Kakos' 4th Hour

Reactions and comments from my fourth hour Honors American Literature class.


My favorite place in the world to be is underwater. My second favorite place is the front of a classroom.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Gatsby Fishbowl

Please post your fishbowl questions by 9 pm the night before you lead discussion. Be sure to clarify which chapter your questions address. Only one member of your leadership group needs to post the questions.


Blogger willb said...

Will Brown, Matt Coming, Cayla Berry, Collin Miller
Ms. Kakos
Honors American Literature

1. Did Tom tell Myrtle that his wife was Catholic to avoid her pushing the idea of divorce on him? Why wouldn’t he want to divorce Daisy and marry Myrtle? (33)
2. Is Myrtle taking the affair between her and Tom more serious than he is? Does Tom even love her?(28)
3. How is the path from West egg to New York representative of Tom’s life with Daisy and Myrtle?(25)
4. Myrtle and her husband seem to be in a lower class community, how would a woman of her class attract Tom, and how is she so acquainted to the elegant lifestyle that Tom is used to.(25)
5. Is the puppy a symbol of commitment between Tom and Myrtle and is that what Myrtle searching for, even though she has already with another man.(28)
6. Will any relationship form between Nick and Catherine and if one does will it complicate things between Tom and Myrtle.(30)
7. What attracts Tom to Myrtle, and why is it worth risking his relationship with his wife.(25)
8. Is Dr. Eckleburg really a person spying on everyone, or is he more of a metaphor for an all seeing eye.(24)
9. What is the authors purpose in incorporating such a lifeless character as Dr. Eckleburg and the desolate landscape.(24)
10. How is Catherine different from most wealthy people from her time period?
11. Why does Mrs. Wilson want a dog in particular a protective one? Could it deal with her cheating or other aspects of her life?
12. The main character nick says that he has only been drunk twice and for a grown man that seems kind of innocent or restrictive. Do you think as the novel progresses this will change? Maybe think about the events in the love stories we discussed in class.
13. The sister Catherine says that she is scared of Mr. Gatsby and would hate to have him get anything on her. What do you think Mr. Gatsby is really like based on the story and descriptions so far?
14. What keeps Myrtle with her husband and tom with his wife if they dislike each other so much?
15. In Myrtle's story of her marriage, she says that she cried when she learned he borrowed a tux for the wedding. Do you see any similarities with Fitzgerald's life?

8:42 PM  
Blogger kennethf said...

Rob, Jeff, Jake, and Ken

Synopsis: In this chapter, Nick is invited to a party at the Gatsby mansion. There, he meets Gatsby for the first time and Nick is shocked by his benevolence, because it contradicts everything he had heard about Gatsby. Nick in reunited with Jordan and he indulges in a flirtatious relationship with her.


1. pg.43 “on Mondays eight servants… repairing the damages of the night before.”
Why does Gatsby choose this high-octane lifestyle? Why is he so lonely, or what is he searching for? His sobriety at the party?

2. pg.44 “enthusiastic greetings between women who never knew each other’s names”
Fitzgerald seems to criticize the frivolity of the Jazz age? Is our protagonist taking place in this frivolity?

3. pg 50 “or did you just come? I was brought. Most people were brought.”
He insists that he belongs at this party, that he does have a connection w/ other party goers. How does this epitomize sentiments of the jazz age? Think in terms of vanity.

4. pg 51 “Two finger bowls of champagne… and the scene changed before my eyes into something significant, elemental, profound.”
How important is alcohol to understanding the story? Does this feeling typify the jazz age, or is it a cop-out to explain the characters’ actions?

5. Why do you think Gatsby was introduced the way he was?

6. What is the cover a picture of? Is the woman Zelda, Daisy, Myrtle, or some combination? Why does she appear to be crying?

7. pg. 56 “I liked to walk up Fifth Ave. and pick out romantic women….into the warm darkness.” Why does Fitzgerald talk about this? What symbols of meaning can be drawn from this passage? What does this reveal about Fitzgerald?

8. pg. 58 “Dishonesty in a woman is a thing you never blame deeply.” Later Jordan Baker is portrayed as a bad driver. Why does Fitzgerald highlight so many stereotypical faults? Does he really believe that women should be “beautiful tools”?

9. pg. 48 –Paragraph on Gatsby’s smile. Up to this point Gatsby is described as sinister and inhuman. Why does his character and legend contradict each other?

10. pg. 43 “ There’s something funny…trouble with anybody.” Why does Gatsby not want trouble with anyone. Is the lady saying that trouble is excepted, and in this case encouraged?

11. pg. 43 “You’ve dyed you hair since then….out of a caterer’s basket.” What is Fitzgerald commenting on in this passage? What is the significance of his comparison?

12. pg. 45 The passage in the library. Why does Fitzgerald include this? Why was the man so impressed with genuine books? What does this reveal about the authenticity of the 1920’s.

13. pg. 46 “ He snatched the book…liable to collapse.” What can be inferred from this passage.

14. When Nick converses with Gatsby, the conversation is always broken by the butler informing Gatsby that there is a wire for him? Why? Why would Gatsby truly receive a wire in the wee hours of the morning?

15. pg. 58 “I hope I never will…That’s why I like you.” How does this reflect the attitude of the 1920’s?

9:10 PM  
Blogger kennethf said...

Sorry that I got it in a little after nine. Soccer and swimming slightly hindered the completion of this assignment. -Kenneth

9:13 PM  
Blogger SuzanneC said...

Chapter 4 Fishbowl
Suzanne, Caitlin Z., Kerstin, and Sarah

In Chapter Four, Gatsby takes Nick out to lunch where he begins to tell him about his life. Later, Jordan informs Nick that Gatsby and Daisy dated when they were younger and Gatsby has moved to town secretly hoping to rekindle their flame. Gatsby is hoping to have Nick invite Daisy over for tea and without her knowledge stop by and meet face to face after so many years.

1. Does Daisy really love Gatsby or Tom? Does Daisy just stay with Tom because she doesn’t believe in divorce or is she staying with him for his money?

2. On page 62, when Nick is explaining the different people who visit Gatsby’s Mansion for his parties why is the word “white” brought up a few times? (Examples: cotton-white, white knickerbockers, S.B. Whitebait) Could Fitzgerald be connecting the white race with money?

3. On page 68, when Gatsby gets pulled over for violating traffic laws and flashes the Christmas card from the commissioner at the cop, what do you think the favor was that Gatsby did for the commissioner?

4. In the beginning of Chapter 4, Nick names the people that visited Gatsby's house. What significance does this have? In other words, why does Nick take the time to name everyone?

5. On page 65, it is revealed that Gatsby is aware of the accusations towards him when Gatsby says, "I don't want you to get a wrong idea of me from all these stories you hear." Why do you think Gatsby never took the time to tell everyone all of these stories are false?

6. In our first fishbowl discussion, we discussed the relationship between Tom and his mistress, Myrtle. The general consensus was that Tom and Myrtle weren't truly in love. Do you think Gatsby's and Daisy's relationship is an example of true love?

7. On page 65, Gatsby tells Nick his life-story. Why does Gatsby value Nick's opinion of him so highly?

8. While Mr. Wolfsheim is speaking to Nick while at lunch on page 72, he shows Nick his human molar cuff buttons. What is the significance of this action, and what do the cuff buttons symbolize?

9. Has Gatsby only gotten to know Nick because of his connection with Daisy, or is he genuinely interested in creating a friendship with Nick? Does this change the reader's perception of Gatsby and his tendency to be an outlier of the 1920's persona?

10. What was the purpose of Gatsby having Jordan talk to Nick about Gatsby’s history with Jordan? Why couldn’t Gatsby just tell Nick himself? Is he ashamed that he still has feelings for Daisy?

11. What do you think will happen between Gatsby and Daisy? Do you think there will be an affair? Keep in mind the quote on page 72, “Yeah, Gatsby’s very careful about women. He would never much look at a friend’s wife.”

12. On page 76, Daisy decides she doesn’t want to marry Tom but then changes her mind. What caused this change of heart?

6:13 PM  
Blogger KatieC said...

Chapter Five:

Is Gatsby really living in the 1920s? His actions and personality seem so out of time and place compared to the other characters in the story.

Would Daisy like gatsby if he wasn't so covered with money?

Who is this character that Fitzgerlad is trying to express? All he seems to have is riches.

Daisy is already married and has not seen Gatsby in years.What does he think will actually come of his meeting with her?

Do you think throughout all of the alcohol, partying, lies, and shallowness of the 1920s, that there is any room for true and unconditional love to exsist at all?

What makes Gatsby "Great" so far?

5:06 PM  
Blogger KaiaN said...

As Nick notices the details of Gatsby’s house for the first time, when it isn’t filled with people, how has his perception of the house changed?

What does the house represent? How has it changed throughout the story?

Does the piano symbolize anything? Remember, it is the site of Klipspringer’s song and the drunk woman's crying song.

Do you think Daisy is really crying because she thinks the shirts are beautiful? What might she really be crying about?

Why is the song on P.100 significant? How do the lyrics support or stray from the idea of the “Jazz Age”?

Why was Gatsby trying so hard to impress Daisy and Nick? Why wasn’t Gatsby worried about appearing arrogant then- but was so conscious about it before?

What is a Finn?

Will Gatsby’s wealth be enough for Daisy in the future? Would it be motivation enough for her to leave Tom? Did she marry Tom for his wealth?

Why does Gatsby that insist Mr. Klipspringer plays a song? Did he request this song (why)?
Futhermore, why does he go and hide in the shadows during the song?

What business is Gatsby in? Why is he eager to include Nick?

6:27 PM  
Blogger meganJ said...

Preparation for Chapter 5 Fishybowl

1) Gatsby is depicted like a hormonal teenage boy throughout chapter 5; at first he appears careless about the actions and situations to come, then when Daisy comes into the picture he becomes embarrassed, then jovial fully consumed with Daisy’s presence. It was said that “he had already passed visibly through two states and was entering upon the third” (Fitzgerald 89), what do you believe the third state will be?
-It’s been five years since Gatsby and Daisy have seen each other, yet this does not seem to matter, do you believe they have considered their actions and consequences to come?
-Have they taken into proportion their actions yet? (Even though Daisy’s husband is treating on her, that does not justify her doing the same thing, or do these people have no morals?)
2) Was their an intense bond between Daisy and Gatsby? We become aware that they have had a history together, but is that relationship still preserved?

3) What could Gatsby have said that would bring tears to Daisy, whether happy tears or not, and make Gatsby happy enough to “glow”?

4) Gatsby seems so materialistic, especially when he’s speaking to Nick on page 87. Why do you believe he is shallow and consumed with such vile intentions? Does he not realize that money and materialistic things can not buy love, even if Daisy does appear to delight in it?

5) When Gatsby has reached a state of dazed joy he reveals to Nick his previous business interests including drugs and oil. One must become more and more suspicious of this intricate and misleading web of tales that Gatsby is telling. Yet why would he do such a thing?

6) All throughout this tale Gatsby has appeared to have alternate motives, mainly concerning his well-being. Would one reflect upon Gatsby as being selfish and demanding? What makes him so “great” if it has become so easy to see through the numerous masks he is wearing?

7) Towards the end of the chapter it becomes more and more obvious that Gatsby and Daisy are only faintly aware of Nick’s remaining presence, utterly forgetting him at the end. Was Gatsby using Nick to serve his own purposes? Did he have this plan from the beginning?

8) I found this quotes to be intriguing, I’d like to through them into discussion if possible to see if conversation could be provoked.
- “It was an hour of profound human change, and excitement was generating in the air” (Fitzgerald 92). (What is the change?)
- “Daisy stumbled out of his dreams-not through her own fault, but because of his colossal vitality of his illusion” (Fitzgerald 92). (Does Daisy measure up to Gatsby’s illusion? How will this affect the future?)
-“The voice was a deathless song” (Fitzgerald 93).

8:37 PM  
Blogger jacksonb said...

The characters in Gatsby are very childish in their actions. At many times they could be linked with teenage like actions and hormonal problems. On page 108 the narrator shouts out in the text “As though they cared!” Is this meant to level Nick with the rest of the characters by portraying mood swings or does it personify another aspect of the jazz age?
On page 112 Tom says hypocritically “’I’d rather look at all of these famous people in- in oblivion.” Why does he make this remark? He stutters when he says this, does it mean something? Could it be a reference to the 1920’s and the motif of masks?
A major motif in this book is masks via alcohol and self-status. On page 113 Miss Baedeker states: “Oh she’s alright now. When she’s had five or six cocktails she always starts screaming like that.” What does this mean? Does it have anything to do with Fitzgerald’s life?
Love stories come in all shapes and sizes; in Gatsby there are quite a few relationships. The central relationship is between the men and Daisy. How would these relationships be judged along side ‘classic’ romances?
On page 116 Nick and Tom have a short conversation. “’She didn’t like it…” Tom shows denial. Why is this important? Does he think he has control? How does this relate to the early 1900’s?

1. Is Fitzgerald commenting on the men controlling
women in this time? On page 109 (special edition) the
women clearly wants Gatsby to come to dinner but Mr.
Sloane says that that's not what she really wants.

2. Gatsby seems to have many different personalities.
What is the significance?

3. On page 112 Daisy only has a good time with Gatsby.
At what point is it OK for her to leave Tom. They both
have someone else, and she doesn't enjoy her time with

4. It is still unclear where Gatsby got his money.
Where do you think he got it?

5. On page 116 Gatsby claims he can repeat the past.
What does this sentiment reveal about Gatsby and or

6. Why does Fitzgerald make Tom a hypocrite? He is
cheating on Daisy and yet he says that girls run
around alone too much for his taste.

7. What examples of Gatsby being faithful to his
conception of the seventeen year old Gatsby are
evident in this story? Page 104

1. On page 107, Tom suggests that Gatsby could be a bootlegger, and Nick quickly comes to his defense. Is Nick’s admiration blinding him from a possibly dark side of Gatsby?
2. On page 108, Daisy starts to sing to a song for no apparent reason as she is leaving the party. Nick says that “the song seemed to be calling her back inside”. What about the party is calling to her?
3. Gatsby keeps reminiscing on his past. Could he have done something he regretted and wanted to take back?
4. On page 105, Gatsby tells everyone that Tom is a polo player. What are Gatsby’s intentions by doing this?
5. On page 105, Gatsby and Daisy dance. Tom calls Gatsby’s dancing “Graceful, Conservative...”. What could be the meaning behind dancing?
6. On page 104, Nick admits that he has become accustomed to the West Egg, saying, “I had merely grown used to it, grown to accept West Egg as a world complete in itself.” What are some possible meanings behind this?

8:09 PM  
Blogger nathank2 said...

I just want to say that despite what Fitzgerald claims, you can not see by the light Gatsby emits. page 94

8:37 PM  
Blogger JocelynH said...

Ale Fresch, Elizabeth Bunker, Jocelyn Higashide, Lindsey Downs
Ms. Kakos
Honors American Literature

1. Why did Gatsby stop giving parties at his mansion?
2. Was the heat a symbol of passion or of fire, like what produced the field of ashes?
3. There was more mention of whiteness and the color white in this chapter. What does the color white symbolize? Does it mean the same as it did earlier?
4. Daisy’s daughter looks more like her and when Daisy was showing her off to the guests, she asked where Daddy was, like Daisy used to ask where Tom was. Does Daisy’s daughter represent a younger version of herself?
5. On page 120, Gatsby says of Daisy, “Her voice is full of money.” What does this mean exactly? Connection to the old money/new money duality?
6. Doctor T.J. Eckleburg appears again in this chapter. Does he seem to watch over unfortunate or sad events? What is his purpose?
7. On page 125, Myrtle thinks that Jordan is Tom’s wife. Is this mix-up significant somehow (for example, it refers back to Daisy’s qualities versus Jordan’s)?
8. Precisely what did Jordan mean when she mentioned “funny fruits” on page 125?
9. On page 130, it states that Tom “saw himself standing alone on the last barrier of civilization.” Does this connect back to the book he was reading, the one that predicted that minorities would take over unless the whites fought back?
10. Doesn’t it seem like Tom only really appreciates Daisy once it seems she’s slipping away? Is this more evidence of materialism?
11. The “pale well-dressed negro” on page 139 materializes out of nowhere with all the details of the accident. Is this significant? (“And Death shall ride a pale horse…”)
12. What is so important about Gatsby’s pink suit? It’s mentioned twice, on page 122 and 142. Also, on page 144, there’s a pink glow coming from Daisy’s room.
13. In the beginning of the story, Gatsby didn’t seem to mind. People gossiping about him or bothering to try and set them straight. Now, he fired all his servants and got new ones so they wouldn’t really know anything about him. Why do you think this is so? What does he have to hide from the world? What do you think his first set of servants knew?
14. “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall” (118). What does it mean?
15. Why does Myrtle decide to finally leave? Is it ironic how they tell Tom they are planning on moving and then she dies from the car accident? Coincidence? Opportunity for Tom to say good-bye to Myrtle one last time.
16. At the end of the of the chapter, does Tom deserve what he gets? Daisy running to Gatsby and Myrtle dying in the car crush. Has his selfishness over ruled his lifestyle? Will he learn from these experiences?
17. Why won’t Tom sell Mr. Wilson the car? Is this his way of getting rid of his mistress Myrtle?
18. On page 104, Daisy kisses Gatsby in front of Jordan and Nick with Tom in the next room. What is the meaning of the kiss? Is she trying to make up for something she lacks in Gatsby’s eyes?
19. Why would Gatsby make Daisy like Gatsby choose who she loved in front of everyone? After all of Tom’s “sprees” why does she not just leave him?
20. Is it true Gatsby made his money through the “drug stores”? Why does Tom bring it up now?
21. Did Daisy know Myrtle was Tom’s mistress? And if so, did she purposely hit her?
Are Tom and Daisy going to frame Gatsby? Will Daisy not say she was the driver or will she let Gatsby take all the blame?

8:21 PM  
Blogger KerryL1005 said...


p.147 (Stood there for a moment and turned out the light…)
How does the significance of this play through the chapter as well as with her relationship with Tom presently?

p.148(But what gave it an air of breathlessness…it was as casual to her as his tent out at camp was to him.)
Was this his aim all along to impress Daisy, to not only get wealthy but to achieve such a wealth that it did not matter what he had?

154(because the uncertainty of her own movements between hotels and clubs and private houses…)
This sounds reminiscent of Daisy before her marriage, is there a connection or is that just the stereotype of ‘20’s women?

p.160(If that was true he must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream.)
Did Gatsby ultimately kill himself because of his dream

“Jay Gatsby’ had broken up like glass against Tom’s hard malice…”(148)
What does the broken glass symbolize in Gatsby and Daisy’s relationship?

“He knew that he was in Daisy’s house by a colossal accident.”(149)
Why was it considered an accident in Gatsby’s point of view?

“He had deliberately given Daisy a sense of security; he let her believe that he was a person from much the same stratum as herself- that he was fully able to take care of her…”(149)
Does this quote, as well as the whole relationship between Daisy and Gatsby seem similar to the relationship that Zelda and Fitzgerald once had?

“Through this twilight universe Daisy began to move again with the season, suddenly she was again keeping half a dozen dates a day with half a dozen men…”(151)
Why was Daisy giving up on Gatsby and why did she stoop to this level? Was she lonely, or was there lack of trust present?

“Doubtless there was a certain struggle and a certain relief…”(151)
What was the struggle and what was the relief? This quote correlates to the way Daisy is on the border of Gatsby and Tom.

“Of course she might have loved him just for a minute, when they were first married-and loved me more even then, do you see?” (152)
Why is Gatsby trying to convince himself and Nick about this?

The yellow trolley that Gatsby rode on away from the sun, after walking around Daisy’s town. ( 153) What does this symbolize?

All of the sudden, Nick and Jordan’s romance went down the drain. (155). Why did this happen?

“Myrtle Wilson’s tragic achievement was forgotten…” (156) Why was her death considered an achievement?

“There was nothing but a small, expensive dog leash…”(158) Wilson was starting to figure everything out and he was going insane. What does the dog leash represent?

“The gardener saw Wilson’s body a little way off in the grass, and the holocaust was complete…”(162)
Why was this considered a holocaust? Why did Wilson go off the edge and kill Gatsby? What was the symbolism of Gatsby in the pool when he died after he hadn’t entered the pool the entire summer?

9:26 PM  
Blogger KerryL1005 said...

Hi Kakos-
Sorry for the delay. I had technical issues with my computer and I couldnt blog before this. I was on hold with msn for a long time trying to figure out what was wrong. Sorry for any inconvenience.

9:29 PM  

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