Study Guide

The Great Gatsby

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby Essay - Critical Essays

Sample Essay Outlines

Sample Analytical Paper Topics
The following paper topics are based on the entire book. Following each topic is a thesis and sample outline. Use these as a starting point for your paper.

  • Topic #1
    Henry Steele Commager in The American Mind: An Interpretation of American Thought and Character Since the 1880s contends that “the tragedy is not that Gatsby lies dead, the rooms in his fabulous mansion silent—but that while he lived he realized all his ambitions.” Justify this contention.

    Outline
    I. Thesis Statement: Although Gatsby’s end was tragic, he was able to realize his ambitions.

    II. He fulfilled the ambition of acquiring money.
    A. By illegal means, he acquired massive amounts of money.

    III. He fulfilled the ambition of experiencing love.
    A. By determination, he experienced a physical relationship with Daisy.

    IV. He fulfilled the ambition of gaining popularity.
    A. Through generosity, he entertained hundreds of guests.

  • Topic #2
    How do literary devices add to the dimension of depth or texture to this novel?

    Outline
    I. Thesis Statement: Fitzgerald employs several devices, including color imagery, symbols, and descriptive tags, throughout...

(The entire section is 502 words.)

Ed. Scott Locklear, Michael Foster