ENG 1100 Study Guide - Final Guide: Polonius
2 pages25 viewsFall 2017
SchoolUniversity of Ottawa
Course CodeENG 1100
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In the novel, The Great Gatsby
, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the most important factor in shaping a character’s
identity is the adversities they must overcome. Gatsby’s drive for wealth and Daisy, despite his poor
upbringing, reveals his ambition and skewed perception of the upper class. Secondly, Daisy’s
materialistic attitude leads her to living an unhappy superficial life. Lastly, Myrtle’s poverty causes her to
yearn for an upper class lifestyle which results in her adultery and, consequently, leads to George
becoming a madman.
Topic Sentence #1: Despite his poor upbringing, Gatsby’s pursuit of achieving wealth reveals
his ambition and false perception of the upper class.
1) - Grew up on a farm in a poor family
- This is an obstacle he faced when trying to achieve his goal of wealth
- He worked hard with the help of Dan Cody, who shaped him, to achieve his dream
2) - When Gatsby achieves wealth, the other upper classmen (old money) don’t accept him
- Ex: Dinner invite that was meant to be rhetorical, but when Gatsby accepts, they are surprised
and leave without him (false perception of upper class)
Summary: This shapes Gatsby to become a man with questionable values (bootlegging)
Topic Sentence #2: Daisy’s limiting obsession with wealth only serves to develop her superficial
ideology, and Gatsby’s obsession with Daisy, a married woman, shapes him to be a morally corrupt man.
1) - Misplaced values prevent her from achieving happiness
- Obsessed with constantly having more → superficial (pearl necklace)
- Marries Tom for his wealth not for love
- Limits herself to a life of unhappiness
2) - Despite Daisy’s unattainability (married), Gatsby spends his life trying to impress her
- He starts bootlegging to become wealthy and win her over
- Morally corrupt man
Summary: This shapes Daisy because although she has everything she could want, she is still unhappy
(depression → temporary happiness). Gatsby is shaped into a morally corrupt man.
Topic Sentence #3: Myrtle’s poverty drives her to achieve an upper class lifestyle/American Dream which
shapes her into an adulteress, ultimately leading to George becoming a madman.
1) - She lives in lower class (valley of ashes), striving to live the upper class lifestyle
- Has a relationship with Tom for his money
- Becomes an adulteress
2) - George fruitlessly struggles to meet the needs of his unsatisfied wife. Myrtle’s adultery turns
George into a madman (goes to kill Gatsby)
Summary: This toxic relationship leads to both of their downfall; Myrtle is superficial and her obsession
with Tom = death. George becomes a madman.
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