Chapter and Leader Names
Discussion Questions
Ch. 4 Thursday, 16th Zach, Erin, and Katherine
(1.) Why do you think Fitzgerald chose the character of "Nick" to narrate the story?
(2.) How do you percieve the character of Jay Gatsby? What are your reactions to/thoughts about him?
(3.) What is significant about the valley of ashes? What does it symbolize from an Archetypal stand point?
(4.) What motifs have you noticed and how are they significant? Are there any specific colors that you think have importance? If so, what is their significance?
(4.) What predictions can you make concerning Gatsby and Daisy after reading chapter 4?
1.) What's the significance of Nick listing everyone who attended Gatsby's parties?
2.) Do you believe what Gatsby said about his past to be true? Do you think Nick completely believes he is telling the truth?
3.) What does Nick mean when he says, "There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired"?
4.) How do you think Meyer Wolfsheim is/will be important to the novel? What do you think about Gatsby being friends with a criminal?
1.) How do any of these characters, specifically Gatsby, relate to the character of Francis Macomber and J. Alfred Prufrock?
2.) Why do you think the characters names are what they are? Like colors, names are important to the story and have different meanings, so what is Fitzgerald's reasoning behind each name?
3.) What do the song lyrics mean that Nick and Jordan hear the little girls singing? Are they significant? (pg. 78)
Thematic Issues
-gilded age
Plot Points
-Nick lists people who have attended Gatsby's parties
-Gatsby tells Nick about his life.
-Gatsby introduces Nick to Meyer Wolfsheim.
-Jordan talks to Nick about Gatsby and Daisy.
Critical Analysis

In chapter four, the reader sees how the 1920’s was a “gilded age.” We see that beneath all Gatsby’s riches, there might be some reason to be suspicious of him. We also see that he’s rather shy and perhaps nervous. Also Meyer Wolfsheim is a good example of this time period. He’s a big criminal that’s running free in this time that’s mostly thought to be ideal, carefree and pleasurable.

Ch. 6 Tuesday, 21st Tasha, Becky,
Discussion Questions:
1.) What are your thoughts concerning the "truth" of Gatsby's past? How does this affect his character or change your opinions about him? Do you think this is the whole truth, or is it still somewhat slanted?
2.) How does the name Gatz differ from the name Gatsby? Why would a name change like that matter to him? What deeper meaning could this name change symbolize?
3.) What do you think of the Gatsby party that Tom and Daisy attend? Does it seem to live up to the glamor of Gatsby's other parties, does it really reflect his image? Why do you think Tom and Daisy reacted the way they did?
4.) Any motifs, symbols, colors you thought were specifically important? Why?
5.) What do you think is going to happen in the chapters to come?

1.What is the significance and purpose of time so far? (On page 92, Gatsby is described as an overwound clock, any connections?) Can time be timeless?
2. How would you say Nick has changed to be more like West Egg?
3. How has the new discovery about Gatsby's past change your point-of-view about him?

4. Could Gatsby be compared to the American Dream?
5. What do you think Daisy was thinking during Gatsby’s party? Was she really unhappy? Why wouldn’t she be happy? Was Gatsby really happy too?
6. What is the importance of the other characters, the “party goers,” in the novel?

7. What do you think will happen between Gatsby and Daisy? Will Gatsby get all he wants?
8. Does Tom have a right to be concerned, even though he has a mistress?

1) Why did Gatsby create so many lies to cover up his past?
2) How did his life as a janitor and fisherman change him and make him the person he is now?
3) Why does Nick really love Daisy? Is it for her appearences, her voice, her social class, her money, or just that she is part of the past?
4) What is the significance of Tom being called the polo player? What does it represent about his character?
5) When will Gatsby realize he can't resume the past, and what will make him come to this realization?
6) Why does Gatsby live in his fictional past rather than the reality of the present?
7) How is the importance of social classes uncovered in this chapter?
8) Has Daisy coming to his party lived up to the years of suspence and growth of his illusion of her and this moment?

Thematic Issues:
-past (living in past)
Plot Points:
-Gatsby reveals his (seemingly) true past to Nick
-Gatsby and Nick's encounter with Tom (and company)
-Daisy and Tom attend Gatsby's party
-Nick infers that Gatsby is trying to recover something from the past
Ch. 8 Thursday, 23rd Mitch, Brian, Emily
-What is the significance of the weather? The day that Myrtle died was the hottest day of the year and the next day it is suddenly fall?
-Did Gatsby fall in love with Daisy because of her wealth?
-On page 151, why does Daisy feel that marrying Tom instead of Gatsby is "a certain relief"?
-What is the significance of Gatsby not wanting the butler to drain the pool?
-In this quote "The lawn and drive had been crowded with the faces of those who guessed at his corruption-and he had stood on those steps, concealing his incorruptible dream, as he waved them good-by" (154) what is Gatsby's "incorruptible dream"?
What is Fitzgerald saying about God when Wilson believes Doctor T.J. Eckleburg to be God?
How does Wilson find out that the yellow car is Gatsby's?

- Is Gatsby really telling the truth now or is he just trying ot get Nick to sympathize with him?
- How has Jordan and Nick's relationship changed because of the accident and Gatsby? (pg 155)
- Who died in the last scene? Was it just Wilson or did Gatsby die too?
- Why does the last scene end with "...the holocaust was complete" (162). ?
- Why does Nick want Gatsby to go away / why is he trying to protect Gatsby?
- Did WIlson know who his wife had been with?

-What symbols, colors, or motifs do you think are still important in the novel?
-What does Nick refusing to meet Daisy suggest about their relationship in the future?
-Why was Nick so glad to say "your worth more than the whole bunch put together"?(pg.154)
-Was Gatsby anticipating Wilson to come to his house and he meant to be outside all alone, or was it just a coincidence?
-If Wilson made such a big deal about how God knows all and can't be tricked, why would he take matters into his own hands to try and avenge Myrtle's death? Or did he think that it was God's will?

Thematic Issues:
- Truth (again)
- Who's right and who belongs to whom
-Reliving the past
-Dreams and the American Dream

Plot Points:
- Nick hears Gatsby's "true" story of his love of Daisy
-Nick goes to work and has a meaningless conversation with Jordan on the phone.
The reader sees what Wilson does the night of and the day after Myrtle dies
- Wilson finds out that Gatsby owns the yellow car and shoots Gatsby in the pool . Wilson's body is found dead in the grass of Gatsby's backyard.

Critical Analysis:
In Chapter 8, the reader discovers that Gatsby falls in love with Daisy primarily because of her wealth which explains why their relationship is empty and why she doesn't wait for Gatsby and marries Tom. Fitzgerald is saying that society associates happiness with wealth which will inevitably lead to emptiness and meaningless lives. Fitzgerald also makes the reader question good and evil because all of the character's (Daisy, Tom, Wilson, Gatsby, and Myrtle) have done something bad which leads to Wilson,Gatsby and Myrtle's death at the end of Chapter 8. A single character cannot be blamed for it all.
Ch. 9 Friday, 24th Selena, Jasmine, Luke and Olivia
-Why does almost no one show up to Gatsby's funeral? How is this significant?
-What significance does the owl-eyed man have that he showed up to the funeral?
-Why does Nick change his attitude towards Gatsby?
-What do you think of Gatsby after Nick's conversation with Slagle? (166) Could Gatsby have sent the circular tipping the police off?
-What do you think keeps tom and Daisy together, with reference to the quote, "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy-they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clan up the mess they had made." (179) How does this quote represent the Gilded age?

  • What is the significance of the characters from the West ( Nick, Gatsby, Daisy, and Jordan)? The characters from the East (Tom, Wilson, Wolfhiemer)?
  • How do you think Tom would have reacted differently to Wilson if he new that Daisy was the one who ran over Myrtle and she was the one who "ran over Myrtle like you'd run over a dog and never even stopped his car."
  • What is the relationship between Nick's comment about Jordan's bad driving and the fact that Daisy ran over Myrtle?
  • Which character contributed the most to Gatsby deaths?
  • What does it say about Mr. Gatz that he was so happy about all of Gatsby's material possesions even though he had just died.
  • Why did Fitzgerald choose to call the novel The Great Gatsby?
  • In reference to the quote mentioned above on pg. 179, what was Fitzgerald's purpose in having all the "careless" people survive while the people like Gatsby die?
  • What does Mr. Gatz's appearance tell us about him (pg. 167)? What does this tell us about Gatsby? In what ways are Gatsby and Mr. Gatz similar?
  • In the following quote, what is the significance of color, objects, word choice, ect.? In what ways does this relate to Gatsby?
"In the foreground four solemn men in dress suits are walking along the sidewalk with a stretcher on which lies a drunken woman in a white evening dress. Her hand, which dangles over the side, sparkles cold with jewels. Gravely the men turn in at a house--the wrong house. But no one knows the woman's name, and no one cares" (176).
  • What was Fitzgerald's purpose in the following quote? What does this tell us about Nick? What does this tell us about the nature of truth? How has Nick changed over the course of the book, and what has caused this change?
" '.... I thought you were rather an honest, straightforward person. I thought it was your secret pride.' 'I'm thirty,' I said. 'I'm five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor.' " (177)
  • Why did Fitzgerald choose to end with the following quote? What does this tell us about the nature of Dreams? What is the significance of the color green? Do you think that we should be "boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past"? Does this statement tend to describe society, even if it shouldn't? What is the overall message behind this quote in relationship to the recent events of the novel?
"Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther... And one fine morning------ So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past" (180).

  • Was “The Great Gatsby” so great of a person in the end? Or were the rumors about him bigger and more splendid than the actual man?
  • How was Gatsby’s lack of friends at his funeral reflective of his own life? How does it relate to his obsession with Daisy?
  • Was it worth it for Gatsby to wait for Daisy and live his life around her, or would things have been better if he had just forgotten her? Meaning was it better to have loved and lost, or never loved at all? What about in general?
  • How did all of this affect Daisy? If she was not a character would a person really react this way? Why was she so unaffected?
  • Why did Fitzgerald end the book this way? How does it tie into his own life? Do you think Daisy and Tom could have represented himself and his wife’s relationship?
Thematic Issues:
-Reliving the past (Gatsby's father)
-Truth (yet again!)

Plot points:
Gatsby's death changes Nick's viewpoint of Gatsby. Nick hold Gatsby's funeral at which only Nick, Gatsby's father, and the owl-eyed man attend. We also find out that Tom told Wilson who the owner of the car was, and that they left East egg close to the funeral.

Critical analysis:
From an archetypal viewpoint, Green is a color usually associated with life or rebirth. However, Fitzgerald challenges the value of this rebirth, specifically through the information given the reader in chapter nine. Gatsby "believed in the green light": he believed that he could be reborn by simply creating a new identity. However, this rebirth resulted in almost nothing. The fact no one shows up to Gatsby's funeral but Nick, Mr. Gatz, and the man with the owl-rimmed glasses shows the reader that Gatsby didn't really have friends; behind his social identity (that was basically an illusion), he had nothing. Even his connection to his family was poor. Chapter nine emphasizes that this "rebirth", or the attempt at living life over (as well as living the past over) is hopeless; ironically, this rebirth will result in death.

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