A very common essay prompt/discussion topic for The Great Gatsby is to have you compare and contrast a pair of characters in Gatsby. Why do teachers love these prompts so much?
These compare/contrast essays are an opportunity for you to tie the character similarities and differences to larger observations about society and class, the American Dream, or identity in the novel. They also allow you to practice standard English class skills: close reading, using lines from the text as evidence, and taking a stance and presenting a supporting argument in an essay.
We’ll go over some basic dos and don’ts for writing compare/contrast essays before diving into some analysis of the most asked-about character pairings. Keep reading if you have a Compare/Contrast assignment on the horizon!