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Melissa_W
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New York Times article - Gatsby's Green Light

In case anyone didn't see the Times today, there's an article in the education section about Boston High School students reading The Great Gatsby - their interpretations of the green light are interesting.
 
Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
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holyboy
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Re: The Great Gatsby-Chapters 1-3

Actually, I did see it. Interesting in light of the interpretations above.
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Re: The Great Gatsby-Chapters 1-3

I can't say anyone's interpretation is wrong. For me, the important and perhaps often undiscussed aspect of the green light is a green that "radiates outward." In other words, light is not being absorbed. And, I couldn't resist one more thought: the American dream is the earth- the American dream typically includes a lawn and a garden, at the very least.
 
Chad
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The lawn

[ Edited ]
The lawn and grass is also an interesting part of the novel. You could argue that the lawn, described often as blue or bluegrass, becomes more dimensional as banjos help form a new music and a new age. The cars also conform to the shape of the lawn producing the variety and life of the party. So,  the 2-d shape of the lawn becomes fluid, more dynamic, if you will, and definitelty, more dimensional. You can almost feel a tension between conformity and variety. Tom stands on the frontlines of his home as the lawn seems to jump over breaks and lines produced by garden walls and his home, as just another example.
 
Chad
 
PS- This is the line that I think about- I think it's generally Gatsby's party creating a new dimension on the lawn- a tension between realities, if you will:
 
"The moon had risen higher, and floating in the Sound was a triangle of silver scales, trembling a little to the stiff, tinny drip of the banjoes on the lawn."


Message Edited by chad on 02-19-2008 01:35 PM
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The American Dream

A Dream is something that is ideally dimensionless, though, quite often, our dreams have some form or shape to them. By placing the word, "American" before the word "dream" you've given a dream a shape, but not circular necessarily. I might say the American dream is rectangular- in the shape of the flag. Many homes are also rectangular in shape or consist of multiple rectangles.  Perhaps, as Gatsby leaves all of his home and his obsession with the green light, when Daisy visits his home for the first time, his dream becomes something more shapeless, or something more like a dream, like the pink clouds they observe in the sky.
 
Chad
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Princeton

[ Edited ]
The newspaper article also contained some great info on Fitzgerald. I found it interesting that Fitzgerald never graduated from Princeton, but I definitely see Princeton's influence in the novel. And by "influence" I mean the influence of classes such as physics, mathematics and astronomy, or the influence of a growing academic community of physicists during the 1920's. It's possible that he left Princeton for the same scientific community now existent, but I can't be sure. I know that he left to join the army--it's possible that students felt that they were fighting a war or fighting the war "on campus" with new "scientific" emphases in curriculae.
 
Chad
 




Message Edited by chad on 02-20-2008 01:28 PM
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American dream addendum

[ Edited ]
I think the American dream lies between the island of Manhattan as it was, and as it is today-- as Nick states. It vacillates between different shapes, the light and the dark, the past and the future, the stationary and the mobile, and so on. The question is whether, given a constant state of flux,  the American dream is ever attainable, or if Gatsby had truly attained it.
 
Chad

PS- I should note that Manhattan still retains some of its former beauty in Central Park.




Message Edited by chad on 02-20-2008 02:00 PM
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romantic state of fluxes

[ Edited ]
I think of romance as something timeless or moments that seem to exist within a sphere or a shell, to the exclusion of all else. Candles still "set the mood" for most romantic settings- perhaps for the observed "flicker" or state of flux produced by the flame. Daisy, noticing the beauty and the romantic mood of a sunset, douses the candle flames at the dinner table and lights them once again after the sun goes down. 
 
Chad 
 
PS- Electricity or electric candles are not quite as mood setting as candles. There are some realistic flickering electric candles- but you can't see the flame, only the flicker. Some of these are found on HSN, for HSN junkies. But interesting....




Message Edited by chad on 02-21-2008 11:07 AM
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Re: romantic state of fluxes: winkie, winkie

[ Edited ]
Daisy definitely sets the mood, but I don't think she wants to woo Nick- I think this is a purely platonic relationship. Daisy describes as Nick as a rose, and, in so doing, adds a little a color to Nick, though the compliment seemed to hide Daisy's feelings and almost immediately breaks apart when it hits Nick's exterior. I think she wants to set up Nick with Jordan Baker, if anyone. Jordan and Nick are an item for a while, but Jordan later assumes, sadly, a two dimensional existence like Tom and Daisy's. 
 
Chad


Message Edited by chad on 02-23-2008 10:40 AM
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The Robin's Egg or "I want an Easter Egg!", "I want an Easter Egg!"

[ Edited ]
I just saw a large flock of Robin's flying up north and I thought that it may all come down to a little blue Robin's egg. Beautiful color occasionally shows up on the exterior and often obscures what lies within. Easter and Faberge eggs are, of course, more colorful and ornate on the outside, not the inside. And the easter egg, interestingly, appears at Jesus' death and resurrection.
 
Chad 
 
PS- That state of flux is colorful and monochromatic at the same time(e.g. the shell is the color)- that may be a little difficult to comprehend, but, as usual, all in the Gatsby.


Message Edited by chad on 02-23-2008 10:49 AM
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How about this one?

[ Edited ]

“I love to see you at my table, Nick. You remind me of a—of a rose, an absolute rose. Doesn’t he?” She turned to Miss Baker for confirmation: “An absolute rose?”

This was untrue. I am not even faintly like a rose. She was only extemporizing, but a stirring warmth flowed from her, as if her heart was trying to come out to you concealed in one of those breathless, thrilling words. Then suddenly she threw her napkin on the table and excused herself and went into the house.

The above quote was what I had in mind when I posted previously. Daisy, like the 1920's as a whole, seems concealed within liveliness and color. Something tumultous, or perhaps something not quite as colorful lied below the surface. The colorful egg, like the ordinary white egg, could certainly crack, and it certainly did in 1929. I had also read that the US economy did completely recover from the crash until the 1950's- but you might want to doublecheck that factoid.

 

Chad



Message Edited by chad on 02-23-2008 04:53 PM
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Dracula: universe shapes

[ Edited ]
I believe the Dracula forum is closed, but I thought I'd give you an interesting website:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6392268- If you click on the big bang animation, number 6 depicts a fractal universe posited by Andrei Linde Each Point represents a bang, and the entire universe rests in the valleys. If you remember, "Dracula" takes place in London and the Carpathian mountains. Force or  the " will to survive" sometimes forms a sharp point, like Dracula's castle on a  Carpathian mountain, one of his nails, or his teeth. This universe shape is truly Dracula-inspired. Do you think Bram had Andrei Linde's shape of the universe in mind when he wrote "Dracula"?
 
Chad




Message Edited by chad on 02-25-2008 03:04 PM
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Conrad's Heart of Darkness

Join me for a quick few comments on "The Heart" over on the British classics board!
 
Chad
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Dr Eckleburg and religion

The "Great Gatsby" does make a religious statement to some degree. When Mr Wilson, in shock after the car accident, sees the billboard of the great Dr Eckleberg, he's reminded that God can see our "sins." Redemption takes place as a result of our own vision, and our inability to think past the third dimension. In essence, Michaelis attempts to help Mr Wilson "see" the the steeple of the church, not only help him with his own religion, but also, more broadly, to help him see beyond our own third dimension, or to perhaps see things in more than one dimension. As mentioned, the structure of the church moves through several dimensions, form the top of the steeple, or beyond the top of the steeple and down, or from the bottom to the top.....
 
But there's more,
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Re: Dr Eckleburg and religion:addendum and apology if offended

The classics always make me feel that they trash religion, and so, if the last comment seemed a little negative, you can consider that Fitzgerald felt that the world was in a state of flux, moving between dimensions, and that he church is that flux, frozen in time. That is, you can see the dimensional shifts starting from the steeple to something square, rectangular etc.etc. It is a momunent to dimensional flux, but something that is static and provides stability, as Michaelis points out a steeple to a shaky Mr. Wilson- so that might be something positive to the religious. Remember also that many writers felt that Christian tenets and even our own democratic principles have been compromised to turn a profit....
 
 
there's a lot to Gatsby, but i went to "the heart" for a bit,
Chad
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gatsby's shaking with arms outstretched

This could be nervousness, but as described by Nick, probably a little more than a case of the jitters. But I might say nervousness arising from a state of disbelief that his dream is about to become a reality, were it not for the sound- the natural separation, the "distance" and the "break" in the land. So he stands, with arms outstretched to east egg, vacillating between east and west egg, or between dream and reality, if you will.
 
Chad
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Re: The Great Gatsby-Chapters 1-3 Nick - The Unreliable Narrator

I read The Great Gatsby my Junior year in high school and I am siding with you on this one. How can anyone, such as Nick, fall in love with a cheater(at golf) and pretend it doesn't bother him. It seems like Fitzgerald dragged the relationship along into the unknown because besides those few chapters, like you said, the author doesn't have Nick mention anything more about Jordan. Whatever the case may be, I do think Nick was a good narrator in this book. Maybe Fitzgerald never intended for Nick to go into his own thoughts and feelings as much as have him talk about his surroundings and the rest of the characters.
-Tess
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Re: The Great Gatsby-Chapters 1-3 Nick - The Unreliable Narrator

[ Edited ]
Nick and Jordan seem to be two of a kind in some ways, I think.... At least they are in the beginning of the story. Probably the most important aspect of their relationship was that they were both outsiders to Long Island, whether on east or west egg. But both Nick and Jordan were both a little "superficial", and not what I would I consider to be "three-dimensional people." Nick, however, becomes more three dimensional when he meets Jay Gatsby and he wishes to convey that he became "more than what he was" when he met Gatsby, by simply narrating his story. Jordan, however, remains unable to change, unble to remove herself from Tom's "cadet training" for a married or a "normal" way of life. She, in essence, probably succumbs to a unhappy Buchannon-like existence or a "conformist marriage" of some kind, in the end.
 
I do think Fitzgerald develops a relationship between Nick and Jordan to establish a change in the narrator- Nick. Nick leaves Long Island and Jordan remains. Society, the "wealthy" society of Long Island if you will, had used Jay Gatsby in an appalling way- Nick could not remain, Jordan wanted to? had to? what do you  think?
 
Chad

PS- I think Jordan is, in the beginnig, a little more 3-D for cheating, and probably finds that she must conform to survive. Jordan is someone who holds contempt for socierty and wishes to "crack it" or beat it with a golf club if you will, if you wish to view the golf ball as an egg or society. She literally "bakes" a conflict. Jordan. the country, was formed shortly after WW1- but not officially, I believe.



 







Message Edited by chad on 05-28-2008 02:26 PM
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Re: The Great Gatsby-Chapters 1-3

I just finished the Great Gatsby this week.
I had to read because it is mentioned  in a book I am reading for my local barnes & noble store.
It is mentioned heavily in the book (THE DOUBLE BIND) By Chris Bohjalian.
I found the gatsby hard to read.  It was full of great detail and description of the wealthy of the
1920's in America.   Definitely not my cup of tea so to speak.
Donna Mckenzie
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chad
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Re: The Great Gatsby-Chapters 1-3

I didn't feel it was full of too much description-- Fitzgerald mentions names and you almost feel like you know  the characters, by the names-- at least you get a sense of what the characters were like, what the 1920's were like, sometimes with little description. Fitzgerald is more subtle, I think, than what you're posting. 
 
I knew it was about "the wealthy", but not fabricated wealth, and, the idea that the American dream was a fabrication, was also new to me, and not entirely "out there" given our current American way of life....
 
Chad
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