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1. What is the American Dream? How does Gatsby represent this dream? Does the novel praise or condemn Gatsby's dream? Has the American dream changed since Gatsby's time?
2. Think about the two worlds, the Midwest and the East, as Fitzgerald describes them, and what they represent for Nick and for Gatsby.
3. Compare and contrast Gatsby's social class with that of Tom and Daisy Buchanan. How does geography contribute to the definition of social class in The Great Gatsby?
4. What is Nick Carraway's role in the novel? Consider Nick's father's advice in chapter one: "Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had." Does telling the story from Nick's point of view make it more believable?
5. What part of his past is Gatsby trying to recapture? Is he successful? Is there a person, feeling, or event in your past that you'd want to revisit?
6. What is the meaning of the title? In what way is Gatsby great?
7. Why did Nick become involved with Jordan, and why did he break off the relationship?
8. Discuss Fitzgerald's use of symbols, such as the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg, the green light on Daisy's dock, and the valley of ashes.
9. What makes The Great Gatsby a classic novel? Why has it maintained its place in American literature?
10. Discuss elements of the Jazz Age that
Fitzgerald includes in The Great Gatsby.