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Try searching for an especially surprising string of words on google.

For example, I searched google for --"incarnation of independence" gatsby--
and came
up with this page, with those exact words:

Fight fire with fire, or google with google, in this case.
Good luck!

>===== Original Message From Michelle Cowell <cowellm@WAVERLY-
>I have a teacher who thinks a student plagiarized some Great Gatsby =
>response papers.  I spent the morning looking and couldn't find =
>anything.  I was hoping you could look at them and give me some help. In =
>the first and second, she doesn't think some of the terms are his.  In =
>the third he quotes from Dictionary of Literary Biography, a source we =
>don't have, and also quotes Stephen Vincent Benet, someone they never =
>talked about.  In the last he talks about a debate about the narrator, =
>also something they haven't discussed yet.  She just doesn't think he =
>research is that good.  The papers are below. =20
>Michelle Cowell
>Media Specialist
>Waverly Shell Rock High School
>Waverly, IA
>Reader Response #1
>The Great Gatsby is known as a key novel of the Jazz age. It accurately =
>portrays the lifestyle of the rich during the booming 1920s. Readers =
>live through the lavish parties and on the elegant estates in this =
>novel. Romantics relate to Gatsby's unrelenting commitment to Daisy, the =
>love of his life. But beneath all the romance, The Great Gatsby is a =
>severe criticism of American upper class values. Fitzgerald uses the =
>book's central conflict between Tom Buchanan and .Jay Gatsby to =
>illustrate his criticism. Tom is the representation of the upper class, =
>Gatsby the upstart social climber. The contrast between them =
>demonstrates the differences between the values of their respective =
>classes. This response journal examines the upper class myths of =
>lineage, institutional education, and wealth. One by one, Fitzgerald =
>strips away the illusion of superiority to reveal the ugly truth behind =
>the glittering mask of the rich.
>For the "old" (inherited) money crowd, family lineage is often the =
>first, and perhaps most important, indicator of class rank. This theme =
>runs through the entire novel. Tom's old Chicago family is "enormously =
>wealthy." In fact, "his position" was what attracted Daisy to him. And =
>he steadfastly argues his racial superiority during the opening scene. =
>But his heredity does not translate into anything worthwhile. The =
>Buchanans never see their families. The core of their own family, their =
>marriage, is a shambles-Tom cheats and Daisy's miserable. And =
>theirdaughter seems irrelevant to their lives. Gatsby, one the other =
>hand, is of ui4nown background
>Rumors circulate that he is related to everyone from th~'f%aiserito =
>Satan. Eventually we learn thatGatshy comes from a humble, mid-western =
>family. He grew up poor. Ironically, the Gatsby (or Gatz) family =
>provides the only examples of familial love. We learn that Gatsby bought =
>his father a house, and his father cannot hide his emotion, his =
>affection and his admiration for his son in the final chapter.
>Institutional education-where you go to school-holds an important place =
>in class structure. Nick points out that he, his father and Tom Buchanan =
>attended New Haven, the discreet name for Yale, an ivy league =
>institution that ranks with Harvard and Princeton as the school of the =
>elite. However Tom's attendance at on of the nation's finest =
>universities does little to develop his "simple mind." At one point he =
>even admits to being "pretty dumb." His crude attempts at =
>intellectualism, for example his "scientific" explanation of the decline =
>of civilization caused by "The Rise of the Colored Empires," only serve =
>to reveal a thin understanding of the world. By contrast, Gatsby's claim =
>to institutional learning is sketchy. Whether or not Gatsby is a true =
>"Oxford man" recurs throughout the story as a source of controversy. In =
>fact, Tom considers a major victory Gatsby's revelation that his =
>affiliation with the prestigious English school was only temporary. But =
>despite his lack of formal education, we understand Gatsby to have a =
>focused, intelligent mind. He literally pulls himself up from poverty to =
>the heights of wealth through discipline and brains.
>The third myth associated with the upper class involves the supremacy of =
>wealth. Fitzgerald goes to great lengths to describe Tom's tremendous =
>wealth, his estate, his cars, his polo ponies. But Tom's wealth comes =
>off as worthless. He is mean and stingy and we never see him share his =
>unearned fortune. In fact, it's just the opposite. He denies the =
>impoverished George Wilson one of his extra cars, despite Wilson's =
>desperate pleas. On the contrary, the newly rich Gatsby spends his money =
>freely. Stories of Gatsby's generosity abound. He provides food, drinks, =
>entertainment and even shelter to hundreds of people, even those he did =
>not invite. In one instance, he replaced a guest's expensive evening =
>gown that she accidentally tore at one his parties. And unlike Tom, who =
>receives money from his family, Gatsby generously gives money to his =
>aging father.
>By establishing the conflict between Tom and Gatsby, Fitzgerald minors =
>the conflict between the upper and upwardly aspiring classes in America, =
>Fitzgerald's characterizations and the narrator's commentary criticize =
>the rich throughout the book. Tom Buchanan, with his lineage, education, =
>breeding and wealth, epitomizes the upper class. But by the end of the =
>story, we realize that these qualities are empty. In one sweeping =
>accusation, Nick proclaims to Gatsby, "They're a rotten crowd... You're =
>worth the whole bunch put together." Fitzgerald finally and skillfully =
>destroys the upper class claim to superiorit
>                                                                         =
>                                                  =20
>Reader Response #2
>Women play an ironic role in Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, a novel =
>dominated by the hero, Gatsby, and the mysterious narrator, Nick =
>Carraway. With the background of Gatsby's lavish parties, women seem to =
>have been transformed into "flappers," supposedly the incarnation of =
>independence following WW1.
>Daisy Fay, modeled on Fitzgerald's free-spirited wife, Zelda Sayre, is =
>hardly portrayed as the proper southern beauty. Her friend, Jordan =
>Baker, seems openly sarcastic when speaking of their "white =
>girlhood"-referring to their youth spent in Louisville, KY. As =
>Fitzgerald conveys through a series of flashbacks, Daisy has been =
>flirtatious, even at one point discovered packing her bag to travel =
>alone to New York City in order to say good bye to a sailor. But her =
>rather scandalous behavior does not soil her at all in the eyes of the =
>lustful Gatsby. Indeed, as Nick comments , "It excited him.., that many =
>men had already loved Daisy-it increased her value in his eyes." (Ch. 8) =
>Jordan Baker, is little more than a device to bring Nick Carraway into =
>theplot and is neither married nor engaged and apparently lives largely =
>on her own except for shadowy. Tom Buchanan, Daisy's husband, might =
>pontificate that their house guest should havemore supervision, but =
>Daisy ridicules her husband's comment.
>So on one level, these characters appear to be free-spirited norms of =
>what the nineteenth-century would have considered proper female =
>behavior. It's worth investigating, however, just how independent they =
>really are. Daisy, Jordan, and Myrtle exist in relationship to their =
>husbands, lovers, or boyfriends, and none undergoes a significant change =
>during the course of the narrative. Thus, none of the women can be =
>considered "round" or multidimensional characters. Each functions-at =
>least for a time-as the personality of Gatsby, Nick, and Tom
>Buchanan. Perhaps the miserable conditions for the women is most =
>accurately conveyed in a conversation between Nick and Daisy in which =
>Daisy discusses the birth of her daughter:
>"Well, she was less than an hour old and Tom was God knows where. I woke =
>up out of the ether with an utterly abandoned feeling, and asked the =
>nurse right away if it was a boy or a girl. She told me it was a girl , =
>and so I turned my head away and wept. 'All right,' I said, 'I'm glad =
>it's a girl. And I hope she'll be a fool---that's the best thing a girl =
>can be in this world, a beautiful little fool."' (Ch.l)
>In their own ways, each woman functions as "proof' of her husband's or =
>lover's success. At several points in the novel, Gatsby is described by =
>Nick as a knight. Traditionally, knights go off on a quest; often their =
>"price is the hand of a king's daughter in marriage. Gatsby's quest =
>during his life has been to recapture the past, those moments in WWI =
>when it seemed to him that Daisy, the wealthy, sought-after beauty of =
>Louisville, would agree to be his wife. Daisy ,however, hardly constant =
>, is swept off her feet by another suitor, Tom Buchanan. But Gatsby =
>clings to his peculiar notion of the American Dream:
>if he achieves monetary success, he will regain Daisy. Thus, Gatsby =
>constructs his ostentatious house in West Egg, directiy across the Bay =
>from Tom and Daisy's more sedate mansion. Nick warns him, "You can't =
>repeat the past," but Gatsby, incredulous, states "Why of course you =
>can!" (Ch. 6)
>In assessing Fitzgerald's three principal female characters, the reader =
>must keep in mind that all examinations are filtered through the eyes of =
>Nick Carraway. Thus, the question of whether he is a reliable narrator =
>assumes paramount importance. Nick of course, boldly asserts, "I am one =
>of the few honest people that I have ever known." (Ch.3)
>If Gatsby is a love story, it is one centered in hostility toward women. =
>Gatsby thinks of Daisy in relation to the objects with which she is =
>surrounded. Her value for him is increased by the fact that so many men =
>have desired her. Indeed, Tom's gift of a string of pearls valued at =
>$350, 000 the night before the two are to be wed only increases his =
>estimation of her worth. One might ask if there is an actual emotional =
>relation between Gatsby and Daisy or if Daisy has become for Gatsby =
>simply an "unutterable vision."
>Reader Response ~3
>The Great Gatsby explores a number of themes, but none is more prevalent =
>than that of the corruption of the American dream. The American dream is =
>the concept that, in America, any person can be successful as long he or =
>she is prepared to work hard and use his natural gifts. Uatsby appears =
>to be the ideal of this dream - he has risen from being a poor farm boy =
>with no prospects, to being rich, having a big house, servants, and a =
>large social circle attending his numerous functions. He has achieved =
>all this in only a few short years, having returned from the war =
>On the surface, Fitzgerald appears to be suggesting that, while wealth =
>and all its treasures are attainable, status and position are not. =
>Gatsby has money and possessions, but he is unable to find happiness. =
>Those who come to his home do not genuinely like Gatsby - they come for =
>the parties, the food, the drink and the company, not for Gatsby. =
>Furthermore, they seem to despise Gatsby, taking every opportunity to =
>gossip about him. Many come and go without even taking the time to meet =
>and few ever thank him for his hospitality. Even Daisy appears unable to =
>cope with the reality of Gatsby's lower class background. Gatsby is =
>never truly one of the elite - his dream is just that, a dream. However, =
>Fitzgerald explores much more than the failure of the American dream - =
>he is more deeply concerned with its total corruption. Gatsby has not =
>achieved his wealth through honest hard work, but through bootlegging =
>and crime. His money is not simply ~new' money - it is dirty money, =
>earned through dishonesty and crime. His wealthy lifestyle is little =
>more than deceit, as is the whole person Jay Gatsby. (iatsby has been =
>created from the dreams of the boy James Gatz. It is not only Gatsby who =
>is corrupt. Nick repeatedly says that he is the only honest person he =
>knows. The story is full of lying and cheating. Even Nick is involved in =
>this deception, helping Gatsby and Daisy in their deceit and later =
>concealing the truth about Myrtle's death. The society in which the =
>novel takes place is one of moralregression. Any person who attempts to =
>move up through the social classes becomes corrupt in the process. In =
>Gatsby's case this corruption involves illegal activities, for Myrtle it =
>is an abandonment of others of her own background.
>A parallel theme of the book is that of love and its briefness. There =
>are no stable relationships in the book. Daisy and Tom's marriage has =
>been damaged by affairs from early in its life. By the time the novel =
>begins, Daisy is well aware of Tom's regular affairs, seeming to suffer =
>in silence until Gatsby offers her a way out. Myrtle's relationship with =
>Tom is no stronger, obviously based on a physical attraction, especially =
>on the part of Tom who has little time for Myrtle outside the bedroom. =
>Myrtle appears to be loved by Wilson, but is unhappy in this =
>relationship, apparently because he is unable to provide materially for =
>her, although his actions later in the book suggest his love may be =
>oppressive, causing her to seek escape even before the last events. =
>Nick, the narrator, is unable to make commitments in his relationships. =
>One of his reasons for coming East has been to escape a potential =
>engagement, he has a brief affair in New York which he ends when there =
>are signs of commitment, and he cannot commit to Jordan either. Jordan =
>herself has had no lasting relationship, discarding men when she has no =
>further for them -Nick's rejection of her provides her with 'a new =
>experience'. Partygoers are seen fighting with spouses or else attend =
>with mistresses or lovers. Only Gatsby seems capable of lasting love - =
>his love for Daisy is unshaken till the end. Yet this love is =
>unrealistic-based not only on a relationship started on a lie, but also =
>needing a turning back of time to make it complete. At times even Gatsby =
>himself seems to realize that the reality is not as good as his dream =
>has been. In the end we meet the only person capable of true love in the =
>final chapter. It is Mr Gatz, Gatsby's father, who has an unshaken love =
>for his son, believing in him to the end, and blind to his failings as =
>only a parent can be.
>Reader Response ~4
>F. Scott Fitzgerald was an American novelist and short-story writer of =
>the twenties. Sincehis early work shows a romantic feeling for 'the =
>promises of life" at college and in "The East,' he acquired the name =
>"the spokesman of the Jazz Age." His first novel, This Side of Paradise, =
>was the first American novel to deal with college undergraduate life in =
>the World War- I era. A handsome and charming man, Fitzgerald was =
>quickly adopted by the young generation of his time. His second novel, =
>The Beam ~u1 and the Damned, is a lively but shallow book, but his =
>third. The Great Gatshy, is one of the most definite descriptions of =
>American life in the l920s.
>Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Sept. 24. 1896, Scott Fitzgerald was the =
>son of Edward Fitzgerald, who worked for Proctor and Gamble and brought =
>his family to Buffalo and Syracuse, New York. for most of his son's =
>first decade. Edward Fitzgerald's great-great-grandfather was the =
>brother of the grandfather of Francis Scoff Key, who wrote the poem 'The =
>Star-Spangled Banner." This fact was of great significance to Mrs. =
>Fitzgerald, Mollie McQuillan, and later to Scott. Mollie Fitzgerald's =
>own family could offer no pretensions to aristocracy but her father, an =
>Irish immigrant who came to America in 1843, was a self-made =
>businessman. "Equally important was Fitzgerald's sense of having come =
>from two widely different Celtic strains. He had early on developed an =
>inferiority complex in a family where the "black Irish half ... had the =
>money and looked down on the Maryland side of the family who had. and =
>really had 'breeding, "according to Scott Donaldson in the Dictionary of =
>Literary Biography. Out of this divergence of classes in his family =
>background arose what some have called F. Scott's "double vision." He =
>had the ability to experience the lifestyle of the wealthy from an =
>insider's outlook, yet never felt a part of this and always felt the =
>As a youth Fitzgerald showed he had talent for drama, first in St. Paul, =
>where he wrote original plays for amateur production, and later at the =
>Newman Academy in Hackensack, NewJersey. At Princeton, he composed =
>lyrics for the university's famous Triangle Club productions. Fitzgerald =
>was also a writer and actor with the Triangle Club at college. Before he =
>could graduate, he volunteered for the army during World War I. He spent =
>the weekends writing the earliest drafts of his first novel. Charles =
>Scribner's Sons accepted the work for publication in 1919~.The popular =
>and financial success that accompanied this event enabled Fitzgerald to =
>marry Zelda Sayre, whom he met at training camp in Alabama. Zelda played =
>a pivotal role in the writer's life, both in a rowdy way and an =
>inspirational one. Mostly, she shared his extravagant lifestyle and =
>artistic interests. In the l930s she was diagnosed as a schizophrenic =
>and was hospitalized in Switzerland and then Maryland, where she died in =
>a fire,
>For some time, Fitzgerald lived with his wife in Long Island. There, the =
>setting for The Great Gatshy, he entertained in a manner similar to his =
>characters, with expensive liquors and entertainment. He celebrated in =
>demonstrating the antics of the crazy, irresponsible rich, and carried =
>this attitude wherever he went. Especially on the Rivera in France, the =
>Fitzgeralds befriended the elite of the wealthy classes, only to offend =
>most of them in some way by their outrageous behavior. Self-absorbed, =
>drunk, and eccentric, they sought and received attention of all kinds. =
>The party ended with the hospitalization of Zelda for schizophrenia in =
>Prangins, a Swiss town, and together, with the Great Depression of 1929, =
>which ushered in the start of Scott's personal depression.
>In the decade before his death, Fitzgerald's troubles and effects of his =
>alcoholism limited the quality and amount of his writing. Nonetheless, =
>it was also during this period that he attempted his most complex and =
>ambitious novel, Tender Is the Night (1934) After Zelda's breakdown, =
>Fitzgerald became romantically involved with Sheila Graham, a gossip =
>columnist in Hollywood, during the last years of his life. He also wrote =
>but did not finish the novel The Last
>Tycoon, now considered to be one of his best works, about the Hollywood =
>motion picture industry. Fitzgerald died suddenly of a head attack, most =
>likely influenced by a long addiction to alcohol, on December 21,1940. =
>At the time of his death, he was virtually forgotten and unread. A =
>growing Fitzgerald revival, begun in the 1950s, led to the publication =
>of numerous volumes of stories, letters, and notebooks. One of his =
>literary critics, Stephen Vincent Benet, concluded in his review of The =
>Last Tycoon, "you can take off your hats now, gentlemen, and I think =
>perhaps you had better. This is not a legend, this is a reputation- and, =
>seen in perspective, it may well be one of the most secure reputations =
>of our time."
>01 Y-~ I o
>Reader Response #5
>Nick is the narrator of the novel; the story is told in his voice and =
>through his perceptions.
>It has also been suggested that Nick may be the character F. Scott =
>Fitzgerald based most closely on himself and I feel as if this is the =
>character I most associate with. It is possible that this is because he =
>is the narrator, but I also see some of my qualities in him. In a sense, =
>then, Nick shows opinions of wealthy, immoral characters like Gatsby. =
>Nick is a good Midwestern boy who attended Yale and moved to New York in =
>1922 to work in the bond market. He is well positioned to narrate this =
>story - he is Daisy Buchanon's cousin, went to Yale with Tom Buchanon =
>and rents the house next door to Gatsby's. From his vantage point, Nick =
>can see everything that goes on. What's more, he's the kind of guy that =
>people want to tell their stones -and their secrets - to.
>Nick tells us in the first chapter that his father cautioned him about =
>judging people:
>"'Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,' he told me, 'just remember =
>that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've =
>had"' (1). Nick tries to follow his father's advice; he acts as a =
>sounding board for the other characters, particularly Gatsby, and as =
>they confide in him we learn more about their lives. There is debate =
>over whether Nick is a Reliable Narrator that is, if he tells us the =
>whole truth about what he sees, hears and experiences. In the begirming =
>of the novel, Nick certainly seems reliable. But as he says, tolerance =
>of others "has its limit" (2). Gatsby represents everything Nick hates =
>about the East, with its emphasis on money and status and its lack of =
>morality. For some reason - perhaps because he's fascinated by Gatsby in =
>the beginning, then friends with him despite Gatsby's crimes - Nick =
>extends his limit, learning more about both the East and himself in the =
>His relationship with Jordan Baker also couldn't happen anywhere but in =
>New York. When he meets her, Nick remembers "some story of her too, a =
>critical, unpleasant story, but what it was 1 had forgotten long ago." =
>(19) His forgetfulness seems to come from his close attention to her - =
>"I enjoyed looking at her. She was a slender, small-breasted girl, with =
>an erect carriage, which she accentuated by throwing her body backward =
>at the shoulder like a young cadet," (11). He goes on to describe the =
>last rays of daylight "leaving deserting her with lingering regret" (14) =
>and the "autumn-leaf yellow of her hair" (18). The atmosphere of West =
>Egg enables Nick to forget whatever he's heard about Jordan when he =
>watches her and listens to her opinions. He begins lusting afier her =
>quickly. In Chapter 3, Jordan becomes Nick's "date" for a party after he =
>drinks too much in embarrassment over asking where Gatsby is (which is, =
>apparently, not a good idea, even at Gatsby's party). They wander the =
>grounds, chaffing with other party guests (including Jordan's real date, =
>an anonymous undergraduate) until "the scene had changed before my eyes =
>into something significant, elemental, and profound." (47). This night =
>also marks the first time Nick meets Gatsby. It seems that Nick equates =
>Jordan and Gatsby in his mind; in a sense, his farewell to Gatsby the =
>night of the broken wheel could be a "kiss goodnight" from Jordan. Later =
>in the chapter Nick sees Jordan again, after she has become a golf =
>champion. He admits that "I wasn't actually in love, but I felt a sort =
>of tender curiosity." but follows that observation with another - "She =
>was incurably dishonest" (58). We will discover along with Nick later in =
>the novel that Gatsby is also "incurably dishonest"; however, these =
>characters are the ones Nick feels drawn to. Nick says "I am one of the =
>few honest people that I have ever known," almost as if honesty is a =
>failing compared to Jordan and Gatsby (60).
>Nick grows closer and closer to Gatsby as the novel progresses. He =
>learns, first through Jordan then from Gatsby himself, that Gatsby's =
>only goal in life is to be reunited with Daisy.Nick then finds himself =
>in the same position Daisy claims she is in with Jordan and himself- =
>except in this case, the matchmaking is meant to be serious. This makes =
>Nick understandably uncomfortable, as his Midwestern upbringing taught =
>him marriage was sacred; also, knowing (iatsby as well as he does, he =
>doesn't seem sure that he'd want Gatsby marrying his cousin. Gatsby does =
>gallantly take the blame for Daisy's car accident, causing more internal =
>conflict for Nick. Tom lies to Wilson, which results in Gatsby's death. =
>Nick is surrounded by deceit and violence, and he is disgusted by it. He =
>determines that Gatsby, for all his faults, may be the only person he =
>knows with any character at all. This, too, throws Nick into confusion. =
>He arranges a small funeral for Gatsby and ends his relationship with =
>Jordan; in a sense, Nick can't have a relationship with someone he =
>associates so closely with his friend. At the novel's end, Nick moves =
>back to the Midwest to escape the disgust he feels for the people =
>surrounding Gatsbys life and for the emptiness and moral decay of life =
>among the wealthy on the East Coast. He comes to a realization about =
>that life: "I see now that this has been a story of the West, after all =
>Tom and Gatsby, Daisy and Jordan and I, were all Westerners, and perhaps =
>we possessed some deficiency in common which made us subtly unadaptable =
>to Eastern life" (177).
>Nick's character develops from a relatively objective observer to a full =
>participant in the action of the novel, both physically and emotionally. =
>As a result, perhaps his reliability as a narrator changes as well, This =
>brings about a question of how much of the other characters' actions and =
>reactions are just observed, and how much is filtered through Nick's =
>perceptions of them. His promise to his father at the beginning is =
>compromised by the reality around him. The "advantages [he's] had" were =
>the simple adherence to a code that doesn't apply to New York or to the =
>world of Jay (iiatsby. When he loses those advantages, Nick returns to =
>find what he has lost.
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Katie Voss, Librarian
St. Benedict High School
Chicago, IL

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