Chapter 8 Discussion Board

Okay, we are getting near to the end of these discussion boards, so bear with another one for me, if you can!  Please make your initial posts to this board by Wednesday, May 17th.  Your THREEEEEEEEEEEE followup posts, which need to have some thought and substance to them, should be made by Friday, May 19th.

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1. What do you think about Gatsby’s mental state in this chapter?  Do you see him as a tragic figure, worthy of your sympathy and pity as his dream slips away?  Do you see him as desperate and sad?  Delusional?  Hopelessly romantic?  Quoting passages from the chapter as part of your response, briefly explain what you think of Gatsby as a person at this point.

2. Do the same as above, but this time in relation to George Wilson, which has his moment in the book in this chapter.  What do you think of Mr. Wilson and his situation?

3. Nick compliments Gatsby in this chapter.  It is a seemingly simple compliment, but analyses of this book often make reference to this comment as a very important one.  Why do you think this compliment is such a big deal?  What is Nick (and, indirectly, Fitzgerald) saying with this comment?

4. Please refrain from looking this up online someplace, as I won’t mark you down if you have the so called wrong answer.  I’d rather see a “wrong” reply here that is an honest interpretation than a bunch of “correct” answers that are the result of a Google search or Spark Notes reading…from what you see in this chapter, what is your interpretation of two key bits of symbolism: the valley of ashes itself, AND the billboard of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg?  Give your best guess as to what these things could represent, and explain WHY you think that, briefly.  Using quotes from the chapter would help!

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