The Great Gatsby


Points to Ponder

In discussing Gatsby, determine what makes him "great," and consider how he is perceived by Nick throughout the story.

The title is rather ironic, technically, because Gatsby is not "great." Additionally, his name is not really Gatsby. He just adopted that name in order to begin his act of becoming someone else. If someone really looks at him carefully, it is easy to see that he is (or at least was) a criminal, and that is where all of his wealth came from. The life he has is only an illusion that he has fabricated over the years. Nick likes Gatsby a great deal, because he is so interesting. He has such a high degree of hope about him that it is difficult to ignore the way he dreams of things and makes them happen. Still, his biggest dream is loving Daisy, and in the end it does not work out for them. In a more perfect world, Daisy and Gatsby would be together, but that is not to be. Even though Gatsby has many flaws, the brilliant smile and hopeful attitude toward the future are difficult to overlook. They are part of what make him so likeable, despite the problems he faces and the things he has done in the past.

Describe Nick and how he works as a narrator. Consider whether he is reliable, or whether his version of the events does not seem realistic, as well as whether the qualities he has affect the way he narrates the story.

The way Nick describes himself in the first chapter remains true all the way through the novel. He is slow to judge people, and he remains tolerant of everyone. Because of that, people share their secrets with him and feel safe in confiding in him. It is easy to see that he is conflicted in many ways, and he is not sure how to express all that he feels. Still, his thoughts are offered for the reader to consider, even when they are incomplete or not consistent from one point to the next. He is very conflicted when it comes to Gatsby, and he has a long period of musing as the novel comes to an end. This makes him appear to be very thoughtful, and also quite trustworthy. All...

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Essays About The Great Gatsby