South High English -- South High Clock Tower

Ms. Rinaldi
American Lit. 2x

Literary Analysis #1:  DUE MARCH 8TH

Analysis of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

  • Format: 3-4 pages, double spaced, 1-inch margins
  • NO 1st person
  • All quotes must be properly cited using MLA format
  • Works Cited page required (this one will  contain only the novel itself, and any outside sources you use)
  • Papers turned in late will receive an automatic letter-grade deduction
  • No biographical information on the author—it is not relevant for this analysis
  • No outside sources, other than the novel itself, are required. However, you are welcome to use literary criticism if you find it helpful, and if you cite it properly
  • No pictures, illustrations, or any other frills whatsoever
  • Formal language required—no casual comments

You may choose any of the topics below, or you may write on a topic of your own choice, provided you have my approval of the topic PRIOR to your handing the paper in. As always, first drafts are greatly encouraged, and I will be happy to correct any and all drafts that you hand in to me ahead of time.


  • Symbolism of "the green light"
  • Symbolism of the eye-glass billboard
  • Analysis of the characters as "careless"
  • Analysis of the characters as "real" or "unreal"
  • Love as a theme
  • Betrayal as a theme
  • Hope as a theme
  • "American Dream" as a theme
  • Illusion vs. Reality as a theme
  • Comparison of Daisy and Myrtle
  • Comparison of Tom and Gatsby
  • Analysis of narrator’s role (or lack of) in the story
  • Decadence as a theme
  • Obsession as a theme
  • Symbolic significance of setting—and changes in setting

Jennifer Rinaldi's American Lit. Syllabus

Jennifer Rinaldi's Syllabus Page

South English Faculty

South Reading and Writing Center

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