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The Great Gatsby Research Papers

The Great Gatsby research paper due and don’t know how to start it? How about like this?

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925) is the great novel of the Jazz Age.  The Great Gatsby is a masterful portrait of that heady time, when the anxieties of a generation, shattered in war, were drowned in bootleg gin, parties, and the pursuit of quick wealth.  Fitzgerald also presents a picture of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby, personified by Jay Gatsby, which exposes the myth of success and the trappings that come with it as empty, vain and ephemeral.

Paper Masters has done many research papers on Gatsby and suggests the following topics to explore the novel further in a written paper:

  1. The American Dream through the eyes of Jay Gatsby
  2. The American Dream through the eyes of Nick Carraway
  3. Fitzgerald's view of wealth and Gatsby
  4. The novel's treatment of women in the Jazz Age
The Great Gatsby

Fitzgerald prominently tells the story from the outside.  Nick Carraway is the everyman figure here, vaguely affected by the war, somewhat cynical, content in his occupation that provides enough leisure and money to subsist out in Long Island, and sickened by the excesses of the age.  “Gatsby…represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn”.  But in the developing friendship between Nick and Gatsby, Fitzgerald, rather than having Nick back off from his principles, demonstrates how the American Dream is at fault: “it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men”.

Jay Gatsby is a bootlegger.  In The Great Gatsby, he has made his wealth, under the guidance of Meyer Wolfsheim, a notorious underworld figure (the man who fixed the 1919 World Series) through the importation of illegal alcohol.  When we first see him, Gatsby is alone in the darkness, looking out towards the ocean for a shipment.  “He stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and…I could have sworn he was trembling”.  Fitzgerald knows that we are never truly ourselves except when we are alone, and Gatsby, when alone, is frightened.  Frightened of being alone, perhaps frightened by the nature of his business, but empty and yearning for something.  He has material wealth but nothing more, and that is why he pursues Daisy, the love he let get away.

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