1.8 Significant connections

Fabulous Fitz

The 1920s was thought of as boisterous era , full of fast cars , jazz , speakeasies and wild parties. People were indulged in new types of dance and style it was the decade of free wheeling and defining probation.  F. Scott Fitzgerald was a writer in the 1920s , his work reflected his life happening around him. Within his writing he portrays the idea of the American dream and it failure, he emphasises class and wealth, society and status. The poor, The rich and the ones in between.  He uses this characters to illustrate these ideas, they are what connect his stories together. Jay Gatsby , Dexter Green , John Unger and Benjamin Button , the Male Protagonists of The Great Gatsby, Winter dreams ,The Diamond as big as the ritz ,Benjamin button are all very similar characters. Each individual shares the same somewhat unreachable dream , each spend their lives , wasting away there lives , chasing the “ Golden Girl”.  Fitzgeralds golden girl is not just a made up story character she is a representation of girls and women in society. She is a vision of what the perfect girl would be like. At the same time it’s a way Fitzgerald somewhat exposes the perfect girl and shows what really lies underneath. The lead males come from middle class families and work their way up into high class societies building a life that they think their golden girl would want to be apart of. Although they work up into the high society life they don’t and will never reach the elite status as golden girl.

For example Jay Gatsby the male protagonist in the book The Great Gatsby , was born into a poor farming family. After meeting Daisy Buchanan , a wealthy beautiful woman , he then goes and then creates ‘ just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen−year−old boy would be likely to invent”. He creates an illusion of himself , he becomes a man that a girl like Daisy might want to be with.  Everything he does from then on is all for his Golden Girl , she is dream , his unreachable goal. Jay Gatsby  worked through bootlegging his way into the rich life, all for daisy buchanan. Daisy is the lead female in the Great Gatsby and like many of Fitzgerald’s female roles in his other stories , Daisy is rich and beautiful but not seen for much else.  She is shallow and bored , she has enough time in her life to wait for the longest year “Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it.” there isn’t much to her character , she is beautiful and rich and nothing more.  Despite all this , Gatsby still commits his whole life to chasing her and to revive there lost love. Yet in the end all Gatsby’s strong hope , and his vivid dream to be with Daisy kills him.

Much like Jay Gatsby , Dexter Green , the male protagonist, in Winter Dreams, also commits his whole life to a golden girl ‘Judy Jones’. Dexter comes from a middle class family and worked as a caddie at the Sherry island golf club for pocket money. While he is there he meets his golden girl he describes her as “beautifully ugly as little girls are apt to be who are destined after a few years to be inexpressibly lovely and bring no end of misery to a great number of men.” later in the story we find out that Dexter Green is one of those men she will bring “no end of misery to”. Dexter leaves the caddie and goes and tries to build a life Judy Jones could be apart of , much like Gatsby did for Daisy. He worked his way up into the wealthy society because that’s the life that Judy lived , he became a professional golfer at the club he used to caddie at in hopes that he would then meet his golden girl once more. Dexter throws his whole life away for this Judy Jones the golden girl , even a wife he already had. Judy Jones like Daisy she was wealthy and beautiful , both seem to have the power to enchante and capture the likes of Dexter and Gatsby. “The helpless ecstasy of losing himself in her charm was a powerful opiate rather than a tonic.”  Both male characters have been sucked into a life they cannot be apart of , they have become addicted to a girl they will never be with yet they don’t seem to see and understand this until it’s too late.

By creating an illusion we can hide aspects of our live , we can create a new layer. We can not change who we really are but can change how other people see us. Gatsby did this ,so did Dexter and in The diamond as big as the Ritz an illusion was also created. The diamond as big as the Ritz is a story about , again a younger man , John Unger , has come from a middle class family in Hades . He is wealthy but not in the elite society. He goes away to boarding school and meets a man , Percy washington , whose father is the richest man alive except no one can know about his money.  Percy Washington and John Unger become great friends and Percy invites John over for the summer to hidden mansion in the Montana Rockies. The house has to be hidden from everyone because it sits upon a huge diamond rock. In this story the house is the illusion , to the outside world it doesn’t even exist and once the outside world finds out , it all must go. Again our male protagonist falls in love with a woman he will never truly be able to be with. John falls for one of percy’s sisters , Kasmin. They spend the summer together and just as its getting good she tells him her father is going to kill him. Just like fitzgerald’s other stories John has dream , he has a Golden Girl , yet his dream is unreachable and the golden girl is just apart of that unreachable dream. John gets to be with his golden girl for a while but has to go back to live in hades, John has become apart of that illusion and the only way to get out was for him to be killed or from the illusion to break and with it take the man who created it.  He escaped his but lost the illusion and most likely will lose his golden girl.

Benjamin Button is another male protagonist in F.Scott Fitzgerald stories,he was born old and ages backwards. This story is different from the others , a different setting and the whole idea is quite a different take on life. Benjamin Button faces different problems to the other male character but also many of the same ones. He is obviously quite different from a normal boy but that’s all he has ever know. The illusion in the story The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is the the illusion Benjamin creates within himself. Benjamin does not see himself different he has grown up in an old people’s home where the people around him look just the same as he does and treat him like he is one of them. Yet While in the old peoples home he meets his golden girl. Daisy is a younger girl who has come to visit an old lady in the home often. Benjamin sees Daisy a few times and falls in love with her. She becomes his golden girl. They are together for a while and have a daughter. The time they are together is the time when daisy and benjamins ages overlap they are similar. But eventually Daisy starts to get older and Benjamin younger. Daisy starts to realise they are not going to be able to be together forever and soon Benjamin is going to be to younger and she will have to start looking after him as if he was her son. But Benjamin has created this illusion so deep inside him him that he is no different to anyone else and that they will be able to be together.  He, just like Jay Gatsby, Dexter Green and John Unger has followed a dream , set a goal that will forever be unreachable.

Jay Gatsby does not end up with Daisy Buchanan, Dexter Green does not end up with Judy Jones ,

Benjamin Button does not end up with Daisy , John Unger does end up with Kasmin but just like all of the other characters loses everything else. Each individual buried themselves so deep into their own illusions there was no coming out.  Everything was given up, everything was set towards being with their golden girl and reaching their unachievable dream. They committed their whole lives towards this and it only ends up killing them. Not only did they each commit their whole lives to these girls , they made up new ones they hide their true identity, with illusions , tried to be someone. But no matter how hard you try you can never change who you really are. These four male characters could not see these and it ruined them.

essay

Life goes on, it doesn’t stop and wait for anyone. People grow old and die, babies are born. Kids learn to walk , to talk to read and to write.  We lose people we love but learn to love others. In the movie ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ director david fincher uses different techniques are used to illustrate the idea that life carries on.

The way he uses lighting and shadows add mood and feeling , the warms and colds give a tone to the movie .Sound and music is added to enhance emotion and to let the audience feel what the characters are feeling. The voice over narration puts us deeper into the mind of benjamin button and helps us to understand whats happening a bit more. All the techines the director has used help us an audience to feel for the characters , to be in their place, to understand what they are going though and how they are feeling.

Benjamin button is born as an old man and ages backwards. Rather than getting older he is getting younger but this does not stop having a full life and experiencing the things and young boy growing old would.  Benjamin still reaches all the same milestones that we all do. He has his first love and his first heartbreak. A close friend is lost. He leaves home to work and he buys his first home. Life has stopped for him its continued and that’s the nature of life.

In the last scene of the movie benjamin is a young boy and getting younger. He is about 4 years old at the start of the scene and daisy is an old woman and has just moved into the retirement home where benjamin grew up looking after benjamin.  

Throughout this scene slow classical piano song is playing. The tempo of the piano is slow and portrays sadness , it gives a feel of sorrow .As an audience it makes us feel sad for Benjamin and the fact that his life is ending soon. It might upset us because he didn’t get to grow old with someone he loved. Further into the scene montage of memories is shown. Flashback of all the people that benjamin had known and that meant the most to him. The music that is playing behind the montage, gives a feel of melancholy but at the same time somewhat celebrational. The music adds and enhances the emotion of the moment. Although the sad music makes us feel for benjamin we know he still got to life a full life and the celebrational tone shows this , it adds that sense of happiness. This shows that he has loved and been loved , that he has experienced the things any normal man would.

Along with music , sound is another strong factor that helps to enhance emotion. There is a storm raging on throughout the movie mainly in the hospital scene, it appears when a character is struggling with their identity. During the last scene, the storm is the worst , this is when caroline has just found out about her father and the puzzle pieces have just connected for her.

We know the storm is getting worse because we can hear it , the sound. We hear the rain getting louder and more heavy on the windows and the thunder and lightning becomes more prominent. With the use of sound you can make people feel the emotion of the characters. As the storm became louder and more intense, we as the audience could feel the confusion and difficulty that the characters are. The storm comes and goes and gets worse at times , with the use of sound it adds the extra emotine to enhance the fact that storms are a natural part of life and there isn’t anything we can do to stop them, this is similar to one of the underlying ideas of in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. There are certain things in life that we can’t change that will just happen. Without the sound it would be harder for us to tell when its was getting worse , harder for us to tell when a character was struggling.

The whole movie is based on a dairy that benjamin has written. In the hospital caroline is reading the diary to her mum , Daisy.  From her reading the diary it switches to what it would of been like though benjamins eyes. The use of voice over narration is very effective here. It gives us that deeper insight of benjamin’s life. It links the hospital scene and benjamins lives and helps the audience to understand that connection.

I think that the fact that it is caroline , benjamin and daisy daughter, reading the diary, again shows the idea that life goes on. The way we remember people is by memories and their stories and by caroline reading the dairy , is a way of remember him and who he was. It’s a way to keep him alive as life moves on.

All these techniques are used to enhance emotion , they connect the audience and help them to have a deeper understanding. They all are used to portray this idea of the nature of life and that life will just keep moving. Each technique is there for a reason and has a deeper meaning behind it. The sound gets louder when it needs to , the music will be soft or heavy when it needs to , shadows will be placed where they need to be, all to get an idea across to the audience.  

And that’s just the nature of life. The cycle of life

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Essay

introduction , life goes on , people change grow old die the cycle of life . things keep moving . mile stones      the old peoples home

music

voice over narration , daisy story

sound , the storm.     throughout the movie a storm appears 

lighting 

Essay

Intro

Life goes on , it doesn’t stop and wait for anyone. People will grow old and die , babies will be born. Kids will learn to walk ,to talk to read and to write.  We will lose people we love but learn to love others. In the movie ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ director david fincher uses different techniques are used to illustrate the idea that life will carry on , that those ideas above are the nature of life.

A few techniques that are used to to show this are; the way lighting and shadows are used , sound and music used to enhance emotion , and the use of voice over narration.  

Benjamin button is born as an old man and ages backwards. Although he is getting younger rather than older he still experiences the same things ,still reaches the same milestones any boy growing old would. He has his first love and his first heartbreak. He leaves home. ….

In the last scene of the movie benjamin is a young boy and getting younger.  Daisy is an older woman and has moved into the retirement home where benjamin grew up looking after benjamin.

Paragraph 1

In the last scene of the movie benjamin is a young boy and getting younger.  Daisy is an older woman and has moved into the retirement home where benjamin grew up looking after benjamin.

Towards the end of this scene slow classical piano song starts play. The piano is slow and gives a feel of sorrow.

Further into the scene a montage of memories is shown. Flashback of all the people that benjamin had known and that meant the most to him. The music that is playing behind the montage, gives a feel of melancholy but at the same time somewhat celebrational. The music adds and enhances the emotion of the moment. The sad tone of the music makes you feel sad that his life is over and that

But he still got to life a full life and the celebrational tone shows this , it adds that sense of happiness. This shows that he has loved and been loved , that he has experienced the things any normal man would.

Enhancing emotions


The American Dream

An ideal that all humans should have equal opportunity to pursue happiness and success

“The American dream is that dream of a land where life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” -James Truslow Adams

American dream settings

East egg –  These people are born into “the dream”.  False 

West egg –  These people “bootleg” their way to the top but never fully accepted into the elite social group.  Corrupt 

Valley of Ashes – These people work hard but they never make out of poverty. The dream constantly fails them. Failed

New york –  illusion of the dream, place to escape reality 

 

The Great Gatsby –

(Gatsby has)“..paid a high price for living too long with a single dream.

  • high price – death
  • life with daisy 
  • implies that Gatsby never had any other goals 

“..shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is.

  • ugly / disgusting 
  • link (via the flower) to daisy 
  • A rose has thorns that can prick ad hurt you but when you first look at it all you see is its beauty and perfection. Daisy is the same. Gatsby sees her beauty and perfection and only at the last moment realises that she is damaging and dangerous she is not what she seems 

 

“A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about . . .”

  • the idea or illusion of being with daisy are essential for life for Gatsby. its as important as oxygen 
  • Gatsby creates this new persona at 17
  • full of “things” , His life is there but it is also not , he became Jay Gatsby and created a life, home ect, that goes with it but it was never real it was all and illusion.
  • refers to Gatsbys past haunting him , 
  • he was never truly living so he was always a ghost to the real world.

“Her Voice is full of money…. that was it. I’d never understood before. It was full of money-that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it , the cymbals song if it… high in a white palace the kings daughter the golden girl…”

  • Powerful
  • Valuable
  • Attractive – money is attractive. 
  • Money sounds like…. high society, posh, confident, vocabulary. 
  • She embodies everything that comes with wealth.
  • Daisy has lots of money, and just does what she wants, but what she wants isn’t that much or she doesn’t actually do what she wants.
  • you never get tired of it/ it never runs out of charm.
  • bells.
  • coins.
  • advertisement have jingles.
  • The jingle draws you in, like Daisy’s voice draws you in.
  • You hit it and it makes a crashing noise.
  • Take a second look musical instrument? or  just crashing sound creator.
  • Daisys colour = White
  • Palace is a symbol of Wealth

 

This is when we find out exactly why Gatsby is so in love with Daisy. She represents money, plain and simple. ‘Jingle’ and ‘cymbals’ suggest almost that her voice is a taunting advertisement for the wealthy lifestyle that Gatsby so desires. She never knew what it meant to want something because she would always get it, and this is unconsciously conveyed by the lilt of her voice. Nick is half-consciously figuring out what’s so elusive and magnetic about the quality of Daisy’s voice, but Gatsby grasps it intuitively. – https://genius.com/1741470

 

The Valley Of Ashes – Annotation – The Great Gatsby

ABOUT half way between West Egg and New York the motor road hastily joins the railroad and runs beside it for a quarter of a mile, to shrink away from a certain desolate area of land. This is a valley of ashes a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air. Occasionally a line of grey cars crawls along an invisible track, gives out a ghastly creak, and comes to rest, and immediately the ash−grey men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud, which screens their obscure operations from your sight.

But above the grey land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg.

  • On the way to New York 
  • Shrink away implies that the road wants to pull away from this area but cant go far. Its “creeped” by it. Desolate means “bleak emptiness” , not much happening , unpleasant. the area doesn’t produce or grow.
  • Valley of Ashes: valley – hole like, Ashes – burnt out dying. NY and other surrounding areas dump their ashes from their fires. Its a dead place.
  • Farm, Grow , Garden , all imply life how ever Fitzgerald states that ashes are growing into things you might normally find on a farm  he also says the gardens are grotesque
  • Grotesque- Ugly and repulsive.  
  • Ashes are forming everything , they are the only things growing. and therefor Fitzgearald is trying to show us that this feeling of being burnt out has taken over this place.
  • Transcendent, beyond or above the range of the normally human experience. – These people live in a world where this is the everyday.
  • Worn out, Tired , crumbling- about to break apart.
  • Obscure operations – not really knowing what is going on. 

 

The Great Gatsby

Allusion – An expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference.

Oxymoron – a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction (e.g. faith unfaithful kept him falsely true ).

The Great Gatsby – Nick

Nick : Narrator

  • non-judgemental –  “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”  pg 1
  • People Frequently open up to him and he is bored of this and thinks its shallow.Most of the confidences were unsoughtfrequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation, or a hostile levity when I realized by some unmistakable sign that an intimate revelation was quivering on the horizon; pg1 

“If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him.”

  • What your like, How you act, Your morals/values , How people view you as a human being.
  • Something continuous, Things that come one after another linking together. 
  • Constant, Whole
  • Working/worked
  • Movement , “make a gesture towards someone”
  • unbroken success –  normal people make mistakes