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Jan 28
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Great Gatsby Theme

Posted on Friday, January 28, 2011 in The Great Gatsby

Class essay activity:  This will be done in groups of 4 and will be shared in class. We are going to outline an essay response to the following prompt.

  •  Prompt: Sometimes authors impose their own ideas into the theme(s) of the novel and use their characters to develop those themes. The characters become a type of  conscience and voice for the author’s general purpose or themes of the novel.   This seems to be the case with Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby.  Fitzgerald fades into the character of Nick Carraway as the narrator and reacts to the life styles and values of his upper-class “East Egg” cousins, Tom and Daisy, and his “West Egg” neighbor, Jay Gatsby.    Explain a prominant theme from the book by citing and discussing Nick’s reactions to specific events and details in the story line.  

Note: A theme is a general message about life that the writer wants to convey to the reader. 


  •  First discuss a theme as a group, and write it on your own paper.  
  •  Then decide on one of the characters who develops the theme. Write down the events or words of the character that develops your theme.
  •  Now, write down the  reactions of Nick to those events and words.  His reactions should  support Fitzgerald’s views of the 1920’s decaying values in America. 
  • As a conclusion to your outline, write what you learned from Fitzgerald’s story that further supports his theme(s).


Jan 3
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The Great Gatsby Questions

Posted on Monday, January 3, 2011 in AP Language and Composition English, The Great Gatsby

The following questions are to help you recognize how Fitzgerald creates themes in his book.  He lived during this time period in America and he saw the decline of morality and the increased emphasis on material wealth.  He bought into the new “Jet set” way of life: fast, selfish, flamboyant living. Then when he began to recognize its toll on his own family, he realized that he needed to change his focus in order to be happy.  The Great Gatsby seems to be his reawakening, at least it is a discussion about the old and new “sense of decency” as he calls it in chapter 1.  Write your answers to the following question as mini essays, support from the book and from your own experience, if appropriate.

Open the file for the questions. Print on your own paper.     The Great Gatsby Questions

Jan 3
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Fitzgerald and The Roaring Twenties: Background for the Times

Posted on Monday, January 3, 2011 in AP Language and Composition English, The Great Gatsby

The Roaring Twenties Powerpoint

Fitzgerald said that a writer should write for his peers, which is an audience who understands his message and themes because they are living it. Watch the powerpoint and learn about the author’s time and why he wrote to two specific themes: materialism in American society,  and the moral decline in American society.   

View the Powerpoint presentation The Roaring Twenties by Ms Strong   


Expert Terms for The Great Gatsby

When ever we read a piece of fiction, most likely it has some reference to a period of history, and each generation has its new words and expressions which come from the experiences and challenges of society at that particular time.  We are going to teach each other about the Roaring Twenties as we read the novel.

Here is a list of words that will give you some important background information. We will be sharing our research in class; if you are absent you’ll have to contact the classmate who is an expert on that term.

Gatsby Expert Terms:    


1.       The Midwest (7)

2.       The Great War (7)

3.       Prep-school (7)

4.       The bond business (7)

5.       New Haven (10)

6.       Lake Forest (10)

7.       Georgian colonial mansion (11)

8.       The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy (17)

9.       Gardens of Versailles (33)

10.   Montauk Point (36)

11.   Monte Carlo (38)

12.   Marseilles (38)

13.   Rolls Royce (43)

14.   Joe Frisco (45)

15.   Vaudeville (45)

16.   Ziegfield Follies (45)

17.   University of Oxford (53)

18.   Carnegie hall (54)

19.   Bootlegging (65)

20.   Argonne Forest (70)

21.   Lewis guns (70)

22.   Montenegro (70)

23.   Arnold Rothstein (73)

24.   1919 World Series (73)

25.   Highball (74)

26.   Herman Rosenthal (74)

27.   Black Socks scandal (78)

28.   Coney Island (86)

29.   Marie Antoinette (90)

30.   Polo (105)

31.   Fox Trot (105)

32.   Long Island (107)