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IOP Help? - Quote from The Great Gatsby

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Hello fellow IBers,

so I have found a quote from The Great Gatsby that I think I could do a lot with. However, I can't decide what I should do. I was going to make a video of the quote, however I think that may be hard to do because of the visuals that appear in one's head after reading this would be hard to mimic on film.

Here is the quote: "He talked a lot about the past, and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps that had gone into loving Daisy. His life had been confused and disordered since then, but if he could once return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what that thing was...

...One autumn night, five years before, they had been walking down the street when the leaves were falling, and they came to a place where there were no trees and the sidewalk was white with moonlight. They stopped here and turned toward each other. Now it was a cool night with that mysterious excitement in it which comes at the two changes of the year. The quiet lights in the houses were humming out into the darkness and there was a stir and bustle among the stars. Out of the corner of his eye Gatsby saw that the blocks of the sidewalks really formed a ladder and mounted to a secret place above the trees-he could climb to it, if he climbed alone, and once there he could suck on the pap of life, gulp down the incomparable milk of wonder.

His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the turning-fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete. "

Any ideas? Please help a girl out! Thank you! :)


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I hesitate to offer too much advice on IOPs for 2014, because I've already done my IOP for next year. However, unless I'm really confused, since there was a syllabus change in 2013 for Literature, I'm assuming that syllabus carries through until at least 2014. So the IOP should be a similar thing.

My concern would be that simply making a video wouldn't be allowing for enough technical appreciation - does it show literary insight, as opposed to film or artistic insight? However, I am aware that our school just has really boring IOPs and we all do factual presentations on a theme, and this idea might work with a creative presentation in mind.

The quote you've got is definitely one of the most densely interesting ones in Gatsby, so it's a great starting point. I would suggest taking one or two features present in this extract (maybe maternal imagery, or metaphor, or divine imagery) and then analysing its impact in the whole of the text - so widen your scope in terms of where you take the source material, but limit what you're analysing in the presentation. You could still do the visual presentation.

So I would recommend doing way more than a video of the quote, and analysing several features in the quote from a literary perspective instead. Perhaps you could also look at Fitzgerald's use of flashback as a narrative tool as well.

Anyway, good luck!

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