And then we go back to the village of West Egg and in that huge mansion where parties are held every weekend, Nick Caraway also gets invited to the party by the host, who is none other than the Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby. And Nick Caraway attends the dinner along with Jordan Baker and Gatsby introduces himself for the 1st time in the novel to Nick Caraway. And slowly they get along and they become good friends. And one day Gatsby asks Nick to invite Daisy for an afternoon tea at Nick's cottage. And Nick goes and invites Daisy to the, to this afternoon tea and Gatsby is also Introduced as well to Daisy. Then we get a back story of how Daisy's and Gatsby's lives were before the time of the text. So, we see that Daisy was a socialite, who, who fell in love with Gatsby when he was army personnel and he had nothing when he had no wealth and no place in the upper social class. And it was only after the army that Gatsby through some means amassed wealth and now Gatsby is living in West Egg, directly across Tom Buchanan's house in the East egg across the bay, so that he can relive the past and change the past and make Daisy his wife. So this is the basic plot and this is the basic setting and we go on to see what happens, because of Daisy, because of Gatsby's love for Daisy Buchanan. So, after this, we see that Daisy and Gatsby have a short love affair and one day Daisy invites Nick and Gatsby to dinner at the Buchanan's estate. And through some of Daisy's dialogues, which we will see later, Tom gets the idea that both Gatsby and Daisy are having an affair behind his back. So, Tom gets angry and all of them leave the city to have a drink because the weather is so hot. And Tom lets Daisy drive with Gatsby to the hotel to kind of show off that he is not affected by Daisy's infidelity, although we also know that Tom had too many affairs outside the marriage. And they go to the hotel, there is a huge fight with Gatsby and Daisy and Tom and we also get to know that when they were crossing the Valley of Ashes that Myrtle Wilson and George Wilson, Myrtle who is Tom's mistress, they are planning to leave, planning to leave the Valley of Ashes because now George Wilson also gets an idea that Myrtle is having an affair behind George's back. It is just that George does not know who is the person Myrtle is having an affair with. So, in the hotel, there is a huge fight and Gatsby tries to make Daisy tell Tom that she never loved Tom and it was always Gatsby she loved. But in a sudden reversal of luck, Daisy ends up saying that she always loved Tom also and Tom and Daisy and Nick and Jordan, everybody comes back to the fictional village of West Egg. So, when they are driving back, we see that one of those cars which were why, which was driven by Sorry, which was driven perhaps by Gatsby and Daisy hit Myrtle Wilson on the road and kill her. So, Tom goes into George's garage and talks to him and tells him tells George that the car which hit was not Tom's because George is having an idea that Myrtle ran out into the road, during an argument she was having with George, so it was to stop the guy in the car and George thought that the guy in the car was the person whom Myrtle was having an affair with. So, George understands that the owner of the car is a person who is having an affair with Myrtle and tries to figure who that is by going through the city and enquiring about a yellow car, which is Gatsby's, who hit, which hit Myrtle. So, here we see George Wilson going into Gatsby's house and after searching through the city and we see that Gatsby has been telling Nick that it was Daisy who drove the car and that is why she did not stop and we see Gatsby trying to listen through the window of Tom's estate, Tom's house to see whether Tom was misbehaving with Daisy over the fight they had in the afternoon. So, after the long night, Gatsby goes back to his home, his mansion and we see George Wilson coming and shooting Gatsby and killing himself. So, by this, we are almost near the end of the story and Nick figuring out that something had happened, goes to Gatsby's mansion and finds that Gatsby is dead, as well as George is dead and Tom and Daisy have left presumably to New York to leave the past behind. So, and it ends with funeral scenes of Gatsby where nobody attends as opposed to the extravagant parties which he threw to the new populace of New York City. So, this is the basic plot and his love for Daisy Buchanan is what is driving the story. (Refer Slide Time: 20:08) So, with this, we will go to a reading of Gatsby. So, the reception of the novel was not as expected by Fitzgerald, only one of the print runs were sold completely and by the time Fitzgerald died, the 2nd print run was yet to be sold. And the reviews were kind of mixed and TS Eliot and Gertrude Stein said that they liked the work but his, Fitzgerald's editor said that although Fitzgerald had mastered the craft, he had, he needs much more than this craft to write novels. So we see that Fitzgerald perhaps died without having a very nice opinion of himself and it is a novel of the zeitgeist, of that spirit of the age of 1920s, it was an iconoclastic novel when it came out, because it kind of critiqued the Moral and spiritual decadence of 1920s, although it had amassed a lot of wealth. So, Nick Caraway is introduced to us as an honest man, who reserves judgement always, as perhaps the 1st paragraph of the novel suggests. And Nick suspends disbelief and enters Gatsby's world, accepting his terms of discourse. Gatsby is a liar too because he does not disclose how he amassed his wealth, which we come to know later that has been through the illegal sale of liquor and also through so many financial frauds that Gatsby had amassed his wealth. But Nick, as he professes to be an honest man who reserves his judgement, kind of tries to accept what Gatsby is saying and perhaps the narrator, Nick Carraway is one of those people in the novel whose point of view is more or less objective. (Refer Slide Time: 22:20) Although he at times strays from his reserving judgement and disinterestedness and gives us so many adjectives to depict so many of the characters in the novel. So, the spiritual and moral decadence as I told earlier is the main theme and it is not cynical but it often talks about the cynicism the 1920s generation had. And the main theme which we will be discussing is the American dream and the inherent contradictions in such a dream. So, we will also look at Fitzgerald's life and the Great Gatsby as linked to Zelda's notions of Fame and social life and also one of those motivations for great Gatsby is set to be Ginevra King, whom Fitzgerald liked in the beginning but of course, as just Gatsby was, Fitzgerald was very much lower than King's social class, so that he could not marry King. So, we will be looking at the American dream now. So the discourse of the self-made man is the primary locus of the American dream. So, from saying the 1890s to 1930s, just before the stock market crash, there was a flourishing of success manuals, how to become great, how to succeed in life, how to amass wealth, how to climb the social ladder, such literature flourished in the United States. For example, we have Horatio Alger whose novels were the embodiment of this discourse of the self-made man, who could move up the social class just by his industry, whatever his circumstances maybe. We also have Andrew Carnegie who was another writer of such popular works and who also delivered a lot of speeches on how a man can move up the social ladder. Another literature of the 1920s was of the McGuffey Readers, which were elementary school textbooks for children, which also was the embodiment of this discourse of the self-made man, who could buy his industries, the industry could move up the social ladder. So, the idea was that whatever the circumstances may be and how much ever poverty they had to go through, whatever the, whatever the restraints maybe, success can be achieved by one's industry and one's function of, one's character. So, success is a function of good behaviour, a good all-round character. So, we will see that Gatsby does so many of these, Gatsby is also the, is also the manifestation of how this discourse was taken up by the populace and how they try to try to reimagine themselves as a self-made man. So, it is a world of success which is alien to others. So, all the successful men, all the successful people, including the fictional characters which we see here as in Gatsby, we see that their success is alien, totally in a different world altogether because they are some of these individual people who could move up the ladder because of particular circumstances. Not everybody was able to be the self-made man. The discourse is highly selective in terms of who grows up, who achieves success and we can see that this stark contrast between the worlds, the world of an alien, the world of a successful rich man and the world of others who could not climb up the ladder of success was what read. So, here we see that Tom and Daisy and everybody is Drinking through the prohibition era. And the Valley of Ashes for example, as opposed to the flamboyant parties and the cars they drive, the Valley of Ashes is grey, very desolate and it is a world where Daisy, a world which Daisy cannot even imagine. So this stark contrast is also shown through the text. So, thank you for listening to this session of introduction to world literature. Now we will, and the next session will start at, again at the discourse of the self-made man, taking cues from the text, thank you. Hello, welcome to the second session on the Great Gatsby and we will be continuing from the discourse of the self-made man with references to the text. So here we have some of the cues from the text which will help us explain and understand the discourse of the self-made man. So the different magazine's people read, we see in for example in the parties seen in the early sections of the novel were Tom, Myrtle And Nick Carraway is having in that vulgar party we see that there are so many magazines strewn over all over the floor including a novel called as Simon Called Peter. So Fitzgerald was known to have called Simon Called Peter a piece of trash and we see that the non-successful people the people who get killed Myrtle and George, for example, are the connoisseurs of such magazines of such vulgar magazines and vulgar novels which lacked any literary merit any cultural value. So as opposed to these people we see in great in Jay Gatsby’s house that there is a huge library within the mansion which houses so many books but very ironically the lease of these books are uncut showing us that this is all a facade of this self-made man character. So the colours, for example, we see that Gatsby’s car which is which symbolizes the new rich the new richness of 1926 very flamboyant, it is cream, it is variously described as a cream, variously described as yellow as opposed to Tom’s car which is a coupe which is light blue which symbolizes the class this upper social class of his standing. And the colours are also very important because the suits which Tom wear and the suits which Gatsby wears are very very different. So Gatsby is always shown in such flamboyant colours say pink and yellow and so on, while Tom’s attire is very neutral very calm and composed colours. So this is one of those metaphors which frequently pop up in the text and there are also the metaphors of floating and flowing. So whenever Daisy or Tom or say Jordan Baker is introduced to us in the novel, we always see that the metaphors are always about floating about as if balloons were floating above the ground who were anchored to the ground by some unknown attachment. So it is saying that the lives of Daisy and Tom are very much above the reality of the age. So for example in the scene when Nick is introduced to Daisy, Tom and Jordan we see that there is a lot of movement in the scene, there is the wind coming through the window and curtains are flowing around and it is Tom who seizes the moment by shutting the window so such metaphors of colours of floating also give us an idea of the new rich versus the old rich and both the new and old rich versus the others. And when we see say for example Nick Carraway’s cottage it is always raining in his when we are discussing the text in terms of the cottage, for example, it is very earthy, it is very grounded. So this is also a metaphor which kind of gives us a subtle hint of what Fitzgerald is aiming at what his critic of this decadence, as opposed to the wealth, is all about. So carelessness and social power is another important theme here because when Daisy and Gatsby are driving back to the west egg after the heated discussion in the New York City hotel, we see that Daisy is very careless in driving and John is also very careless in driving when you read the original text you will see that the idea of carelessness is very obvious, very explicitly used by Jordan, Daisy and Nick also. Nick says that Tom and Daisy were careless people because of the social power they had, they could afford to be careless about other people, about other people’s lives. For example, we see so many people dying in the novel which can be traced back to the carelessness of
Daisy and Tom about other people’s lives, so cynicism is also very fashionable. So Jordan Baker is a very cynicism person, she lies a lot, her approach to the world and life is very disinterested and she is always cynical about things. So this is also one of those cultural moral characteristics of the 1920s and we have Tom and Mary described in various metaphors of burning and smouldering as if the vitality of life was coming from within themselves, so this is also kind of ironical because Tom while a huge man a man of much physical strength is also careless in the sense that the fire in him is not so much as the fire in Myrtle who is a very ordinary woman although she aspires to become one of those rich women. So the vitality of life is also shown through so many of these characters, so we can see
Fitzgerald almost regretting about his own choices kind of in a sense because of how he kind of suppressed his artistic genius to so that he could have Zelda. So we can read the text in such terms also. So we see that it is Gatsby who says that her voice was full of money, so Nick was Nick in this scene in this specific scene which I am referring to Nick is talking about Daisy’s voice how it captures people, so Nick is st to explain how Daisy manages to capture so many people, so it is Gatsby who comes up with this sudden realization that her voice is full of money which is kind of drawing people into her. So the idea of the uncut books which we see in the party scene as explained earlier is another example of how the self-made man is a façade although there are so many real people who are self-made men they are they can be thought of as marginal outline cases. So we also see the funeral of the self-made man in the end. So while the attendance of Gatsby’s extravagant parties were so high we see that for the funeral although Nick tries to get hold of all those important people who came for Gatsby’s parties, there is nobody who turns up for the funeral, it is only Henry Gatz who is Gatsby’s real father who comes for the funeral and there is one more guy, there is one more person who comes for the funeral and this person is also very important here. So we see that in one of those early party scenes, this person who comes for the funeral, in the end, is alone sitting in the library while Nick and Jordan Baker tries to go through Gatsby’s mansion to figure out where Gatsby’s is. So we see that in the phase of such extravagance there is hiding something important something of substance which is a library. So it is a person who shies away from the party and goes to the library, goes to the place of some substance is also the one who comes for the funeral. So he is one of those people who is anchored to reality and who keeps revisiting the non-dream part of this, so that idea that the Fitzgerald including the same person in both scenes is also very interesting and the time table is for another example. For example, when we read the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin we see that Benjamin Franklin wrote out a daily itinerary for himself a daily time table to follow so that he could rise from the social class where he was and go to a much much more upper social class. So Gatsby also discussing so this idea of having a time table of living an ordered life and so on is also coming from this discourse of the self-made man. To be the self-made man one has to stay away from alcohol, stay away from all those things which will drive you down, so we see that Gatsby is practising elocution so that his voice his words, etc comes across us very refined, so we see that Nick observes Gatsby trying to pick his words when he speaks so these ideas are also very much suggestive of how the discourse of the self-made man is discussed and also critiqued in Great Gatsby. (Refer Slide Time: 10:50) But the issue with this outlook of the self-made man is that this idea that a person regardless of his social class can become somebody from a somebody who belongs to an upper class solely through the through his industry is treating this progression as an event. So when a person who is the self-made man turns back and in retrospect when he examines the path he came through he will most probably see that he had so many obstacles but he had managed to come through these many things, while he is being blind to so many of those particular circumstances which helped him or her to go up the social ladder. So once he turns back and looks at his past it seems as if it was not a cakewalk but he managed to go through all these things so other people should also be able to go through the same things but what we see is that person in retrospect is laying a blanket claim over all of these things because there are so many people who might not have the same chances, the same circumstances, the same luck, these people would have had. So this is the main problem which we see in this discourse of the self-made man. And also this discourse tries to transcend material realities. So, for example, the time and space from which such a man grows up, such a woman grows up is always tied very much to material circumstances to conditions and to history itself. So to be able to achieve this success of the self-made man, one has to transcend it in a sense so one has to kind of go beyond history go beyond the material conditions if they had to succeed in the way Gatsby succeeded. So Gatsby tries to transcend time and space and history by kind of sentimentalizing everything. So for him, every dream is so much invested with emotions. So by the idea of sentimentalizing is also very important here because by sentimentalizing we invest a lot of emotions to the character which makes them more human in a liberal humanist sense which makes them have a constant character of being human as opposed to being a human in 1920 in America in this age, so the specificities are forgotten and becomes a kind of a persona which is built out of so many dreams. So for example when Daisy says that she always loved Tom, Gatsby says that it is just personal as if this love for Tom by Daisy is very personal in the sent it is very material, it is very linked to history and by transcending it through his platonic idea of love and desire which went through so many years which went through so many troubles but still he manages to hold on to is kind of transcending all the material, all the specificities of Daisy’s love and hence Gatsby has a moral upper hand that is his idea, so or when Nick remarks that Gatsby is a platonic invention of himself of that Gatsby whose earlier name as we come to see is Jimmy Gatz, so Gatsby is a platonic invention of Jimmy Gatz of what he wanted to be. So this is a dream-like person, dreamlike in the sense of the person himself is a dream as well as he dreams a lot, so it is very much removed from reality so or the sentimentalization of scenes as I explained earlier. So these elements contribute into one's thinking of one’s existence as transcending history which is not possible, just like how pure art or pure aesthetic is not possible because there is always a material anchor which holds all of us to ground realities. So when we read this along with such remarks in the novel that West Egg was a place without a precedent as if the history there is no history ahistorically it is suspended in the ether as if it is so pure or second to nothing because it has no consciousness of being so that West Egg is second to nothing because it has no consciousness of being so. So it is the place as a memory loss of whatever happened, whatever had come into play to make this place such a wonderful place of the new York is conveniently forgotten, it is a loss of memory, so this is also another attempt that trying to transcend history which is in real terms impossible. So these are the problems we have with this discourse of the self-made man. (Refer Slide Time: 16:28) So there are numerous possibilities for reading Great Gatsby, for example, so in a book on an introductory book on critical theory by Lois Tyson, we see that she takes Great Gatsby as a text to explain all this all these critical lenses. For example, she does a psychoanalytic reading, of Gatsby of Queer Reading of new criticism African American criticism, Feminist, Structuralist, Deconstructionist or post-modernist, Reader’s Response and Marxist and Postcolonialist criticism of Great Gatsby it is a text which lenses so many readings for of which we have considered a new historicist reading now by referring to such manuals of success manuals of the 1920s by trying to think of the text as not so literary but just like how the other success manuals also embodied this discourse of the self-made man. So we took such an approach now also we have Psychoanalytic readings which treat this as a story of dysfunctional love as a story of a girl wanting a relationship which is which does not have any intimacy, so the fear of intimacy there is a Queer Reading which tries to read Gatsby sorry Nick Carraway and Jordan Baker as gay people by reading into how their behaviour is and there is a new criticist reading which deals only with the text and so on. So it will be very good if we can consult that book and try to read through how Lois Tyson treats Gatsby through all these texts, it is a very good source of looking at both theory and also practice. (Refer Slide Time: 18:28) So these are some of the few excerpts which are taken from the book. So, for example, this particular paragraph is about Jordan Baker, so this is a portrait of the flapper icon and also Lois Tyson treats this as a manifestation of Jordan as a lesbian, so this is one of those examples. (Refer Slide Time: 18:58) And this is another example which Tyson takes to explain how Nick Caraway can be thought of as a gay character again the same just as if it were five years ago so this is an instance where Gatsby is trying to recreate the entire history tries for repeat entire history as if history can be transcended and played around, it was his remark. (Refer Slide Time: 19:25) These are some examples of the transcendence of history. (Refer Slide Time: 19:34) This is one of those main places where the careless people dialogue comes in, again of Daisy better time telling her what I was going to do. So this can be equally applied to Gatsby and also to Fitzgerald as in Fitzgerald could marry Zelda only after he had achieved something. (Refer Slide Time: 19:57) This is about George Wilson. (Refer Slide Time: 20:00) This is also the colossal vitality of exclusion, so the dream which the self-made man Gatsby tries to inculcate is such huge dreams which do not correlate with reality. (Refer Slide Time: 20:15) This is one of those particular places where critics have had a problem with Gatsby because here it is a Jew character Mr Wolfsheim who is kind of displayed in a not so good light and also the 2013 film adaptation of Great Gatsby, Amitabh Bachhan played this role. (Refer Slide Time: 20:40) This is what Myrtle is thinking. So Myrtle is trying to her class, so it is another example of how she wants to go up in class. (Refer Slide Time: 20:54) This is another example where Fitzgerald is trying to subtly give us an idea of the internal characteristics of each character about the police dog is another interesting places in the story which we can see Fitzgerald showing us things, so it is I am glad it is a girl and I hope she will be a fool that is the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool this is another place where so many feminist scholars have tried to interpret Gatsby from such a perspective, so the promise of things yet to come. (Refer Slide Time: 21:32) This is also very much in tandem with the idea of the discourse of this self-made person. (Refer Slide Time: 21:44) This is one of those things where we can see the craft of Fitzgerald coming in play, so where it is one of those beginning scenes where Nick is invited to Daisy’s place and where we are introduced to Tom, Jordan and Daisy. So it is movement, so much of the movement shown by particular objects in the story. (Refer Slide Time: 22:11) It is highly recommended that we read the original text because most of the things which we tried to find out from the text will not become visible unless we have gone through the entire text and it is a fairly short text. (Refer Slide Time: 22:26) So yeah this is one of those famous paragraphs from Gatsby which is a portrait of Gatsby, it was one of those rarest mails with the quality of eternal reassurance in it. So this is a kind of very positive thinking attitude which the success manuals always recommended that you may come across four or five times in life, very rare. The whole eternal world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favour. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to be believed in yourself and assure you that it had preciously the impression of you that at your best you hope to convey, so it is a very customized reaction which these success manuals always wanted a person to have. (Refer Slide Time: 23:20) This is given at the beginning of the text the then wear the gold hat, if that will move her, so this author whom Fitzgerald is quoting is a fictional other whom Fitzgerald invented himself and Thomas Parke D'Invilliers in his in one of his older novels. So it is a perfect introduction to Gatsby and also to Fitzgerald who kind of when chasing the dreams and in the fashion of this self-made man. (Refer Slide Time: 23:55) So these are the references, Great Gatsby I think is out of is in the public domain in so many countries and Harold Bloom’s guides have so many essays and critical perspectives and there are so many works of criticism on Great Gatsby trying to look at it mainly through the American dream perspective and also as I mentioned earlier through many other perspectives, thank you and I hope that you will take the pain to read through the entire novel so that to gain a much clearer understanding. So why this particular American novel has been placed in world literature and so on, so I hope you enjoyed this video, thank you.
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