The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
11. Analyze how Gatsby feels about Daisy. Is it true love, obsession, objectification, or something else entirely? Consider his life story, his history with Daisy, and materialism in the 1920s.
12. Jay Gatsby is a self-invented man—Nick notes in chapter 6 that he “sprang from the Platonic conception of himself.” Discuss the theme of identity in the novel. Consider Gatsby’s former identity, Jimmy Gatz. Which is his true identity? Is either one more “real” than the other?
13. Discuss Gatsby and Daisy insofar as they both represent the American Dream. What do their characters reveal about it? What else symbolizes the American Dream? How is the American Dream criticized through this use of symbolism? Is it ever glorified or portrayed in a positive light?
14. Discuss the significance of the characters’ homes. Think of Gatsby’s luxurious mansion, Tom and Daisy’s old colonial mansion, Nick’s rented “eye-sore,” the garage George Wilson shares with his wife Myrtle, and even the overcrowded apartment Myrtle often shares with Tom. What do these places say about the characters’ values and beliefs? What do they say about the Jazz Age as a whole?
15. Consider Nick Carraway’s role as a narrator and how it develops. In chapter 3, he says, “I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.” Does Nick seem honest? Is he a reliable narrator? Does this line hurt or help his reliability?