Are there any connections between Fifth Business, The Great Gatsby, and the poem below? there's many lines that you have not traced on palms still you think you know me , when i speak you nod...

Are there any connections between Fifth Business, The Great Gatsby, and the poem below?

there's many lines that you have not traced on palms still you think you know me , when i speak you nod knowingly as if 
you've read my mind and are only politely acknowledging the confirmation of my spoken words

but you cannot possibly know what i've been contemplating these days
my head is full of blood but you show no fear and i do not trust my hands which feel to me like stones

you do not cower when i approach though i am like a runaway train
and i can hear you voice cool and steady while my brain screams profanities into the air around your ears , our past had given you no reason to be afraid but still i am surprised you cannot see
the danger burning brightly in my eyes 
the fire i am struggling to control 

as i sit stewing in the kitchen's false light with tears my daughter comes to me frightened by what she cannot see afraid tonight to sleep 

i hold her in my arms singing soft words of comfort feeling her heart quickly beating against my chest knowing before i can think that i have forgotten us for our stupid little war

knowing in the incandescent light that anger will never move me as delicately as she has moved me this nigh

Asked on by chris-09

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scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In regards to Gatsby, here are several connections:

1. Near the poem's end, the relationship between poem's speaker, the person to whom the poem is addressed and the daughter is similar to Tom and Daisy's turbulent relationship.  It is not difficult to imagine a scene similar to this one taking place in the Buchanan house after Daisy returns home from the accident (in which she killed Myrtle), and she and Tom reconcile.  Although, Nick looks in the window and sees Tom and Daisy sitting peacefully, it most likely took quite a bit of argument for them to get to that point.  Since neither Tom nor Daisy is adept at keeping their disagreements quiet, it is plausible that their little girl wandered upon the scene and that Daisy most likely had to comfort her.

2. The third stanza suggests Gatsby's obsessive feelings for Daisy. He loves the tinkling, musical quality of her voice, and though he remains calm with her through most of the novel, it is surprising that Daisy does not seem to realize the depth of Gatsby's desire for her (or least the idea of her).  At the novel's end, she writes off his earnest plea and is somehow able to move away as if nothing happened.  Gatsby's "fire" would have never allowed him to leave if he had been in Daisy's position.

In regards to Fifth Business, here are a couple of similarities:

1. Liesl from Fifth Business can be connected to the first two stanzas of the poem.  She "knows" Ramsay quite thoroughly and advises him.  While Ramsay finds Liesl horrid to look at, he still realizes the truth behind what she tells him about himself. Although she is not a palm reader, her intuition about him and knowledge of him make it seem as if she actually has some special type of power (similar to Mrs. Dempster in the novel).

2. The second stanza also relates to Ramsay. The lines,

"my head is full of blood but you show no fear and i do not trust my hands which feel to me like stones"

is reminiscent of the accusations hurled at Ramsay when Boy Staunton is found dead.  Ramsay is suspected of being Staunton's murderer because he was supposed to be the "keeper of [Staunton's] conscience and the stone."

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