The Importance of Setting in The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby Writing Assignment #1

The Importance of Setting in The Great Gatsby


We have briefly discussed the homes of Nick, the Buchanans and Gatsby. We know the differences between East Egg, West Egg, and the Valley of Ashes. But, more than this, we can see that in the first few chapters of the novel, Fitzgerald is careful to provide detailed descriptions of the homes of each of the main characters. For example, Nick describes his home as follows: 

“My house was at the very tip of the egg, only fifty yards from the Sound, and squeezed between two huge places that rented for twelve or fifteen thousand a season. The one on my right was a colossal affair by any standard — it was a factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool, and more than forty acres of lawn and garden. It was Gatsby’s mansion” (Fitzgerald, p.3).



Your Task:

Your assignment is to describe each of the homes of the main characters and explain how the home of each corresponds to the social position, lifestyle and personality of the owners.

  • This writing assignment should be approximately 1-2 pages in length.
    • Please include a paragraph for Nick, Gatsby, and Tom/Daisy
    • You must use at least three (3) direct quotes from the novel in your response. 

      • Remember, when citing from a novel, write out the exact quote, and cite the author and page number (Fitzgerald, pg.#). 


Consider completing this assignments in two steps:

  1. Find quotes that describe each of the main character’s homes.
  2. Analyze how these homes represent the social standing of the character.

PREWRITING 

One way to begin is to jot down notes describing each house. Go back and decide what social position each owner holds and which personal characteristics are relevant. Then jot down notes as to how each home suits the owner. 

DRAFTING 

Write an opening (introductory) paragraph in which you introduce the idea that each of the homes suits the characteristics of its owners. 

In the body of your composition, write one paragraph about each home/owner combination. In each of these body paragraphs, start with a sentence which will let your reader know about which home/owner combination the paragraph is about (a topic sentence). Follow that with the information you have about the home/owner combination. 

Write a concluding paragraph in which you summarize your ideas and make your final statements and conclusions. 

PROMPT 

When you finish the rough draft of your paper, ask a student who sits near you to read it. After reading your rough draft, he/she should tell you what he/she liked best about your work, which parts were difficult to understand, and ways in which your work could be improved. Reread your paper considering your critic’s comments, and make the corrections you think are necessary. 

PROOFREADING 

Do a final proofreading of your paper double-checking your grammar, spelling, organization, and the clarity of your ideas. 


When you have completed this writing task, please submit your final copy to the course.