Study Guide

The Great Gatsby Themes

By F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Society and Class


The American Dream


Memory and the Past






Lies and Deceit


Compassion and Forgiveness


Explore The Great Gatsby’s Themes

Considered to be F. Scott Fitzgerald’s greatest achievement, The Great Gatsby is set in Jazz Age New York, focused on Jay Gatsby, a New York elite. When you read and analyze this work, you’ll discover each of The Great Gatsby themes that are listed above.

Themes for The Great Gatsby and How They Relate to Today

The Great Gatsby was written during the Roaring Twenties, but there are many similarities of that era to today’s society. When taking a deeper look at themes for The Great Gatsby, you’ll recognize that issues of class, race, nostalgia, and reinvention are present, all of which maintain their relevance today.

Wealth plays a large role in The Great Gatsby as the book heavily revolves around materialistic items, such as a yellow Rolls-Royce and other possessions of the title character. Even though money doesn’t buy happiness, as Jay Gatsby discovers, he still holds a desire to show off his lavish lifestyle to impress others.

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