The Great Gatsby essay prompts

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The Great Gatsby essay prompts:

Pick one of the three essay topics below and write a __ page essay responding to it. Think of an intriguing title for your essay. Your essay will be graded using the formal essay rubric.
1) What lesson have you learned from this novel that you can apply to your own life?
Such as ….

  • the importance of not getting stuck in the past;

  • the importance of being true to yourself; (the limits of reinventing yourself in pursuit of a goal; the difference between true growth and creating an artificial “persona”);

  • the downside of money for money’s sake, or wealth accumulated to impress others;

  • the value of following a worthy, achievable dream.

Give two examples of characters or situations in the book that drove home this lesson. Describe how you would apply this lesson in your own life. Find and quote one passage in the novel that supports your response.

Write at least three paragraphs.
2) At the beginning of the novel, Nick tells the reader, “Gatsby turned out all right at the end.” Nick continues to state that it was the people who preyed on Gatsby, the foul dust that floated in the wake of Gatsby’s dreams, which Nick found so profoundly disappointing (Direct Characterization).
Near the conclusion of the book Nick reports that he shouted out to Gatsby, “You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.” even though Nick “disapproved of him from beginning to end”. (Indirect Characterization) Explain what Nick means by both of these passages. Quote and comment on two other passages in the novel where Fitzgerald characterizes Gatsby as a positive figure, despite his bootlegging and stock manipulations Your essay should consist of a minimum of four paragraphs . (Intro, body, body, conclusion).

3) Choose two literary devices (symbol, motif, characterization, imagery, figurative language [metaphor, simile, personification], or diction) and explain how they point to one of the novel’s two main themes: the corrupting influence of wealth and the futility of trying to recapture the past. You will need to derive a thesis statement from one of these two themes. Remember a thesis must be universal, arguable, not a command, not a cliché, and contained in one sentence. An example of a thesis statement is: “The power of wealth promotes irresponsibility by insulating people from the consequences of their actions.” Write a minimum of five paragraphs, one of which is an introduction and the last a conclusion which tells the reader why all this matters. For the three body paragraphs pick any combination of literary devices.

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