March 5th, 2013
In Louis Tyson’s reading of The Great Gatsby, in the lenses of African American reading, she seems to make some quite apt points. She refers to the fact that during the time period this story takes place, it is a time of night life; with outrageous parties and music with many interesting people, all of which seem to come from just about all over New York city as well as other countries, except Harlem. This is perplexing because while Gatsby and his distinguished colleagues were throwing these lavish parties, there was not a single mention to the also present “Harlem Renaissance.” This would support a theory of racism within the characters or possibly with in Fitzgerald himself. In a passage written by Louis Tyson, we can confirm Nicks “un-self-conscious racism” in chapter four. In Chapter four, Gatsby and Nick are driving into the city to have lunch and Nick sees “three modish Negros” in a limousine, driven by a white chauffer. The importance of the word modish in this circumstance implies that the modern racist views often thought of black people as being foolish or childish, the opposite of what they were seeing which is why it was pointed out in the first place. Secondly In Louis Tyson’s interpretation of self aware black people of power, though It seems blunt and very simply, she says, “These black characters— fashionably dressed, riding in a chauffeured limousine, very conscious of their social status in the eyes of others -- are the mirror and shadow of Gatsby.” I agree with this statement because, though the possibly racist tendencies of the characters would suggest other wise, they are both of the same status. This is a very common situation that is found when in context of dealing with something such as race; people do not want to think that they are of the same class as someone of a different race. Then Tyson later goes on to say the only noticeable difference is that Gatsby can hide his past, which would lead to the again unjust assumption that the “Negros” have skeletons in their past or something of that ilk. Thirdly and finally we come to strange and rather obvious point of being that fact that during all of the great parties that Gatsby hosts, why is it that with such a large populous of talented black musicians and artist, that not a single mention of a black person.