Tom plays a real dominant male. He bullies both men and women. Among others he bullies both George Wilson and Daisy & Myrtle. Daisy portrays the discomfort of the modern woman after the 2nd world war in the US, who had to do basically everything. Daisy has a child she can’t take care of, for example. Women were margins, while males where in the center of all actions. With that, Fitzsimons probably critiques the objectification of women. The narrator (Nick) does it as well, as he critics Tom. Throughout the book we follow Gatsby and also the disempowerment of men in the 20’s.
Gatsby is in contrary to Tom- not as dominant as he would like to be. This shows to me the disempowerment of men. His life is depending on Daisy, she became the main focus of his life as he from the very beginning associated her with richness. Therefor- when he saw that he had lost her- he felt that it was no longer worth living. His life was there for dependent on her and the fantasy he had built up of her as a goddess. For me, this shows that Daisy had control over emotions. The book is a critique of patriarchy, it’s seen from the narrator’s perspective, since we can see how Nick takes Gatsby’s side.
And I think that we somehow can see the author in the narrator- who is the implied author. The book critiques both the behavior a bit more than the society. Tom hits and abuses Myrtle- and controls Daisy- which is rather a critique of behavior than a society. Men are in control – in the center, while women are margins. There are also doubly marginalized people in the book. Such as Myrtle, since she also is fat. Fitzgerald is being critical, not only toward Tom- but also Daisy, who has a relationship with Gatsby while being with Tom. The women in the book failed to keep their status.
They actually are powerful and have a big affect on the guys in the book, but very weak in their own rights. Protagonist/Antagonist The protagonist is the main character in the story and also the focus of the action. In the very beginning, I thought that Nick would be the protagonist in the book. But after some chapters, that idea changed. Gatsby was becoming the main person in the book, and there for the protagonist. The focus of the action was him; as he had devoted his whole life to daisy- and wanted to ger her back from Tom.
This means that Tom probably is the antagonist, since he orks against achieving Gatsby’s goal. Daisy could also be the antagonist, since she (as we can see in the very end) doesn’t want Gatsby back. But the main reason, why she doesn’t want him back is that Tom is in her life. That’s why I can clearly say that Tom is the antagonist. Nick is in my opinion the protagonist in the first plot and Gatsby in the 2nd. Reliable/unreliable narrator, who is the narrator? Nick as reliable: He doesn’t really have a point of view in what is happening, since he’s not the protagonist. He is (at least in the beginning) quite neutral, which would make him a really good narrator.
He knows Tom since college, he is cousin with Daisy and he is getting to know Gatsby. He doesn’t really have a reason to lie. He is giving himself a picture of being very honest. If he makes a bad decision, that he later regret- he will be very sad. We see that he has emotions. In chapter one, he describes himself as a non-judge able person. He has that personality from his father. FitzGerald is trying to make us believe that Nick is reliable. But what he really means in the story is that Nick is not. Why is nick not reliable? He just tells his point of views, which are maybe not always the right ones.
Nick is NOT the protagonist, and does not know the full story of everything that is happening. He is trying to show himself as reliable, as he takes the weak guys side- Gatsby’s. But he really doesn’t know him, or if what he is saying is true. We can see that he is not so sure about who Gatsby is in the end, which makes him frustrated. He doesn’t always understand what is happening- he is very often lost in the story. He may give the reader false information, even though he isn’t doing it on purpose. He doesn’t have access to all information, as Gatsby does. Nick also forgets everything about Gatsby’s criminal activities when he dies (and becomes some sort of hero to Nick in the end). *Even though he says that he is reliable in the beginning, it doesn’t really mean that he is, but just shows his points of views. He is actually judging other people, when he is acting in the same way as them. Take for example Jordan Baker when she described the history of Daisy’s and Gatsby’s romance- he believed it all without being critical? *Nick would have been more trustworthy if the story had been about him- as it was in the beginning.
He obviously explains clearly about his life, but he can’t explain GATSBYS and DAISYS early romance. He is not the protagonist and doesn’t know the full story. *Nick also narrates in third person, which makes him unreliable. *He is not objective, take for example when he is drunk. He said in the beginning that he did not like alcohol, but later on in the book he had a period when it was everything he was doing. Chapter 3or 4. Nick likes Gatsby- his opinion about him makes him unreliable, as he takes his side in the end of the book.
Okay if he had knew him for a long time, but not now when they became friends some weeks before. ALSO: Nick’s opinion about Gatsby has changed throughout the book; it also often changed how he wrote about him. This means that we on our own have to make a picture of Gatsby from the information we get by others. NICK IS CERTAINLY UNRELIABLE since he doesn’t know what had happened earlier in life between Gatsby and Daisy; we can see this in chapter 8, when he gets chocked when he hears the truth about Gatsby and his bootlegging activities and also how they met.
MODERNISM: Gatsby is a breakthrough in modernism writing Prohibition- the ban of alcohol + mafia Gatsby put up drugstores and sells alcohol there. IT is through prohibition that Gatsby has had the chance to reach his dreams -> daisy. MODERNISM * Criticism of older norms, p. 156 1st world war New world order Psychology – freud New kinds of art Prohibition in America pursuit of happiness – people tried to get happy. The 20’s in America. PEOPLE ARE NOT ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM.
NICK IS ALSO DISHONST in the end he lies to his father when he says that Gatsby helped build up the country and answered’’ uhm.. yes…’’.. when he was a bootlegger. He has been corrupted by the EAST side? Nick thinks women and men are different. He can’t read what Gatsby’s thinking- and since it’s all about him he’s not an reliable narrator. The valley of ashes is where everything bad happens, where everything bad is put in. Its not a coincidence that it was here Gatsby’s dream got crushed. Gatsby is nervous in chapter 5 before meeting Daisy, that’s why its really stormy.