How do I make a story map for The Great Gatsby?
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Story mapping is a analytical technique used to map out the events, character relationships, and story of a work so trends or other aspects can be easily seen. Story maps often use a flow chart format, linking "bubbles" containing characters or ideas to each other, but there are other formats available. For The Great Gatsby, a thematically-dense book with a lot of information about characters and motivations, the map should first focus on the basic story, and then add depth with smaller events as the form of the story becomes clear. For example, the brief section where Jordan Baker explains some of Daisy's history can be connected to many other events:
By the next year I had a few beaux myself, and I began to play in tournaments, so I didn't see Daisy very often. She went with a slightly older crowd -- when she went with anyone at all. Wild rumors were circulating about her -- how her mother had found her packing her bag one winter night to go to New York and say goodbye to a soldier who was going overseas.
(Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, gutenberg.net.au)
This information can be connected to: Jay Gatsby's urge to impress Daisy; Jordan's own self-absorption; the various rumors about Daisy that Gatsby does not believe; Daisy's desire for adventure that is broken by Tom; Nick's misunderstanding of Daisy's personality at first. By linking these events and ideas, a better understanding of the book as whole can be reached, as well as the connections between seemingly unrelated events and characters.
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