The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby Analysis

Literary Devices in The Great Gatsby

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

Great Gatsby is set in New York City and on Long Island, in two areas known as "West Egg" and "East Egg"—in real life, Great Neck and Port Washington peninsulas on Long Island. Long Isla...

Narrator Point of View

Nick Carraway is our first-person narrator, but he's not the center of the story—and that makes him a peripheral narrator, someone who's always on the outside looking in. He tells us at the begin...

Genre

We admit it, "literary fiction" is a little bit of a cop-out: it's an umbrella term for a story or novel that focuses more on character development and style than on page-turning plots. Less Twilig...

Tone

Nick is one cynical little cookie. Even though Nick reserves explicit judgment on the characters, Fitzgerald still manages to implicitly criticize through his narrator's tone. (Think about how ludi...

Writing Style

Hold on to your hats, Shmoopsters, because once you ride the Fitzgerald train, there's no stopping. You'll be hurtling through this plot faster than you can say "T.J. Eckleburg." It seems to us tha...

What’s Up With the Title?

For such a short title, The Great Gatsby raises a lot of questions. Is Gatsby great? Or is Fitzgerald being ironic? And why is he "the" great Gatsby? Let's break it down.The way we see it, there ar...

What’s Up With the Epigraph?

What, you've never heard of Thomas Parke D'Invilliers? That's because Fitzgerald made him up. This is breaking the normal rules of epigraphs, which usually use someone else's words and not the auth...

What's Up With the Ending?

Gatsby is dead; Myrtle and George Wilson are dead; Tom and Daisy have fled back West; and there's Nick, standing on Gatsby's beach and "brooding on the old unknown world" (9.150), thinking that we...

Tough-o-Meter

For the most part, Gatsby is straightforward. It's got some funny 1920s turns of phrase, like "ecstatic cahoots" (8.46), but you're not going to run into too many unfamiliar words. But that doesn't...

Plot Analysis

East or West, Home is BestOur narrator Nick Carraway is back from World War I and renting a house in West Egg, a small but fancy town on Long Island. Cousin Daisy and her ex-football player husband...

Booker’s Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Tragedy

It's fun to have a crush. Will he ask to borrow your pencil in Biology? Will she walk by you in the hall today? Did he really just ask for your phone number?It's not so fun when the object of your...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Hidy-ho, NeighborNick meets his party-hardy next-door neighbor, the immensely wealthy Jay Gatsby, who has a suspicious past and a suspicious access to illegal alcohol. Turns out, that suspicious pa...

Trivia

The F. Scott stands for Francis Scott – which means that, yes, Fitzgerald was named after his distant relative (second cousin three times removed) Francis Scott Key, the man who wrote the words t...

Steaminess Rating

People are cheating on each other all over the place in The Great Gatsby. Tom Buchanan, in addition to that incident with the maid shortly after his honeymoon, not to mention his obvious pursuit of...

Allusions

T.S. EliotKing Midas, from the Greek myth (1.12)Maecenas, a patron of the arts and a political advisor to Caesar Augustus (1.12)J.P. Morgan, an American banker, one of America's first billionaires...

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