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The Great Gatsby essay topics

The Great Gatsby – Essay Topics
For your final assessment, you will write a formal essay on The Great Gatsby. Below are
some potential topics for essays, but you are welcome to develop your own. Each essay must
demonstrate your ability to critically interpret the novel, incorporate direct evidence from the
text into your analysis and express yourself formally. Choose a topic that interests you
personally and challenges you intellectually and cite all evidence with appropriate MLA
1. Fitzgerald uses the novel to comment on the American Dream and American ideals in
the 1920s. Examine this idea in a formal essay. Trace the meaning of the American
Dream and how it is defined, developed and criticized through this novel.
2. Consider Nick as a narrator and his comments that he is “one of the few honest people”
he has ever known. Is Nick truly honest, or is he being overly proud here? Write an essay
in which you examine Nick’s character, including his observations about himself, the
people he encounters and the society in which he lives.
3. Who is morally responsible for Gatsby’s death? In a court of law it would clearly be
George Wilson because he pulled the trigger, but there were several characters that could
have prevented what happened or who could have been held responsible. Write an essay
in which you examine this question, clearly proving who is or is not responsible for
Gatsby’s death.
4. Setting plays a significant role in this novel, to the point where the settings can be viewed
as not only symbolic but also essential to the novel’s themes. Discuss how three specific
settings function in the novel and contribute to the overall theme of the novel.
5. Some people view this novel as a romance, which others see it as far too cynical to be
considered romantic. In a formal essay, determine if you think this novel is a romance or
a cynical look at society, and defend your position with specific details from the novel.
6. Develop your own topic for an essay. Explore a theme or idea that you find interesting,
or compare some aspect of the novel to something else you’ve read or seen. Does
Gatsby remind you of anybody from modern day? Are there any issues that particularly
interest you? See me for approval before beginning this one.