Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Gatsby - Party at Gatsby's!

The party at Jay Gatsby's mansion was very lively. Remember, this is 1922. Prohibition (aka the 18th Amendment or the Volstead Act) had passed in 1919, and went into effect in 1920. So the bar "stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of his female guests were too young to know one from the other..." was exceptionally illegal.

There was also an orchestra playing - "no thin five-piece affair, but a whole pitful of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and coronets and piccolos, and low and high drums." Ragtime music was becoming old hat, but the Big Bands of the 1930's hadn't arrived yet.

Probably the most entertaining image from the third chapter is Owl Eyes' automobile accident. (That link goes to a fairly large PDF file. Give it a few minutes to load!) Owl Eyes' explanation of the accident is classic: "I know nothing whatever about mechanics... I know very little about driving - next to nothing. It happened, and that's all I know." Can you see a police officer's reaction to that excuse?

What was your favorite scene from chapter 3?

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