Monday, April 29, 2013

Great Gatsby Readalong Chapters 1-4

gatsby readalong button

Becky from One Literature Nut is hosting a readalong of The Great Gatsby before the movie starts. You can still join in if you like! I got kind of a late start because I was waiting for the audiobook from the library, but I finished the book this weekend and am ready to catch up.

Discussion Questions from Becky:

  • What role(s) do you see for the setting in the novel? Do you like this setting, and does it affect the way you read the story? I don't live on the East Coast so I have no opinion about the Hamptons--I mean, East and West Egg. The Eggs?--but I did notice that the Egg Gatsby lives on is the less fashionable one. He can't do anything right.
  • Since Nick is the narrator in this story, do you think it's possible he might be setting us up to like or dislike certain characters? Do you trust his retelling? I don't think Nick likes anyone in this book, including himself. I'm not sure he knows what "liking people" means. He just does things because it's expected, not because he likes or dislikes it.
  • What do you think of Tom, Daisy, and Myrtle? Tom's obviously an ass hole. Daisy thinks she's clever but only because she's around Tom too much, and Myrtle's just desperate.
  • What else stood out to you in these opening chapters? I kind of hate Nick. Everyone in this book is so conventional, they need someone to save them from themselves. And speaking of our savior...
  • What do you think of Gatsby's absence from his own parties? I think it's a metaphor for his life. The parties and the whole Great Gatsby persona are kind of hollow because they don't have anything to do with him, they're just a trap lure Daisy. He's not present in his own life just like he's not present at his parties.
  • Is Gatsby a character you feel sympathy or cynicism towards? I definitely sympathize with Gatsby--he's the only character in the entire book who has ANY imagination--but dang dude, take a pill and chillax. He's actually an awesome person, but he's trying so hard to be someone else and he's so awkward and desperate.
  • Are we supposed to feel for Daisy as Jordan does, and if she really wanted to meet up with Gatsby again, wouldn't she already have done it? I honestly don't feel anything for Daisy. She's hardly even a character, just a symbol. Eighty percent of what she does makes no sense.
  • Is there anything else that stood out to you or you questioned? I loved the scene in the library where the guy was like, "Real books, with pages and everything!" The moment when Gatsby and Nick first met also kind of made me hate Nick, because it seems like they could be friends and then Nick gets all Judgey McJudge and is like, "What a poseur." You're a poseur Nick! I don't see you being awesome.

Stay tuned next week when we discuss chapters 5-6, which hopefully I won't have completely forgotten by then.

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