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The Great Gatsby. Discussion Points. Setting. Response Questions. What role does the characters ’ socioeconomic class play in this novel? How is each of the class levels represented symbolically? What role does the weather play symbolically in the novel? Cite specific examples.

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the great gatsby

The Great Gatsby

Discussion Points

response questions
Response Questions
  • What role does the characters’ socioeconomic class play in this novel? How is each of the class levels represented symbolically?
  • What role does the weather play symbolically in the novel? Cite specific examples.
  • How does F. Scott Fitzgerald create suspense?
  • What question do you have about the novel so far? (this can be a shorter response – 1 sentence is OK)
  • What has surprised you so far? (plot, characters, etc.)
narrator nick carraway
Narrator: Nick Carraway
  • Reliable Narrator:
    • “In consequence I’m inclined to reserve all judgements, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me” (1).
    • “Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope” (2).
  • Characteristics:
    • Family “prominent, well-to-do”
    • Graduate of New Haven
    • 29 years old
    • WWI soldier
    • Moved east to “learn the bond business”
    • Financed by father
    • Lives next door to “Gatsby” on West Egg
lives in west egg next to gatsby it was a factual imitation of some hotel de ville in normandy 5
Lives in West Egg – next to Gatsbyit was a “factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy” (5).
the buchanans
The Buchanans
  • Tom
    • “family was enormously wealthy” (6).
    • “Now he was a sturdy, straw haired man of thirty with a rather hard mouth and a supercilious manner. Two shining arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face…” (6).
    • “I’ve got a nice place here.”
    • WORD CHOICE?
    • Racist?
  • Daisy
    • Nick’s second cousin
    • “I’m p-paralyzed with happiness” (8).
    • “(I’ve heard it said that Daisy’s murmur was only to make people lean toward her; an irrelevant criticism that made it no less charming)” (9).
    • “That’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool” (17).
their relationship

Their Relationship…

They spent a year in France, “for no particular reason” (6).

“Tom’s got some woman in New York” (15).

“Well she was less than an hour old and Tom was God knows where” (16).

jordan baker
Jordan Baker
  • Professional Golf Player
  • “Her chin was raised a little as if she were balancing something on it which was quite likely to fall” (8).
  • “She was a slender, small-breasted girl with an erect carriage which she accentuated by throwing her body backward at the shoulders like a young cadet” (11).
the eyes of dr t j eckleburg
“The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic—their irises are one yard high. They look out of no face, but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a nonexistent nose. Evidently some wild wag of an oculist set them there to fatten his practice in the borough of Queens, and then sank down himself into eternal blindness, or forgot them and moved away. But his eyes, dimmed a little by many paintless days, under sun and rain, brood on over the solemn dumping ground” (23).The Eyes of dr. t. j. eckleburg
myrtle and tom

Myrtle and Tom…

What do we learn about Tom based on his relationship with Myrtle? Why would he choose her? Why is he so insistent on having Nick meet her?

Explain the significance of the puppy incident

annotations what have you underlined and or noted
Annotations?What have you underlined and/or noted
  • American Dream References/Socioeconomic Divisions in Class
  • Symbols of Time
  • Significant Color Symbolism
  • Important Quotes Regarding Characterization
  • Significant Quotes
  • Language Observations
  • Weather symbolism
  • Religious allusions/symbolism
  • Carelessness/car wrecks
  • Religious Allusions
  • Other
chapter 3 discussion questions
Chapter 3 Discussion Questions
  • What is the significance of the owl-eyed man? What does he mean when he describes Gatsby as a real Belasco?
  • How does Nick finally meet Gatsby? What aspect about Gatsby does Nick find to have a quality of “eternal reassurance”?
  • Symbols? Colors?
  • “And I like large parties. They’re so intimate.
chapter 4 discussion questions
Chapter 4 Discussion Questions:
  • Explain the significance of the “white card” that Gatsby flashed at the police officer.
  • What proof of his past does Gatsby carry? Why?
  • What does Gatsby’s relationship with Meyer Wolfsheim suggest about Gatsby?
    • Based on Arnold Rothstein, the

man who fixed the world series

chapter 5 he was running down like an overwound clock
Chapter 5“He was running down like an overwound clock”

. Describe the affect of rain on the plot.

  • What symbols of time are noted?
  • “They’re such beautiful shirts!...It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such – such beautiful shirts before.”
  • “The colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever.”
response questions1
Response Questions
  • What role does the characters’ socioeconomic class play in this novel? How is each of the class levels represented symbolically?
  • What role does the weather play symbolically in the novel? Cite specific examples.
  • How does F. Scott Fitzgerald create suspense?
  • What question do you have about the novel so far? (this can be a shorter response – 1 sentence is OK)
  • What has surprised you so far? (plot, characters, etc.)
chapter 6 dan cody
Chapter 6Dan Cody
  • Why was he so important in Gatsby’s life?
  • How was Gatsby treated by the three visitors on horseback? Why is this situation significant in the novel?
  • How did Daisy react to Gatsby’s party?
  • “Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can!”
chapter 7
Chapter 7
  • What is the weather in this chapter?
  • “You look so cool… You always look so cool”
  • Why does Daisy reject Gatsby in the end?
chapters 8 9 what was foreshadowed
Chapters 8 & 9What was foreshadowed?
  • Careless driving: Page 54 & 58
  • Other foreshadowing?
religious symbolism is gatsby a son of god
Religious SymbolismIs Gatsby a “son of god”?
  • Images to consider:
    • Gatsby is the “platonic conception of himself” – an immaculate conception 98 & 110
    • Billboard & Owl Eyes
    • George seeing “God” in the eyes – 159-160
    • Valley of the Ashes = hell on earth (ch 2)
    • Myrtle dies in ash (137)
    • Gatsby dies at 3pm (160-161)
    • Killed in a pool of water – cleansing of sins
    • Gatsby is in search of a “holy grail” (149)
gatsby as an embodiment of america
Gatsby as an Embodiment of America
  • Is Gatsby’s rise like the growth of the Nation?
    • Consider how he rises to the top; does it parallel America’s rise a nation?
  • What comment is made about America in this time period? – Roaring 20’s
  • Fitzgerald considered naming the novel Under the Red, White, and Blue. How does this affect your view of the novel?
america continued
America continued…
  • Gatsby’s “three” fathers: 1.)Dan Cody (Daniel Boone, an original pioneer, and Buffalo Bill Cody, one of the last pioneers), 2.)Meyer Wolfsheim (the man who fixed the World Series), and 3.)his birth father (a man whom he never accepted because he was an unsuccessful farmer).
america continued1
America continued…
  • How is the American Dream portrayed as corrupt?
  • Who is a better representation of the American Dream: Wilson or Gatsby?