Thursday, October 25, 2012

Yes, I agree with Lois Tyson’s psychoanalytical reading of The Great Gatsby. While I was reading Gatsby I saw some of this, I did not pick out everything that Tyson did, but when I was reading it I got some of it, at the time I did not know that it was psychoanalytical reading but what it sounds like to me is when a person knows that there mate is dating someone else and they don’t break up or talk about it with them then it seems like they are okay with it, and if they are okay with it then that means that they don’t care enough about the relationship or their “spouse” for them to put an effort in to it and stop them with getting involved with someone else. If they is getting involved with people they are not in a relationship with then they will be getting closer to that person and drifting from their “spouse”. On page 43 of CTT, written by Lois Tyson, she quotes Daisy. Daisy is all over Nick, and then when Nick leave she is all over Gatsby, neither of which are with Daisy. “Daisy’s artificial behavior toward the child” the child being Pammy. Daisy fear of intimacy goes past her relationships with men and into her relationship with her child, some one trying to say this it not fear of intimacy does not know what it means. Daisy distances herself from anyone trying to get close to her by getting closer to someone else, or by letting someone who could have been close to her, Tom, get closer to someone else, Myrtle. Then on page 45 Nick says that he “wasn’t even vaguely engaged” just this example alone shows that Nick wouldn’t have even thought about engagement, maybe it was just the person that he did want to marry but it seems that he wanted out of any relationship that was getting too serious, and this one was, so he left. On page 49 Gatsby famous words are “Can’t repeat the past?... Why of course you can!” Tyson says “Perhaps the most difficult case to make for fear of intimacy is the case for Gatsby”. I disagree with Tyson because I think Gatsby’s case is is easy to make a case for. Gatsby has not seen Daisy in forever, Daisy is in a relationship, even though she is coming on to Gatsby as well and also has a fear of intimacy, Gatsby is so far away from winning daisy over. He has to know that he does not have a chance with her, so I think he is just reaching for her because he knows she won’t ever be close to him.

Response to Tyson's Psychotic Gatsby Reading

Seth Evans-Diffenderfer
Christie Beveridge
Language Arts 11

            My thoughts upon concluding Tyson’s psychoanalytic reading of The Great Gatsby were mixed. I felt that she did a decent job showing evidence that supported her theory that the characters all showed deep fear of intimacy, but having just read the book myself, it occurred to me that their fear of intimacy most likely stemmed from other core issues. I would have liked to see Tyson go more in depth with her diagnoses of the characters.
            For instance, Tyson discusses Gatsby’s love for Daisy in terms of a symbol for success. She even discusses his childhood poverty, “Gatsby’s desire to move up in the world resulted from his unhappy life with his impoverished parents,” and through this, she hints at his core issue without out rightly diagnosing him. What Tyson is hinting at is Gatsby’s inferiority complex, his true core issue that drives his actions. In fact, I wouldn’t diagnose Gatsby with a fear of intimacy at all, because his inability to establish a connection with Daisy (though he has no problem connecting with Nick, or Wolfsheim) is a result of his inferiority complex.
            Tyson’s diagnosis of Daisy is insufficient as well. Tyson acknowledges Daisy’s knowledge of Tom’s infidelity, but like Gatsby, she refuses to provide any diagnosis that would sway the reader’s attention away from the theme of fear of intimacy. “Daisy already suspected him of infidelity. This would explain why she seemed so distracted whenever Tom was out of sight.” What Daisy’s paranoia (though justified), truly represents her fear of abandonment, which results in her eventual fear of intimacy. We know that that Daisy doesn’t feel a fear of intimacy until her relationship with Tom, evidenced by her previous first intimate relationship with Gatsby.
            Finally, Tyson provides a very shallow diagnosis of Nick. Previously in the psychoanalysis chapter, Tyson discusses the effects of having an insecure sense of self as, “This core issue makes us very vulnerable to the influence of other people, and we may find ourselves continually changing the way we look or behave as we become involved with different individuals or groups.” Throughout the book, Fitzgerald describes Nick being moved around by many different characters, Tom, Gatsby, showing an obvious insecure sense of self, which is why he falls for Jordan, another character that lets her life be dictated by other’s opinions.
            Tyson provided great examples that showed fear of intimacy in characters, but all her examples were extremely manipulated to portray only fear of abandonment, and while all the characters do display a fear of abandonment to a certain extent, it is not their true core issue.

1)   What other issues do Gatsby, Daisy, and Nick’s core issues result in?
2)   What are the core issues of Tom? Wolfsheim?
3)   Are there any characters that do display fear of intimacy as their core issue?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Psychoanalytical Reading

          I agreed with Tyson on many of her points, but felt she tried a little too hard to connect everything. I full heartedly believe that Daisy and Tom both fear commitment, and perhaps Nick and Jordan, but her trying to wrap Gatsby into the same pool of commitment-phobia didn't seem very accurate.
          Tom and Daisy, throughout the book, are obviously shallow, conceited people. However, Lois Tyson brought to light the fact that both of them are terrified of really connecting with anyone. In the beginning of the relationship between Tom and Daisy, Daisy was described as being totally in love with Tom. However, was she loving him for the wrong reasons? Tom was found shortly after their honeymoon with a chambermaid, and was not present for Pammy's birth. Most women would be furious, but, as Tyson puts it, "Rather than hate him for such mistreatment, however, Daisy fell head-over-heels in love with him." (41; ch. 2) Tom Buchanan is equally as commitment-phobic. He uses mistresses to keep himself from truly connecting with his wife. Immediately after their honeymoon, just months after their wedding, Tom is found with a chambermaid from a hotel. Throughout the book, he is openly having an affair, but of course Daisy hardly cares because it helps to restrict the connection that healthy married couples have. We see how Tom acts towards Myrtle, his mistress, and it is obvious he does not have a real commitment to her, either. Tyson points out that, "He has no desire to be close to his mistress; she is merely the means by which he avoids being close to his wife." Tom lies to Myrtle, and even breaks her nose at one point. Tom is hardly a loving man, and he uses his affairs to keep himself from becoming one. One point that I did not agree on was that Gatsby did not love Daisy, that "Daisy is merely the key to his goal rather than the goal itself." I feel that, contrary to Tyson's idea, Gatsby is dedicated to Daisy. I think only instance of love is what Gatsby feels for Daisy. Sure, his love is rather shallow, she is beautiful and rich and charming, but it is love nonetheless. Gatsby is fully committed to Daisy. All he wants is a life with her. He is not afraid to connect with her.

What has love got to do with it?

Up until now, I have often read Lois Tyson's analysis, and found myself in agreement, but struggling to believe some key details she built her argument from were truly, "reliable."  But this was not the case this time.  While I may not fully, or even partially understand the facets of Tyson's psychoanalytical reading, I would like to think I fully agree.
Early on in the chapter, Tyson mentions the fear of intimacy, and the role it plays on the characters of the novel. While it takes a while for her to come around to Gatsby, I believe that he is a victim of this.  One can so easily see how he struggles with relationships, and fantasizes about them in unrealistic ways, but can't seem to commit.  What brought this all together was the fact that, "Fear of intimacy with others is usually a product of fear of intimacy with oneself."  This all makes sense!  Every single character is so uncomfortable with themselves, especially Gatsby, and this is all due to fear of intimacy!  If this was up to me, this is what would tie the entire book together, no one is capable of fully accepting themselves, no one can fully love another, and through this, no one is comfortable!
Later on, Tyson mentions, "How can we say that Gatsby fears intimacy when he is committed to Daisy as to 'the following of a grail' when he kept a scrapbook of all news items concerning her, when he remained faithful to her even during the long years of her married life." This relates perfectly to my previous point that, while Gatsby was so hopelessly aloof in his love life, he lost all "realism" and ended up scarring himself of the thought of him and Daisy every actually being together! Tyson proceeds to explain how Daisy is just, "The key to Gatsby's dreams." which I too agree with.  Daisy is for Gatsby, and many others, simply the symbol of the dream he wishes to live.
It is interesting to see this then transfer over to even Nick!  Nick seems to be not necessarily well adjusted, but the most down to earth and sensible of all the characters.  This may very well be because the story is told from his perspective, but never the less, he comes of as put together.  As Tyson puts it, "Nick is a master of avoidance and denial."  When the most down to earth character is clearly struggling with a fear of intimacy and therefore is uncomfortable with themselves, (which looking back on it is glaringly obvious) it is no wonder the book ended the way it did.
When it comes down to it, I'm almost upset with myself that I agreed so closely with Tyson, was I not paying attention closely enough, did I just become a Tyson groupie, am I not capable of my own analysis?  But in the meantime, I would like to think, Tyson has added a more formulated background to my contrived take on "The Great Gatsby," broadening both my understanding and interest.

Do you believe that Tyson is looking to deeply into the text?  Is it possible that fear of intimacy plays such an important role?  Do you think that the fear of intimacy effects a large portion of the population?

A Dysfunctional Reading of "The Great Gatsby": Psychoanalysis

I think a psychoanalytical reading of “The Great Gatsby” can be useful. Revealing possible character motivations and finding connections between backstory and character is certainly worth doing. That said, I didn’t love Lois Tyson’s job of it. First, one thing that stood out to me that I did like: “Gatsby and Myrtle are psychological tokens in the Buchanans’ marriage, (so) it is symbolically significant that Tom and Daisy, in effect, kill each other’s lover” (46-47). The connection between Myrtle and Gatsby is one I’d noticed, but not one I’d thought too much about. Her pointing it out led me to considering it further, and I realized it was very strong and worth analysis. There were a few other points she made that I liked, and certainly most of the characters have plenty of unresolved issues, but many of the points Tyson made were stretched or misinterpreted.
On the whole, I disagree with her interpretation of Gatsby in terms of his relationship with Daisy and his overall significance as a character. She says that from a psychoanalytic perspective, Gatsby is no romantic hero; for evidence, she says, “Although Gatsby believes that his ultimate goal is the possession of Daisy... [she] is merely the key to his goal rather than the goal itself (47).” She sees Daisy as nothing but a human representation of Gatsby’s goals of self-improvement, a token of the wealth and lifestyle he desired growing up. She writes, “The financial achievements Gatsby planned for himself revealed their ultimate psychological payoff, however, only upon meeting Daisy... Daisy is, for him, not a flesh-and-blood woman but an emblem of the emotional insulation he unconsciously desires” (48). While certainly he does harbor much ambition growing up, Daisy becomes not just a goal but the goal of his rise through society. Most of what he did to gain wealth and class (bootlegging during prohibition, interacting with characters like Wolfsheim and his associates) was done only after and because of his meeting and love (or obsession) for Daisy. Moreover, I don’t think Gatsby really does desire the “emotional insulation” she mentions. While she supports her arguments for that with other characters more effectually, I don’t think she provides enough evidence for that being the case with Gatsby. Most readings of the book would indicate that Gatsby is truly devoted to Daisy; that he truly loves her, and that he truly desires emotional intimacy with her. Because of the bulk of evidence for that and lack of evidence for her viewpoint, that interpretation seems more correct to me. She mentions Fitzgerald having a hard time with writing their relationship in the Eggs and little else.
            Overall, I think she intentionally stretched various points of evidence, leaving out some events and characteristics that don’t support her thesis. While some of the points (especially of symbolism) are valid and certainly worth analysis, her desire to make the book conform to a set of psychological ideas and methods of interpretation leads to her missing the opportunity to further examine those areas in favor of analyzing a few things, especially a fear of commitment. In general, I don’t like psychoanalytic criticism--I see it as the psychobabble she insists it is not early in the chapter. Perhaps that made me hostile to the reading, but I really think she misused the evidence provided by the book for a set of points which she seems to have decided on beforehand.
            Finally, a question for my many loyal readers: What character or relationship do you think seems to have the most unresolved Freudian issues?

Tyson’s psychoanalytical reading of The Great Gatsby

Ellis Govoni
Christie Beveridge
Critical Theory

In Louis Tyson’s psychoanalytical reading of The Great Gatsby I agree with many of her points except with her point about fear of intimacy with the characters. The first character she dissects is Tom.  She says “…Dividing interest, time, and energy between two women protects him from real intimacy with either. Indeed, Tom’s relationships with women, including his wife, reveal his desire for ego gratification rather than for emotional intimacy.” My problem with this statement is simply the fact that in Tom’s case, it is not a fear of intimacy; it is the present and arguably dominating presents of excessiveness. In almost all aspects of his life from his house to the number of hoarse, he has too much; ergo he has and excessive personality. The second example, and a logical segway in here statement is the analysis of Daisy and her so called fear of intimacy, which I also disagree with. She uses in reference from the book to back her statement “I’d never seen a girl so mad about her husband. If he left the room for one minute she’d look around uneasy and say ‘Where’s Tom gone’ and were the most abstracted expression until she saw him coming in the door.” This seems to be a clear indication that Daisy does not have a fear of intimacy. However in the following statement by Louis, she says that after Daisy tried to call of the wedding a day before it was to take place due to a letter she got from Gatsby. This to me is not a fear of intimacy; this is a very common occurrence before marriage called cold feet.

1)    When in reference to ego, how does an affair boost an ego?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sometimes Tyson just goes too far

          The biggest problem I often have with critical theory experts is how they often read way too far into parts of literature. Granted that is their job, but sometimes it just gets excessive.
          In Lois Tyson's psychoanalytic criticism of The Great Gatsby in her book Critical Theory Today, she claims that every character and specifically every couple in the novel suffer from fear of intimacy. She starts off talking about Tom and Daisy on page forty two saying that, "For both Tom and Daisy, fear of intimacy is related to low self-esteem." It is clear that they have fear of intimacy, but it doesn't seem like this is the cause. First, Tom spends the entire story strutting around as if he owns every place he goes, all the way up to the near end when he tells Gatsby to drive home with daisy because he is so confident he won the argument. This low self-esteem is more plausible for Daisy because of her extreme superficiality, however because of all the praise and attention she gets from practically every other character (especially Gatsby) she is quite full of herself. Tyson then says in the next paragraph that, "Daisy's low self-esteem, like her fear of intimacy, is indicated in large part by her relationship with Tom." This statement is similar to many made throughout this reading about how Daisy is defined by Tom. This theory is to some extent true because of the fact that she hangs onto his every word like he's a genius. However, it also seems like an inadvertently sexist claim. If we look at Daisy's past with Gatsby, while we do not know much on account of the fact that Nick wasn't present, it is fairly clear she was still the same, superficial Daisy who was only in love with Gatsby because she thought he was rich. Daisy and Tom are extremely similar, but their connection was an effect of that similarity, not a cause. Finally, Tyson starts talking about Gatsby and, on page 49 quotes Gatsby, "Can't repeat the past?… Why of course you can!" She then connects this quote to the premise that Gatsby's repression of psychological issues, "condemns him to repeatedly incur them." Tyson claims this quote proves Gatsby's fear of intimacy, yet it actually proves quite the opposite. This simple sentence does not refer to Gatsby's psychological problems, but simply his desire to go back to the simpler times with Daisy before he left, thus proving that Gatsby does in fact want intimacy with Daisy.
          Granted it wouldn't make a great critical theory book to be vague and uncertain about these theories, and if she were, Lois Tyson would not be as well known as she is, but it could be beneficial for her and others like her to take a step back once in a while and realize that that's all they are; theories.

Psychoanalytical Reading

       Tyson's psychoanalytical reading of The Great Gatsby was persuasive and legitimate in some areas, yet a far stretch in others. When Tyson begins by discussing Tom and Daisy's relationship, she draws a valid conclusion of their fear of intimacy. For example, Tyson says, "obviously based on fear of intimacy: Tom Buchanan's chronic extramarital affairs." Tom is clearly avoiding intimacy by taking part in two relationships. Daisy, who is high-class and "represents social superiority", is Tom's reassurance that he is an important man. Myrtle, who is "smoldering" and "sensuous" reinforces Toms sense of masculinity. Tom's need to emphasize his superiority over other men also proves an insecurity and lack of self-confidence that effects his interpersonal relationships. Next, Tyson discusses Daisy's fear of intimacy. She starts by writing, " Its obvious that Daisy didn't love Tom when she married him." This statement is true, and supported well by her follow up saying, "...married Tom to keep herself from loving Gatsby, whom she had gotten too attached to for her own comfort." Once Daisy realized Gatsby was not in her social-class, she couldn't bear be with him. Daisy not accepting Gatsby's social class is evidence of Daisy's insecurities, similar to Tom's. Daisy uses Gatsby as a distraction to her failing romantic relationship with Tom. The Buchanan's relationship is based of off fear of intimacy and lack of self-confidence, thus, it is not a successful romantic relationship.
       Next, Tyson attempts to psychoanalyze Nick's romantic relationships, and does not do so successfully. She talks about Nick's past relationships before Jordan and says, "Clearly, this relationship was more serious than he cares to acknowledge." Although, this 'relationship' was discussed very briefly in the novel, and does not play an important role in Nick's character. Tyson stretches to find a true connection between Nick and fear of intimacy. Nick becomes very close with Gatsby; proving he does not fear intimacy like Daisy and Tom do. Tyson's psychoanalytic reading of The Great Gatsby was accurate with a select group of characters such as the Buchanans but gives the impression of being forced upon other characters, such as Nick.

Tyson's Psycho

Lois Tyson's essay on her psychoanalytical view of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald certainly makes some valid points. For instance, Lois Tyson draws the conclusion that Gatsby and Myrtle are pawns in the Buchanan's relationships. They are used to "avoid the emotional problems in their marriage."(pg. 46) And this observation is certainly true. Tyson also comments on how Myrtle and Gatsby also use the Buchanans to advance in social status, Gatsby to provide "emotional insulation"(pg. 48), and Myrtle to "acquire permanent membership in a world where she can display the impressive hauteur we see her enjoy at the party"(pg. 43). Neither Gatsby nor Myrtle truly love Daisy or Tom, but instead devote themselves to them as a means to an end: removal from their current situation and acceptance into a glamorous world. But somethings I believe Tyson misses or makes a mistake on. In the first part of her essay, Tyson writes that "for many non-psychoanalytical literary critics... Jay Gatsby is a larger-than-life romantic hero"(pg. 39). But I, as a, albeit unwilling, literary critic, don't see Gatsby as a hero, but more as a lost soul having the same ailment that everyone does: wanting what we can't have. Gatsby tries to make a fake semblance of the world he so desires to be a part of, but it crumbles before his eyes when he realizes that his one chance for an entrance into that world (Daisy) leaves him for good. Tom smashes her illusion of him in her eyes, and in him doing so, destroys his illusion of that faraway life, as Fitzgerald shows when he writes, "so he gave up that and only the dead dream fought on" (Gatsby, 142). Tyson comments on this later in her essay, but doesn't realize that this phenomenon is something we all deal with. The only thing unique is the means by which it occurs. Tyson overall writes superb essay, showing how every character has a fear of intimacy and actually no love exists between any of them. But that way of looking at it shows an extremely morbid viewpoint. I can't simply believe that no love ever existed anywhere in the Great Gatsby. I believe that Gatsby loved, for the lack of a better word, the idea of Daisy. His devotion and glorification of her almost deifies her to the point of making her God. And there are examples throughout the book of the higher class being God-like. Tom continually remarks on how the upper echelon needs to maintain their superiority by any means. T. J. Eckleburg's glasses add is constantly referred to as the eyes of God. The entire story is showing that class separation was so far apart at that point that the upper class's existence seemed impossible, becasue of their glorification throughout society. But this view is not from a psychoanalytical lens, and therefore will have to be analyzed another day. Gatsby does love his Daisy, the perfect woman, the one who will take him away from all his troubles, and it is his efforts to connect the real and perfect Daisy where his world shatters.

Response to Lois Tyson's Psychoanalysis

Looking back on the Great Gatsby from this point of view certainly made the story clearer in ways, such as being able to see some examples of all of the information that I read about a couple nights ago. My new understanding is clearer than it was before, but it is not clearer to me how it was written than it is why it was written. It seems like Fitzgerald custom built this novel for psychoanalysts. As usual, Lois Tyson is intelligent and insightful, however, I disagree with some of her opinions. In the first sentence or two of her analysis, she mentions the "romantic relationships portrayed in the novel." These relationships seem everything but romantic. Gatsby pining over Daisy would be romantic, if he didn't only like her for her money, and it's still not a relationship no matter how much Gatsby wishes it is. Tom and Daisy are also not connected enough to be considered romantic, especially proven by the fact that Tom cheated on Daisy with Myrtle. Also, she clearly writes that Daisy and Tom are not connected at all where she says that "Daisy has no more desire for intimacy with Gatsby than she has for intimacy with Tom. Somehow, Lois Tyson says that Tom and Myrtle have a fear of intimacy, and she makes this conclusion just by saying that, "It's no surprise, therefore, that Tom's relationship with Myrtle lacks intimacy." She is suspecting a fear of intimacy only because of a lack of intimacy, but, in the first place, if this affair lacks intimacy, wouldn't that make it an oxymoron? Overall, Lois Tyson misses a few little things about what she wrote previously as she writes the final pages.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Great Gatsby video game

Gatsby Game

In 2010 a casual Hidden Object game called Classic Adventures: The Great Gatsby was released by Oberon Media,0.jpg

That's a GREAT Gatsby joke... (You're welcome)

Lady Gaga music in the movie!?

Found this about the new movie talking about the new music that will be included in the movie.

New Music in new Movie
Gatsby had a lot of money.  Also, you may have to scroll sideways to see the whole picture.



Big Brother Is Watching You

Cyanide and Happiness
 One alternate title for the book was, "Under the Red, White, and Blue"
Dun..... Nah. Dun.... Nah. DUNNAHDUNNAHDUNNA (Insert Shark here)





Krakow! Krakow! Two hits to starboard!
hello everybody!

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Miles Has Joined the Party

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I can post! Lol, werd, swag



Sunday, October 7, 2012

Welcome to VCS's Great Gats-blog! On this page, we will be discussing different critical interpretations of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. It will also serve to be a place where we can add links to different Gatsby-related websites and information.

When you post, be sure to cite textual evidence, pose questions to your readers, and proofread!