The Great Gatsby

Great GatsbyThe exemplary novel of the Jazz Age, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, “The Great Gatsby” (1925), stands as the supreme achievement of his career. T. S. Eliot read it three times and saw it as the “first step” American fiction had taken since Henry James; H. L. Mencken praised “the charm and beauty of the writing,” as well as Fitzgerald’s sharp social sense; and Thomas Wolfe hailed it as Fitzgerald’s “best work” thus far. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when, “The New York Times” remarked, “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s that resonates with the power of myth. A novel of lyrical beauty yet brutal realism, of magic, romance, and mysticism, “The Great Gatsby” is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature.

  1. Is Gatsby “Great”?
  2. What was your impression of Gatsby?  Did it change at the end?
  3. Nick Carraway’s feelings for Gatsby changed often.  What do you think Nick’s overall impression of Gatsby was?
  4. Do you think Daisy ever loved J. Gatsby?
  5. When no one is willing to commit to attending Gatsby’s funeral, what does that say about Gatsby?  The company he kept?
  6. What does this book say about the prohibition era?  Rich societies?  Lavish Parties?  Friends?  Relationships?
  7. Why do you think this novel is considered a classic?  Do you think it’s still relevant?
  8. If you had one word to describe this book, what would it be?

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