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Like Pale Gold - The Great Gatsby Part I: Crash Course English Literature #4

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In which John Green explores F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel of the Jazz Age, The Great Gatsby. John introduces you to Nick Carraway, Jay Gatsby, Daisy and Tom Buchanan, and the other characters in the novel, and tries to look beyond the surface story to figure out what this thing is ABOUT. Set in the 1920's against a conflicted backdrop of prohibition and excess, The Great Gatsby takes a close look at the American Dream as it existed in Fitzgerald's time. It turns out, it had a lot to do with money and status, and it still does today. John will cover the rich symbolism of the novel, from the distant green light to the pale gold of wealth and decay. Also, Paris Hilton drops by. Turn on the captions. You'll like it. Follow us! @thecrashcourse @realjohngreen @crashcoursestan @raoulmeyer @thoughtbubbler @saysdanica Like us! http://www.facebook.com/youtubecrashcourse Support CrashCourse on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/crashcourse
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Text Comments (3496)
Stella Marie (5 days ago)
6:09 , look at the wall. It's the cover of John Green's The Fault In Our Stars.
Illyrian Warrior (9 days ago)
I have never felt filled with so much estrogenes than after watching a video by this annoying John Green. Not a single thing he ever says is funny at all.
Losika. (16 days ago)
stop this
Challenge Master (17 days ago)
You seem to be un-educated as to the factors that led to the civil war, a large one being the north not allowing any of the southern states to export materials or import items from anywhere in the world other than through the north, which price their commodities far higher than necessary and bought the good of the south for far lower than what other nations would have paid. The issue of slavery was not brought into question until the middle of the civil war, in which Lincoln proclaimed, in essence, that any who did not support the failing north where racists, thus leading the French and other nations who opposed slavery to rush to the aid of the north, winning them the war, and continuing to force the south into their archaic cycle of under cutting the value of materials and overpricing other items that where to be sold to the south.
Critica 77y (18 days ago)
I hated this book. Not because of the characters, though they certainly didn't help, but because of the moral. I don't often dismiss books because of their morals, but this book was something special. The idea that things cannot change in a book meant to be a critique goes against everything I believe in.
Li Ann Chai (18 days ago)
Anyone pauses during the intro segemnt to read the annotations?
VivaVideo User (26 days ago)
I hated learning American history, Gatsby makes me hate it more.
Thomas David Bisika (27 days ago)
Is it possible that "Gatsby" is Fitzgerald's way of claiming that no matter how hard or how much we "Borne back ceaselessly into the past" it will all amount to nothing?
valerie valerie (28 days ago)
6:54 take that back
valerie valerie (28 days ago)
My favorite🖤
Mr Temporal (1 month ago)
Pizza John shirts are so beautiful, they make me cry
Mr Temporal (1 month ago)
Tom's use of "science" exemplifies the idea that a little learning is a dangerous thing.
Eva Osborne (1 month ago)
Please discuss The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hess
Jans Doe (1 month ago)
"You'd have to be asleep to believe the American dream" George Carlin
Jans Doe (1 month ago)
"rich girls don't marry poor boys." A cop out ? or were and are there still classes ? Would a movie star marry a maid ?
Mohanad Ahmed (1 month ago)
This guy looks like the Chemistry
YoongiGotMyHeart (1 month ago)
While reading this I couldn’t help but feel like Nick had some type of feelings for Gatsby.
Sapphire Blue2016 (1 month ago)
That burn is so beautiful.
Here's a plot twist that is often overlooked in American literature teachings on this incredible piece of writing. Jordan Baker is named after Michael Jordan. Oh... You didn't know that? Shame you are so mediocre
Greek_GeekGirl 1 (1 month ago)
The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite books I’ve read, mostly because it is so well written, and I despised nearly every character in there. While there was great tragedy in each of their stories (except Tom, the man has no redeeming qualities and can go swim in lava), it was so frustrating to watch them be so delusional and selfish. Fantastic book, especially considering I liked it despite the characters. Usually the characters being like this means the book isn’t all that great either, but no so in the case of The Great Gatsby.
Alexandr Zarezin (1 month ago)
I'm pissed off how you have the know all manner of talking. You tell nice smart ideas but you look so arrogant that it makes your videos unpleasant to watch.
Danielle Hall (2 months ago)
I’m currently obsessed with the movie and I want the book, so thanks for this.
Miriam O. (2 months ago)
what preyed on Gatsby
Daryl Tan (2 months ago)
Fk I'm here because I have an exam on this book in 4 hours time and I JUST found out that Gatsby died..
Abdi Dc (2 months ago)
Who still watching this
The book Wyrm (2 months ago)
It’s kind of sweet that John kept the cap from the champagne bottle that he drank with his wife on his wedding night
Channing O'Neill (3 months ago)
lifelong asshat hahahaha my god
Light Within (3 months ago)
the tfios poster lol
Fires Sparkling (1 month ago)
Light Within I noticed it too (reread the book a week ago).
0Chujo0 (3 months ago)
6:35 I don't know if it's changed a lot.XD
Brian Hutzell (3 months ago)
“The truth, Heroic Past, is that we may think we want to recreate you, but what we actually want to do is we want to recreate you without all the problems we don’t remember.” My first thought was that we need to remind the MAGA people about this. But my second—and much scarier—thought is that the MAGA people don't think a lot of those problems were problems.
Alice Pope-Terry (3 months ago)
You made this same video a year earlier on vlogbrothers.
James Mac777 (3 months ago)
The Great Gasby was not popular until after the Great Depression, where a very rich man became the fantasy. It is in wealth and entitlement that such stories are considered boring and unimportant. I have always believed that Universal Studios and their monsters are what rich people and nations enjoy when they are not dreaming of wealth.
Amber Spath (3 months ago)
NICK was anything but straight.
Laughable statement from tom Nordics lawl The romans called u guys savages living on a cave Even Hitler admitted that Europe would be nothing without the Romans
Juan Enriquez (3 months ago)
what chapters of the novel would part 1 entail?
alex hood (3 months ago)
You should do death of salesman.
DJ royal mayhem (3 months ago)
Love your books Mr Green
gelpy27 (4 months ago)
such an amazing video. every word has so much substance.
Spencer Dougan (4 months ago)
After having gone through the comments I’ve noticed no one laughing at the Thought Bubble making Tom’s suit FREAKING PINK
Micah Larrie (4 months ago)
"This is america" -Donald Glover 2018
bienbien (4 months ago)
But there was no slavery in the cartoon Huckfinn
Miscellaneous Moon (4 months ago)
I mean, come on, we're not supposed to like George Costanza but he's like one of the greatest characters ever.
Chris Kokolios (4 months ago)
I felt that Gatsby was a very depressed person he made but felt happy when he was at the center of attention and he was in love with a woman that was not in love with him .Women consider these people the dreamers immature it is the opposite from Romeo and Juliet we belong in the era of consuming not feeling or appreciating other people for their mind and kindness and culture .
Benrir (4 months ago)
"We invented the Stretch Limousine! We invented the Hummer! And then I owe invented the Hummer Stretch Limousine!" This is the greatest quote from all of crash course
Dhruv Khurana (4 months ago)
I have seen this video 10 times. Absolutely my favorite
Gally in Nottingham (5 months ago)
If any of you want to pass an exam on this text just remember that this book is overly symbolic. Colours are overtly symbolised to a point to which the symbols lose meaning. In doing this the text actively decouples any societal symbols of success. The green of the American dollar, is reduced to the endless propel towards Gatsby’s destruction. Money and objects, and even being the personification of gold, did not elevate Gatsby to a level at which Daisy would accept him. All of his desires, based of trivial symbolic signals, amounted to nothing, as The old money family’s are fundamentally different in less obvious, and far more abstract ways. This is why at the end Daisy and Tom ‘retreated into their money’.
Gally in Nottingham (5 months ago)
God I remember this got me through my a levels 4 years ago... just graduated English literature at Bristol uni with a 2:1. Thanks john!!
Gally in Nottingham (5 months ago)
Also I really carried what you said about how likeable characters is not a prerequisite to liking a text.
Aida Ghani (5 months ago)
Whaaaaaaaaaa - I just found out that this John Green is the same as the author John Green!! 😀
Timmering (5 months ago)
The Zora Link (5 months ago)
Can you do The Hunchback of Notre dame
SixPomegranateSeeds (5 months ago)
This is a character-driven novel if I ever read one. I don't know if anyone else got this impression, but every new character introduced felt like the story was introducing another way you could go over the edge. Like, who you don't want to be if you want to live the American Dream. The book being narrated by Nick is also interesting, because he's the newcomer, being brought into this aristocratic 20s world of horrible yet interesting people, and he starts becoming one of them, until he decides it isn't worth it when Gatsby dies. I kind of felt like everyone was trying to live their American Dream, but failing spectacularly in the process.
Ngân Lương (5 months ago)
I have to live my whole life having no one loves me as much as Gatsby to Daisy. And she had that kind of wealthy, handsome, loveable, Leonardo Dicarprio thing but drew him to death.
Ngân Lương (5 months ago)
I started with World History few days ago and I was super amazed at how good John is as a History lecturer. Then, I got to know that this John and TFIOS's John is one, totally shocked. Like 5 seconds ago, seeing him here in a literature playlist, FREEZING!!!! He is too talented. My History teacher can't teach me Literature, my Literature teacher know little about History AND BOTH OF THEM CAN'T WRITE ANY KINDS OF BOOKS ><
Samuel Liu (5 months ago)
This is what the Chinese masses are achieving "realizing the American Dream". while leaving the USA in its myopia and indulgences!
Sarosh Mitha (5 months ago)
"he never even used his pool. Well, at least not until the end of the novel." DEAD
ali (5 months ago)
the irony of this entire novel is fitzgerald's life though. he wrote this book as a cynical view of the corruption of wealth when he was not wealthy and didn't yet have the girl. however, after this book did well and he married Zelda, his next book was written in a retreat in france.
lol (5 months ago)
why does crash course always have these little image annotations for certain words when they're reading a passage from something? Why do they number them? Who came up with this? It's cool just has no explanation!
artsmig (5 months ago)
An American being honest about America! Wow!
thewaronPR (5 months ago)
Way, way off. This guy is a triumph of energy over expertise.
rawan ah (6 months ago)
do i have to read the novel before watching ??
bienbien (4 months ago)
أسيم | 48 (6 months ago)
The Introduction is great.
Keir Ryota (6 months ago)
Gooooood job!!! nice recaps, thanks!!
GameRiderTom (6 months ago)
i have an exam in 3 hours lol
Maria-Alexandra Muntean (6 months ago)
I was thinking while you said it, all this extended 'yellow' symbolism is like the Midas touch incorporating all the death...and wealth...but death.
Zaid Muhammad Sheikh (6 months ago)
the holy voice of Stan
missparklyunicorn (6 months ago)
Thanks John for attempting to make me empathize with the Buchanans but nothing can remove the deep, personal, throbbing hatred I feel for every character in the book except for possibly George Wilson
Chris Ferrero (6 months ago)
The green light also represents money which is also green in colour. A lot of people give up their health to chase it thinking it would make them happy and once they attain it they're never satisfied and give up their money to acquire their health back.
melina rose (6 months ago)
lmao i just found this a week after giving a 10 minute oral presentation on the book 🙂🤦🏽‍♀️
pauline jabaudon (6 months ago)
Great video! thank you!
rosie (6 months ago)
We all share his ambition.
Jason (6 months ago)
Holden Caufield and Tyler Durden come to mind
Kerry Chou (6 months ago)
...I finally heard Stan speak!
Bianca Smith (6 months ago)
you from the past is me in the present
Maria Kramer (7 months ago)
I always preferred Miss Lonelyhearts to Gatsby..
Anto Saha (7 months ago)
APLit test tomorrow! 😊
Claire Pearsall (7 months ago)
Anyone else here prepping for AP Lit tomorrow?
Haley Shih (7 months ago)
That last comment though...
Zmey Confusenych (7 months ago)
"we all share their ambition" *what about the Soviet dream?*
Lula Red Bull (7 months ago)
Keaton Smith (7 months ago)
Huck Finn is about the hypocrisy of slavery and those that support it whether consciously or not. Ultimately it’s pro freedom which makes it an American classic
Ethan Lin (7 months ago)
Thank you for this lol I understand the Great Gatsby more thoroughly now :)
Breante Whitaker (7 months ago)
You honestly are so smart! You bring out the such good details!
M the fangirl (7 months ago)
"we have a word for this. It's called objectification"
Mose Lwayo (7 months ago)
Please do a crash course on Life of Pi
John Smith (7 months ago)
Nice, lost lady reference
Dante's Disco Inferno (7 months ago)
I kinda want to use that as a surrogate swear word... *GRRRREAT GATSBY!!!*
J Bush (8 months ago)
I hate this book
ybiza pakemonow (8 months ago)
Aaron Greenwood (8 months ago)
Have you read any Cormac McCarthy? If so would you mind doing one of these on one of his books? Any one.
George Wells (8 months ago)
Rachel Sugden (8 months ago)
Would you consider making a video on Arthur Miller's 'Death of a Salesman"? I'm writing an essay on it for my higher English​ exam this year and it would be very helpful. Thanks in advance! ;-)
Amaia Insausti (8 months ago)
Please, do more of these literature videos
Carlo Cantilang (8 months ago)
He fell inlove with the wrong hoe
Smufette101 (8 months ago)
Oh i get that burn. Damn
Legacy Sneakers (8 months ago)
This guy is a twack
Do Tale of Two Cities!
joshua polak (8 months ago)
yeh too poor for champagne with corks, the mans worth about 20 million dollars
Lee Alex (8 months ago)
How did Gatsby's dream effect his life?
a happy vitamin (9 months ago)
can you imagine being married to John Greene? uuugghhh i wish
ElJanie Rhei (9 months ago)
Could there be a connection between Daisy from The Great Gatsby and Daisy from Turtles all the way down?

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