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Everything You Need to Know: History of The Great Gatsby

Posted by Halle Edwards | Nov 4, 2018 11:06:00 AM

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What exactly makes The Great Gatsby so “great?” Why did your English teacher choose this book in particular, when there are dozens of other great American novels from the twentieth century? Has it always been this popular?

This article explains how The Great Gatsby novel went from an unpopular flop during its time to a great American classic today, and how that history could affect your approach to the book. Read on to learn the story of The Great Gatsby’s unlikely path to fame, and why you should care.

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The Best Great Gatsby Timeline

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:06:00 AM

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Sometimes, even when you've carefully read a book and tried to follow all the intricacies of which character did what and when, you just can't quite put the whole thing together. That goes double for a novel like The Great Gatsby, which uses literary devices like flashbacks and flashforwards to explain the behavior of its characters in its present. 

But don't fret! In this article, I've taken all of the novel's events and rearranged them in straightforward, chronological order. This complete Great Gatsby timeline allows you to see exactly when all of the book's events took place, and also get individual chronologies for each major character. 

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Everything You Need to Know About The Great Gatsby Setting

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:06:00 AM

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One reason that The Great Gatsby has now become a byword for the East Coast of the Roaring 20s - the decadently extravagant post-WWI era - is that Fitzgerald was amazing at creating memorable settings. Whether it's the sprawling luxury of Gatsby's mansion, the drunken chaos of Myrtle's apartment, or the suffocating airlessness of a suite at the Plaza Hotel, The Great Gatsby features settings that perfectly encapsulate character, mood, atmosphere, and emotions.

In this article, I'll go through all of the Great Gatsby settings, explain what role settings play in a novel, show how these settings compare with one another, and explore what symbolic meaning they have.

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Every Great Gatsby Movie, Compared: 2013, 1974, 1949

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:05:00 AM

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If you’ve looked up The Great Gatsby movie, you’ve probably realized that there is more than one. So which of The Great Gatsby movies you should watch? Wondering if you can skip reading the book?

We have a complete guide to each of the Great Gatsby movie adaptations, as well as some advice for writing about the movies!

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Understanding The Great Gatsby Ending and Last Line

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:05:00 AM

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As crucial as a detailed setting or the right mix of characters is to the success of a story, nothing quite packs a memorable gut punch like the perfect ending. Think about it: the way a story ends tends to shape our understanding of what we have just read. If it ended in love and marriage, then it must have been a love story. If it ended in death, then it was a tragedy.

So what do we make of the The Great Gatsby ending? Why is there so much death? Why doesn’t anyone get their just comeuppance? In this article, I’ll talk about the significance of endings in general, and explore the meaning behind The Great Gatsby’s last line, last paragraphs, and the conclusion of the plot.

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Best Great Gatsby Character Analysis

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:04:00 AM

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Familiar with the characters of The Great Gatsby, but need to analyze one or more of them for an essay or class assignment? This article has got your back! In it, we'll discuss what the point of analyzing a book character is. We'll also talk about the dos and donts of writing a character analysis, essay, explaining how to go from an argument to finding evidence. Finally, we'll give you an example of how to develop an essay of this type by constructing one around the old money characters (Tom, Daisy, and Jordan). 

You'll also find links to our in-depth articles on each of The Great Gatsby's main characters, explaining their role and significance in the novel, key quotes for each, and some ideas for essay topics, really helping you pull together your thoughts about these characters!

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Every Great Gatsby Character You Have to Know: Complete List

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:04:00 AM

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This article provides a broad overview of all of The Great Gatsby characters, their relationships and connections, and any major issues and questions surrounding them. 

Throughout the guide, you will find links to each character’s page, as well as links to our character analysis, compare/contrast, and quotes pages. Use this page as your jumping-off point for discovering The Great Gatsby’s major and minor players!

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Best Summary and Analysis: The Great Gatsby, Chapter 9

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:03:00 AM

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Just as The Great Gatsby began with Nick’s father reminding him about his upbringing, so it ends with Gatsby’s father reminding us about the childhood of James Gatz (Gatsby's real birth name). As one of the few mourners at Gatsby’s very sparsely attended funeral, Mr. Gatz worships his son’s achievements in the way that no one whom Gatsby wanted to impress ever did.

The Great Gatsby Chapter 9 ends with one of the most famous last lines in all Western literature. Read on to see how Fitzgerald connects Gatsby’s story with the universal human hope for a better future.

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How to Write a Compare/Contrast Essay for The Great Gatsby

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:03:00 AM

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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!

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Best Summary and Analysis: The Great Gatsby, Chapter 6

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:01:00 AM

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Chapter 6 of The Great Gasby is a major turning point in the novel: after the magical happiness of Gatsby and Daisy's reunion ins Chapter 5, we start too see the cracks that will unravel the whole story. Possibly because of this shift in tone from buildup to letdown, this chapter underwent substantial rewrites late in the editing process, meaning Fitzgerald worked really hard to get it just right because of how key this part of the book is.

So read on to see how it all starts to fall apart in our full The Great Gatsby Chapter 6 summary. Gatsby and Daisy each try to integrate into the other one’s life, and both attempts go terribly. Gatsby can’t hang with the upper crust because he doesn’t understand how to behave despite his years crewing a millionaire’s yacht, and Daisy is repulsed by the vulgar rabble at Gatsby’s latest party. Recipe for eventual disaster? Absolutely.

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Best Summary and Analysis: The Great Gatsby, Chapter 7

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:01:00 AM

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Chapter 7 marks the climax of The Great Gatsby. Twice as long as every other chapter, it first ratchets up the tension of the Gatsby-Daisy-Tom triangle to a breaking point in a claustrophobic scene at the Plaza Hotel, and then ends with the grizzly gut punch of Myrtle’s death.

Read our full summary of The Great Gatsby Chapter 7 to see how all dreams die, only to be replaced with a grim and cynical reality.

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Best Summary and Analysis: The Great Gatsby, Chapter 3

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:00:00 AM

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In Chapter 3 of The Great Gatsby, we finally - finally! - we get to see one of Gatsby’s totally off the hook parties! And, it more than lives up to the hype as far as Nick is concerned. Even more excitingly, we finally get to meet the man, the myth, the legend himself - Gatsby, in the flesh! So why then does this reveal, which the novel has been building toward for 2.5 chapters, seem so anticlimactic?

Read on for our Great Gatsby Chapter 3 summary, covering the highs and lows of the Gatsby Saturday night experience.

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Best Summary and Analysis: The Great Gatsby, Chapter 2

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 10:59:00 AM

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If The Great Gatsby were college, Chapter 2 would be the drunk frat party that gets way out of control, with Tom Buchanan as that guy yelling at everyone to chug. That’s because this chapter is all about Tom’s double life: Nick meets his mistress, gets wasted at her small apartment party in Manhattan, and gets an up close and personal view into Tom’s violent tendencies.

Read on for a full The Great Gatsby Chapter 2 summary, plus explication of connections to the book’s main themes and analysis of important passages!

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Answer: Why Has Reverend Hale Returned to Salem?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Nov 4, 2018 10:58:00 AM

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A lot of readers of The Crucible have the same question: why has Reverend Hale returned to Salem in Act 4? This is a short article detailing the reasons behind Hale's decision to return. If you're confused about what his motivations are and what he hopes to accomplish, read on for a complete explanation.  

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Answer: Why Does Elizabeth Want John to Go to Salem?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Nov 4, 2018 10:58:00 AM

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Many readers have the same question about  Act 2 of The Crucible: why does Elizabeth want John to go to Salem? This article provides both short and long answers to this question. It should help you to understand the reasoning behind her request, why it changes slightly over the course of the act, and how it connects to the lingering tension in their marriage.   

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