are we still reading a book written in the 1920's? What gives a book its longevity?
2. How was the 1920's a reaction to WWI?
people think that having money leads to happiness. Do you agree? Why or why not? What are the advantages or disadvantages
of being wealthy.
is the "American Dream"? Where did it originate, and how has it changed over the centuries?
you ever wanted to relive a moment from your past, to redo it? Describe the situation. How and why would you change the past?
- Notice how many times Fitzgerald uses the
words hope, or dream. Why does he do this?
- Nick starts the novel by relaying his father's
advice "Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages
that you've had." List Nick's advantages. Does he reserve judgment in the novel?
- Pay attention to time. What is the day and
year during the first scene at Daisy's house?
- Describe Nick. What facts do you know about
him, and what do you infer about him? What kind of a narrator do you think he will be?
- What image does the author use to describe
Jordan Baker? What does it mean?
- How does Nick react to Jordan?
- What does Tom's behavior reveal about his
- Describe the "valley of ashes." What does
it look like and what does it represent?
- Describe Mr. Wilson and Myrtle. Do they seem
to fit into the setting?
- What more have you learned about Nick in this
chapter? Is he similar or different than the people he spends his time with?
- Describe the violent act Tom committed against
Myrtle. What does this reveal about him?
- Pay attention to Nick's judgments. What do
they reveal about his character that he does this (especially in relation to his opening comments)?
- Describe Gatsby the first time Nick sees him.
- What rumors have been told about Gatsby? Why
does Fitzgerald reveal rumors rather than fact?
- What does Nick think of Gatsby after meeting
- How is Gatsby different from his guests?
- Why does Nick choose to share his thoughts
and feelings with Jordan?
- Nick thinks he's one of the few honest people
he knows, why? Do you think he is honest?
- List all of the rumors told about Gatsby.
- Why does Fitzgerald list all of Gatsby's party
- Why does Gatsby tell Nick about his life?
Do you believe Gatsby? Does Nick?
- What role does Meyer Wolfsheim play in the
novel? Why is there so much focus on his nose and what does this tell you about Fitzgerald's politics?
- What does Jordan's story of Daisy's marriage
reveal about Daisy?
- Why did Gatsby want Daisy to see his house?
- Nick says, "There are only the pursued, the
pursuing, the busy and the tired." What does Nick mean? How does each character in the novel fit into this schema?
- Why does Gatsby deliver so many goods and
services to Nick's house?
- Describe the effect of rain on the plot.
- Why does Gatsby offer Nick work? How does
Nick feel about this?
- Explain the significance of the green light.
- Why does Gatsby get so many phone calls? What
does this say about him?
- How truthful was Gatsby when he relayed the
story of his life to Nick? Why does Fitzgerald tell the story of Jay Gatz now?
- Describe the meeting of Tom and Gatsby. What
does this meeting reveal about them?
- Why did Daisy and Tom find Gatsby's party
- How did Gatsby measure the success of his
- When Nick told Gatsby that "you can't repeat
the past", Gatsby replied, "Why of course you can!" Do you agree with Nick or Gatsby?
- Who is Trimachio? Explain how this describes
- Describe Daisy and Gatsby's new relationship.
- Compare George Wilson and Tom. What did each
man learn about his wife and how did they each react?
- If Daisy says she's never loved Tom, is there
someone whom she thinks she loves?
- Describe the fight between Gatsby and Tom.
What do these men think of each other? How are they similar and how are they different?
- What was significant about Nick's 30th birthday?
- What do you think Tom and Daisy were saying
to each other in the kitchen? Do you think that Tom knew Daisy was driving the "death car"? Why, why not?
- At this point, how would you end the novel?
- How does Fitzgerald achieve a melancholic
mood in the beginning of this chapter?
- How are seasons used in constructing this
- Who is Dan Cody and what is his significance
in Gatsby's life?
- How does Nick's statement "You're worth the
whole bunch put together" show a change in Nick from the beginning of the novel?
- How does T. J. Eckleberg affect Mr. Wilson?
- Why did Nick take
care of Gatsby's funeral?
- How was Jay Gatz's
childhood schedule consistent with the adult Gatsby's behavior?
- Who attended Gatsby's
funeral? How and why is this significant?
- What is the purpose
of Nick's last meeting with Jordan?
- Why does Nick call
Tom and Daisy "careless people"?
- Does this novel have villains and heroes?
Why, why not? If yes, who fits into these categories and why?
- Nick is both part of the action and acting
as an objective commentator. Does this narration style work? Why, why not?
- How did Fitzgerald use weather to reflect
the mood of the story?
- Again, why are we still reading a book written
in the 1920's? What gives a book its longevity? And which of its themes are eternal in the American psyche.