Prewriting Exercise: The Great Gatsby, Chapters 1-5
The 1920s was a period of cultural change. As the gender roles-accepted cultural standards of behavior for men and women-changed in the 1920s, women’s place in society began to change as well. Fitzgerald introduces a number of female characters in the first five chapters of The Great Gatsby. These women embody, to varying degrees, the attitudes of the so-called New Woman.
For this Assignment you’ll write an introductory paragraph and an outline of three or more relevant examples from the text, both addressing the following essay question:
Discuss Fitzgerald’s attitude toward the so-called New Woman as evidenced by his characterizations of the women in The Great Gatsby. Does he condemn or support the New Woman? How does he convey his attitude through his depictions of female characters? Support your answer with examples from the text.
What You Turn In
• Don’t answer the essay prompt! You only need to write an introductory paragraph with a thesis statement and a numbered outline of three or more relevant examples from the text that could be used to support the thesis stated in your introductory paragraph.
• Your introductory paragraph should contain a clear thesis statement in which you clearly present the argument you would present if you were to complete the essay.
• Your outline should list at least three relevant examples from the text that could be linked together with insightful commentary if you were to write the entire essay.
Hints and Tips
Fitzgerald’s attitude towards the New Woman as evidenced by his characterizations of the women in his novel.
• Your examples should directly support your thesis statement.
• Be sure you address both parts of the prompt: the attitude that Fitzgerald expresses as well as how that attitude is conveyed.
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