The Great Gatsby

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Big Questions to Answer

  • What happens when we try to repeat the past?
  • Is the American Dream attainable? Is it real?
  • How can we evaluate a text when the narrator isn't credible or trustworthy?
  • How do symbols add meaning to a text?


RL.11-12.1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence and inferencing to support analysis of text

RL.11-12.2. Determine themes and central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of a text

RL.11-12.9. Make connections between historical context and themes in literature

W.11-12.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey information clearly and effectively through well-chosen details and organization of ideas

“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had.”

About the Author

F. Scott Fitzgerald was born on September 24, 1896, in St. Paul, Minnesota. His first novel's success made him famous and let him marry the woman he loved, but he later descended into drinking and his wife had a mental breakdown. Following the unsuccessful Tender is the Night, Fitzgerald moved to Hollywood and became a scriptwriter. He died of a heart attack in 1940, at age 44, his final novel only half completed.

About the Novel

The Great Gatsby, a portrait of the Jazz Age in all its decadence and excess, is, as editor Maxwell Perkins praised it in 1924, "a wonder." It remains one of the most widely read, translated, admired, imitated and studied twentieth-century works of American fiction. This deceptively simple work, Fitzgerald's best known, was hailed by critics as capturing the spirit of the generation. In Jay Gatsby, Fitzgerald embodies some of America's strongest obsessions: wealth, power, greed, and the promise of new beginnings.