Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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3. Utopian Promise   

11. Modernist Portraits

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Activities: Author Activities

F. Scott Fitzgerald - Teaching Tips

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  • The nuanced social interactions and high cultural styles that Fitzgerald describes in The Great Gatsby will probably seem somewhat alien to your students. In order to dramatize these scenes, you might show excerpts from the 1974 film version of the novel, starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, and ask students to compare their own visualizations of the scenes with the depictions in the movie. Have them focus on Fitzgerald's use of narrative point of view in one or more scenes, and ask them how it affects the presentation of these scenes in the film. Broaden the question to ask students about the significance of translating this novel--and other works, both popular and classic--into film versions.

  • Because The Great Gatsby is written in such a clear and evocative way, students may initially have trouble questioning the effects of Fitzgerald's use of language and other literary conventions such as point of view. Have students focus on certain descriptions--of setting, character, or even of mannerisms detailed in Dialogue--and ask them to explain how the descriptions function to convey meaning in the novel. Additionally, ask students to imagine the story of The Great Gatsby retold from the point of view of a character other than Nick Carraway. How would such a change affect the structure of the narrative?

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