The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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58 ‘Even Jordan’s party…were rent asunder by dissension.’ – The magic is gone and everything resolves itself into the tawdry realities of alcoholic excess and philandering. It seems a sad, but hardly unexpected, ending to it all: convention and reality can be set aside, but only temporarily. New partners are sought, anger is kindled and violence ensues, just as recently occurred in the scrap between Tom and Myrtle.

58 ‘at times she appeared suddenly at his side like an angry diamond, and hissed’ – An interesting description, implying the woman’s face is hard and angular.

58 ‘both wives were lifted, kicking, into the night.’ – more intimations of violence.

59 ‘the eagerness in his manner’ – Gatsby is talking about Daisy.

59 ‘Please come and see me … Phone book … Under the name of Mrs Sigourney Howard … My aunt …’ – Jordan has to set up the next date; Nick doesn’t ask her out and hasn’t requested her telephone number, so this is a slightly desperate strategy from Jordan.

59 ‘The familiar expression held no…familiarity’ – One of the things that Nick likes about Gatsby – ironically enough – is that he preserves some of the good manners of the old America.

59 ‘Philadelphia’ – A business call at this time of the night! Fitzgerald is clearly suggesting some kind of shady dealing.

60 ‘He smiled – and suddenly there seemed to be a pleasant significance in having been among the last to go, as if he had desired it all the time.’ – Gatsby’s warmth towards Nick is, mostly, a consequence of the fact that he is Daisy’s cousin (something he will have been told by Jordan). Nick, though, is clearly enjoying being made to feel special by his new friend’s magical smile. It has to be said that if this were a Mills and Boon novel, and Nick were a Nicola, the reader would have absolutely no doubt whatsoever about ‘Nicola’ being headed towards a love affair with Gatsby at this point.

60 ‘A man in a long duster’ – a ‘duster’ is a kind of light housecoat.

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F. Scott Fitzgerald
the Unkindness of Ravens If you have found our critical notes helpful, why not try the first Tower Notes novel, a historical fantasy set in the time of the Anglo-Saxon invasions.

Available HERE where you can read the opening chapters.

The Unkindness of Ravens by Anthony Paul