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Discussion Questions From The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

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Some discussion questions to help assist with reading and understanding The Great Gatsby

  1. After reading F. Scott Fitzgerald's biography, in what ways is The Great Gatsby autobiographical? Which character might Fitzgerald written more of himself or his life into?
  2. What parts of the novel do you connect with the 1920's exclusively? What parts do you think could happen the same way today?
  3. How do you think the characters, individually or together, represent the American Dream?
  4. How do the themes of dreams, wealth, and time in the novel relate to the social atmosphere of the 1920's?
  5. Discuss something new you may have learned from reading this novel about the social and/or political atmosphere during the 20's.
  6. Do you think that Daisy's inability to leave her husband for Gatsby early on (and even after Tom figures out the affair) is a result of social pressure from the time? Why or why not? Similarily, what do you make of Tom's affair with Myrtle and why doesn't he leave the relationship either?
  7. Why does Gatsby feel the need to gain wealth, success, and have an extravagent life before reuniting with Daisy? How does it reflect American culture and the American Dream of the time?
  8. It has been said that this novel represents the closest thing we have to the "Great American Novel." Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why or why not?

"The world, as a rule, does not live on beaches and in country clubs."