Is the Great Gatsby Historical Fiction?

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Updated: Apr 16, 2020
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Historical information about the period of publication: The Great Gatsby was published in the twenties and the book takes place in the twenties. In the 1920’s Jazz was upcoming and very popular. Jazz clubs were very popular, and many people would come in some pretty cool outfits. Also in 1920 the 19th amendment was ratified and gave women the right to vote. In 1928 Hoover is elected president and creates the slogan a chicken in every pot, a car in every garage. Also 1928 was the year that Mickey Mouse was born! The twenties were filled with a bunch of cool things, and things that are still popular today like Mickey, and The Great Gatsby.

Biographical information about the author: F. Scott Fitzgerald was born September 24th 1896 in St. Paul Minnesota. F. Scott Fitzgerald stands for Francis Scott, he was named after a very distant cousin. F. Scott Fitzgerald graduated from Princeton University in 1917 and soon after college married a women named Zelda. Fitzgerald unfortunately did not have any children of his own. During the 1920’s FItzgerald started to drink more than usual and became an alcoholic, soon after that he started to have writers block. Fitzgerald’s wife was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was placed into a mental hospital. Fitzgerald died December 21st 1940.

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Characteristics of the genre: The Great Gatsby falls under the Historical Fiction genre. Historical fiction means that the book is very accurate under the time period, but the story is not true. The Great Gatsby is a novel that takes place in the 1920’s and has very accurate detailing. The Great Gatsby is not a true story, but the plot and story are all accurate in the 1920’s. Historical fiction is also commonly called a historical novel. Historical fiction may include fictional characters, well known historical figures, or the mixture of the two. The setting is one of the most important distinctions of a historical fiction novel. The setting tells the story and the fictional characters make it fiction.

Plot Summary: The Great Gatsby is told by Nick Carraway. Nick is Gatsby’s new neighbor that just moved into the neighborhood. Nick’s cousin Daisy and her husband Tom live right across the sound, but Tom is having an affair with a women named Myrtle. From across the sound you can always see the green light. Nick gets an invitation to one of Gatsby’s weekly parties, and at the party Nick and Gatsby become friends.Nick soon finds out that Gatsby and Daisy were in love back when Gatsby was in the army. Nick, Daisy, Gatsby, Tom and Jordan (Daisy’s best friend) take a trip uptown, on the way back Gatsby’s car apparently hit Myrtle and killed her. Myrtle’s husband comes to Gatsby’s house the next day shoots and kills Gatsby and then kills himself.

Describe the author’s style: F.Scott Fitzgerald has a unique style of writing. Fitzgerald uses a lyrical writing style while he wrote The Great Gatsby. Lyrical writing is expressing the writer’s emotions and imagination in really cool ways. The story is told by Nick Carraway who creates a romantic perspective on his neighbor Gatsby and his cousin Daisy. Fitzgerald also uses a great deal of Diction and syntax to describe places and people in his stories. Fitzgerald uses syntax to describe Gatsby’s parties using long sentences.

An Example that demonstrates the style: Nick Carraway uses the words desolate, grotesque, and very sarcastically fantastic to describe The Valley of Ashes. Fitzgerald also does a great job using diction when he was describing Tom and Myrtle. I was within without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.

Memorable QUotations:

The first quote And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy. This quote is significant because during a big majority of the book Gatsby is throwing a party. Gatsby is known for his large parties and this quote just represents the way that other people looked at Gatsby and how he was remembered.

The second quote that is memorable is Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. This is a significant quote because it shows you just how long Gatsby was waiting for Daisy. Gatsby would wait months on months to find the right moment to see Daisy and tell her that he loves her. A big role in the book is Gatsby and Daisy’s love for eachother and how they were reunited in the fall.

The third quote that is memorable is He looked at her the way all women want to be looked at by a man. This is a very significant and important quote because this is Nick watching Daisy and Gatsby and seeing how in love they are. This is big because this shows you just how much he actually loved her and how other people could see how much he loved her.

The Fourth quote that is memorable is What’ll we do with ourselves this afternoon? cried Daisy, and the day after that, and the next thirty years? This quote is significant because it shows us that Daisy was planning on being with Gatsby her whole life, but it was cut short because of her husband Tom and Myrtle’s husband. This is important because we know that they both wanted to be together and their future was ruined because of jealousy and rage.

The Fifth quote that is memorable is The rich get richer and the poor get — children. This is significant because this shows you what most people believed. This is sad because it shows you what rich people really think of the poorer people and how they felt about children. This shows us all the thing that rich people want and what poor people want. Rich people just want more money and to get richer and richer, but poorer people just want family and love.


Gatsby – Gatsby is the leading male role, and the man who has everything. Gatsby is significant because the story is told around him. Gatsby is the very rich neighbor that throws the biggest and baddest parties. Gatsby is in love with Daisy and is a very good person. Some adjectives that i would use to describe Gatsby would be charming, successful, hurt, powerful, handsome, loving, and sad.

Daisy – Daisy is the leading female role, and the women who has a huge heart. Daisy is married to Tom, but does not love him anymore. Daisy is in love with Gatsby, but does not want to hurt Tom. Daisy has to make up her mind if she wants to leave Tom or say goodbye to Gatsby. Some adjectives that I would use to describe Daisy would be thoughtful, gentle, Generous, giving, and confused.

Tom – Tom is one of the more minor characters. Tom is significant because he is Daisy’s husband and is involved in killing Gatsby. Tom is very hot headed and is mean. Tom was sweet to Daisy when the first got married but he is involved with other women. Some adjectives that i would use to describe Tom would be aggressive, selfish, energetic, relentless, and crazy. Tom is one of the reasons that Gatsby died.

Nick – Nick is the narrator of the story. Nick is Gatsby’s neighbor and ends up dating Daisy’s best friend Jordan Baker. Nick is very gentle and caring but he gets a way to involved in other people’s relations and problems. Nick gets dragged into reuniting Daisy and Gatsby. A few adjectives that i would use to describe Nick would be curious, determined, gentle, and kind.

Jordan Baker – Jordan is Daisy’s best friend in the movie, and ends up doing best friend things. Jordan is significant because she helped Daisy make the decision to go see Gatsby and reunite them. Jordan also ends up dating Nick, Gatsby’s neighbor and Daisy’s cousin. A few adjectives that i would use to describe Jordan would be attractive, wandering, exuberant, elegant, and involved.

Myrtle – Myrtle is a more minor character, but she is the reason that Gatsby is dead. Myrtle was the women who was having an affair with Tom. Myrtle was hit by Gatsby’s car and killed, so Myrtle’s husband went to Gatsby’s house and shot him. Myrtle was the reason that Gatsby is dead. A few adjectives that i would use to describe Myrtle would be clumsy, wild, dramatic, and different.

Setting – The setting of the Great Gatsby was held in Long Island, New York in the 1920’s. There were two areas known as West Egg and East Egg. The setting in the book switches up from Gatsby’s house to Nick, Myrtle or Daisy’s house. All of these houses are located in either West or East Egg.


The first symbol is the Green light. The green light was a light that sat at the end of Daisy’s dock across the sound. Most nights the green light was on and Gatsby watched it almost every night. The Green light represents Gatsby’s hope for the future and a guide to his goals and dreams. This is important because of this light Gatsby keep at his goals and eventually got back together with Daisy, all because he stuck to his goals.

The second symbol is Daisy herself. Daisy represented the past, love and a prize. Gatsby has been chasing after Daisy every since he came back from the army, but never had the courage or had the opportunity to see her. Daisy was the thing that Gatsby had to have. Daisy was Gatsby’s prize. The Prize was love and all of the the memories from the past. This is important because Gatsby never gave up chasing his prize and eventually got the love of his life and all his wonderful memories went flooding in.

The third Symbol is the weather when Daisy and Gatsby reunited. The first time that Gatsby and Daisy saw each other and were reunited it was pouring outside. The rain can represent all the different feelings and emotions that were going through their heads. The rain represents the tense conversation and the conflict. This is the most natural symbol, I think that this is the best symbol because it is so subtle but still seen. This is very important because it plays a role in reuniting Daisy and Gatsby.

Possible Themes

The First theme is one of the major themes in The Great Gatsby. The first theme is love Gatsby is in love with Daisy and Daisy is in love with Gatsby. The idea of love is just as overwhelming as actual love. Tom and Daisy may of had some kind of connection, but it was never as strong at Daisy and Gatsby.The theme of love is portrayed throughout the novel.

The second theme is Society and class. Money is everything to Gatsby and being at the top of the social class. Everyone in the book is looking for another way to one up the other. Gatsby threw all of his huge parties to show people how rich and successful he is. Gatsby made sure to give Daisy everything she wanted to please her. Being the best of the best is one of the only things people want. Nick never understood why Gatsby cared so much about his social standard.

The Third theme is the past and the future. The past and future play a major role in the novel because it explains Daisy’s and Gatsby’s past. The past keeping coming up in the novel giving us background information. The future is also a big part, because Gatsby and Daisy continuously talk about the future and what they are going to do with their lives. The past and future is how the novel is written. Nick Carraway is telling the story, but he is telling a story that already happened so it was in the past.

Significance of the opening scene – The opening of the Great Gatsby introduces Nick Carraway, the narrator of the book. This is significant because this shows us that the story he is telling is in the past. The opening provides a description and a background of Nick. The opening also introduces some of the major characters in the novel.

Significance of the ending/ closing scene – The ending scene provides a closure for Nick. In the closing scene Nick has a meeting with Jordan and sees Tom one more time. Nick ends the book saying so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. This is Nick getting closer and having peace with the fact that Gatsby is no longer with him and that things happen for a reason.

Is the Great Gatsby Historical Fiction? essay

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Is the Great Gatsby Historical Fiction?. (2020, Apr 16). Retrieved from