The Great Gatsby是高中论文写作中常见的Assignment题目。本文详细解读《了不起的盖茨比》The Great Gatsby，内附范文解析。
The Great Gatsby——背景和作者介绍
F. Scott Fitzgerald被认作是二十世纪最有影响力的美国作家之一，他的小说生动地反映了20年代“美国梦”的破灭，展示了大萧条时期美国上层社会“荒原时代”的精神面。The Great Gatsby是F. Scott Fitzgerald所写的一部以20世纪20年代为背景的中篇小说，这部小说的问世，奠定了F. Scott Fitzgerald在现代美国文学史上的地位，使他成为20年代“爵士时代”的发言人和“迷惘的一代”(Lost Generation)代表作家之一。The Great Gatsby以纽约市及长岛的美国中上阶层的白人圈为背景，小说通过Nick Carraway的描述，讲述了Gatsby从发迹到毁灭的人生轨迹。
20世纪20年代是美国历史上—个短暂而特殊的时期，史称“喧嚣年代”(the Roaring Twenties)，指的是第一次世界大战结束后的1919年到美国经济大溃败之前的1929年这10年。这个阶段的美国社会，经济已经得到蓬勃的发展，人们的价值观随之发生了巨大的改变，人们的思想道德开始沦丧。
The Great Gatsby——故事梗概
Nick为Gatsby的痴情打动，为两人牵线搭桥。但是Daisy早已不复当年，而是一副拜金面孔，与Gatsby的重温旧梦不过是她在婚姻外寻求的刺激。一次意外，Daisy驾车时撞死了丈夫Tom的情人Myrtle Wilson，Gatsby为救心上人决意顶罪，Tom却借此唆使George Wilson杀死了Gatsby。薄情的黛西没有为Gatsby送葬，而是与丈夫踏上欧洲游玩的旅程。Gatsby草草结束了荒唐悲剧的一生。而目睹了人世间薄情寡义的Nick，也离开了喧嚣、冷漠、空洞、虚假的纽约，黯然回到故乡。
The Great Gatsby——主题
除了美国梦这个主题之外，我们还可以探讨The Great Gatsby这部作品中包含的其他主题，如婚姻，社会阶级，财富等等。
The Great Gatsby——常见Essay Topics
1）Discuss Gatsby’s character as Nick perceives him throughout the novel. What makes Gatsby “great”?
2）What is Nick like as a narrator? Is he a reliable storyteller, or does his version of events seem suspect? How do his qualities as a character affect his narration?
3）What are some of The Great Gatsby’s most important symbols? What does the novel have to say about the role of symbols in life?
4）How does the geography of the novel dictate its themes and characters? What role does setting play in The Great Gatsby?
5）How does Gatsby represent the American dream? What does the novel have to say about the condition of the American dream in the 1920s? In what ways do the themes of dreams, wealth, and time relate to each other in the novel’s exploration of the idea of America?
The Great Gatsby——Sample Essay
Wealth and class take center stage in the first four chapters of The Great Gatsby (Love, Wealth, and Recreation). Nick Carraway is self-aware enough to know that all of his advantages come from his status as a wealthy person, but he doesn’t let wealth influence his opinions of others. Instead, he is “inclined to reserve all judgments” (Fitzgerald 3). Early in the book, Fitzgerald introduces readers to the concept of old money versus new money. Those with new money recently acquired their wealth, while those with old money have seemingly always been wealthy. Although Nick comes from old money, he is willing to cross class lines by renting a house in West Egg village (Fitzgerald 7). Fitzgerald uses George and Myrtle Wilson to represent the working class. Myrtle desperately wants to be part of high society, but money and privilege are beyond her reach. She has to settle for having an affair with Tom Buchanan. In the first four chapters, Fitzgerald shows that people of all economic backgrounds use each other in some way. Tom uses Myrtle to fulfill his own selfish desires, Myrtle uses Tom to get a glimpse of his privileged world, and people use Gatsby for his hospitality and lavish parties.
Although Nick Carraway is not the title character, he is arguably the most interesting person in the first four chapters of the book. As an old-money Yale graduate with an interest in finance, Nick could have chosen to be selfish and judgmental. However, his father advised him to be tolerant of others, saying, “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had” (Fitzgerald 3). Because Nick listened to his father’s advice, he had many opportunities to connect with people outside his social circle. Nick doesn’t seem concerned with material wealth, but he does acknowledge the ways in which wealth shapes society. Although East Egg is the more fashionable of the two villages, Nick chooses to rent a small house in West Egg. He describes it by saying, “My own house was an eye-sore, but it was a small eye-sore…” and then says that he is in the “consoling proximity of millionaires” (Fitzgerald 7). In contrast, Gatsby’s mansion is a “colossal affair” with a marble swimming pool and more than forty acres of lawn (Fitzgerald 7).
As the narrator of The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway plays an important role. Because he is a tolerant person who avoids snap judgments, he provides detailed insight into the dynamics at play between the old-money citizens of East Egg and the new-money citizens of West Egg. He also provides insightful descriptions of George and Myrtle Wilson, people with vastly different outlooks on the issues of wealth and class. While George is beaten down and feeling defeated, Myrtle is desperate to associate with the wealthy and privileged. Although Nick comes from old money, he is the only character who seems to understand that Tom and Daisy are caught up in the idea of the American dream. Nick’s unique perspective allows Fitzgerald to address issues of wealth and class without judging the wealthy or assigning jealousy to no-money characters.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 1995. Print.
“Love, Wealth, and Recreation: Examining ‘The Great Gatsby’.” ASU Now. 11 Apr. 2016. Web.
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