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In Chapter Four of The Great Gatsby, what sorts of people attend Gatsby's parties?  

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mpumpkin | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted May 3, 2013 at 1:10 AM via web

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In Chapter Four of The Great Gatsby, what sorts of people attend Gatsby's parties?

 

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 3, 2013 at 8:16 AM (Answer #1)

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Curiously, Fitzgerald opens Chapter Four juxtaposing church bells ringing in the villages as 

"the world and its mistress returned to Gatsby's house and twinkled hilariously on his lawn,

suggesting the amoral behavior that prevails on the "blue lawns" of illusion in Gatsby's house. Conspicuously, they are not the Vanderbilts, Morgans, Rockefeller, DuPonts, Guggeheim, or Astors. Instead, the list of guests on Gatsby's "overpopulated lawn" that Nick compiles includes Ripley Snells, who is at Gatsby's three days before going to the penitentiary. Others have humorous names such as "S. B. Whitebait, Maurice A. Flink and the Hammerheads and Beluga." Clearly, Fitzgerald satirizes the Jazz Age and its parvenus who contrast with Gatsby, who observes in "punctilious manner" the appearance of social class.

At the end of the chapter, Nick alludes to Gatsby's guests when he observes, 

He [Gatsby] had waited five years and bought a mansion where he dispensed starlight to casual moths....

All is done by Gatsby to impress Daisy. He comes alive as the Romantic hero, but his is a "purposeless splendor."

 

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