Essays on The Great Gatsby

Essays on The Great Gatsby

The story of The Great Gatsby is a very symbolic piece of literature. This book, written in the 1920s, was a symbol of the time. The Great Gatsby outlines the newly acclaimed riches, the fads, and technology that had been introduced in the modernized 1920s. Fitzgerald uses characterization and symbolism to display materialism versus the American dream. The characters of Gatsby and Tom outline this idea of old money and new money.

In the story of The Great Gatsby, Tom is portrayed as an open book. The reader learns how he is an arrogant, malicious man, that loves to flaunt his money just because he can. It is made clear that Tom is having an affair with Myrtle, along with the fact that Daisy knows it. Fitzgerald makes Tom a symbol of new money. Being born rich makes Tom arrogant. Adding to the fact that Tom never holds any morals and never treats anyone how he wants to be treated. This is shown by Fitzgerald’s display of materialism. Tom does everything and anything he wants. He buys whatever he wants to buy, and does whatever he wants to do. That is what makes him happy. This means that Tom without his money would be a train wreck. Tom uses his old money as a wall. He uses his money to give people a picture of a strong, tough man. For example, in chapter 2 when Mrs. Wilson continues to say Daisy’s name, Tom gets so mad that he breaks Mrs. Wilson’s nose because he does not believe that Mrs. Wilson has any right to mention Daisy's name. If Tom did not have the wealth that he inherited, he would not have punched Mrs. Wilson because he would’ve had nothing to give him strength. But, as Gatsby falls more and more in love with Daisy, Tom realizes that he wants Daisy to be his person and he wants to do anything and everything to make sure that Gatsby doesn't take Daisy away from him.

The Great Jay Gatsby is a character who was originally a mystery to all. Gatsby grew up in an impoverished home in North Dakota. Gatsby gained so much wealth, and nobody really knew how. This added to the character of Gatsby. Nick had served with Gatsby in the war but did not normally talk with him or converse with him. When Nick gets invited to one of Gatsby's extravagant parties, the reader begins to see part of who Gatsby is. As the story progresses, the reader learns about how Gatsby is still just a normal person. Gatsby has achieved everything he wants in life. He can do and buy anything he wants, but he realizes that with Daisy, he cannot do the same thing. Everything in Gatsby's life has been an attempt to try and win back Daisy. Gatsby wanted to become rich so that he could be the man that she wanted. We learn how all these extravagant parties are for Daisy. At the end of chapter 1, Nick sees Gatsby at the edge of a lake. “Involuntarily, I glanced seaward and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away”. This green light that Gatsby sees across the bay symbolizes the dream that Gatsby has of being with Daisy. The color green in this book symbolizes growth and Gatsby sees this green light across the bay as hope that one day he will eventually achieve this dream.

Tom and Gatsby are two very different characters. Tom represents an arrogant bully, that uses solely his money to get what he wants. Gatsby is shown as a man who is extremely optimistic man that always tries to turn his dreams into reality.

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We've found 129 essays on The Great Gatsby

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My Most Embarrassing Moment

My Most Embarrassing Moment Some things are easier to remember, than to forget. I can remember my most embarrassing moment as if it happened yesterday. I’ve tried to forget about this moment all my life, but it just never goes away. I can think back …

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The Great Gatsby: East Egg versus West Egg

East Egg versus West Egg East Egg and West Egg are “identical in contour and separated only by a courtesy bay … They are not perfect ovals … but their physical resemblance must be a source of perpetual wonder to the gulls that fly overhead. …

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Conflicts in the Great Gatsby

Individual vs. society Gatsby vs. the American society in 1920s From Nick’s perspective, Gatsby might have made vast fortune by illegal means and is capable of behaving like an aristocrat, he is still not respected as the ‘old money’ from East Egg; Gatsby’s mansion, his …

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Words 101
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Chapters 4-6 of The Great Gatsby

Chapters 4-6 of The Great Gatsby revealed a lot about Jay Gatsby to the readers. The first thing to jump out at me was that Jay Gatsby’s real name is actually James Gatz. Also, Gatsby revealed that his parents were originally from the mid-western city …

The Great Gatsby
Words 5213
Pages 19
Apperance vs Reality In the Great Gatsby

The roaring twenties were the times of higher wages, new technologies and extravagant parties to celebrate after the devastating war. It was the time of great economic prosperity and many people became rich and wealthy. With this all happening many people lived in an illusionary …

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Words 104
Pages 1
Motif of Eyes in the Great Gatsby

The motif of eyes in The Great Gatsby Eyes are the gateway to the soul, or so the old saying goes. People’s eyes can convey their feelings – their anger, excitement, or worry. Eyes can also convey subconscious emotions, revealing hidden depths that might not …

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I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic

I survived the sinking of The Titanic, 1912 April fourteenth at seven fifteen a. m. in a first class suite on B Deck. We meet George and his eight-year-old sister Phoebe. They are returning to America after visiting London and the surrounding area with their …

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Technique of Indirect Characterization in The Great Gatsby

There is no single work of literature in the world, where a full, completed characterization of a person would be, no matter if he/she is the main character, or does not play any role in the novel at all. The main idea is to develop …

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Words 336
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Reaction Paper Sample

Reaction Paper #4: The Prince and the Pauper Monica Sharma I read The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain and enjoyed reading about a wealthy prince name Edward Tudor and a pauper name Tom Canty trading lives with each other and experiencing how it …

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Weather In the Great Gatsby

People’s feelings and emotions are often changed or affected by the weather. There are also many stereotypes that go along with the weather. For example on rainy days people often feel sad or on very hot days people often have short tempers and can become …

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Eulogy of Mrytle WIlson

Wilson is more affected by Myrtle’s death than he lets on. Therefore, I wrote this eulogy as Wilson for Myrtle to show the depth and complexity of their relationship. I tried to show Willow’s feelings for Myrtle, rather than a ‘spiritless’ man as depicted through …

LoveThe Great GatsbyTragedy
Words 1255
Pages 5
The Great Gatsby: What Makes Daisy So Attractive?

“Her voice is full of money” (Fitzgerald, 120). This quote, said by important personality Gatsby, explains Daisy’s character and demeanor. Daisy Buchannan is one of the main characters in the novel The Great Gatsby. The wife of Tom Buchannan and the dream of Jay Gatsby, …

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Satire in Ch 5 of Great Gatsby

In the novel, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald satirizes how newly wealthy Americans acted during the 1920’s through Jay Gatsby. The 1920’s was nicknamed the ‘Roaring Twenties’, and during this time period, many people were much more wealthy and were only interested in big, …

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Words 411
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Modernism Illustrated in the Great Gatsby

Modernist literature emerged during the end of the 19th century (1890-1950) and was perceived as a reaction to an increasingly industrialized and globalized world. It was mostly brought on by the damaging effects of WWI, WWII, and the Great Depression. People lived in an ever …

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Ewing Klipspringer: A Symbol of the Hollowness of the Upper Class in The Great Gatsby

In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel, The Great Gatsby, the short-lived character of Ewing Klipspringer plays a large role in representing a major theme of the novel: the hollowness of the upper class. Though Klipspringer only briefly appears during the story, his character is an …

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Stylistic Analysis of Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 24, 1896 F. Scott Fitzgerald was the son of Edward Fitzgerald, who worked for Proctor and Gamble and brought his family to Buffalo and Syracuse, New York, for most of his son’s first decade. Edward …

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Big Two-Hearted River

What do we know about Ernest Hemingway’s story, “Big Two-Hearted River,” and what do different reviewers have to say about the story. Many of the reviewers felt that the story links the author, Ernest Hemingway to his main character, Nick Adams when the author uses …

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Literary Luminary

Week#1: Literary Luminary “The Great Gatsby” Chapter 1/2 “You look at him sometimes when he thinks nobody’s looking. I’ll bet he killed a man. ” (Fitzgerald 44) -This passage shows the thoughts that run among all of Gatsby’s guests. Who is he? Where did he …

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Words 503
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Importance of Point of View in the Great Gatsby

n novels containing interweaving plot and varying scenes, the author’s selection of point of view becomes a primary factor in its impact and effectiveness. The Great Gatsby is such a novel which demonstrates this point most evidently. While Fitzgerald’s decision to view the plot through …

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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald essay

“The Great Gatsby” was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and was published in 1925. The story focuses around a man named Jay Gatsby who aspires to achieve a position among the rich to win the heart of his true love, Daisy Buchanan. However, this corrupt …

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Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” is a play based on illusions. Each character lives their life behind some sort of illusion whether it’s based on their past, their marriage or their whole life. Each illusion presents a view into their personal lives and …

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The Great Gatsby from Daisy’s Point of View

Daisy’s point of view In this chapter of The Great Gatsby, starts out with Tom and Nick on the train, their way to New York City. On their way Tom makes them get off of the train so that Nick can meet his “girl”. Tom …

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Words 550
Pages 2
Love Themes in the Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby Many people dream of being rich and famous because they want to be honored and idolized by people. This is the goal of Jay Gatsby, the protagonist in The Great Gatsby, a novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald which was considered his …

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Empress Theodora Eulogy

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Significance of Social Status in the Great Gatsby

Significance of Social Status in The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby may appear to be a simple tragic romance; however, within the text, Fitzgerald identifies and defines social gaps and importance of wealth. He also presents women within a very separate …

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Great Gatsby: Overview

Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Cardinal Virtues: The Great Gatsby In the book of Proverbs, it is written that there are “six things the Lord hates, and the seventh His soul detests. ” Those seven deadly sins are: lust, gluttony, greed, laziness, anger, envy, and …

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Rhetorical Devices in Great Gatsby

Gatsby Essay Honors English II Asura Louise Osborne In the 1920’s, the world was full of new inventions, dances, and drinks. The standards of even the most rigorously structured social classes were changed, allowing the rich to cut loose and throw elaborate and entertaining parties. …

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Illusions Within the Great Gatsby

American Illusions in The Great Gatsby The American dream. Every American has his or her own ideals and preferences, but all share more or less the same dream. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald explores what happens when this dream is taken too far. What is …

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The Great Gatsby Conversation

In Gatsby’s conversation with Nick, Gatsby, who has many belittling rumors surrounding him, tries to get Nick to sympathize with him by describing himself as a nice person who has gone through “hard” times, but his attempts are unsuccessful. Because of the rumors, Nick wants …

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Great Gatsby Chapter 9 notes

Fitzgerald draws his novel to its conclusion. This chapter allows him to make his final comment on the corrupt and destructive side of the American Dream. On one level it could be said that Gatsby represents the success story of the American Dream – the …

The Great Gatsby
Words 2250
Pages 9
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Find extra essay topics on Essays on The Great Gatsby by our writers.

Midwest native Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) arrives in 1922 New York in search of the American dream. Nick, a would-be writer, moves in next-door to millionaire Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and across the bay from his cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan) and her philandering husband, Tom (Joel Edgerton). Thus, Nick becomes drawn into the captivating world of the wealthy and -- as he bears witness to their illusions and deceits -- pens a tale of impossible love, dreams, and tragedy.… MORE
Originally published

April 10, 1925


Jay Gatsby, Nick Carraway, Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan, Myrtle Wilson, Jordan Baker




F. Scott Fitzgerald


Text: The Great Gatsby at Wikisource

Adaptations: The Great Gatsby (2013), The Great Gatsby (1974), The Great Gatsby (2000)

Frequently asked questions

What should I write my Great Gatsby essay about?
You could focus on the character of Jay Gatsby and his journey from obscurity to wealth and fame. You could explore the theme of the American dream and how it is represented in the novel. You could also look at the role of women in the novel and how they are treated by the male characters. Whatever you choose to write about, make sure you have a clear thesis statement and support your argument with evidence from the text.
What is the main message of The Great Gatsby?
The main message of The Great Gatsby is that money cannot buy happiness. Gatsby is a wealthy man who throws lavish parties in an attempt to win over the love of his life, Daisy. However, Daisy is already married and is not interested in Gatsby. Gatsby's obsession with Daisy leads to his downfall, and he is ultimately killed by Daisy's husband. The novel highlights the emptiness of a life devoted to material possessions and the pursuit of wealth.
What is a good thesis statement for The Great Gatsby?
A good thesis statement for The Great Gatsby would be that the novel is a scathing critique of the American dream. Through the character of Jay Gatsby, the novel suggests that the pursuit of wealth and status is a fruitless and empty endeavor. Gatsby's story is a cautionary tale about the dangers of chasing after a dream that is ultimately unattainable.
What are the three main themes of The Great Gatsby?
The three main themes of The Great Gatsby are love, money, and betrayal.Gatsby is in love with Daisy Buchanan, but she is married to Tom Buchanan. Gatsby is willing to do anything to win her over, including using his wealth to throw lavish parties in the hopes that she will attend. Daisy betrays Gatsby by staying with Tom, even though she says she loves Gatsby. Gatsby is also betrayed by his friend Nick Carraway, who does not tell him that Daisy is not interested in leaving Tom.

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