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The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
Setting: The story takes place during the 1920's, there are four major settings:
East egg – “fashionable” side of Long Island where the Buchanans and other “old money” people live
West Egg – “less fashionable” side of Long Island where Gatsby and Nick live
The valley of ashes – the desolate wasteland where the Wilsons live & where Dr. T.J. Eckleburg’s sign is
New York City – symbol of what America has become in the 1920’s: a place where anything goes, where
money is made and bootleggers flourish, and where the World Series can be fixed by a man such as Meyer
Hope - represented by the light across the bay that Gatsby was fixated on. It was the embodiment of his
sole goal in life, which was a reunification with Daisy.
Success - Gatsby felt that the only way he would win Daisy was through his money.
Ignorance - The characters have little self-knowledge and even less knowledge of each other.
Judgment - Nick misinterprets the advice of his father and tries not to judge people.
Disillusionment - Gatsby dreams of getting back together with Daisy even though she is married and has a
Morals - The morals of people with great wealth seem to be less than desirable, but many times are more
socially accepted than lower classes.
Money cannot buy happiness.
You cannot relive the past.
If dreams are too fantastic, and reality cannot keep up with ideals they are usually not fulfilled.
Feign – V. make believe with the intent to deceive
Apathetic – Adj. Feeling or showing little or no emotion; unresponsive.
Innuendo – N. An indirect or subtle, usually derogatory implication in expression; an insinuation.
Rajah – N. A prince, chief, or ruler in India or the East Indies
Perturb – V. trans. To disturb greatly; make uneasy or anxious
Tumult – N. The din and commotion of a great crowd.
Vicarious – Adj. Felt or undergone as if one were taking part in the experience or feelings of another
Superfluous – Adj. Being beyond what is required or sufficient.
Subtle – Adj. So slight as to be difficult to detect or describe; elusive
Borne – V. a past participle of the verb bear (to carry in mind; harbor)
Unscrupulous—Adj. Devoid of scruples; oblivious to or contemptuous of what is right or honorable.
Pious—Adj. Having or exhibiting religious reverence; earnestly compliant in the observance of religion; devout.
Ingenuity—N. Inventive skill or imagination; cleverness.
Commence—V. To begin; start.
Ornery—Adj. Mean-spirited, disagreeable, and contrary in disposition; cantankerous.
Infernal—Adj. Of or relating to hell; Abominable; awful
Dismal—Adj. Causing gloom or depression; dreary.
Candid—Adj. Characterized by openness and sincerity of expression; unreservedly straightforward.
Haughty—Adj. Scornfully and condescendingly proud.
Vernacular—N. The standard native language of a country or locality.
Elements of Modernism:
• Disillusionment and loss of faith in the American Dream
• Rejection of traditional themes and subjects
• Rejection of sentimentallity and artificiality
• Emphasis on bold experimentation in style and form, reflecting the fragmentation of society
• Psychological focus on character, focused on the inner workings of the human mind.
• Revolt against the spritual debasement of the modern world.
• Rejection of the “ideal hero” who is infallible in favor of a hero who is flawed and disillusioned, but shows “grace
under pressure.” (The Anti-Hero)
Name a Modernism author other than F. Scott Fitzgerald:
o Langston Hughes
o Robert Frost
o John Steinbeck
o e.e. cummings
o etc.
Langston Hughes:
o Wrote Weary Blues
o Part of Harlem Renaissance
o Modernist writer
**Students are responsible for all plot elements of The Great Gatsby**
Semicolons & Colons
Using Semicolons
1. joining independent clauses
a. Ex: Stanley was thinking it was time to get a job; he wanted to work in retail.
b. Ex: The major gave an unclear order; consequently, the troops marched over the cliff.
2. between items in a series
a. Ex: When you think about how an orchestra is organized, notice the strings, the violin, the viola,
and the cello; the woodwinds, the clarinet and the oboe; and the horns, the trombone, the French
horn, and the trumpet.
b. Ex: I went to Paris, France; London, England; Oslo, Norway; and Berlin, Germany.
Using Colons
1. introducing a list
a. English grammar contains various parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions, and
2. introducing a quotation or formal statement
a. Ex: One instructor has this quotation from Woody Allen posted on his website: “Eighty percent of
success is showing up.”
b. Ex: Remember this: College graduates earn 72% more than high school graduates.
3. introducing a restatement or explanation
a. Ex: I love to eat certain foods: Grapes, chicken, and pizza are my favorites.
4. separating hours and minutes
a. Ex: I like to eat at 6:30 p.m.
5. separating chapter and verse for biblical passages
a. Ex: Listen to Samuel read Matthew 8:11-15.
6. introduce subtitle
a. Ex: My favorite book is Jane Austen: Charlotte to Elizabeth.
7. end salutation of business letter
a. Ex: Dear Mr. Smith: