Gatsby is a pillar of the American literary canon and has been woven over generations into the very fabric of American culture. You should read this text carefully and interactively – annotating your text so that, during class discussions, you are able to find and reference meaningful passages. On the second day of classes you will turn in a well-crafted, thoughtful essay of 3-6 pages. Your essay must be typed, doubled spaced, in 12 pt. Times New Roman font, with one-inch margins and formatted according to proper Modern Language Association (MLA) standards [proper header, page numbers, and parenthetical citations]. If you have any doubt about how to write in MLA format, consult the most recent edition of the MLA handbook (available in the ISS library). This will be my first encounter with your formal writing. Some things to consider when writing a formal literary analysis paper:
1.The paper should have a defined, focused, and assertive argument (thesis). 2.The paper should be written in third person (no use of “I,” “we,” “you,” etc.). 3.The paper should be written in the literary present tense (e.g. “Gatsby goes…” as opposed to “Gatsby went…”). 4.The paper should paraphrase and quote specific passages as evidence to support claims. 5.Quoted material should be properly assimilated in the student’s writing. 6.The paper should be structured according to a logical progression for the argument. 7.The paper should be thoroughly edited for proper grammatical usage. 8.The paper should hold the reader’s interest. 9.Good essays have interesting titles.
Options for responding to the text:
1.Choose two characters in the work and compare them – noting their similarities and differences. Do so, though, not merely on a surface level, but in such a way that you explore the greater issues and concerns of the novel that the characters’ represent. 2.Choose two particular places that represent two opposing forces or ideas that are central to the novel. Write an essay explaining how the places differ, what each place represents, and how their contrasting contributes to the meaning of the work. 3.Choose at least two “social” scenes from the novel and discuss how these scenes establish some of the values or concerns that pervade the novel.