What is the BEST way to start a reasearch paper on the "Great Gatsby?" My topic is how each character distorts the American Dream.I am including a definition of the American Dream and the...

What is the BEST way to start a reasearch paper on the "Great Gatsby?" My topic is how each character distorts the American Dream.

I am including a definition of the American Dream and the characters in my paper, such as Jay, Daisy, Tom and the Wilsons.

Help would be greatly appreciated!

Asked on by blackjap

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ladyvols1's profile pic

ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

One way to begin you essay might be to give various opinions on what the American dream is to different types of people.  Some think the dream is achieving financial success, power, and status in spite of where they came from.  Some people believe it is having their own home, a family, and security, and some people believe it is neither of these. George Wilson's dream was to buy a nice car and move away from where he was and take Myrtle with him. 

Once you state the various types of visions for the American Dream you can draw on your characters to describe what each specific character believes to be their personal American Dream.  Gatsby, for instance, believed that to acheive his American Dream was not complete without Daisy.  He had gained the power, the money, the status but without Daisy he did not have his American dream.  I hope this helps some. 

dbello's profile pic

dbello | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

If you are writing a research paper on how the fictional characters of The Great Gatsby distort The American Dream I think an interesting approach might be that you begin by assessing and evaluating the experiences of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Remember, although a novel Fitzgerald was interjecting his commentary regarding societal values during the 1920's. Many authors including Fitzgerald questioned and were concerned that 'materialism' was liken to a new religion.  If you begin your paper with some of the societal history of the 20's, define what The American Dream ( interestingly first defined during the 1920's) meant to people in the 20's, include some insight into Fitzgerald's frame of reference as a young man in the 20's. Then attribute all that information as well as events in the novel to support your arguments of how the fictional characters either support or distort The American Dream I think you'll have a powerful and insightful paper. 

abygirlb's profile pic

abygirlb | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted on

there is one way you can start out your essay is bye knowing what your talking about and what you are going to say in the long run.

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