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gardens

[ Edited ]
The creation of a garden also examplifies the movement of lines to shapes. A garden is a transformation of something static and monochromatic to something with color, variety and movement. Gatsby's garden becomes a sea of floating colors, shapes and sounds.

Chad

PS- Gardens can have elements of both variety and uniformity or conformity, as the case may be. Again, the static, would be invisble, line"less", the colorless, and the dynamic would be with colorful and shape- that is, we distinguish movement. And we can change our reality by simply adjusting the shape of our eyes.

Message Edited by chad on 01-30-2008 05:47 PM
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WW2

[ Edited ]
There's quite a lot of speculation about the Jewish/Nazi conflict- precursors to WW2 were definately present and I get a foreboding sense from the whole novel. People were caught in what seemed to be "mafia turf" battles, in the US and abroad- probably a little more complex than that. But when I think of the 1920's, I think of something colorful, bright, musical, glitzy, dazzling, glamourous, etc. etc., but also dangerous. Fitzgerald seems to capture my impression in "The Great Gatsby." But he also posits that this colorful era arose from the ashes of WW1 and obscured new lines which shaped the beginning of WW2, perhaps by design- but I hope not. So, he gives the 20's an added dimension I had not known.

Chad

Message Edited by chad on 01-31-2008 11:55 AM
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Sound and the jazz age

Many of you asked about sound. Well, sound, usually in the form of music or the jazz, created both a break or a "disjunctive"atmosphere and also something unified or romantic. The music at Gatsby's party might be the best example. The geographic "sound", or any body of water which separates land and cultures, can be viewed as something that creates audible sound and music. It could be argued that the banjo and jazz, American forms of music, evolved literally from the ocean- the break, crack or separation of lands. The horns and trumpets of the jazz age, triangular in shape, were and are still the conduits that transform lines(sheet music, if you will) into shapes. Jazz, as something designed like the 20's? Well, music is provided as music is afforded and Nick and Tom pass laughing African americans across the bridge- oooh! sorry about that one. But if you enjoy the music, who cares?


Chad
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trumpet conduits

Well, I don't think of a trumpet or a horn as a conduit- it sounds too scientific. The "intermediary" shape between line and shape would be triangular or something conical. The lines of our lips certainly produced new music, indeed, a new age, or a new dimension, with instrumemts like the trumpet and saxophone, and they set a livelier if not more colorful mood for most, if not all of the parties in the 1920's.

Chad
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all smiles

[ Edited ]
Americans have a tendency to appear to be superficial with smiles that don't necessarily reflect they way they feel inside. Jay Gatsby, on the otherhand, as Nick notes, had a smile that seemed "more dimensional", less superficial, and maybe something "in balance." Moreover, the entire culture of the 1920's was something that appeared to be bright and colorful, less "flat", but forces in society would, if ever, allow the culture to achieve a third, or even a fourth dimension. That is, the times, although appearing to be more bright and alive, still retained elements of uniformity or conformity, or vacillated between 2d and 3d effects. The words we spoke and the music that played was still somewhat controlled. To tell someone that he was great, to use language more "dimensionally", or indeed, to be great, might create imbalances, or perhaps another "crack" in society. Gatsby almost reaches the "green light"- the point at which past meets future, civilization meets Nature, the point at which we do not reflect yellow light, but radiate something "green."

Chad

Message Edited by chad on 02-04-2008 11:34 AM
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the green light

I'd thought I'd throw in a little something on the green light, but perhaps more sugnificant would be the sound or the sea which prevents him form reaching the "green light. The earth both forms shapes and breaks them apart.

Chad
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Re: the green light

[ Edited ]
Many of you asked about the green light. Well, the green light represents many things. I think the green light is that intersection of civilization and Nature. Literally we evolved to emit green light. Or, another way of thinking about it: Gatsby's garden started emitting light and color, all through the modern convenience of electricity and the night took on a whole new quality. The sun and the moon are now suboordinate, if not intrusions, or "hired help" at our parties. I guess the 1920's gave the earth a little more "color" of its own. Remember, of course, that green lights are literally found at traffic intersections, and the world, although more colorful, was moving a little faster. Daisy and Gastby pass by in a speeding yellow car that seems to blend into the surrounding green, causing a "light green" description of the vehicle. But a blue, a deep blue ocean, and perhaps our own shortcomings, the shortcomings of our arms for example, prevent a "quavering" Gatsby from ever reaching that "Orgastic" future across the sound. So, do we ever reach, or can we maintain a Gatsby dream or party, or are we in a constant state of flux between reality and dream, line and shape, civilization and nature? Or, in basic words, will the party have to end?

Chad

Message Edited by chad on 02-05-2008 02:40 PM
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green

Or you can ignore all of the above and just say that Gatsby is that green light. And to say so might mean that he radiates naivete and innocence, or both.. But he definitively radiates the color green, the bright color of earth.

Chad
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green with envy

[ Edited ]
I wanted to stress that green could mean naivete- we we're saying that Gatsby really wasn't great. So, Jay Gatsby was naieve in the sense that he was caught, as probably many people were, in mafia wars. He was definately someone that Wolfsheim used as a "canopy" or a "cover." But it could be argued that his greed, or envy, led him to West Egg and his dream. So, perhaps the state that would best describe Gatsby might be one of "naieve envy." Gatsby fell somewhere in between these two words or two shades of green. Indeed, I think at one point in the story Gatsby appears between two bushes in a pink suit. But he is something bright, colorful, or something that radiates different colors or is like a bright a green light.

Chad

PS- Gatsby represents what was America during the 1920's. That is, one could argue that the entire country was greedy and naieve at the same time. The American dream was attainable to those who sought it- it was visible next door. But this dream or desire could be used against them. A criminal "underworld" was developing and "clandestine" or "criminal" activity was typical of the 1920's and the prohibition era.

Message Edited by chad on 02-06-2008 10:48 AM
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The earth: the bright green light

[ Edited ]
Fitzgerald may view today's global warming trend as simply the earth's aspiration to be a "star." Hey, let's make sure we tell the earth that it's great, and we like it just the way it is....

Chad

Message Edited by chad on 02-08-2008 02:07 PM
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West Egg/East Egg

Nature partitions unevenly. The differences in children/people are prime examples of this phenomenon. On a larger scale, the sound breaks west and east egg into unequal parts, causing a future rifts or breaks. Gatsby's home is larger and more grand than any in east or west egg, but lies next to shacks on the west side. In contrast, East egg tends to have larger homes and no shacks, but nothing as large as Gatsby's. Energy, color and life tip out of the home, and Gatsby's color tips out to Nick, for example, providing more dimension and life. Shapes become unstable and form new shapes, lines etc.


Chad
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Dimensions

Remember that our lips give an added dimension to ourselves and to the world. Simply, verbal descriptions allow us to "see" without using our eyes. Language can destroy or break apart, but telling someone that he is great may help maintain shape and integrity. Nature appears to be a continual process of building shapes, which then become unstable, and which gradually disinitegrate or break apart. But we're able to use our lips to tell someone that he is great and help maintain shape and integrity.

Chad

PS- I beleive that Fitzgerald would probably say that the shape of the universe is an egg. But several shapes have been postulated: circles, ovals, horns, pyramids- all in Gatsby.
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Football: an eggcellent choice

Foootball must be the best example of shape, the shape of an egg, producing two lines, which must again shape themselves, well, in another form of an egg. I believe teams, and I'm thinking mainly defensive, must attend to long and short linear aspects of the game. And the offense would, of course, hope that there might be a break somewhere in the formation. So, we basically made the law of the universe into a game! We are so Great!

Chad
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Short and Long inquires

[ Edited ]
I did not want to confuse people with my "short" and "long" linear aspects, above. Nature produces shapes which have both aspects For example, a perfect sphere is rarely, if ever, found in Nature. There usually are imperfections in shape and form. But the egg, for example, has both a long side, "the length", and a short side, "the width" and its "balance" of these two aspects help maintain the shape of the egg and protects the chick about to hatch- unless you crack it open and eat it! Similarly, the 1920's, with its expanding stock and bonds markets, had similar short and long aspects in the form of "short" and "long"-term investments, if you will.  But these two aspects were "out of balance." The egg cracked in 1929, so to speak. But Nick Carraway, who sold bonds, would probably have wanted the times to maintain shape, or to be remembered, at the very least.
 
Chad
 
PS- Half an egg, or a parabola, helps maintain stability in architecture. If you don't agree, all you have to do is look to the west to our St Louis Arch, which stands as a monument to the "half egg" and "the west" which helped to stabilize the US. 


Message Edited by chad on 02-13-2008 02:46 PM
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Nick Carraway

[ Edited ]
That Nick could have caused the stock market crash by selling one more bond is plausible. Not all of the bonds sold were honored and this can also be true in today's market. Some salesmen in the 1920's sold bonds knowing that they would never be repayed upon maturation. I don't feel this is Nick's case, in particular. Fitzgerald writes about the natural and somtimes tragic phenonemenon of shapes which eventually become unstable, break apart, and form again. Nick perhaps contributed to the crash of 29', but follows what seems to be Nature's own course.  Also remember that the novel opens with Fitzgeralds' classic line:
 

"In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.

'Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,' he told me, 'just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.' "

The words seem to enclose him in an eggshell which later breaks when he encounters Gatsby's personality. Nick, now more dimensional, finds the life and the people dull, dishonest, and probably less dimensional. Nick leaves the east coast. And the American dream, which Nick helps Gatsby to reach, dies with him.

 
Chad

PS- I'd like to do a "what's in a name?" subject heading- maybe later.




Message Edited by chad on 02-14-2008 06:07 PM
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Poland and Montenegro: shapes

The natural phenonemon that I describe, that is, the formation of shapes, which seem to hold momentarily and later form lines or disintegrate entirely, takes place quite often in Europe. The formation of Poland, particularly after world war I, influenced the poliitcal scene of the 1920's. In addition, Montenegro recently reformed in 2006, formed part of the line of the western front in WW1. 
 
Chad
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Re: Nick Carraway adddendum

Well, I hope the American dream is still alive for everyone. For Nick, however, I believe it died with Gatsby.
 
'Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,' he told me, 'just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.' " This sentence is a social "line" which shape's Nick's character. It does both attract people and envelopes him. Nick cannot seem to give people that added dimension until the shell is broken.
 
Chad
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The Fourth Dimension

OK- this is admittedly a little complicated to do on the web. Basically, we cannot define what we cannot see. So, if you think of moving between "light" and "dark" states, shape, dimension and movement become less defined. Too much light and too much dark obscures vision. If you ever go to parties, sometimes the strobe lights and flashing color obscures shape and movement, purposely. This is not a great thing when whomever you meet might step outside into steady light- oops! this person looked better in the club. The other side - the dark is obvious. The transition between two states is something of a funnel- we hear the sound of horns throughout Gatsby. Moreover, the shape of the universe is often described as fourth dimensional- a shape that intersects itself- the shape becomes the line and vice versa. I may put a bit more here on this, but impossible in this kind of forum to cover everything.
 
Chad
 
PS- We describe dimensions to each other using language and mathematics- that language can give us added dimension is a no brainer, dudes.
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Re: The Fifth dimension

No more dimensions! You could also say that Gatsby's party entered into the fifth dimension. The gravitational forces of the moon, or strings, became the strings of the banjos.
 
Chad
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Re: The Fifth dimension and string theory

Some astronomers/physicists/cosmologists posit that the universe is a series of strings, but something fifth dimensional. The strings tip or spill color or energy into other strings, creating new shapes and imbalances-- hmmmmm.... sound familiar? Gatsby simply hires some banjo players, and his party spills into other universes or realities. Chad
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