Friday, December 3, 2010

Attn: Curiouser Than Usual Book Club Members

Here are some discussion questions for you to look at while you're finishing off The Great Gatsby. Have a look, ponder them, maybe even answer some of them on your own. We'll use them as a discussion starting point when we all have our say about the book from next Wednesday onwards.

1. What is the American Dream? How does Gatsby represent this dream? Does the novel praise or condemn Gatsby's dream? Has the American Dream changed since Gatsby's time?

2. Think about the two worlds of the Midwest and the East of America, as Fitzgerald describes them, and what they represent for Nick and for Gatsby.

3. What is Nick Carraway's role in the novel? Consider Nick's father's advice in chapter one: "Whenever you feel like criticising anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had." What is meant by this? Does telling the story from Nick's perspective make the story more believable?

4. What is the meaning of the title? In what ways was Gatsby great?

5. Discuss Fitzgerald's use of symbols, such as the eyes of Dr. T. J. Ecklebur, the green light on Daisy's clock, and the valley of ashes.

6. Why did Nick become involved with Jordan, and why did he break off their relationship?

Use these questions to get your analytical brain whirring and get ready to have your say soon. Don't worry if you're not finished the novel, you can always finish it off in your own time. Just read at your own pace. So long.

Mind the rug on your way out of the library, it curls up and is a terrible liability.

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