How can I compare and contrast Gatsby from The Great Gatsby and Jem from To Kill A Mockingbird?

Expert Answers
kateanswers eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In order to compare and contrast the characters Jem Finch and Jay Gatsby, you may want to ask several questions when considering the texts. I recommend you take some notes on the characters and what is distinctive about their lives. You may also wish to think about these questions with relation to the characters, and compare answers for both.

  • What is the setting your character lives in? The time period? Location? 
  • What is your character's lifestyle like? Are they young or old? Rich or poor? Do they have hobbies? Who are their family and friends?
  • What kind of things are important to your character? Do they have any strong beliefs or values?
  • How does your character change throughout their story?


As an example, something that Jem Finch and Jay Gatsby have in common is that they are both from the United States and share in American culture. However, they come from very different socioeconomic backgrounds.

It may be helpful for you to draw up a Venn diagram with characteristics of  Jem Finch on one side, Jay Gatsby on the other, and their commonalities in the middle.

Read the study guide:
The Great Gatsby

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