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Lara Vizon

Storer
English 3 Honors American Literature, Block 4
20 February 2020
Socratic Circle Reflection on The Great Gatsby
During this discussion we focused mainly on the symbolism of specific colors and the
fact whether or not Nick grew or digressed in his morals when he moved to west egg. During the
topic of colors, lots of people mentioned that green had a huge significance in the plot of the
story. For example, some associated the color to envy (how Gatsby had envy of Daisy’s life),
nature and freshness, and hope (what Gatsby is reaching and longing for). Then other colors
were presented such as grey. Sara presented the idea that Jordan’s grey eyes represent her loss of
hope for those living in either west or east egg. Another person also pointed out that grey isn’t a
color people usually pay attention to and the result of this, no one really pay attention to any
citizens in the Valley of Ashes. Valerie beforehand counteracted that argument and said that grey
symbolizes the lost of hope and failure because it’s associated to a dull color. Then we continued
onto the question about Nick from the beginning to the end of the book and how his morals
changed throughout the story. Mason points out that in the beginning of the book, Nick listens to
his dad’s advice and doesn’t judge anyone. That’s until he moved to west egg which corrupted
his morals and thoughts towards others. Rachel pointed out that Nick actually tolerates a lot of
people, so he stuck to his morals. However, she says that although Nick tolerates people, he still
thinks they should have a basic set of morals like himself.
The 2 most original opinions that was mentioned during the discussion were George’s
opinion of the symbolism of the color green and Mason’s opinion on Nick’s morals. George
pointed out that “life isn’t a fairytale” which made me think it was an insightful thought. Because
of his connection with the color green as a sense of hope, I found it insightful that he connected
life to have that hope everyone is looking for, especially Gatsby, yet it isn’t like a fairytale at all.
It shows more of a realistic point of view instead of those high unrealistic standards that every
book and characteristic it has. The second one is how Mason said Nick’s morals was a tragic
hero story. I found it interesting how he correlated both of those together. He pointed out that at
first Nick had a sense of morals and followed his dad’s advice, however as time went on his
morals became corrupt because of the fact he moved to west egg. He said this makes it a tragic
hero story because of the way all the characters impacted Nick’s morals which ultimately killed
and destroyed them. This is also insightful to me because I never thought to focus Nick’s morals
to be a tragic hero story, not just a character representing that tragic hero story plot. The most
original evidence from the book that was used to support an opinion was when Sara brought up
Jordan’s eyes. I don’t remember the exact quote or page number, but I remember she mentioned
that it was whenever Nick would look into Jordan’s eyes, it would be described as grey. I think
this was the most original piece of evidence because no one seems to mention Jordan and they
forget she’s a character. Even her description as a character gives a lot of insight to the book and
each character. Readers or people in the circle mostly focus on Daisy, Tom, Nick, or Gatsby, so
it was interesting and nice to see that Jordan was brought up as an example.
Thesis statement: Jordan Baker was an important and necessary character in the story
because it brought out Nick’s personality and showed a contrast from Daisy.
In the beginning of the essay a point I will refer to is when Nick was with his first
girlfriend and how different it was compared to when he was with Jordan. When Nick was with
the other girl it seemed more like a chore to him, like he had to have a girlfriend and be with her.
However, with Jordan he felt more free and actually had a real personality. Also because of
Jordan’s way to gossip, it really tested Nick’s morality and showed his personality through that
as well. Some other points I would make would be about how different Jordan and Daisy are and
it’s a good thing they show contrasting characteristics. For example, I would point out that Daisy
follows people and is more like a sheep than Jordan who sets the plans. Daisy also hold back on
what she wants to say especially in front of people like Tom, but Jordan could care less and
speaks her mind when she wants to. Jordan also shows and sense of power and strength than
Daisy. Jordan never got interrupted during the story, but Daisy was interrupted multiple times
throughout the story. Jordan conveys that strong female image where Daisy showed the
stereotypical image where she listens to what the guys have to say and do what they ask for.
The theme and the part of the text that refers to looking back on the past and not being
able to move on reflects and relates to Harry Potter. In Harry Potter, Snape is so fixated on the
past of loving Harry’s mom (Lily) and how he lost her to Harry’s dad (James). All his stubborn
and hurtful actions was because of the death of Lily. He protected Harry “for Lily”, he treated
Harry with such hatred because of James, he joined the dark side “because of Lily.” This reminds
me of Gatsby and the extremity he went through just for Daisy. He hosted huge parties, became
rich just for her, and even bought a house across from hers. He focused on the past and wanted to
get something that was way out of his reach. Just like Snape, he wanted to recover something
from the past and the actions he did was because he tried to bring Lily back rather than doing it
in her memory and honor. Just like Gatsby, every action and decision Snape did was for Lily.
Even Snap’s last words were “You have your mother’s eyes.” Just like Gatsby, he was waiting
for a call from Daisy when he died. Both of their lives started and ending with something from
the past that they can’t obtain.