Essay topic about the great Gatsby and Passing?





In a work of literature, all its elements work together to create a unique power and beauty. This topic asks you to focus on the setting of New York (generally and specifically) as presented in The Great Gatsby and Passing. Discuss how New York (place) in the 1920's (time) functions to enhance two other elements in the novels: characters, plot, theme, point of view, symbolism, and/or style. You must discuss at least THREE elements total (setting and two others)What are your thoughts on that topic. (you have to have read the books obviously)? What can I write about? Your ideas are appreciated!Thanks



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One Response to “Essay topic about the great Gatsby and Passing?”

  1. npoints says:

    Parties are central to each book. Gatsby’s parties are glamorous affairs with an undertone sometimes of discord; the parties in _Passing,_ especially the one at the end_ are more strident.Both books project societies that are uneasy with mobility. In _The Great Gatsby_ wealth is the ladder that most people are trying to climb and everyone from George Wilson to Tom Buchanan has a niche. It is hard to escape that niche. The plight of the woman in _Passing_ is more desperate; she is caught between two social worlds and winds up not being at home in either: no niche.Both books have a third person, an outsider, that acts as a side to the central figure. I can’t remember the name of the person who serves that one in _Passing,_ the one who is a friend of the black woman who looks white; in _Gatsby,_ of course, it is Nick Carraway. This third person gives perspective and distance on the dilemmas of the central characters and makes the story possible.Both books have suicides. George Wilson kills himself; the woman at the end in _Passing either is murdered or is killed. It’s impossible to say which. The indeterminacy of the end of _Passing_ mirrors the irresolution of the color theme; the elegiac tone associated with life and death at once in _Gatsby_ gives that novel a note of tragic finality.