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The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)

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Presentation on theme: "The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald F. Scott Fitzgerald ( )

2 Major Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald This Side of Paradise (1920) Flappers and Philosophers (1920) Tales of Jazz Age (1922) The Beautiful and Damned (1922) The Great Gatsby (1925) Tender Is the Night (1934) The Last Tycoon (1941)

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6 What Is Happiness?

7 Some people who seem to have nothing are very happy. Some people who seem to have everything are not happy. Some rich people feel happy while some poor people feel unhappy. Some self-sacrificing volunteers are not happy while some seemingly selfish people feel happy. If wealth and morality do not necessarily bring happiness, what then?

8 Characters in The Great Gatsby West Egg Jay Gatsby Nick Carraway East Egg Daisy Buchanan Tom Buchanan Jordan Baker Valley of Ashes Mr. Wilson Mrs. Wilson (Myrtle Wilson)

9 Are they happy?

10 Mr. & Mrs. Wilson Mr. Wilson’s garage business doesn’t run well; he’s not able to reach wife’s standard. Mrs. Wilson feels cheated right after the wedding and has been having an extra-marital affair which is a superficial sexual relationship – quarrel with Tom Mr. Wilson is deeply hurt when he finds his wife’s betrayal and completely breaks down when his wife gets killed by the car in her desperate effort to get free of him.

11 Tom & Daisy Buchanan Tom Buchanan: having affairs with other women all the time despite his marriage; - quarrel and fight with his mistresses; - not happy about Daisy’s affair with Gatsby; - not happy about the rise of colored people Daisy: bored; showing no real feeling for her husband, her cousin and Gatsby

12 Jordan Baker Bored like Daisy, having to find ways to kill time - attending parties - playing golf (dishonest way) - dating with people whom she doesn’t care for

13 Nick Carraway A sincere and honest young man - finding it hard to accept insincere / irresponsible people like Daisy, Tom and Jordan Baker - not happy about people’s cold- heartedness to Gatsby in spite of all his hospitality and kindness - not happy about Daisy’s careless treatment of Gatsby’s deep love for her

14 Jay Gatsby Lonely - pursuing a dream all alone with nobody around him understanding it except Nick, a new acquaintance - Meyer Wolfsheim: pure business partner - father: not even knowing his son’s change of his surname - guests and party-goers: indifferent, haven’t even met Gatsby - Daisy: not caring for a person from Nowhere like Gatsby, loving gayety only

15 Jay Gatsby Happy - having obtained wealth through hard work though not honest work (bootlegging was illegal) - having had the woman he loves back in his arms by that wealth - is immersed in the exciting prospect of getting married with the woman he loves and possessing her forever though that prospect is illusive and unreal

16 Happiness is An emotion to be enjoyed and experienced Not sth. to be possessed A long lasting enduring enjoyment of life Being in love with living Not merely moments of pleasure

17 What brings happiness? Not wealth, not lover, not pleasure / gayety Self-fulfillment – achievement of one’s values, and genuine self-esteem - values include productive career, romance, positive relationship such as friendship, hobbies, etc. Optimistic attitude towards things

18 Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary definition of Happiness a state of well-being and contentment a pleasurable or satisfying experience

19 Quotations (1) Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. Mahatma Gandhi Happiness is essentially a state of going somewhere, wholeheartedly, one-directionally, without regret or reservation. William H. Sheldon

20 Quotations (2) Happiness is something that you are and it comes from the way you think. Wayne Dyer Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude. Denis Waitley

21 Quotations (3) Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values. Ayn Rand Happiness is different from pleasure. Happiness has something to do with struggling and enduring and accomplishing. George Sheehan

22 Quotations (4) Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling. Margaret Lee Runbeck Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence. Aristotle

23 Is Gatsby Great? Yes, he is great because he has the great capacity to dream and to transform his dream into reality. No, …

24 Green light Everything Daisy represents Sth. Gatsby looks forward to, the hope of his life, the object he works hard and strives for The dream of Gatsby’s life: possession of beauty, wealth, social status, love and happiness The dream that one day Gatsby can sit side by side with Daisy at a home of their own which is unrealistic and impossible

25 Gatsby’s Schedule Gatsby’s determination to realize his dream of rising up in the society which promises equal opportunity for everyone to succeed But Gatsby’s dream is a decayed American dream because he takes the shortcut, the criminal path to success and because he takes money and social status as the ultimate goal and only content of success.

26 Jazz Age / Roaring Twenties Economic prosperity – a consumer society, booming business with market for radios, home appliances, synthetic textiles and plastics; huge profits; businessman a popular hero (Henry Ford and his Model T) An age of materialism - giddy from sudden wealth, people partied and spent money recklessly Hedonism – pleasure seeking, material wealth, heavy drinking, casual sex

27 American Dream Land of Opportunity Rags to Riches—Anyone can become rich, famous, powerful. Jobs and education available to all who want them. Meritocracy (rewards) = skill + effort. Through hard work, courage, and determination one can achieve prosperity. Americans can live better than their parents did.

28 James Adams coined the phrase “American Dream” in his 1931 book Epic of America:

29 “The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.” —James Adams

30 American dream & Communism Marx’s description of Communist society is the complete self-realization of every one.

31 Gatsby & American dream Realistic aspect of American dream: The American dream helped promote the early growth and prosperity of the U.S. But in the process of American economic development, Americans attach too much importance to achievements and wealth in their evaluation of an individual’s value that leads to mammonism and the distorted pursuit of wealth and achievement.

32 Gatsby & American dream That has something to do with the origin of the American dream. Early Puritans went to the U.S. to built “a holy city of God” thinking of themselves as the chosen people of God. They think whoever achieves success is elect by God.

33 Gatsby & American dream In contemporary China, a person who has earned big money through real estate investment judged others who haven’t earned as much money to be the “loser”.

34 Gatsby & American dream Unreal / illusive aspect: Gatsby in the novel is immersed in the illusive “American dream” whether this “American dream” is social status, money or beautiful woman and has paid his real life in this illusive process. But he thinks all this is real and his experience is all true. The question is: Is Gatsby happy?

35 Reader’s favorite quotes Daisy tumbled short of his dreams – not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything (p. 97, Chapter 5). 黛西远不如他梦想中那么好 —— 这倒不 是她本人的过错, 而是由于他的幻想过于 精彩, 这种幻想已经超越了她的本身, 超越 了一切东西。

36 Reader’s favorite quotes “Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead,” he [Meyer Wolfsheim] suggested. “After that my own rule is to let everything alone.” ( 陶洁, p. 158 , Chapter 9 ) 咱们大家都应当学会在朋友活着的时候讲 交情, 而不要等到他死了之后, 在人去世以 后, 我个人的原则是不管闲事。

37 Reader’s favorite quotes They were careless people. Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness … ( 陶洁, p , Chapter 9 ) 汤姆和黛西, 他们是不负责任的人 - 他们砸 碎了东西, 把别人给毁了, 然后就退缩到自 己的金钱或者麻木不仁、 漫不经心当中...

38 Comments... his finest novel, sensitive and symbolic treatment of themes of contemporary life related with irony and pathos to the legendry of the American dream. ---The Oxford Companion to American Literature 《了不起的盖茨比》是他(菲茨杰拉德)最好 的小说,该书敏锐地抓住了当代社会生活的主 题,并以象征手法展现了 “ 美国梦 ” 传奇之下的 嘲讽及悲怅。 —— 《牛津美国文学词典》

39 Comments... the first step that American fiction has taken since Henry James, because Fitzgerald depicted the extolled grandest and most boisterous, reckless and merry-making scene. — T . S . Elliot 《了不起的盖茨比》是自亨利 · 詹姆斯以 来美国小说迈出的第一步,因为菲茨杰拉 德在其中描写了宏大、熙攘、轻率和寻欢, 凡此种种,曾风靡一时。 —— T . S .艾略特

40 Comments F . Scott Fitzgerald (1896—1940) American short-story writer and novelist famous for his depictions of the Jazz Age (the 1920s), his most brilliant novel being The Great Gatsby (1925). His private life... in both America and France, became almost as celebrated as his novels. - Encyclopedia Britannica 弗 · 司各特 · 菲茨杰拉德( 1896—1940 )美国小 说家,以其对爵士时代( 20 世纪 20 年代)的描 绘而著称。代表作为 1925 年问世的《了不起的 盖茨比》。他在美国和法国的私生活 …… 几乎 与他的小说一样为人乐道。 —— 《大英百科全书》

41 Comments 这人生,这虚无 最近看《了不起的盖茨比》,想起乔伊斯 的《阿拉比》,小男孩爱上了同学的姐姐, 做梦里这女孩都在闪金光,女孩老提有个 阿拉比的市场,听上去充满了东方神秘的 色彩,和女孩一样闪闪发光,小男孩于是 发花痴,一定要到那市场去给女孩买件东 西,于是一番折腾,汽车,火车,走错路, 等等,最后,到了阿拉比,突然发现,那 是一个庸俗简陋超级破败的地方。 梦碎。

42 Comments 长大后,小男孩成了盖茨比,爱上一个资 产阶级小姐,以为她可以为爱而爱,可以 放弃所有的门第的观念,可以是一生追求 的梦想,于是,盖茨比可以用不纯洁的手 段来赚钱,但是却把那个梦想保留得好好, 河湾对岸她家码头一直长明的那盏绿色的 灯光,就是闪闪发光的阿拉比市场。但是 他把她想错了,很严重的错误。有些东西 并没有改变,它只是不存在而已。 这一次搞得很严重了。 梦碎,人亡。

43 Assignments for “Barn Burning” Read Faulkner ’ s short story “ Barn Burning ” and think about - relationship between people, such as father and son, father and the landowner, individuals (the Snopes family) and the community - the character of father and son - the 3 questions on p.179


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