Below you will find three outstanding thesis statements / paper topics on “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald that can be used as essay starters. All five incorporate at least one of the themes found in “The Great Gatsby” and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement. These thesis statements for “The Great Gatsby” offer a summary of different elements that could be important in an essay but you are free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot or themes to them. Using the essay topics below for “Great Gatsby” in conjunction with the list of important quotes at the bottom of the page, you should have no trouble connecting with the text and writing an excellent paper.
For background, here is a condensed summary of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #1: Character Flaws in “The Great Gatsby"
Stories and novels such as “The Great Gatsby" interest us because they involve people whose lives are as complicated as our own; otherwise, they would be unlikely to hold our attention. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby", Gatsby has a number of serious character flaws, though these are only revealed over time. As you think about “The Great Gatsby" and the topic of character flaws, consider how rich this topic is and how many different directions it could take. Choose one direction for “The Great Gatsby" and elaborate upon it by providing relevant evidence from the text. Are Gatsby’s most obvious flaws also his most fatal ones? Or is it the case that Gatsby’s seemingly less important flaws are those which bring him the most pain? How did character flaws function in the development of plot?Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #2: “Passing" and Issues of Identity in The Great Gatsby
Many great American novels such as The Great Gatsby tackle the subject of “passing," which involves a character pretending to be something or someone that he or she is not. Although it takes awhile for the reader to learn that Gatsby has invented his entire life in order to pass as someone from a higher social class, this dynamic becomes one of the most important aspects of The Great Gatsby. Considering what the reader learns about Gatsby’s humble origins and the life that he has created for himself, what does his “passing" signify? Another idea might be to consider how others relate to Gatsby’s efforts to “pass"… Initially, there is an air of intrigue about this man who is so generous yet so mysterious, but as his false identity is exposed, he becomes a pathetic and pitiable character. What might the author be trying to say about identity and self-acceptance?
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3: The Great Gatsby: Comedy or Tragedy?
Upon first glance,The Great Gatsby appears to be a tragedy. The title character, Gatsby, is exposed as a pitiable fraud and his carefully constructed life falls apart, ending in murder. Yet, is there the possibility to read this novel as a comedy? There are certainly many comedic episodes throughout the novel, such as the scene in which Owl Eyes goes to the library because he believes books will sober him up. If you had to choose, would you classify this novel as a comedy or tragedy? What textual evidence supports your argument? Be sure to indicate your understanding of the definitions for “comedy" and “tragedy," and take into consideration that one person’s tragic episode may be another’s comic relief.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #4 Symbols in “The Great Gatsby"
Most great novels have at least one symbol that can be referred to as a trope, the symbol that represents the thematic thrust of the work. There are many symbols in The Great Gatsby, but perhaps none so evident and so metaphorically powerful as the eyes on the billboard. While this symbol seems to play a marginal role, it actually holds far deeper significance to the novel’s intent. Building upon this idea, what are other passages and instances in the novel where eyes figure prominently in developing the relationships among the characters, the action, and the theme? What does this symbol mean in relationship to this particular text? Consider related topics, such as illusion and perception, and their metaphorical relevance.
Thesis Statement/Essay Topic #5: Light and Dark in The Great Gatsby
In addition to the symbols related to eyes, the use of light and dark to represent emotional and mental states is prominent in The Great Gatsby. Frequent references are made to lights of various sorts, including the light on the distant dock, the light in a neighbor’s house, and car lights. While light and dark are conventional and well-worn ways to refer to psychological states of characters, what are the particular meanings of the instances of light and dark as they appear in this novel?
For background, here is a condensed summary of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
This list of important quotations from The “Great Gatsby” will help you work with the essay topics and thesis statements above by allowing you to support your claims. All of the important quotes from “The Great Gatsby” listed here correspond, at least in some way, to the paper topics above and by themselves can give you great ideas for an essay by offering quotes about other themes, symbols, imagery, and motifs than those already mentioned. All quotes from “The Great Gatsby” contain page numbers as well. Look at the bottom of the page to identify which edition of “The Great Gatsby” they are referring to.
“I’m inclined to reserve all judgements, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and also made me the victim of not a few veteran bores." (5)
“If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away." (6)
“No—Gatsby turned out all right in the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men." (6-7)
“The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg… look out of no face, but instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a nonexistent nose. …But his eyes, dimmed a little by many paintless days under sun and rain, brood on over the solemn dumping ground." (27-28)
“We all turned around and looked for Gatsby. It was testimony to the romantic speculation he inspired that there were whispers about him from those who had found little that it was necessary to whisper about in this world." (48)
“Some time before he introduced himself I’d got a strong impression that he was picking his words with care." (53)
“ ‘I’m going to make a big request of you today,’ he said…, ‘so I thought you ought to know something about me. I didn’t want you to think I was just some nobody. You see I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad thing that happened to me.’" (71-72).
“It was when curiosity about Gatsby was at its highest that the lights in his house failed to go on one Saturday night…." (119)
“ ‘Of course we was broke up when he run off from home, but now I see there was a reason for it. He knew he had a big future in front of him. And ever since he made a success he was very generous with me.’ " (181)
“And as I sat there, brooding on the old unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him…." (189)
For background, here is a condensed summary of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Collier, 1992.
❝What was the use of doing great things if I could have a better time telling her what I was going to do?❞
The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby as a college essay topic
The Great Gatsby is a novel that documents a cast of characters in a fictional town of West Egg, Long Island in 1922. It’s a thrilling story stated by Nick Carraway, Gatsby’s one-time neighbour, and tells everything sometime after 1922, around the same period when everything took place. The story revolves around Jay Gatsby, a mysterious young millionaire who rises from an impoverished neighbourhood in rural North Dakota. It also features a host of characters, most notably Daisy Buchanan, the protagonist’s erstwhile lover.
The novel explores multiple themes including decadence, the American dream, money and materialism, love and relationships, society and class, social upheavals, and morality. The author, F. Scott Fitzgerald is inspired by the parties he had attended at Long Island's north shore. He tries to exhibit his pursuit of "something new, extraordinary and beautiful, yet intricately patterned,” and is a product of several revisions.
First published and sold in 1925, The Great Gatsby recorded sickly reviews and weak sales. The author died in 1940, feeling dejected and forgotten, but in the wake of the WWII, the book’s metamorphosis into the American high school curricula spurred something new. Today, The Great Gatsby prominently stands as among the few literally classics and has a potential of being the “Great American Novel.”
Table of Contents:
Steps to Writing a College Book Review
A book review isn’t merely a synopsis of its contents, themes, and ideas. It specifically, intricately and successfully highlights everything about it so that the reader can subtly grasp its main content. It’s perhaps the reason professors assign students the task of reviewing books in college as part of their careful reading and analysis.
Writing a college book review entails collecting strands of accurate, analytical information along with the student’s strong views and responses and presenting them in a clear manner. You should indicate what the novel is all about and what the reader will gather upon finishing reading it. In short, you, as the reviewer, are expected to answer beyond the “WHAT” aspect, perhaps “SO WHAT.”
As you prepare to write the review, the following tips and ideas should be resonating throughout your mind:
- The author’s viewpoint and purpose from the novel’s introduction or the preface
- The writer’s core points mainly from the introduction
- All the points and evidence that the author uses to make the ideas valid and relatable
- The features that put the book on the same level as other novels of the same topic If the writer has the requisite expertise to make the book a stand-out
- All the important criteria used to judge and determine if indeed the book serves its overall purpose
- Generally, the following are the steps to be followed.
For a start, don’t forget to include what you deem perfect for your individual assessment. However, let the reader discern your honest views from the writer’s perhaps to quell out any instances of confusion. Essentially, there’s no written down a rule, albeit the universal guideline requires you to highlight and summarise all the major points with at least a third of your excerpt explaining the novel.
Start with the introduction before swimming directly to the scope and finally ending with the type of book.
Tip #1: The First Step Explain the book by the author. Specify the type of book you are reviewing. Mention the novel’s major theme Include its background so that any smart reader can easily understand the book’s context.
Tip #2: The Overview For a work of fiction, please don’t give out so much information while reviewing the story lines. Let your reaction be clear and understandable. Describe the book with a reason that can easily be understood. For the author’s opinions, agree or disagree with them. Highlight all the issues the book tries to raise.
Tip #3: The Conclusion Relate your arguments to other books and authors. End by tying together all the issues raised by the book and what your opinions dwell on How to find inspiration or insights for a college book review
Tips to write an essay on The Great Gatsby
Clearly, reviewing a book, a task that seemingly appears hard, is as easy as it gets when you know how it is done. Provided that you have read the book and identified one major theme, dissecting it per the author’s point of view will be a no-brainer.
Before we can use the same knowledge to review The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, why don’t you discover the best way of finding inspiration from a college book review?
Don’t read the book just yet. Research about it so that you can get a clue about you will encounter and what the themes will be centred on.
After getting a picture of how it will pan out, get the book and flip through it. Get to know about such aspects as the page numbers, chapters, etc.
Now, start reading it while taking notes.Pay attention so that it gets interesting and later easier when reviewing it. This is where the insights will begin to get vivid. Remember, neglecting the "Attention" part, as a huge percentage does, will means zero inspirations.
Sum up your notes as you edge closer to the end of your reading experience. Make sure that all the major points are captured.
Perhaps, you now understand the category to put it in. With a little researching, doing so will be easy. Is it a fictional fantasy or science, an original copy or a revised one?
Finally, counter-check your list of aims, sights, and inspirations. Some of the key figures in your list should be your audience.
The Great Gatsby Thesis Statement
A good thesis statement is like a movie trailer. Just the same way a well-crafted movie trailer makes you want to buy and watch a particular movie, a thesis statement encourages the reader to sit down and read through your essay. The Great Gatsby Thesis Statement is no different. The novel that is based on history drama, published in 1925 is by itself a fertile breeding ground for topic statements, especially for literature scholars and researchers.
- It should not be clear and concise and not too bold. Should be based on evidence.
- It should make a debatable claim i.e. the author should form an opinion about the topic at hand.
- The thesis statement should pick a side, it should not be neutral.
Given these 4 best practices of writing a thesis statement, it is now possible to suggest as few ideal angles that one can take when writing an essay based on the historical drama - The Great Gatsby.
Thesis Idea 1: Is The Great Gatsby A Comedy or Tragedy?
Although the first few chapters of the novel paint image of a tragedy, a deeper read through the following pages reveal quite a few comedy scenes. Taking into account the fact that one person’s tragedy may as well be another person’s comedy – you can capitalise on this situation to craft a thesis on this debatable issue.
Thesis Idea 2: Money vs Happiness
The novel is centred on money. Most of its characters’ lives are based on money. However, rarely does that money seem to buy them happiness. Even though some like Gatsby had all the money they needed, the still lived hopeless and meaningless lives. Marrying this aspect with the modern life where the need for money has take centre-stage, it is possible to create a powerful thesis statement.
Thesis Idea 3: The Inadequacy of Human Character
From time immemorial, human beings have never been perfect. The paperback “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald revolves around this very reality of human nature. Its characters’ ideals, beliefs and deeds are quite complicated. The main character Gatsby has a number of flaws, which are evidenced throughout the book. As such, the topic of character flaws and how it affects the over strength of the plot is a potential game-changer when researching or writing about this book.
Thesis Idea 4: The Importance of Symbolism in Plot
Development Symbolism is a central aspect of literal writing as it helps highlight the thematic thrust of the literal work. In the case of this book, the author has used many symbols – with the most significant one of them all being the eyes on the billboard. Each symbol, although it may seem to play a marginal role, actually possesses some deep and profound importance to the novel’s plot. One can, therefore, opt to build upon this idea to create a powerful the Great Gatsby thesis statement particularly bordering on topics such as metaphorical relevance, illusion and perception.
Thesis Idea 5: Contrast of Light and Darkness
In the course of the novel, we learn that although the nightlife of West Egg was all glitter and glamour; when darkness eventually engulfed the earth, Jay Gatsby was isolated living a lonely and unhappy life. The use of light and absence of it to represent mental states and emotions is quite prominent in this narrative. Delving deeper into these two variables, therefore, provides a suitable topic for writing an informed essay.
Finding the ideal the Great Gatsby thesis statement not only makes your writing easier but it helps you see the whole novel differently as well. What stands out however about this particular historical drama is that its relevance in modern day literal and non-literal works is beyond question. There is clearly no shortage of topics one can write about as far as this legendary piece of writing is concerned.
Great Gatsby Essay Questions
Most eleventh grade American Literature classes read The Great Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald was an acclaimed author who filled his essays with imagery and profoundly elucidating symbolism. The chances are exceptionally great that you should compose an essay on The Great Gatsby. Realise that whatever theme you pick, it will presumably have some part of contrary energies or thwarts in it. Here are Great Gatsby Essay Questions that you can concentrate on.
A List of Interesting Essay Questions
- The idea of the American vision figures noticeably in this story. In what manner, ought to pursuers characterise "American dream"? Additionally, is seeking after the American dream something worth being thankful for, as confirmed by The Great Gatsby?
- Explore the character of Nick. How are pursuers expected to feel about him? In what ways, does he put on a show of being dependable or untrustworthy?
- Fitzgerald's story demonstrates the reasonable depictions between different strata of society: new cash, old cash, some cash, and no cash. How can pursuers translate his remarks on each of these gatherings? Does he hold anyone gathering over the others? Are there courses in which individuals of all gatherings are similar?
- All through the story, Gatsby experiences issues tolerating with the past that he is over and finished with. Where do you discover proof of his attempt to recover the past? What does this say in regards to him? Ought individuals to experience their lives longing for something in the past? Why or why not?
- A portion of Fitzgerald's quality as an author originates from his imagistic style. His composition is exceptionally and tangible arranged. What cases of tangible situated symbolism (locate, taste, touch, notice, sound) would you be able to discover in the novel? What sort of climate do these points of interest make? How would they influence you as a pursuer?
- It is normal to hear the expression "an independent man." In what conceivable ways may this term be clarified? How does Gatsby fit that definition? In what ways, does he take it too truly?
- In spite of the fact that Gatsby purported to love Daisy, there is a feeling that he was not in affection with her as much as he was enamoured with the possibility of her. Where would you be able to discover proof of Gatsby's dedication to a perfect as opposed to a real individual?
- Despite the fact that Nick Carraway has his reservations about Gatsby, it is clear he considers him affectionately; all things considered, he titles the book The Great Gatsby. He drives a flawed presence and arrives at a sad end, yet Nick (and by augmentation, the pursuers) feels compassionate toward him. Does Gatsby should be called "Great"? In what ways, would he say he is great? In what ways, would he say he is definitely not? At last, which wins out: greatness or average quality?
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Other Suggested Essay Topics
- In what sense is The Great Gatsby a personal novel? Does Fitzgerald compose a greater amount of himself into the character of Nick or the character of Gatsby, or are the creator's qualities found in both characters?
- How does Gatsby speak to the American dream? What does the novel need to say in regards to the state of the American dream in the 1920s? In what ways do the subjects of dreams, riches, and time identify with each other in the novel's investigation of the possibility of America?
- Look into Gatsby and Tom. How are they alike? How are they different? Given the to a great degree negative light in which Tom is depicted all through the novel, why may Daisy stay with him as opposed to abandoning him for Gatsby?
- Trace the utilisation of the shading white in the novel. At the point when does it falsify a feeling of purity? At the point when does it symbolise genuine blamelessness?
- Do a nearby perusing of the portrayal of the "valley of slag." How does Fitzgerald utilise religious symbolism in this area of the novel?
- How does Fitzgerald compare the different locales of America? Does he compose all the more decidedly about the East or the Midwest?
- How does Fitzgerald treat New York City? What is permissible in the urban space that is forbidden on the Eggs?
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The novel opens in 1922 when Nick has just relocated from Midwest to West Egg in search of his fortune as a bond salesperson. Shortly upon his arrival, he travels to the more opulent East Egg.
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