The Great Gatsby Analysis

Anna, Emelia, and Elizabeth

Analyze the Scene

Scene: the first Gatsby party Nick attends, where he dances with Jordan and meets Gatsby

Characters:

  • Nick: innocent, but easily corruptible
  • Gatsby: has created a new mysterious persona for himself
  • Jordan: independent woman who signifies the "new woman"

Significance:

  • Describes the massive and luxurious parties Gatsby throws
  • Beginning of Nick's role in the story and his part in Gatsby's master plan
  • The first glimpse of Nick being "sucked into" this world
  • Jordan has become a character with definable qualities

Author's Meaning:

Our own morals are easily polluted by those we associate with

During this time, people were concerned with their image to a fault

Women have been breaking away from the good housewife stereotype (aka Jordan)

Effectiveness:

The directer was successful in capturing this overwhelming party scene as well as portraying Gatsby, Jordan, and Nick with their distinct personalities.

Critique:

At some points it seemed like the party was just a mass of glitter and flesh, even though the directer was able to capture the chaos of the scene, it was over done. But, I suppose just like Gatsby, Luhrmann has the same flaw: they're both too flashy.

Deleted Scene

Scene: Gatsby meets Daisy's daughter

Characters: Gatsby, Daisy, and her daughter

New Actress: Daisy's daughter would be played by Emily Alyn Lind (b/c she is so stinkin' cute and looks just like Daisy)

What to Achieve: Adding this scene would portray Daisy as shallow as she really is--she plays with her child for a moment, then dismisses her like she is a play thing. Adding this part to the film would have made Daisy unlikeable, therefore messing up the dramatic reveal to Tom of Daisy and Gatsby's affair. We don't see Daisy's truly shallow nature until she kills Myrtle and lets Gatsby take the fall for it, and if this scene were added to the movie then the movie would stay true to the characters' personalities.

"I hope she'll be a fool -- that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool." -Daisy

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Analyze the Poem

Your love is only conditional love

you think you can make it better,

but in fact you made me a little more fragile

by the minute I feel myself growing weaker.


I open up and let you into

places no one has ever gone,

but it was all just a game again to see how far

to push me and this time I'm over the limit.


Your love is only conditional love

never "I'll be here when you need me"

it’s always the same

with this stupid conditional love.


I put everything out for the taking

just to be stepped on and left out in the rain

never finding what it truly means to love

always finding out what it means not to love.


Your love is only conditional love

and it always will be

nothing could make this better

nothing could make this hurt go away


all because of your conditional love.


-Francesca Y.


Analysis: he conditional love between Daisy and Jay. The writer is in Jay’s point of view about his passionate and unconditional love for her, and her contingent love for him that soon becomes an unrequited love.


Critiques: Literary

  • This book is overrated, psychologically vacant, and morally complacent; this critic says we “kid ourselves about the lessons it contains.” This critic complains that none of the characters are likeable, all the characters have almost no human emotion. “Heavy plot, heavy symbolism, zero psychological motivation.”

  • This critic argues that this book is a “voice driven novel.” It is successful at captureing the nature of the American psyche, Gatsby was able to nail into Americans the idea of who we want to be, and it’s that wanting that makes it our Greatest American Novel, but also the easiest to underrate; it’s too short, too tempting to misread, too intertwined in the Roaring 20’s.

  • This critic sincerely believes that this is the greatest love story of all time. She says this because it’s more than a lvoe story--its a reflection of the hollowness of a “life of lesiure.” She compares itto Romeo and Juliet, and how both are obsessed with controlling time, and also similar to Romeo and Juliet, it’s beautifully written. But, unlike Romeo and Juliet, the characters are horribly flawed and hard to sympathize with, but this critic argues that that’s the beauty of the book.

Critiques: Movie

  • This movie was fueled by Luhrmann’s “blind ambition, [which was] gutted by flawed execution.” The only saving grace for this movie were Catherine Martin’s costumes. Not only has this film been done multiple times but the sixth wasn’t better than the first five. Luhrmann made poor choices when bringing Jay-Z into this soundtrack, when he shot in 3D, and the horrible narrating setup; Maguire would narrate a scene then speak it as dialogue. The movie was filled with actors “buried in the art direction” and leaves this critic feeling disappointed.

  • The party scenes are dazzling, just as Gatsby’s parties were, and Leonardo was an excellent choice, but this critic believes that Luhrmann’s take on the book is too flashy and would “outrage the nation’s English teachers.” This critic believes that the themes in the movie were all a “refinement of Cliff Notes” and only a few actors felt comfortable in this time period. Maguire is given a one-note performance, Mulligan also doesn’t expand much, and Tom’s mistress was a “mis-cast.” His biggest critic was Edgerton’s Tom, who didn’t understand the ties that bind Tom and Daisy, and did not create a distinction between old money and new.

  • Luhrmann has a reputation for turning his movies into a “mad circus of razzle-dazzle fireworks.” This critic claims that restraint wasn’t his strong suit, but that fit well with the Roaring 20’s--it wasn’t the strong suit of this time as well. Luhrmann gave the high school reading list an “ADHD workout” (for the first half of the film). Luhrmann also didn’t develop his characters. Nick seems too old to be so innocent, and Daisy doesn’t do much but swoon and complain about the heat, but it’s Tom who has the most nuanced performance. This critic reminds us that there is a reason this book is taught in classrooms 90 years after it was written, it is a time capsule of a dazzling era, but Luhrmann didn’t trust that story enough, and changed it for the worse.