Gatsby

Chapter 8 and 9

Topics of our discussion:

Does Gatsby cling to his dream until his death? (132)

    • He expects Daisy’s phone call (134) but he seems to have given up waiting.
  • The motif of unsuccessful attempts to contact people and to get into touch with them.

(especially when Nick tries to find people who want to come to Gatsby’s funeral)

  • An unfinished sentence marks the end of Nick’s and Jordan’s relationship (135)
  • Reasons for the “holocaust” at the end of chapter 8:

Immediate causes:

    • Mistaking an advertisement for God (Wilson) (138f)
    • Mistaking Gatsby for Myrtle’s lover (139f) and (155)
    • Mistaking Gatsby for Myrtle’s murderer

For the last two mistakes Tom turns out to be responsible.

  • Who else is responsible for tragic ending? Question of guilt.
  • Reference to Gatsby’s world at the end of chapter 8:

Again the greatness of Gatsby’s dream is related to the “new world”

and it is contrasted to the material world (not being real) of “Poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifting fortuitously about…” (140)

Task: Compare the drifting of the pneumatic mattress to the other scenes in which the drifting
image is used.

Task: Which are unsuccessful attempts to make people come to Gatsby’s funeral:

· Daisy and Tom have left without leaving an address or a destination. (143)

· Daisy hadn’t sent a message or a flower (152)

· Mayer Wolfsheim refuses to come (144, 149)

· Klipspringer (pair of shoes) Nick hangs up the receiver (147)

· Nobody comes apart from his father (151) and finally Owl-Eyes from Gatsby’s library comes who calls Gatsby “The poor son-of-a-bitch” (152)

Task: Which is the point of the East-West topic (152ff)?

Task: How is Tom presented when Nick meets him again? (155f)

Task: The obscene word written with a piece of brick on the white steps. (156) Interpret

Task: Interprete the ending of the novel.

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