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F Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Essential Revision Notes

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Table of Contents

Context 5

Summary 6

Characters 7

Nick Carraway 7

Jay Gatsby 8

Daisy Buchanan 9

Tom Buchanan 10

Jordan Baker 10

Myrtle Wilson 10

George Wilson 10

Owl Eyes 10

Klipspringer 10

Meyer Wolfsheim 10

Themes, Motifs, and Symbols 10

Themes 10

The Decline of the American Dream in the 1920s 10

The Hollowness of the Upper Class 12

Motifs 12

Geography 12

Weather 12

Symbols 13

The Green Light 13

The Valley of Ashes 13

The Eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg 13

Important Quotations Explained 13

1. 13

2. 14

3. 14

4. 14

5. 15

Sample Answers 15

Discuss Gatsby’s character as Nick perceives him throughout the novel. What makes Gatsby “great”? 15

What is Nick like as a narrator? Is he a reliable storyteller, or does his version of events seem suspect? How do his qualities as a character affect his narration? 16

What are some of The Great Gatsby’s most important symbols? What does the novel have to say about the role of symbols in life? 16

How does the geography of the novel dictate its themes and characters? What role does setting play in The Great Gatsby? 17

The Great Gatsby as Social Commentary 17

Displaced Spirituality in The Great Gatsby 19

Comparing The Great Gatsby 22

“Deep-seated attitudes and expectations illustrate the possibility or impossibility of social change in texts.” 22

Discuss this statement, comparing all three of the texts that you have studied for your comparative course. 22

“The cultural context can have a significant influence on the behaviour of the central character/characters in a text.” 25

Compare the way in which the behaviour of the central characters in at least two of your texts is influenced by the cultural context of those texts. 25

Context

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born on September 24, 1896, and named after his ancestor Francis Scott Key, the author of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Fitzgerald was raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. Though an intelligent child, he did poorly in school and was sen...

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