The Great Gatsby Final Paideia PRE-SEMINAR: Content: Activate Comprehension Knowledge about the assigned reading. Process: Review seminar discussion and behaviors. Set goals. SEMINAR QUESTIONS: Opening: Who is the central character of the novel, Gatsby or Nick? Why? Core: Most critics argue that The Great Gatsby is a novel of the American dream. According to the novel, what is that dream and how does Fitzgerald seem to feel about the existence of that dream? How are the experiences at the party in Chapter 6 different than Chapter 3? Why? How does this characterize the people Nick describes? In Chapter 6 Nick explains, “The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself.” Plato believed that our material bodies are not our real selves, but only physical images of our ideal or perfect selves. How does this notion speak true of Jay Gatsby? Is this a book for all Americans or is it limited to upper class white America? Why? Discuss the characteristics of tragedy. How is The Great Gatsby a tragedy and how is Gatsby himself a tragic hero. Why might Fitzgerald use this structure? Overall purpose or theme? The novel focuses on three sexual relationships (Gatsby/Daisy, Tom/Myrtle, and Nick/Jordan). Compare these relationships and discuss their role or purpose in the novel. There is a lot of talk of carelessness in the novel. How would Fitzgerald define carelessness, who is careless, and what does Fitzgerald seem to be saying about carelessness itself? Chapter 7 brings the conflict between Tom and Gatsby out in the open. Discuss what this conflict reveals about their characters. Explain the significance of heat in the development of Chapter 7. Closing Fitzgerald struggled with choosing a title for his novel. Is The Great Gatsby a fitting title? Why or why not? How does it fit or not fit? Is this novel still relevant to 21st century society? Why or why not?