The Great Gatsby Essay Examples and Topics

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Essay Examples
Essay Topics
Brief overview

10 April 1925


Francis Scott Fitzgerald





Major Characters

Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, Nick Carraway, Thomas Buchanan

Based on

In his youth, the author had a brief romance with Ginevra King. He attended glamorous pirates in Long Island during 1922, and they inspired the novel for the most part.


Social class, race, old vs. new money, environmentalism


The novel has been adapted for the stage, television, and cinema several times. It has also inspired ballet performances and graphic novels.


The story is set in the Long Island village of West Egg, after World War I. Nick Carraway, who narrates the book, just graduated from Yale University and moved to New York. His rented bungalow is set next to Jay Gatsby’s luxurious estate. Nick’s cousin Daisy and her husband live across the water. Nick reconstructs the events of that summer, not always in chronological order. The focus is on Gatsby’s glamorous parties and his love for Daisy. Her husband, Tom, directly confronts Gatsby on the subject of their affair. While returning from this situation, Daisy drives Gatsby’s car and strikes Myrtle (Tom’s lover) by accident. George, Myrtle’s husband, shoots Gatsby for revenge. After Gatsby’s death, Tom and Daisy leave Long Island without leaving a forwarding address.

Why Is This Topic Important?

Although the story is situated in the previous century, it is still relevant because its themes are universal. It’s a masterful novel that explores societal constructs and human fillies.

Main Ideas

A man’s vision of achieving the American dream doesn’t mean much in a society where a class permanence still exists. Love, no matter how pure it is, is still subjected to socio-economic influences.

Key Quotes
  • “And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.”
  • “I hope she’ll be a fool - that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
  • “In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,'' he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
Interesting Facts

The Great Gatsby was a commercial disappointment when compared to Fitzgeral’s previous work. The book gained popularity during World War II, when the Council on Books in Wartime provided free copies to American soldiers.

Arguments For

The Great Gatsby is a wonderful reflection of American society. It depicts the American dream of rising from poverty to extraordinary wealth. Its love story is unusual, yet romantic in its own way.

Arguments Against

Critics often consider the book’s characters superficial. The plot is also considered implausible, but Fitzgerald never intended it to be realistic.

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