Places Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Places)
Gatsby’s mansion. Garish, multilevel home located on “West Egg.” The narrator Nick Carraway describes it as colossal, as ostentatious as it is roomy. Situated on forty acres, the mansion is the site of numerous glitzy and riotous parties thrown by Gatsby, hoping to pique Daisy Buchanan’s interest. The mansion, however, is much more than a lure for Gatsby’s long lost love; it is a symbol of the man himself and his dream of materialism as a vehicle to success both literally and romantically. Gatsby’s home parallels his persona—grand, mysterious, and richly adorned. It is the emblem of a successful businessman and the symbol of what he hopes to recover in Daisy and her love. The mansion is also a representation of a shortsighted American Dream: that material success, in and of itself, will bring one status and happiness. Unfortunately, the dream is based on hollow underpinnings, on the vacuous Daisy and the misguided concept that large amounts of money can be made and used without responsibility. Conversely, the mansion serves also as a symbol of Gatsby’s vision, aspiration, idealism, and belief in the American Dream of the self-made man. Thus, it is simultaneously a symbolic representation of the “great” Gatsby and of the flawed one. Ultimately, Nick Carraway describes the mansion as “that huge incoherent failure of a house.” The mansion exists as both a vision and failure of such a vision.
(The entire section is 759 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!
The Jazz Age and the Roaring Twenties
The Jazz Age began soon after World War I and ended with the 1929 stock market crash. Victorious, America experienced an economic boom and expansion. Politically, the country made major advances in the area of women's independence. During the war, women had enjoyed economic independence by taking over jobs for the men who fought overseas. After the war, they pursued financial independence and a freer lifestyle. This was the time of the “flappers,” young women who dressed up in jewelry and feather boas, wore bobbed hairdos, and danced the Charleston. Zelda Fitzgerald and her cronies, including Sara Murphy, exemplified the ultimate flapper look. In The Great Gatsby, Jordan Baker is an athletic, independent woman, who maintains a hardened, amoral view of life. Her character represents the new breed of woman in America with a sense of power during this time.
As a reaction against the fads and liberalism that emerged in the big cities after the war, the U.S. Government and conservative elements in the country advocated and imposed legislation restricting the manufacture and distribution of liquor. Its organizers, the Women's Christian...
(The entire section is 950 words.)
Set in the summer of 1922, most of the story takes place in the fictitious New York towns of East and West Egg, Long Island, and in New York City. Nick Carraway, who has rented a cottage in West Egg next door to the rented estate where the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby lives, renews his acquaintance with his cousin Daisy Buchanan and her husband Tom, who live in East Egg. When Gatsby wishes to meet the charming Daisy, whose voice rings like the sound of money, he selects Nick as his confidant. The glitter and intrigue of the 1920s permeate the story, and the details of the setting are important to the development of the theme.
(The entire section is 115 words.)
Chapter 1 Questions and Answers
1. Who is the narrator of the story?
2. What is the significance of the white space between paragraphs 4 and 5?
3. From what part of the country does Nick originally come?
4. Why has Nick moved to New York?
5. How does Nick come to live next door to Jay Gatsby?
6. Where had Nick known Tom Buchanan before?
7. What is Jordan Baker’s relationship to Daisy Buchanan?
8. What does Nick learn from Jordan when Tom is called to the phone?
9. What is the “secret society”?
10. What does Nick see Gatsby doing at the end of the chapter?
1. Nick Carraway tells the story as he learns it from various sources.
2. The white space indicates where the flashback to Nick’s experience in New York begins.
3. The Midwest is the home of Nick and his ancestors, a part of the country in touch with the soil and wholesome American values.
4. After the war, he is looking for a better job than the Midwest provides.
5. He rents a bungalow with a friend who subsequently transfers to Washington, leaving Nick without a roommate.
6. They had been in school together at Yale.
7. The two had been friends in Louisville, Kentucky. Daisy is two years older than Jordan.
8. Tom has “a woman” in New York. Jordan enjoys...
(The entire section is 251 words.)
Chapter 2 Questions and Answers
1. What is the Valley of Ashes literally?
2. Who or what is Dr. T. J. Eckleburg?
3. What is George Wilson’s occupation?
4. What items does Myrtle purchase in the city?
5. What is significant about Myrtle’s questioning whether the dog is a boy or girl?
6. Who is Catherine?
7. What effect does the change of dress have on Myrtle?
8. How does Myrtle talk about the help at the hotel?
9. What rumor has Catherine heard about Gatsby?
10. How does Catherine explain to Nick the affair of Myrtle and Tom?
1. It is an area, something like an isthmus, joining West Egg and East Egg. It parallels a railroad track.
2. The picture of Dr. Eckleburg, an oculist in a bygone age, appears on a billboard in the Valley of Ashes.
3. Wilson pumps gas and repairs cars.
4. She purchases Town Tattle magazine, cold cream, perfume, and a puppy. She has another list to buy the next day: “a massage and a wave, and a collar for the dog, and one of those cute little ash-trays where you touch a spring, and a wreath with a black silk bow for mother’s grave that’ll last all summer.”
5. She cannot acknowledge the sex of the dog—it is too delicate an issue—but she herself is involved in an illicit sexual relationship.
6. Catherine is...
(The entire section is 293 words.)
Chapter 3 Questions and Answers
1. What kinds of cars does Gatsby use to transport guests?
2. How do the guests behave?
3. What does Nick wear to the party?
4. How does Gatsby interact with the guests?
5. What observation does Owl Eyes make about Gatsby’s library?
6. What is Nick’s first opinion of Gatsby?
7. What happens at the end of the party as the guests are leaving?
8. What does Gatsby’s formal gesture of waving farewell remind us of?
9. What story does Nick recall about Jordan, and what is the catalyst for his remembering?
10. How does Nick provide a contrast, a foil character, to Jordan?
1. His station wagon and a Rolls-Royce provide transportation for the guests.
2. The guests display the rules of behavior associated with amusement parks.
3. He dresses up in his white flannels.
4. He does not participate.
5. The library contains real books though the pages have yet to be cut. Here, and in references to Tom’s “reading,” the emphasis seems to be on pseudo-intellectualism.
6. He is impressed with his smile and his genuine interest.
7. A wheel comes off a drunken guest’s car, and the occupants end up in a ditch.
8. Earlier he extended his arm over the bay toward the green light.
9. She “had moved...
(The entire section is 261 words.)
Chapter 4 Questions and Answers
1. What is the date at this point in the novel?
2. Whom does Nick encounter at Gatsby’s party?
3. What is the suggestion about Henry L. Palmetto’s death?
4. In the description of Gatsby’s car, what is the significance of its being bright with nickel and swollen in its monstrous length with all kinds of boxes?
5. What phrase does Gatsby repeatedly use to address Nick and others?
6. In what country did Gatsby receive a medal “For Valour Extraordinary”?
7. Who fixed the World Series in 1919, according to Gatsby?
8. Why is Daisy’s reputation so pristine?
9. For how long has Gatsby been pursuing Daisy?
10. What phrase keeps coming back to Nick?
1. It is now July 5 1922 and shortly thereafter.
2. Somewhat surprisingly, he runs into Jordan Baker.
3. It was a suicide prompted by some dark dealing or situation.
4. It is like a god’s chariot.
5. He often calls others “Old Sport,” a phrase he perhaps picked up while studying briefly at Oxford.
6. In tiny Montenegro he was recognized for valor.
7. According to Gatsby, the Series was fixed by one man—Wolfsheim, a fictional character based on a real person.
8. Daisy does not drink.
9. Gatsby has been reading papers, keeping...
(The entire section is 222 words.)
Chapter 5 Questions and Answers
1. Why does Nick say Gatsby’s house looks like the World’s Fair?
2. How does Gatsby’s gardener help prepare for Daisy’s visit?
3. How does Gatsby dress for the rendezvous with Daisy?
4. Who is the Finn referred to in chapter 5?
5. How long has it been since Daisy and Gatsby had seen each other?
6. What does Gatsby’s maid do when leaning out a central bay window?
7. In what way are the various rooms in Gatsby’s mansion described in historical terms?
8. Who was Gatsby’s first benefactor?
9. What part does nature play in the rendezvous?
10. Who provides the musical background for the love scene?
1. It is so lit up late at night.
2. He cuts Nick’s grass as well as Gatsby’s.
3. He wears a white flannel suit, silver shirt, and gold-colored tie, accouterments fit for a god.
4. She is Nick’s domestic help.
5. Gatsby has counted every minute for these five years they have been apart.
6. She spits, an incongruous action in such a setting.
7. The description includes Marie Antoinette music-rooms and Restoration salons, a sort of continental decor.
8. Dan Cody, who had made money from silver and gold fields, took him aboard his yacht.
9. It rains.
10. When Daisy and...
(The entire section is 212 words.)
Chapter 6 Questions and Answers
1. In what state did Gatsby grow up?
2. What was his real name?
3. What was Dan Cody’s background?
4. Who was Ella Kaye?
5. How much was to have been Gatsby’s inheritance from Cody?
6. Why did he not receive it?
7. What is the significance of the threesome not waiting for Gatsby?
8. Why was Daisy appalled at Gatsby’s party?
9. How did Tom charge Gatsby with making his money?
10. In what season of the year had Gatsby met and kissed Daisy?
1. Gatsby was reared in North Dakota.
2. He was named James or Jimmy Gatz.
3. Apparently, he had made a fortune in metals from Nevada silver fields and gold in the Yukon.
4. Ella Kaye was Cody’s mistress.
5. He was to receive $25,000.
6. Ella Kaye found a legal strategy to cut him out and inherit Cody’s millions herself.
7. He does not understand that their invitation is superficial; in fact, he is being insulted without being aware of it.
8. The sophistication and restraint of the “secret society are missing.” The vitality and simplicity of Gatsby’s guests are virtually palpable, and Daisy is unappreciative.
9. Tom denounces Gatsby as a bootlegger.
10. He had known her in Louisville in the autumn of the year.
(The entire section is 201 words.)
Chapter 7 Questions and Answers
1. Why does Gatsby let all his domestic help go?
2. Whom does he use instead?
3. Why do the characters decide to go to New York?
4. What does Pammy wear when she comes into the room?
5. What does Gatsby say about Daisy’s voice?
6. What does Tom drive to New York?
7. Who rides with Gatsby?
8. What comment does Tom make about drug stores?
9. Of what does Tom accuse Gatsby?
10. How old is Nick at the party?
1. He dismisses them to accommodate meetings with Daisy and her wish for privacy.
2. He uses connections of Wolfsheim’s, people who owed him favors.
3. They want to escape the heat and boredom.
4. Like her mother, she wears white.
5. Her voice is “full of money.”
6. He drives Gatsby’s yellow car.
7. Only Daisy rides with Gatsby.
8. You can buy gasoline or most anything else at such stores—even liquor, he implies.
9. He accuses him of bootlegging, gambling, swindling, and even something bigger and more damaging than these.
10. Nick turns 30 years old on this day.
(The entire section is 170 words.)
Chapter 8 Questions and Answers
1. How late does Gatsby stand outside Daisy’s house, waiting to see if she needed him?
2. Why is Gatsby’s house unkempt?
3. Why does Nick advise Gatsby to go away a while?
4. Where had Gatsby met Daisy, according to the story he tells Nick?
5. What might Fitzgerald mean in describing Daisy’s porch as “bright with the bought luxury of starshine”?
6. Why didn’t Gatsby return to Daisy immediately after the war?
7. When Gatsby returned to Louisville, where was Daisy?
8. Why is the chauffeur about to drain the pool?
9. Why does Gatsby ask him to wait?
10. After learning who owns the yellow death car, what does Wilson do?
1. He waits until 4:00 a.m.
2. He has released all of his servants.
3. Nick is confident the car will be traced to Gatsby, putting Gatsby’s life in jeopardy.
4. He met her while he was at Camp Taylor from which he and other officers went to visit Daisy.
5. The brightness in her description results from somebody’s materialism.
6. He was sent to study at Oxford.
7. She was on her wedding trip with Tom.
8. With autumn approaching, leaves will fall and clog up the pipes.
9. He plans to take his first swim of the season in it.
10. Wilson kills Gatsby...
(The entire section is 216 words.)
Chapter 9 Questions and Answers
1. How is Gatsby’s death explained by the press in local newspapers?
2. How does Catherine respond to questions about her sister?
3. How does Wolfsheim’s letter attempt to explain his not attending the funeral?
4. Who is Henry C. Gatz?
5. Why does Klipspringer call?
6. When Nick locates Wolfsheim’s office and demands to see him, what is ironic about the situation?
7. How does Wolfsheim remember Gatsby?
8. Why did Gatsby continue to wear Army uniforms?
9. What could Nick mean when he concludes, “This has been a story of the West, after all—”?
10. What is the meaning of the last paragraph, the metaphor, of the book?
1. Wilson is a “madman,” reduced to a “man deranged by grief.”
2. She declares she has never known Gatsby, that she was “completely happy with her husband,” and that she has never been involved in any kind of mischief.
3. He is tied up in important business and cannot “get mixed up in this thing now.”
4. He is Gatsby’s father from Minnesota.
5. He calls about some shoes he left at Gatsby’s, not out of concern.
6. Wolfsheim is sinister and apparently ruthless, but he is whistling “The Rosary.”
7. He was a major, just coming out of the army, covered with medals....
(The entire section is 267 words.)
Point of View
The Great Gatsby is told from the point of view of Nick Carraway, one of the main characters. The technique is similar to that used by British novelist Joseph Conrad one of Fitzgerald's literary influences, and shows how Nick feels about the characters. Superbly chosen by the author, Nick is a romantic, moralist, and judge who gives the reader retrospective flashbacks that fill us in on the life of Gatsby and then flash forward to foreshadow his tragedy. Nick must be the kind of person whom others trust. Nick undergoes a transformation himself because of his observations about experiences surrounding the mysterious figure of Jay Gatsby. Through this first-person (“I”) narrative technique, we also gain insight into the author's perspective. Nick is voicing much of Fitzgerald's own sentiments about life. One is quite simply that “you can never judge a book by its cover” and often times a person's worth is difficult to find at first. Out of the various impressions we have of these characters, we can agree with Nick's final estimation that Gatsby is worth the whole “rotten bunch of them put together.”
As in all of Fitzgerald's stories, the setting is a crucial part of The Great Gatsby. West and East are two opposing poles of values: one is pure and idealistic, and the other is corrupt and materialistic. The...
(The entire section is 826 words.)
Fitzgerald has been justly praised for the narrative structure of The Great Gatsby. As critic Matthew Bruccoli points out, his "narrative control solved the problem of making the mysterious— almost preposterous—Jay Gatsby convincing by letting the truth about him emerge gradually during the course of the novel." Fitzgerald greatly admired novelist Joseph Conrad's employment of a partially involved narrator, and everything that occurs in the novel is presented through Nick's perceptions, thus combining, as Bruccoli puts it, "the effect of a first-person immediacy with authorial perspective."
Nick's tempered approach to life and his undeniable honesty lend an authenticity to his observations. In Nick's narration, Fitzgerald skillfully merges the language of the lyric poet with subjects not traditionally associated with a lyrical sensibility. Gatsby's car is not just an ostentatious display of wealth, it is a mobile realm; his drawer of unusual shirts is more than a display of buying power, it suggests the generosity of abundance; the Buchanans' mansion is not just an example of conspicuous consumption, it is a symbol of a limitless power, almost a natural force; Gatsby's gestures are not just calculated effects, they are manifestations of genuine aristocracy; Daisy's voice is not just "full of money," it is an expression of the magic that stirs the senses.
One of Fitzgerald's greatest strengths is his ability to animate the vision of...
(The entire section is 421 words.)
In accordance with his epic ambitions to write a novel that took the measure of and expressed the vital spirit of his country, The Great Gatsby is an attempt to explain and evoke the essence of the fundamental myth at the heart of American experience. Fitzgerald understood the evanescent goal of the European explorers, men like Drake, Ralegh, Balboa, and Cartier, who searched for a land that would offer a new beginning for Western Man, an unspoiled paradise, rich in natural beauty, uncorrupted by Old World cynicism, free from the rigid class system of European monarchy, and unblemished by decaying cities. Fitzgerald thought of it as the American Dream; but it emerged in Old World consciousness as far back as Shakespeare's vision of a "Brave new world," and it is described in Fitzgerald's poignant evocation of the "old island" that "flowered once for Dutch sailor's eyes — a fresh, green breast of the new world." Even in the high times of the wild 1920s, Fitzgerald perceptively sensed that the original energy of the Dream was irrevocably vanishing into the Wasteland, and he wanted to record its power before it faded into memory and fable.
To emphasize its magic, Fitzgerald used as his twin foci of The Great Gatsby Nick Carraway, the narrator, and Gatsby himself, both young men born in the American heartland of the Midwest at the dawn of the twentieth century. Like Fitzgerald, they arrive in New York with some of the innocence characteristic of middle...
(The entire section is 815 words.)
Ideas for Group Discussions
The Great Gatsby reflects an era that may be like our own, in many ways. A great deal of thought might be given to the ways in which Fitzgerald represents an age with problems and impulses that may be found in today's troubled world. Some thought may be given to how historically accurate Fitzgerald's picture of the 1920s is, how much of what he presents is "real," in the same manner that historians and journalists often attempt to detect the realities of the 1960s and the current period. Topics that might be discussed are the idealism and the prejudices of the time — such discussions of a postwar period have been especially stimulating over the years, and Fitzgerald was, more than most, affected by the unsettled times after World War I.
Another useful approach is to compare the film(s) and novel. It is also interesting to discuss whether Nick or Gatsby should have narrated the story.
1. What are the chief symbols in the novel, and what do they represent (e.g., the light on Daisy's dock and the eyes of Dr. Eckleburg)?
2. Does the vagueness of Gatsby's background and somewhat criminal activity cause the work to be less effective than a more detailed presentation would achieve? What details might be included in order to create a fuller picture of the protagonist?
3. Is Nick Carraway's admiration of Gatsby truly supported by the text of the novel? Should there be more of an objective reason for this feeling? Or, is it...
(The entire section is 400 words.)
Compare and Contrast
- 1920s: The Ku Klux Klan stages a parade in Washington, D.C. with 40,000 marchers in white hoods.
Today: The neo-Nazi and white “skinhead” supremist movements have taken hold in parts of the U.S. A bombing suspect in the Oklahoma City federal building explosion, which killed over 160 people, expresses his anger at the FBI's mishandling of a standoff with a separatist group at Waco, Texas, in which the compound burned and many people were killed.
- 1920s: Prohibition is passed, prohibiting the manufacture and sale of liquor. Al Capone takes over as boss of Chicago bootlegging from racketeer Johnny Torrio, who retires after sustaining gunshot wounds.
Today: The use and abuse of alcohol grows in the U.S., as does participation in the twelve-step program called Alcoholics Anonymous, drug rehabilitation centers, and other support mechanisms designed to stem the fallout from drug abuse. Though still powerful in the drug and prostitution business, several Mafia dons, including John Gotti, are imprisoned for life.
- 1920s: Political machines like New York's Tammany Hall openly and directly influence the outcome of elections by paying lawmakers and police to make or enforce policies in their favor.
Today: While direct bribery of politicians and police is neither open nor...
(The entire section is 236 words.)
Topics for Discussion
1. What is the American dream? Does it mean the same thing for different characters in the book? Has Jay Gatsby attained what he believes the dream promises?
2. Why does Daisy temporarily leave her husband for Gatsby? Why doesn't she stay with Gatsby?
3. Why does Gatsby love Daisy? How does he demonstrate his love for her? What is the meaning of the green light?
4. What does Nick think about Gatsby? How does his view of Gatsby change?
5. A recurring motif is the bad driver. List the occasions of reckless driving. What does bad driving symbolize?
6. What is the significance of Myrtle Wilson's death? Why does Daisy let Gatsby take the blame for her death?
7. What is the symbolic meaning of the billboard displaying Dr. T. J. Eckleburg's eyes, overlooking the valley of ashes?
8. Why does only one of Gatsby's former guests show up for his funeral?
(The entire section is 145 words.)
Ideas for Reports and Papers
1. Research and report on the social history of "the jazz age," the period in America between 1919 and 1929.
2. Research and report on the expatriate literary scene in Paris during the same period, 1919-1929. One good source is Ernest Hemingway's collection of autobiographical vignettes, A Moveable Feast, in which such writers as Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein appear as characters.
3. Read a story or novel by Ernest Hemingway and compare it to a Fitzgerald story or novel written at the same time. What are the stylistic differences? How does each author's style reflect his choice of subject material?
4. Honesty is an important theme in The Great Gatsby. At the end of chapter 3, Nick says of himself, "I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known." Can you cite examples from the text to support his self-assessment? How would Nick define honesty? Do any of the other characters live up to Nick's ideals of honesty? Choose three characters whom Nick considers dishonest and describe how their dishonesty manifests itself.
5. Nick generally portrays himself as an objective observer of Gatsby's final summer. Is there any evidence that he is more dazzled by Gatsby's way of life than he pretends? Consider his infatuation with Jordan, the seemingly inordinate amount of time he spends with Gatsby and the Buchanans, and the fact that he is writing about the summer's events after they have ended in tragedy.
(The entire section is 427 words.)
Topics for Further Study
- Read three of Fitzgerald's short stories dealing with the Jazz Age and compare and contrast these to The Great Gatsby. Suggested stories are: "The Rich Boy," "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz," and "Absolution." Investigate the role of religion and material well-being in Fitzgerald's fiction, based on his life.
- It is said that Fitzgerald's life mirrored the life of America during the decades of the 1920s and 1930s. Chart the decline and growth of America's economy during this time and draw parallels between them and Fitzgerald's life during those particular periods.
- Much has been written of the American expatriate writers in Paris. Read a book by or about these authors, such as A Charmed Circle or The Sun Also Rises and define the characteristics of these expatriates, their attitudes to events in the U.S. and Europe, and their choice of lifestyle. Include Fitzgerald's trips to Paris and the Riviera in your observations.
- Conservative v. liberal elements in society create specific legislation designed to protect the interests of all citizens. Prohibition was one example of the U.S. goverment's attempts to appease those who opposed the overabundance of liquor in the society. What are other examples of this in the field of education in the 1920s? Demonstrate how the conservative/liberal elements operated in other countries at that time.
- Examine the...
(The entire section is 306 words.)
Techniques / Literary Precedents
Fitzgerald has been justly praised for his creation of structure in The Great Gatsby. As Matthew Bruccoli points out, his "narrative control solved the problem of making the mysterious — almost preposterous — Jay Gatsby convincing by letting the truth about him emerge gradually during the course of the novel." Fitzgerald greatly admired Joseph Conrad's employment of a partially involved narrator; and everything that occurs in the novel is presented through Nick's perceptions, thus combining, as Bruccoli puts it, "the effect of a first-person immediacy with authorial perspective." Nick's tempered approach to life and his undeniable honesty lend an authenticity to his observations. But as appealing as Nick is, as confident as the reader feels in the precision and verity of his account, the narrative structure of The Great Gatsby is only the framework for the novel. Its finish is provided by the creation of a poetic sensibility capable of rendering both the evanescent ethos of romance and the piercing disorder of psychic aggression. Both of these conditions are components of the mythic spirit of the American nation which Fitzgerald seeks to express. In an unusual demonstration of virtuosity, Fitzgerald has been able to use the language of the lyric poet in dealing with subject and circumstance not traditionally associated with a lyrical sensibility. Gatsby's car is not just an ostentatious display of wealth; it is a mobile realm. His drawer of unusual shirts is more...
(The entire section is 410 words.)
There have been three films made from The Great Gatsby.
The silent version of 1926, starring Warner Baxter as Gatsby and Lois Wilson as Daisy, has been lost, but critics generally agree that the direction by Herbert Brenon was competent but uninspired. In addition, the film's subtitles were often wordy and inappropriate.
The 1949 production featured an interesting cast, including Alan Ladd as Gatsby, Barry Sullivan as Tom, Betty Field as Daisy, MacDonald Carey as Nick, and Shelley Winters as Myrtle Wilson. The film presents many powerful visual correlatives for Fitzgerald's prose but lacks the authority of a profound directoral vision.
The 1974 production of The Great Gatsby was an ambitious and expensive effort. Francis Ford Coppola wrote the screenplay and Jack Clayton directed, and the cast included Robert Redford as Gatsby, Mia Farrow as Daisy, Bruce Dem as Tom, Sam Waterston as Nick, and Karen Black as Myrtle. Despite some excellent moments, the film is too slow paced and too long, and much of the production looks overwrought.
(The entire section is 166 words.)
- The Great Gatsby was first adapted as a film by Richard Maibaum as producer and Elliott Nugent as director. It stars Alan Ladd, Betty Field, Macdonald Carey, Barry Sullivan, and Shelley Winters, Paramount, 1949.
- The second film was produced by David Merrick, directed by Jack Clayton, and written for the screen by Francis Ford Coppola. The cast features Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Bruce Dern, Sam Waterston, and Karen Black, Paramount, 1974; available from Paramount Home Video.
- The novel has been recorded twice, once by The Audio Partners, Listening Library. Three sound cassettes, unabridged, read by Alexander Scourby, 1985.
- The other sound recording is by Recorded books, Audiobooks. Three sound cassettes, unabridged, read by Frank Muller, 1984.
(The entire section is 112 words.)
What Do I Read Next?
- The Twenties by Edmund Wilson, one of Fitzgerald's friends at Princeton University and his entire life, is an interesting introduction to the decade and to the many cultural figures in America at that time. Another book by Wilson that chronicles the Twenties and Thirties is The Shores of Light, 1952. Personal impressions, sketches, letters, satires, and pieces on the classics of American literature are included in this book.
- Heart of Darkness (1899) by Joseph Conrad was a literary favorite of Fitzgerald, who used the Polish author's narrative technique in The Great Gatsby. The short novel is the story of the civilized Mr. Kurtz, who travels to the savage heart of Africa, only to find his evil soul.
- Citizen Kane, Orson Welles's legendary 1941 film, is about a mogul who acquires tremendous financial success but finds that the true source of his happiness is a childhood memory of “Rosebud.” Once again, the true values of gains and losses are examined in this well-known classic.
- Six Tales of the Jazz Age and Other Stones F. Scott Fitzgerald 1922. This is the author's second collection of short stories, the most notable of which is “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz.” The recurrent...
(The entire section is 267 words.)
For Further Reference
Bruccoli, Matthew Joseph. Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald. With a Genealogical Afterword by Scottie Fitzgerald Smith. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1981. While believing that Fitzgerald's life was a quest for heroism and that the writer himself was heroic, Bruccoli does much in his biography to revise the popular mythology surrounding Fitzgerald's life and to correct the factual errors of previous biographers. This study is the most carefully researched of the many books on Fitzgerald's life.
Cowley, Malcolm, and Robert Cowley, eds. Fitzgerald and the Jazz Age. New York: Scribner's, 1966. Sets the context of the times in which Fitzgerald grew to maturity.
Eble, Kenneth. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1963. The best of the short life-and-works books on Fitzgerald. Contains a good overview and balanced assessment of his writing.
Goldhurst, William. F. Scott Fitzgerald and His Contemporaries. Cleveland and New York: World, 1963. Information on the relationship of Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Edmund Wilson, John O'Hara, and others.
Le Vot, Andre. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Translated by William Byron. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1983. This work combines traditional biography with critical and psychological analysis. Includes a few excellent chapters on The Great Gatsby.
Long, Robert E. The Achieving of "The Great Gatsby." Lewisburg, PA:...
(The entire section is 277 words.)
Bibliography and Further Reading
Allen, Frederick Lewis. Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the Nineteen Twenties. New York: Harper & Row, 1957.
Benét, William Rose. “An Admirable Novel,” in Saturday Review of Literature, May 9, 1925.
Commager, Henry Steele. The American Mind: An Interpretation of American Thought and Character Since the 1880s. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1950.
Donaldson, Scott. “F. Scott Fitzgerald,” in Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 9: American Novelists, 1910—1945, edited by James J. Martine. Gale, 1981, pp. 3-18.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. Preface and notes by Matthew J. Bruccoli. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1992.
Holman, C. Hugh, and William Harmon. Handbook to Literature. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1992.
Le Vot, Andre. F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Biography, translation by William Byron. Doubleday, 1983.
Mizener, Arthur. The Far Side of Paradise (biography; includes several letters to Fitzgerald). Avon, 1965.
Turnbull, Andrew. Scott Fitzgerald. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1962.
Turnbull, Andrew, ed. The Letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1963.
Wilson, Edmund. In a letter to F....
(The entire section is 871 words.)
Bibliography (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Brucoli, Matthew J. Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald. New York: Carroll & Graf, 1993. Commonly regarded as the definitive Fitzgerald biography. Shows how the author became a kind of romantic archetype of the intoxicated, tragic genius. Includes an afterword by Scottie Fitzgerald Smith. See especially the section on The Great Gatsby entitled “Early Success, 1920-1925.”
Bryer, Jackson R., ed. “The Great Gatsby (1925).” In F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Critical Reception. New York: Burt Franklin, 1978. Provides an extensive, representative sampling of The Great Gatsby’s critical reception and shows how most critics did not recognize the novel’s remarkable mythic and symbolic dimensions.
Eble, Kenneth. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Rev. ed. Boston: Twayne, 1977. The section on The Great Gatsby traces the novel’s literary genesis, explores the sources and consequences of Fitzgerald’s provincial moral posture, and discusses the use of structure, mood, and action in the development of Gatsby’s romantic vision.
Hook, Andrew. F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Literary Life. New York: St. Martin’s, 2002. Part of the Literary Lives series. Concise rather than thorough, but with some interesting details.
Lockridge, Ernest, ed....
(The entire section is 270 words.)