I followed him over a low whitewashed railroad fence, and

Extra Credit Assignment
Comparing F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby to T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land
I followed him over a low whitewashed railroad fence, and
we walked back a hundred yards along the road under
Doctor Eckleburg’s persistent stare. The only building in
sight was a small block of yellow brick sitting on the edge of
the waste land, a sort of compact Main Street ministering
to it, and contiguous to absolutely nothing.
– F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, chapter two
F. Scott Fitzgerald was said to be a great admirer of T. S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land. This
admiration can be seen in The Great Gatsby, especially in chapter two when Fitzgerald writes
about the Valley of Ashes.
Locate a copy of Eliot’s The Waste Land. Be warned: this is a very long and dense modernist
work. Expect to be challenged by it. Read the poem, paying special attention to the similarities
between it and The Great Gatsby—especially the way Fitzgerald describes the Valley of Ashes.
In an essay of two to three pages—MLA format, double spaced, 12 pt. Calibri font—write about
the similarities you notice between the two works. You should include quotations from both
works. Also discuss what Fitzgerald achieves by drawing these comparisons between his novel
and Eliot’s poem.
Should you choose to complete this assignment, it can boost your grade by up to ten points. It
will be due on Thursday, March 24.