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What are the themes of The Great Gatsby? Show more Show less

F. Scott Fitzgerald's beloved novel The Great Gatsby is required reading for most high schools. It shows New York City during the 1920s: a time of youth, wealth, and prohibition. What exactly are the themes of the novel, and how are the characters influenced by the values of the era?

The Great Gatsby is about love Show more Show less

At its core, the novel is a tragic love story.
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Nick Carraway's sexuality

Nick explores his sexuality during the novel.
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The Great Gatsby literature education reading book sexuality

Context

The Argument

In The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway struggles with building a relationship with Jordan Baker. He is consistently nervous and uncomfortable in her presence and often does not know what to say.[1] While at a party in New York City, Nick goes off with Mr. McKee, eventually ending up in his bedroom. Readers are left to infer on their own, but it is obvious the two men had a sexual encounter.[2] Readers are able to see Nick struggle with his sexuality throughout the entire novel. This is proven by his awkward relationship with Jordan Baker, as well as the scene in Mr. McKee's bedroom.

Counter arguments

There is no concrete proof that Nick Carraway is struggling with his sexuality. His relationship with Jordan Baker ended due to how shy and quiet he is. In the scene with Mr. McKee, he never explicitly states what happens, so readers cannot draw conclusions.

Framing

Premises

[P1] Nick Carraway is nervous around women. [P2] Nick Carraway was in Mr. McKee's bedroom. [P3] Nick Carraway is struggling with his sexuality.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Nick Carraway is not nervous around his cousin, Daisy Buchanan.

Proponents

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Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/05/-i-the-great-gatsby-i-movie-needed-to-be-more-gay/275768/
  2. https://themillions.com/2018/04/the-queering-of-nick-carraway.html

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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 25 Mar 2020 at 18:56 UTC