The Great Gatsby
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You will receive two separate grades for the following assignments: A double-entry journal
A rhetorical analysis
(Rubrics are on the last page)
The purpose of this activity is for you to be an active reader and thinker during your reading of the text; it is not formal writing. It is a place to record and explore ideas using writing as a tool for learning. This journal, in essence, is a log that records the conversation that you are having with the book. This journal will assist you in compiling textual evidence to be used for various writing assignments and discussions. Plan to read two-three chapters a week and submit journal entries accordingly. Instructions:
1. Draw a line down the middle of the paper, making two columns (see sample below). You are encouraged to create digital entries if you prefer.
2. The left column is used for direct quotations or particularly important passages from the reading. Chapter, page, and paragraph numbers must be included.
3. The right column is used for commenting on passages in the left column based on the assignment for each chapter outlined below. Responses will be at least four sentences long for each quote or passage discussed.
As you take notes in your journal, you should regularly reread the previous pages of notes and comments. Please number your passages as you go because your grade will be based on how many entries you write. At the end of each chapter’s notes and before you begin the next chapter, write a chapter summary in the right-hand column.
Select and note in your journal the page number of two or more passages that give the reader an understanding of how Nick views Gatsby as a person. Be sure to discuss Fitzgerald’s word choice (diction) and how Gatsby appears to differ from Nick. Also, note in your journal two or more passages that discuss the mood of the dinner party Nick attends in this chapter. Be sure to explain how the mood is created and what your thoughts are on how this scene might be important. (4-5 total passages and responses)
Select and note in your journal the page number of two or more passages that best exemplify the character of Tom at this point in the novel. Comment and discuss your reasons for selecting these passages and how you think Tom will develop over the course of the novel based on this chapter. (3-4 total passages and responses)
Select and note in your journal the page number of two or more passages that best exemplify the atmosphere of Gatsby’s parties. Be sure to comment on Fitzgerald’s use of imagery in these passages. (2-4 total passages and responses)
Select and note in your journal two or more passages that you find the most difficult to believe about Gatsby’s background. Explain why these details seem unlikely to you and be sure to comment on what you think this says about Gatsby’s character. How might this also be connected to his behavior at his own parties from the previous chapter? (2-3 total passages and responses)
Select and note in your journal two or more passages that you feel best capture the overall mood of this chapter. Be certain to discuss how Fitzgerald creates that particular mood in your commentary. Also, select one passage that you feel shows the connection between Daisy and Gatsby the best. What emotions do you notice in the passage that you’ve selected? (3-4 total passages and responses)
Select and note in your journal two or more passages that you found interesting in regards to the true story about Gatsby’s past. Discuss how this new information changes, supports or challenges what you thought about Gatsby before this new information was learned. Also, select one passage from Nick and Gatsby’s conversation about the past and discuss your thoughts on Nick’s views about the ability to recreate past memories and feelings. (3-4 total passages and responses)
Select and note two or more passages from this chapter that you feel best demonstrate the overall mood of the chapter. Be sure to discuss how Fitzgerald creates this mood and builds it to the emotions that you witnessed. (2-3 total passages and thoughts)
Select and note two or more passages that you find the most shocking in this chapter. Explain what you find so shocking and predict how this scene will impact the outcome of the novel. Which characters do you think will be most affected by the event(s) you selected? (2-3 total passages and thoughts)
Select and note two or more passages that you find the most powerful in this chapter. What makes each passage powerful and how do you think this passage reflects a larger theme or idea? (2-3 total passages and thoughts)
The Great Gatsby Sample
“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he told me,”just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” (1.1.1) (Nick) This quote seems to set up the idea that the narrator belongs to a privileged group and the advice he gets from his father could indicate that he might be one of the nobler characters in this book because of how much he thinks about the differences between himself and those in a lower social class. “I believe that on the first night I went to Gatsby’s house I was one of the few guests who had actually been invited. People were not invited-they went there.” (3.45.2) (Nick) Nick’s set-up of the party scene is very important in explaining how popular a figure that Gatsby was, even if he was one that was so mysterious. Could this mystery be something that hides a deeper, more troubled individual?
Choose one to two pages from the novel on which to focus for a rhetorical analysis. Note the chapter and page numbers. In a bulleted list, identify SOAPSTone for the chosen passage. Then, in a detailed paragraph, discuss how the author uses one rhetorical device to achieve his purpose in this passage.