Gatsby CHAPTER 2 Questions

The description of the “valley of ashes” opens Chapter 2. On a literal level, what is the valley of ashes? What might it represent on a symbolic level? it is a large dump for ashes. They take the form of houses and men. “grow like wheat” symbolically, the ash represents something burned and used up, ruined and corrupted. Since they look like houses and men, the ash has ‘burned out’ the lives of others.
In what way does Fitzgerald indicate that Myrtle Wilson is not an intellectual? this is shown by her reading materials (scandal magazines) and her interests are or, more appropriately, lack of interests
At the party in the apartment, what social classes are represented and by whom? working class: Myrtle. middle class: the Mckees. upper class: Tom
In what social class does Nick belong? he is not in the middle class or upper. He has the many advantages and tastes of upper class, but not the money
In what way is the party in the apartment different from the dinner at the Buchanan’s in Ch 1? In what ways is it similar? the dinner party at the Buchanan’s is more elegant and refined. The party in the apartment is a drunken affair. In both parties, there’s an air of boredom and meaningless. There’s also a good deal of unhappiness and posturing in both.
Notice how often and in what context Dr. Eckleburg’s eyes are mentioned. What may be the significance of these eyes? the eyes often are described to be observing or staring at what is going on. They “see” Nick and Tom, Wilsons repair shop, and “oversee” the valley of ashes. His eyes are blue in contrast to the lifeless gray.
Do you think Tom will leave Daisy for Myrtle? Support your answer. Tom gets mad at Myrtle for saying Daisy’s name and breaks her nose. This indicates the lack of tenderness for Myrtle and his sense respect for Daisy. For Tom, Myrtle is simply a fling. Despite the attraction, Tom would not let break up his marriage.

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