The Best Essay Topics for The Great Gatsby by F S Fitzgerald

The Best Essay Topics for The Great Gatsby by F S Fitzgerald

When it comes to analyzing and discussing one of the most renowned literary examples of the 20th century, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, there are plenty of intriguing topics to delve into. With its captivating storyline, complex characters, and thought-provoking themes, this novel offers a wealth of material for in-depth analysis.

One of the key themes that can be explored in The Great Gatsby is the contrasting characteristics of the East and the Midwest. By focusing on the heritage and representations of these regions, you can delve into the role they play in shaping the story and the characters. Analyzing how Gatsby’s and Daisy’s choices were influenced by their respective backgrounds can provide valuable insight into the motivations and struggles of the protagonists.

Another compelling topic to consider is the moral implications of the characters’ actions and their quest for the American Dream. By examining the moral choices made by Gatsby and other characters throughout the novel, you can delve into the consequences of their actions and challenge the conventional perception of success and status in society. This topic can open up an interesting discussion on social classes and the impact it has on individuals within the narrative.

In addition, comparing and contrasting the love stories within the novel can offer fertile ground for exploration. By analyzing the romantic relationships between Gatsby and Daisy, as well as Tom and Myrtle, you can delve into the complexities of love, desire, and betrayal. Exploring the choices made by these characters, the consequences they face, and the role of societal expectations can provide a rich source of material for your essay.

Lastly, you can examine the representation of the American Dream and its pursuit within the novel. By analyzing Gatsby’s relentless pursuit of wealth and his obsession with Daisy as symbols of success, you can delve into the underlying themes of ambition, illusion, and the corrupting influence of materialism. This topic offers ample opportunities for discussing the moral decay of society and the pitfalls of the American Dream.

These are just a few examples of the many essay topics you can choose from when writing about The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Each topic offers a unique lens through which to examine the novel, allowing for a deep analysis of its themes, characters, and plot. So, take your pick and embark on an exciting literary exploration of one of the greatest novels of the 20th century.

The Great Gatsby Essay Topics

1. Comparing and Contrasting Characters

Like many works of literature, The Great Gatsby presents a wide range of characters with different traits and characteristics. Choose two or more characters and compare and contrast their roles, motivations, and impacts on the plot. Explain how their contrasting qualities contribute to the overall meaning of the novel.

2. Symbolism and the Green Light

In The Great Gatsby, the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock is a recurring symbol. Discuss the metaphorical meaning behind the green light and its significance for the characters and themes of the novel. Consider the context in which the green light appears and how it represents the American Dream.

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3. Social Classes in the East and West Egg

The divide between the East Egg and the West Egg is essential to understanding the novel’s themes. Analyze the representation of social classes in the novel, focusing on the differences between the wealthy bachelor Gatsby and the old-money aristocrats. Discuss how societal class impacts the characters’ relationships and aspirations.

4. The Moral Decay of the Upper Class

The characters in The Great Gatsby often engage in dubious behavior and unethical actions. Analyze the moral decay of the upper-class society portrayed in the novel using examples from the text. Discuss how Fitzgerald comments on the values and behaviors of the wealthy during the 1920s.

5. The American Dream in The Great Gatsby

Fitzgerald’s novel is often considered a critique of the American Dream. Write an argumentative essay discussing the depiction of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby. Analyze the characters’ pursuit of happiness, wealth, and love, and evaluate whether the novel offers a cynical or hopeful view of the American Dream.

6. The Theme of Illusion and Reality

Illusion and reality are prominent themes in the novel. Discuss how Fitzgerald explores the theme of illusion versus reality through the characters’ actions and desires. Consider the instances of deception, false perceptions, and the blurred line between truth and lies.

With these essay topics, you can delve into the various aspects of The Great Gatsby and explore its profound themes and ideas. Remember to support your arguments with examples from the text and provide a well-structured and cohesive analysis to make your essay standout. Happy writing!

Exploring Themes of Wealth and Class in The Great Gatsby

One of the central arguments made in The Great Gatsby is the contrast between the old money and the new money. The Buchanans, representing the old money, have inherited their wealth and are part of the social elite. Gatsby, on the other hand, represents the new money, having earned his wealth through illegal activities. This comparison highlights the different values and characteristics associated with each class.

The green light, the Valley of Ashes, and Gatsby’s extravagant parties are some of the literary devices used by Fitzgerald to illustrate the moral decay and corruption of the upper class. The green light, which Gatsby obsesses over and strives to reach, is a metaphorical representation of his unattainable dream. The Valley of Ashes, a desolate and polluted area, serves as a stark contrast to the luxurious lifestyle of the rich, showing the negative consequences of their actions on the less fortunate. Gatsby’s extravagant parties, filled with excess and decadence, exemplify the shallow nature of the wealthy upper class.

When discussing the themes of wealth and class in The Great Gatsby, it is important to consider the context of the novel. The story takes place during the Roaring Twenties, a time of economic prosperity and social upheaval. The characters’ obsession with wealth and material possessions reflects the values of this era and the disillusionment that followed.

Examples of essay prompts and topics:

  • Discuss the role of wealth and class in The Great Gatsby.
  • Compare and contrast the characters of Gatsby and Tom Buchanan in terms of their social status and values.
  • Explore the consequences of pursuing the American Dream in the novel.
  • Analyze the moral decay and corruption of the upper class in The Great Gatsby.
  • Examine the significance of the green light and the Valley of Ashes in the novel.

The Role of Women in The Great Gatsby: Analyzing Daisy Buchanan and Jordan Baker

Through the analysis of their characteristics and actions, we can gain a deeper understanding of the role of women during the time period and the moral choices they had to make. Daisy represents the idealized, yet flawed, vision of the wealthy and beautiful women of the era, while Jordan epitomizes the modern, independent woman who defies societal expectations.

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In comparing and contrasting these two characters, it becomes clear that Fitzgerald uses them as metaphors to comment on the themes of love, wealth, and social status. Daisy, with her green light and reckless behavior, represents the allure and destructive power of materialism. On the other hand, Jordan’s cool and detached demeanor reflects the moral ambiguity that comes with a life of privilege.

By examining the choices and actions of Daisy and Jordan, we can delve into the deeper meaning behind their storylines and how they contribute to the overall plot of a bachelor’s pursuit of the American Dream. Their interactions with Gatsby and their personal ambitions create a rich tapestry of themes that can be further explored through literary analysis.

When writing an essay on the role of women in The Great Gatsby, it is important to consider the societal norms of the time and how the characters navigate their roles within them. Comparing the experiences and choices of Daisy and Jordan can provide a compelling argumentative analysis of the novel’s themes and their relevance in a modern context.

Symbolism and Imagery in The Great Gatsby: The Green Light, The Valley of Ashes, and more

The green light is one of the most iconic symbols in The Great Gatsby. It represents Gatsby’s pursuit of the American Dream and serves as a constant reminder of his hopes and desires. When Gatsby first sees the green light, it is described as “the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us” (Fitzgerald, 180). The green light is both a literal and metaphorical representation of Gatsby’s longing for something greater.

Another powerful symbol in the novel is the Valley of Ashes. Located between West Egg and New York City, the Valley of Ashes represents the moral and social decay of society. It is a desolate and despondent place, filled with the remnants of failed dreams and broken promises. The ashes symbolize the emptiness and futility of the pursuit of wealth and social status.

Nick’s narration provides us with many examples of symbolism and imagery throughout the novel. His observations and descriptions give readers a deeper understanding of the characters and the themes they represent. For example, Nick describes Gatsby’s smile as having “a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life” (Fitzgerald, 48). This image of Gatsby’s smile portrays him as a romantic figure and adds to his mysterious allure.

Furthermore, the contrasting settings of East Egg and West Egg symbolize the divide between the old and new money social classes. East Egg, where Tom and Daisy Buchanan live, represents the established wealthy aristocracy, while West Egg, where Gatsby resides, represents the newly rich who have made their fortunes recently. This contrast highlights the theme of the corrupting influence of wealth and the shallowness of the upper classes.

In addition to these symbols, there are countless other examples of symbolism and imagery in The Great Gatsby. From the billboard of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg’s eyes to the various parties and extravagant displays of wealth, each element serves a purpose in conveying Fitzgerald’s themes and adding depth to the story.

The green lightGatsby’s pursuit of the American Dream
The Valley of AshesMoral and social decay of society
Gatsby’s smileRomantic allure and mystery
East Egg vs. West EggContrast between old and new money social classes

The American Dream in The Great Gatsby: Illusion vs. Reality

In the context of Gatsby’s time, the American Dream was often seen as the belief that anyone, regardless of their social or economic background, could achieve success and wealth through hard work and determination. This dream is strongly represented in Gatsby’s desire to impress Daisy with his lavish parties and extravagant wealth.

However, as the plot unfolds, it becomes clear that the American Dream is more of an illusion than a reality. Gatsby’s entire persona is built on a lie and the pursuit of an idealized version of Daisy that exists only in his mind. His belief that he can recreate the past and win Daisy’s love ultimately leads to his downfall.

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In contrast to Gatsby’s pursuit of the American Dream, the character of Nick Carraway serves as a moral compass within the novel. Nick comes from a modest background and has a more realistic view of the American Dream. He is not enthralled by the materialistic lifestyle of the East Egg elite and remains grounded in his values.

Fitzgerald uses the contrasting characters of Gatsby and Nick to explore the darker side of the American Dream. Gatsby’s relentless pursuit of wealth and social status ultimately leads to his demise, while Nick’s more humble and honest approach allows him to find some sense of fulfillment and self-discovery.

Within the context of modern literature, Fitzgerald’s portrayal of the American Dream continues to resonate. The illusion of wealth and success can still be seen as a driving force in today’s society, with individuals often chasing after an unattainable ideal.

In an essay discussing the theme of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby, one could consider comparing Gatsby’s representation of the American Dream to other examples in literature or even in our own lives. The choice of argumentative prompts is vast, ranging from exploring the role of social class in the American Dream to discussing if the characters in the novel are to blame for their own shortcomings.

When considering the American Dream within the context of The Great Gatsby, it is essential to take into account the timeframe in which the novel is set. The 1920s, known as the Roaring Twenties, was a period of economic prosperity, but also a time of moral decay and corruption.

Prompts for an Essay on The American Dream in The Great Gatsby
1. Analyze the role of social class in the pursuit of the American Dream in the novel.
2. Compare and contrast Gatsby’s representation of the American Dream with other examples in literature.
3. Discuss how the characters in the novel contribute to their own downfall in their pursuit of the American Dream.
4. Explore the moral decay and corruption of the Roaring Twenties and its impact on the American Dream.
5. Is the American Dream truly achievable, or is it an illusion created by societal pressure?


What are some good essay topics for The Great Gatsby?

There are many good essay topics for The Great Gatsby. Some examples include analyzing the theme of the American Dream in the novel, exploring the symbolism of the green light, examining the role of social class and wealth, discussing the character development of Jay Gatsby, and analyzing the use of flashbacks in the narrative.

How does F. Scott Fitzgerald portray the American Dream in The Great Gatsby?

In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays the American Dream as a broken and corrupted ideal. Through the character of Jay Gatsby, Fitzgerald shows how the pursuit of wealth and status ultimately leads to emptiness and moral decay. Gatsby’s belief that he can achieve happiness through material success is shattered, and the novel serves as a critique of the shallow values and materialism of American society during the Jazz Age.

What is the significance of the green light in The Great Gatsby?

The green light is a symbol of hope and the unattainable dream in The Great Gatsby. It represents Gatsby’s longing for Daisy and his desire to recreate the past. The green light is located at the end of Daisy’s dock, which is across the water from Gatsby’s mansion. It serves as a constant reminder of Gatsby’s ultimate goal and his inability to fully achieve it.

How does social class and wealth play a role in The Great Gatsby?

Social class and wealth play a major role in The Great Gatsby. The novel explores the divide between the old money elite and the new money social climbers. It reveals the superficiality and materialism of the upper class, as well as the social barriers that exist between different classes. Gatsby’s pursuit of wealth is driven by his desire to transcend his lower class origins and gain acceptance into the upper echelons of society.

What are some examples of flashbacks in The Great Gatsby?

The Great Gatsby contains several flashbacks that provide insight into the characters’ pasts. One example is the flashback where Nick Carraway recounts Jay Gatsby’s early life and his transformation into a wealthy socialite. Another example is the flashback where Daisy recalls her first meeting with Gatsby and their brief romantic relationship. These flashbacks help to develop the characters and provide context for their actions and motivations in the present.

What is the plot of The Great Gatsby?

The Great Gatsby tells the story of Jay Gatsby, a millionaire who is hopelessly in love with Daisy Buchanan, a woman from his past. The novel takes place in the 1920s and explores themes of wealth, love, and the corruption of the American Dream.

Alex Koliada, PhD

By Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for studying aging, genetics, and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics. His scientific research has been published in the most reputable international magazines. Alex holds a BA in English and Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California, and a TEFL certification from The Boston Language Institute.