Thematic Gatsby Found Poems


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The choice to discuss themes through poetry stems from Fitzgerald poetic voice throughout the novel. The way he descibes scenes and ideas is very much like that of a poet, through deliberate diction and extended metaphors. Also, another common trend among Lost Generation writers like Fitzgerald was to omit essential information in order to strengthen the meaning of the novel. This was a technique first used by his good friend Ernest Hemingway, another Lost Generation author.

This poem represents the focus of the book on time and memories of the past. There is a motif in the book of using clocks to describe characters. The life of a clock is constantly on the move. A clock never stops ticking. This is also means that a clock is always moving forward. In contrast Gatsby's mindset remains in one place. Five years ago when he had his relationship with Daisy. An example of the usage of the clock is when it falls on Gatsby's head when he meets with Daisy for the first time in the book. This forshadows that things are not going to work out. The time for that relationship has passed. Although Gatsby catches the clock an uneasiness fills the entire room.

Another important part of the poem is the ending. It's designed to suddenly sound like an interupting conversation between the listener and the reader. The reader's response is Gatsby's response to Nick "Why of course you can repeat the past!" which in reality does not make any logical sense. Also the way the poem is devised it is then ironic that it says life starts over in the fall because that is when Gatsby's life ends (the one who said the past could be repeated). It is important for one to realise that they cannot escape their memories good or bad, but if you dwell too long and/or too often you will miss out on many other important ascpects of life. Although people are constantly reminded of their past by what is around them, Fitzgerald's last line inspires hope for an even brighter future. He reminds his readers they cannot live forever so they must consistently push forward to new experiences. If you get stuck in the past you will be essentially lonely in life and in death.


First, if you are having trouble viewing the glogster try this link: .

This poem represents the nature of truth as presented in The Great Gatsby. The novel makes the point to the reader that deep down truth is on an individual level. In the end, no one can no the real truth but g-d, if one even exists. For instance, an example of this from modern day perspective is in chapter one Tom discusses the science books he has been reading that asserts the white dominant race must maintain control over the over races or life will be less civilized. People in the 1920's believed these things to be fact whereas people of the different races were no different then than they are now.

Also, truth relies on perspective. It depends on bias, whose best interest a person is acting on, details that a person can remember when retelling a story, and others. It is easy to believe things are true, but often there is not evidence to back up people's claims. In the novel this is especially true regarding the single narrator Nick. The reader is forced to enter "the suspension of disbelief" and accept Nixks accusations as true. Yet, as the story unfolds Nicks credibility is lost and many unanswerable questions arise. This writing style choice by Fitzgerald adds dynamic to his characters and his themes.

It was significant that after the unpunished lies and deciet that went on the novel, Gatsby is the one who finally gets killed for something we are led to believe he truely did not do. Oh, the irony! This idea behind the pain of innocent men is reflected in many Lost Generation authors like Fitzgerald who fought in World War I. While fighting in the war they witnessed the deaths of many young and innocent soldiers. This lack of deserving consequences for one's past actions led to a period of moral aimlessness and less motivation to go out of one's way to help or please others. This post war experience parallels the events of many books of the Lost Gerneration. 

Interesting Fact: Allegedly while attending Catholic School in September 1907, Fitzgerald told a deeply disturbing lie in the confessional about never having told a lie!?!

Quick References

Chronology, Composition, and Narrative Technique in the Great Gatsby -

Site of several critical Gatsby reviews -
Works Cited

By: Emily Lamberg