- The novel's action occurs in 1922 between June and September. How does Nick's nonchronological narration shape your response to the events surrounding the mystery of Jay Gatsby?
- Nick believes he is an honest, nonjudgemental narrator. Do you agree?
- Gatsby believes that the past can be repeated. Is he right?
- Why does Daisy sob into the "thick folds" of Gatsby's beautiful shirts?
- What do the faded eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg symbolize? Is there a connection between this billboard and the green light at the end of Daisy's dock?
- Perhaps the novel's climax occurs when Gatsby confronts Tom in New York. Did Daisy's ultimate choice surprise you? Is it consistent with her character?
- Do you agree with Nick's final assertion that Gatsby is "worth the whole damn bunch put together"? Why or why not?
- How does Fitzgerald foreshadow the tragedies at the end?
- Does the novel critique or uphold the values of the Jazz Age and the fears of the Lost Generation?
- Fitzgerald wrote, "You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say." What did he have to say in Gatsby?
- Fitzgerald scholar Matthew J. Bruccoli claims: "The Great Gatsby does not proclaim the nobility of the human spirit; it is not politically correct; it does not reveal how to solve the problems of life; it delivers no fashionable or comforting messages. It is just a masterpiece." Do you agree?
If you're intrigued by the 1920s, you might enjoy reading:
Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises (1926)
If you're intrigued by novels about lives of privilege, you might enjoy reading:
John O'Hara's Appointment in Samarra (1934)
If you're intrigued by the Fitzgeralds, you might enjoy Zelda's only novel:
Zelda Fitzgerald's Save Me the Waltz (1932)