The Great Gatsby: Essay Topics & Samples

No novel is written for the sake of writing. You can be immersed in the plot and feel sympathy toward the protagonists, but there is something more about every great book. A good The Great Gatsby essay should question the narrative to determine what the text’s broader purpose is.

Are you out of ideas? Our topics and The Great Gatsby writing prompts can kickstart your creative process. They won’t limit the flight of your thought in any way: instead, they’ll show you the right direction to follow. You can also use our essay samples for inspiration or apply for professional writing help.

💡 The Great Gatsby Essay Topics & Prompts

  1. Did Daisy genuinely love Gatsby, or did she want to return the past feelings? Why was preserving her social class so important? Or did she stay with Tom for other reasons, like the shared experience, stability, and the daughter? Do you think Daisy opted for Tom after a careful comparison?
  2. Old and New Money in The Great Gatsby. What did Gatsby lack to feel like he belongs to the Old Money, apart from heritage? What did elevate him above the Old Money representatives and make him more humane? Why didn’t he possess the traits related to the corruption of the upper class?
  3. Money and wealth in The Great Gatsby. Money is helpless in matters of love and friendship. Nick Carraway was Gatsby’s only friend. As far as we know, only Daisy loved him, and even this fact is doubtful. Was it the reason why Gatsby’s success did not make him happy? Write an argumentative essay about it!
  4. Compare and contrast The Great Gatsby 2013 movie vs. the book in an essay. Does the movie represent the characters as profoundly as the book does? Make the book review from the point of view of a person who watched the film first. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the film?
  5. How does Gatsby represent the American Dream? This essay should start with the historical background that formed the general idea of the American Dream. Is Gatsby’s version of the American Dream universal for all US citizens, or does it have any unique features? “The American Dream in The Great Gatsby” is a perfect title for this kind of essay.
  6. Is Gatsby great? This essay can discuss the strengths and failures of Jay Gatsby. It could also reveal why the novel is titled like this. Is Gatsby great because he has made a fortune without any heritage, or is the title ironic?
  7. The Great Gatsby symbolism is a good topic for an essay. It could cover the setting of the novel, the color symbolism in The Great Gatsby (especially the green light, gold, and the color white,) and the small symbolic details like bespectacled eyes of various protagonists and TJ Eckleburg on the billboard.
  8. Write The Great Gatsby literary analysis essay, exploring why the author chose these specific characters to convey the main idea to the reader. What is the primary purpose of the novel, and what helped the author to achieve it? Dwell upon the decline of morality as the typical feature of the Roaring Twenties.
  9. Time in The Great Gatsby. Throughout the entire novel, Gatsby is trying to recapture his past feelings. Did he succeed, to some extent? Can living in the memories, even recreated in real life, make someone happy? The novel is full of flashbacks. Explain why the time is non-linear in the story.
  10. The Great Gatsby themes might also be a great as an essay topic. The novel is multifaceted and profound, with several layers of meaning. Money and wealth, society and class, love and marriage, hope, morality, time, and the American Dream in The Great Gatsby are to be discussed in this essay.

✒️ The Great Gatsby: Essay Examples

Below you’ll find a collection of The Great Gatsby essay examples. Use them for inspiration!

  1. Color Symbolism in The Great Gatsby
  2. Symbolism in The Great Gatsby
  3. Masculinity in The Great Gatsby and The Breakfast Club
  4. Imagery in The Great Gatsby by F. Fitzgerald
  5. Conception of The American Dream
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