For The Great Gatsby, how do I write 1-2 paragraphs of summary that include the main events and give details but is to the point?I keep writting over 1-2 paragraphs because I am giving too much...

For The Great Gatsby, how do I write 1-2 paragraphs of summary that include the main events and give details but is to the point?

I keep writting over 1-2 paragraphs because I am giving too much detail.  I need help!

Asked on by kiki16

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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One way to approach a two-paragraph description of The Great Gatsby is to use paragraph one to cover from Nick Carraway's visit to West Egg to see Daisy and Tom Buchanan through to the car accident. Your sentences will need to be well constructed and cover more than one event each while also succinctly introducing characters. I'll give one a try: Nick Carraway, newly moved to the East to study for a career in finance, goes from his cottage home in West Egg to visit his cousin, her husband and their golf-playing friend in wealthy and extravagant East Egg where he mentions his new neighbor at whose urging he will later press an invitation on his cousin Daisy to come visit him and meet his neighbor, Jay Gatsby, who is a man of questionable morals and wealth who was once Daisy's beau before she married Tom Buchanan.

This one sentence introduces the main characters and gets you all the way to Gatsby's rendezvous with Daisy at Nick's place. In one more similar sentence you could move through events that take Nick and Gatsby to the shadow of the billboard to claim Tom's mistress from her auto-mechanic husband and to their subsequent drunken misadventures in New York that result in the car accident. Paragraph two can cover events after the accident that lead to Gatsby's own death and then state the meaning of the story in a similar fashion as my sample sentence. The highlighted (in bold) words are the verbs (moved, goes, will), prepositions (for, in, at, before), participles (moved), conjunctions (and), and subordinated wh-clauses (where, whose, who, who) that make vast amounts of information available within strict word or paragraph limits.

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