1. Think of Nick’s actions in Chapter 9 after “the holocaust was complete.” What does Nick consistently try to do for Gatsby in the final chapter, and how successful is he? As a reader, what do you think about the words and actions of characters such as Wolfsheim, Daisy, and even the just briefly mentioned Slagle? Is Gatsby owed more than what these characters give him? Is Nick noble for trying to do what he does, or do you think he’s wasting his time on an unworthy cause? Explain briefly, using quotes from the chapter to illustrate/prove your points when possible.
2. Chapter 9 also indirectly reveals why George Wilson went to Gatsby’s house in Chapter 8. Why did Wilson go there and do what he did? What is Tom’s reaction/opinion/attitude about this? What does that make you think about Tom as a person?
3. Take a look at the final three paragraphs of the novel, which are often quoted. The language in them is a little dense (I warned you that Fitz can be a bit winding with his wording from the start!), but try to interpret the meaning and emotion of those paragraphs. What is Nick saying as his final statement about Gatsby, as well as the pursuit/belief in dreams, goals, and aspirations?
4. Let me ask you to explain to me what the most positive or interesting part of the book of The Great Gatsby was for you. Again, I totally realize that for many of you being forced to read a novel written 90 years ago may not exactly have been the most pleasant thing ever, and many of you don’t have the full cultural background of the book, but try to find a silver lining somewhere…whether it is about the book itself and some angle you became engaged with in some way, or about my just MAGICAL presentation of the book, what was the most positive part of your experience going through this novel?
5. Finally, what was the biggest challenge or most painful angle of dealing with Gatsby? Fitzgerald’s writing style? The fairly simple plot stretched over 190 pages? Boring story? Unrealistic story? Your background doesn’t really give you much cultural reference or experience with it? Whatever was your biggest issue with getting through the book, explain it to me a bit!