The Great Gatsby: Context – Quick Questions


  1. In what time was The Great Gatsby composed?

Fitzgerald’s Personal Context

  1. When was Fitzgerald born?
  2. What was Fitzgerald’s religious background? How this shape his criticism of the Jazz Age?
  3. Who was Fitzgerald’s first love? Why didn’t the relationship work out?
  4. Who was Fitzgerald’s second love (and who he married in 1920)? Why did she initially reject him?
  5. What was their married life like? What kinds of problems did they experience?
  6. How is the text a reflection of Fitzgerald’s own life?

The Jazz Age (or Roaring Twenties)

  1. When was the Jazz Age?
  2. The Jazz Age came after World War I (ended 1918). How did the young American generation feel after the war?
  3. How was established Victorian and Edwardian social morality viewed after WWI?
  4. What happened to the American economy? How did this influence society’s behaviour and attitudes?
  5. Which characters and settings represent the old American aristocracy? What does Fitzgerald suggest about them?
  6. Which characters and settings represent the “newly rich” Americans? What does Fitzgerald suggest about them?
  7. What was bootlegging?
  8. What was the role of women during this time?
  9. What happened in 1929 and came after the Jazz Age?

Keywords: disillusionment, hedionism, excess, materialism

The American Dream

  1. What is the American Dream? What did it promise?
  2. How has the American Dream been corrupted?
  3. How does Gatsby’s dream of Daisy reflect Fitzgerald’s criticism of the American Dream?
  4. What does the green light in the text represent? How does it relate to the American Dream? Consider the last lines of the text.
  5. What did past industry and economy rely upon?
  6. How did this change during the Industrial Revolution?
  7. How does this relate to capitalism?


2 comments for “The Great Gatsby: Context – Quick Questions

  1. John
    April 10, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Hi there,
    I’ve been a regular visitor to your blog for quite some time now and have been looking for the opportunity to ask if you would be able to tutor me in Y12 Advanced English by any chance!

    Our school has just finished Module A Frankenstein and Bladerunner and will be starting with Module B Hamlet next term and Module C Fiftieth Gate in the last term.

    My half-yearly results weren’t as good as I had hoped them to be – which is why I felt the need to get tutored by someone as experienced as yourself if possible.

    I live in Chatswood but would be willing to travel if needed!
    I’d like to hear about the fees and other details if possible.

    Thanks and I’ll look forward to hearing from you!


    • tutortales
      April 11, 2011 at 7:58 pm

      Hi John – unfortunately I’ve started full-time work this year and been booked out with tutoring on the weekends, so I am unable to take on new students. Have a try with contacting potential tutors on

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