THE GREAT GATSBY--Individual Projects

 

You may choose any one of the following activities as your individual project.  The final product should exhibit quality commensurate with the grade you expect to receive.

 

1.  Gatsby’s past is shrouded in wild rumors.  Make up five rumors about Gatsby’s past that Fitzgerald could have used in the novel.

 

2.  The characters in this novel often travel from East and West Egg (Great Neck and Little Neck) to Manhattan.  Trace their path on a map of Long Island and New York.  Using the map’s mileage legend, figure out how long it takes to drive the same route today.

 

3.  Select a scene that you find especially vivid, such as Gatsby’s murder or the drive through the valley of ashes.  Draw a picture of the scene and then write a paragraph explaining why you selected it.

 

4.  Write a eulogy that Nick could have delivered at Gatsby’s funeral.  Deliver the eulogy for your classmates.

 

5.  Some editions of the novel use the original book jacket, a highly stylized design first created in the 1920’s.  Design a new book jacket, capturing what you feel are the dominant images of the book.

 

6.  The Great Gatsby has been filmed several times, most recently in 1974 with Mia Farrow as Daisy and Robert Redford as Gatsby.  View one version of the movie and write a review of it for the local newspaper in which you compare and contrast the movie to the novel.  How are they the same?  How are they different?  Which do you feel is the most effective, and why?

 

7.  Suppose that you were casting the movie version of The Great Gatsby.  Make a list of the actors and actresses you would select to play the characters included in the novel.  Next to each name, write a sentence explaining why you think this person would be suitable for the role.

 

8.  Writing as Daisy, send a letter to an advice columnist, explaining your problems.  Try to capture her tone as you write.  Then writing as the columnist, answer the letter, suggesting a course of action Daisy might take.  Should she leave Tom for Gatsby?  Should she stay with her husband?

 

9.  The arresting imagery of the novel’s ending has sparked controversy.  Write an alternate ending that also serves to summarize the novel’s themes.

 

10. Doctor T. J. Eckleburg, the billboard for the Queens oculist, is based on writer T. S. Eliot; the ashheap is an allusion to Elliot’s famous 1921 poem The Waste Land.  Read this poem and explain in an essay or speech how it relates to The Great Gatsby.

 

11.  Much of The Great Gatsby is autobiographical, as with many of Fitzgerald’s writings.  Read a reliable biography of Fitzgerald’s life.  Then write an essay pointing out the autobiographical elements in The Great Gatsby.