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Rough Draft on relation between the epigraph and Gatsby in The Great Gatsby


Lifeisallugot 1 / 1  
Apr 29, 2009   #1
I just started writing this essay for English on a topic of my choice, which was how the epigraph relates to Gatsby in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The requirements for the essay are simple; a one page analysis based paper explaining a thesis (so there is no into paragraph). Any help is appreciated, especially on the areas of showing vs. telling, summary vs. analysis, and why my essay topic matters. Here's what I have so far:

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(epigraph)
Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her;
If you can bounce high, bounce for her too,
Till she cry "Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover,
I must have you!"

Although it may seem at first as if Gatsby is merely trying to show off to Daisy how well he has done on his own, he is actually trying to gain Daisy's love and affection in the only way he knows how: through wearing the gold hat and bouncing high.

From the beginning of the novel it is evident that the main difference between East Egg, where Daisy lives, and West Egg, where Gatsby lives, is the higher level of wealth and sophistication which resides in East Egg. When Daisy and Gatsby had originally met, they were madly in love with one another, but Gatsby was only able to give Daisy a letter and promise of his return after the war, whereas another man was able to provide for her the worry-free life and pearl necklaces to which she is accustomed (76). This prompts Gatsby to strive to wear the "golden hat", which the East Eggers simply inherit, for the sole purpose of gaining back Daisy's love. For the following three years, Gatsby saves up the money he makes from his drug and oil businesses to buy the house across the bay from Daisy (90). When Daisy finally comes to see the house a few years later, she is astounded by the size, asking through her tears if it is "that huge place there?" (90). The emphasis placed on the word "there" implies that Daisy never expected Gatsby to become so wealthy and she starts to question whether she made the right choice in rejecting Gatsby five years earlier.

As they enter the house, Gatsby shows Daisy all the trinkets he has collected and all the rooms in which he dwells. In Gatsby's bedroom, Daisy stops to use a dull gold hairbrush which absorbs her attention (91). Meanwhile, Gatsby starts to open his closed to show Daisy what's inside. One by one Gatsby throws "shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple-green and lavender and faint orange, with monograms of Indian blue" on the ground, with no intention to pick them up (92). At this realization, Daisy falls into a passionate weep. Gatsby hopes this moment will be the moment where Daisy exclaims that she "must have [him]" since he has worn the gold hat and bounced for her, but instead she remarks on how beautiful the clothes are.

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Again, any help is very much appreciated (and will be cited under the awknowledgements part of the paper)

silverystars 14 / 105  
Apr 29, 2009   #2
Hello and welcome!

I would strengthen your thesis by simplifying it, as it should be a easy-to-understand distillation of your point of view. Rather than use the symbols, use what you see to be the meaning behind the symbols of "wearing the gold hat and bouncing high."

Also, I believe that page number citations are only necessary if you quote a passage in some form from the book.

WhenThough Daisy and Gatsby had originally met, they were once madly in love with one another, but Gatsby was only able to give Daisy a letter and a promise of his return after the war; whereas another man was able to provide for her the worry-free life and pearl necklaces to which she was accustomed.

The emphasis placed on the word "there" implies that Daisy never expected Gatsby to become so wealthy. S he starts to question whether she made the right choice in rejecting Gatsby five years earlier.

In Gatsby's bedroom, Daisy stops to use a dull, gold hairbrush, which absorbs her attention. Meanwhile, Gatsby starts to opens his closet to show Daisy what is inside.

I'm sure Kevin and/or Sean will be of further service. Good luck!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,324 129  
Apr 29, 2009   #3
For that first paragraph, which is only a sentence, I think you could add something in front of it to catch the reader's attention as the opening line. Then, add something AFTER it to serve as an even more refined thesis. You can restate the same argument in other, more precise words.

That way, you will have an opening paragraph. It will be full and interesting, with a well-defined argument.

In your second paragraph, you show the significance of wealth very well. The topic sentence connects nicely with the conclusion sentence. Now, do the same with the third paragraph. The third para needs a good topic sentence added to the beginning. See how topic and conclusion sentences wrap a paragraph up nicely?
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Apr 30, 2009   #4
You might want to add a paragraph on to the end of your essay in which you explain why Daisy doesn't accept Gatsby in spite of the gold hat and the high bouncing. I mean, the epigraph is ironic, because things don't work out for Gatsby at all. So, the significance of the choice of epigraph is probably bound up in the reasons why things don't work out. Perhaps something about the danger of winning a woman who loves gold hats and high bouncing more than the person who has them? Or of even trying to win such a woman? Just a thought.


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