Throughout the 20th Century, The Great Gatsby was a popular book because it brought to life the "Roaring '20s:" jazz, Prohibition, the 'motorcar,' and the fabulous wealth that was building in American cities at that time.
Today we are far closer to the centenary of Fitzgerald's writing of the book in 1923 than we are to the Jazz Age. This means that we read the book in a far different way.
In class I have tried to demonstrate that the characters in Gatsby have become archetypes. In class, we looked at comparisons that writers had made between the characters and Presidents Bush and Obama.
How do you connect with the characters in The Great Gatsby? Do you see any connections between them and those that Fitzgerald created? He certainly had others in mind when he wrote the book. For example, the athletic, free-wheeling Jordan of the book was based on a female golfer Fitzgerald knew, Edith Cummings.
Who is Gatsby? Is there someone you know--either privately or in public life--who:
- began at the bottom but worked their way up to become a success (Gatsby)?
- has a careless, destructive attitude because everything has come easy for them (Tom Buchanan)?
- gave up on true love to live a lush, comfortable life (Daisy Buchanan)?
- embodies one of the other characters in the book?
In your answer, use quotes or specific scenes from the book to support the connection you make. I will be reading your responses to (a) gauge whether you read the book or not, and (b) learn more about the book from you.