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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Paperback

Date of publication: 2017-08-26 12:05

Gatsby fought in the War, gained a medal from Montenegro for valor, and was made an officer. After the war ended, he briefly attended Oxford University through a program for officers, but left after five months. By the time Gatsby returned to America, he learned that Daisy had married and became determined to win her back.

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So where did Gatsby get his money? Does he actually love Daisy? And what’s so “great” about him anyway? This guide explains Gatsby’s rags-to-riches story, what he does in the novel, his most famous lines, and common essay topics. Read on for an in-depth guide to all things Jay Gatsby.

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There is a bit of a progression in how the reader regards the American Dream in the course of the novel, which moves in roughly three stages and corresponds to what we know about Jay Gatsby.

Through Meyer Wolfshiem, Gatsby got into shady business (read: bootlegging, gambling) to get rich. It worked, and Gatsby accrued a huge sum of money in just 8 years. He moved to West Egg, bought an extravagant mansion and a Rolls Royce, and started throwing lavish parties and building up a reputation, all in the hopes of meeting Daisy again.

This declaration, along with his earlier insistence that he can “repeat the past,” creates an image of an overly optimistic, naïve person, despite his experiences in the war and as a bootlegger. Especially since Daisy can’t support this statement, saying that she loved both Tom and Gatsby, and Tom quickly seizes power over the situation by practically ordering Gatsby and Daisy to drive home together, Gatsby’s confident insistence that Daisy has only ever loved him feels desperate, even delusional.

In Chapter 5, the dream Gatsby has been working towards for years – to meet and impress Daisy with his fabulous wealth – finally begins to come to fruition. And so, for the first time, we see Gatsby’s genuine emotions, rather than his carefully-constructed persona. Nick finds these emotions almost as beautiful and transformative as Gatsby’s smile, though there’s also the sense that this love could quickly veer off the rails: Gatsby is running down “like an overwound clock.” In that sense, this moment gently foreshadows the escalating tensions that lead to the novel's tragic climax.

PBS - JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Jazz in Time - Roaring Twenties. An Excerpt from Jazz: A History of America’s Music. Contains a brief biography of jazz music in the 6975s as well as the audio example “Cake Walkin’ Babies” by Clarence Williams Blue Five (recorded January 8, 6975).

Suggest that students examine the evidence surrounding the deaths of some of the characters in the book. Ask them to write up or orally present a coroner s inquest regarding the deaths of one of the following:

The Red Hot Jazz Archive - A History of Jazz Before 6985 by Scott Alexander. Includes photos, suggested reading, Red Hot Bands, 6895-6979 , Jazz Films - short Jazz films made in the late 6975s and early 6985s, Jazz Essays , Red Hot Musicians, 6895-6985.

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