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The Great Gatsby Panel Paper
Transcript of The Great Gatsby Panel Paper
Where to Begin...
While reading, you have been searching for various "topics" that are central to the novel. At the close of your close reading, you should have narrowed down these topics to one of the following for a research paper:
Once you have selected your topic you should complete the following steps:
Locate a Wikipedia article on your topic and familiarize yourself with important names, dates, and events
Find A PRIMARY DOCUMENT that you can use as research on your topic
Compare/contrast Fitzgerald's presentation of this topic in
The Great Gatsby
with what you have found in your research
Formulate your thesis statement
Create an outline for a 5 paragraph essay. Your paragraphs should follow this structure:
Fitzgerald's presentation of this topic
Compare/Contrast (What was Fitzgerald's opinion on this topic from your inference?)
There are two parts:
- Thursday January 16, 2014 = Socratic Seminar about your Topics
- Friday January 17, 2014 = Outlines due for Peer Edit
- Monday January 20, 2014 = 1st Draft of Essay Due
- Wednesday January 22, 2014 = Final Draft of Essay Due
Where to look for help:
Big Love and Dreamers
The Great Gatsby
, there are several characters who dream for things that are outside of the realm of possibility: Gatsby dreams for Daisy, Daisy dreams for a world of money, Nick dreams for a world filled with moral people, and Myrtle dreams of a better life. These dreams are representative of a characteristic of all Americans - we dream and pine for a love or passion that is seemingly just beyond our reach. You can research real people who chased their dreams during the Jazz Age.
Beautiful Little Fools
Women in this novel, for the most part, are playing the victim. Think about it, Daisy was "left" by Gatsby, cheated on by Tom, made pregnant and given a girl, imprisoned in a loveless marriage with Tom by that child, tempted and "lied to" by Gatsby, and then forced back into the arms of Tom when she kills Myrtle. Myrtle sees her ticket out as being a mistress to a man of means and doing whatever she can do to stay in his life. Research how fashion, women's rights, and societal expectations of the 1920s made it better for women if they were "beautiful little fools".
Rags or Riches
As exhibited in the 1920s, there was a culture of excess and luxury that exceeded anyone's wildest dreams. The upper classes of society enjoyed wealth due to the booms of industry, war reparations from WW1, and unchecked monopoly. In addition to that, criminals were making unimaginable sums of money due to the demand for alcohol during the prohibition. In the meantime, lower classes were struggling to make enough money to keep roofs over their heads. Research the wide economic divides, and the indicators that Fitzgerald employs in his novel to predict the crash of 1929.
Breaking the Rules
The 1920s was a period of time when some of the most prolific criminals were at the top of their game; Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, and Arnold Rothstein are only a few out of many notorious criminals who made it big by working around the law. Research criminals who made it big during the 1920s and make a connection between their activities and that of Jay Gatsby in the novel.
Changing Roles for Women
Not everyone played the part of the fool. There were many women in the 1920s who fought against the social norm and challenged what was allowed for women-- just look at Jordan Baker! In real life, women played in sports, challenged voting laws, changed fashion, and entered the work force in attempt to gain equality. Use Jordan as your lens to see how women in this novel challenged the "fool" image, and research whether or not Fitzgerald's portrayal of her was accurate.
In the 1920s, it was a very exciting time. Henry Ford's contributions with the Model T, and the assembly line revolutionized the way people thought about the industrial world. Things were happening quickly and efficiently, and everything was impacted. Fitzgerald seems to use elements of technology (cars, machines, trains, etc.) to interrupt the story, and destroy things. Why do you think he does it in this way? Consider the Valley of Ashes and applications of technology in the novel in order to evaluate Fitzgerald's feelings about the industrial revolution and its impact on the world.
Use this link to assist you in your drafting and outlining process:
Be sure to check out the information about writing outlines, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading, and also see the left hand column for the MLA Guide.