Please help me with my Gatsby theme essay Hello my name is David G. and I am doing a grade 12 correspondence English U course. I was hoping someone can help me edit my Gatsby Theme essay. It's too...

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In accord with the previous posts, Nick is clearly a part of the dream/illusion theme as he is romantic in his vision of Gatsby.  In addition, he is an unreliable narrator, for he tells the story of Gatsby in retrospect and does not always narrate in chronological order.

Also, what about the American Dream as part of the dream theme?  (Is not this what Gatsby pursues?)

With the role of Nick in the theme of dream, or illusion, and the American Dream, you may wish to return to the introduction and rewrite it, as well as developing it more by defining better and revising some.  e.g. What about beginning with Nick's quote that Gatsby is worth the whole bunch, a statement that indicates Nick's romantic perception of Gatsby and his illusion.  From this you can tie in the fact that the narrative is told through Nick's vision, which is unreliable and illusionary.  Likewise, as you mention,other characters play parts in the world of dreams; for example, Myrtle, .... Mention the characters and tie them to the theme of dreams.  THEN, write your thesis statement, which can be revised to something like this:

While there are other themes in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" such as ------ and ----, the most salient theme is the theme of dreams which is illustrated through the main characters of Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, and even the narrator, Nick Caraway, all of whom only wish to live......

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I agree with akannan that you might want to lose the analysis of "time." You might want to go with Vision/looking because it is more closely tied to Dreams and Honesty. For example, a "vision" is like a "dream." Honesty is definitely a byproduct of characters pursuing their dreams and visions. I'd like to see more about Gatsby and Nick and like ask996 says, more about how Nick sees (vision/Looking) Gatsby. I also agree that you should avoid being redundant with "dream." 

You have a good start here. I'd just like to see more of a tie between dreams, vision/looking and honesty than just praise of one and total dismissal of the other two. You can still put dreams as the top theme, but you don't have to completely dismiss the others. For example, Gatsby's dream is to win back Daisy, so he resorts to a dishonest life, etc. But his vision of her is from this reconstituted dream; and he looks to a green light as a symbol of that dream. So, maybe show how dreams are motivations while other themes are ways those motivations are carried out and/or symbolized.

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

You don’t need to mention the themes you are rejecting. A strongly written paper will show your audience why that was the theme you chose. You mention honesty and dishonesty, the desire to return to the past and make it something different, so perhaps your thesis should really be not so much about dreams as much as it might be a reluctance to deal with reality or the characters’ unwillingness to deal with reality. It doesn’t seem as if you have tied the dreams idea tightly enough to the writing. If you stick with that thesis, however, try not to repeat “dream” so much. Find different ways to say the same thing, and this will help your reader to avoid becoming bored.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Just in terms of examining it, I think you do a nice job with the development of the dream theme.  I would move away from the theme of time because you bring it up, but don't develop it, so it's almost a throw away.  I would simply not mention it.  If I could offer up one more area of thought, I would be interested in seeing more of Nick's voice in the work.  Where does Nick stand on the issue of dreams?  I might have missed it, but I think more could be given here.  Perhaps, even more interesting how does Nick conceive of dreams as he examines how Gatsby conceives of them?  I think you have a very strong start here.

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epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

I think the essay would be much better if you improve your theme, rather than use a subject as theme. A subject is a one word concrete or abstract subject that a work concerns, and a theme is a universal truth of a work expressed as a sentence. If you elaborate more on your theme, it would have better structure and organization.

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