine. it is quite unique and so thought i would say hello. i live in california, but my family was from the east coast. i wonder if we are related. any thoughts?

respond if you feel like it.


Posted by: maggi quinlan at November 29, 2005 3:15 AM

I'm afraid i didn't really understood your explanation on the "longest day of the year". What does it really refers to? And in which way is it related with the "candles" that Daisy snapped just before?

Thanks for answering,

Posted by: ced at December 3, 2006 2:28 PM

I beleive the longest day of the year mirrors the long drawn out "process" of the Buchanan's relatioship. Similiarly, as Daisy waits for the longest day but always misses it, perhaps she means to "fix" their relationship but never gets around to it. I think the first comclusion is great (about the drawn out relatioship) but Im not sure that theres enough textual evidence to support the claim that Daisy yearns to better their relationship.


Posted by: Nojh at May 29, 2007 4:23 PM
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