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Lecture 6

Oct 14.docx

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ENG364- Tuesday, October 14, 2014
The Great Gatsby:
- Depiction of beauty is in editing…murder scene would not typically beautiful, but the
way it is written in Gatsby does not make it seem violent of ugly
- Aesthetic is the process of making things appear beautiful
- Idealized/Perfected:
oAmerican desire to see the past as an Ideal
oOld NY defined itself on heritage…new was seen as vulgar
- Depiction of historical past is prominent in this novel
- “the past lapping up against the shore”
- Personal and national pasts overlap
- Daisy has two pasts…Tom and Gatsby, has a child with Tom which complicates things
- Gatsby wants to believe that Daisy only ever loved him
- Confrontation at the Plaza Hotel reveals that Gatsby is worried that he does not have
Daisy’s past…can’t accept only have present and future with him…he wants all of her
- He wants to scrub clean her past so that he is only involved in it
- “Never” is repeated many times in the passage (124-126)
- Daisy says she never loved Tom…makes her seem more pure, acting as though Gatsby is
the only one she ever loved
- Gatsby is narrating Daisy’s past
- Daisy is not concerned with erasing her past, but Gatsby wants it “all wiped out forever”
- Daisy is reluctant and performing for Gatsby even though she doesn’t want to
- Daisy is very superficial…would not marry Gatsby when he was poor
- Tom tries to remind Daisy of intimate moments they have had together (Kapiolani and
Punch Bowl in Hawaii)
- Gatsby is very aggressive and speaks for Daisy, Tom asks Daisy questions…wants her to
have a voice
- Daisy is an object to both men…symbol of class
- Power dynamic involving gender and class
- Goddard is based on a man, Stoddard, who wrote a book about demographics and about
how non-whites will soon outnumber whites…when this happens, civilization will end
- Divided white race in 3 categories: Nordic was at the top
- Deeply opposed to world wars, because it was white Europeans fighting each other and
he believed white people should not fight each other