Media Resource

American Icons: The Great Gatsby

Cover art for The Great Gatsby.
Photo caption

Cover art for The Great Gatsby.

This NEH-funded podcast from Public Radio International explores The Great Gatsby in conversation with actors, scholars, and writers.

Classroom Connections

Princeton University provides access to the digital version of Fitzgerald's manuscript (discussed in the podcast) and a scrapbook with newspaper clippings about the book's publication.

Questions for Part 1 (00:00 to 16:15)

  • Why does Jonathan Franzen describe the book as a "miracle of American literature"?
  • What parts of the book seem to resonate with the authors and scholars interviewed on the podcast?
  • Why does the podcast describe the book as "the great American novel"? Do you agree with this characterization? Why or why not?

Questions for Part 2 (16:15 to 36:00)

  • Why didn't people approve of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald in the 1950s?
  • How does Fitzgerald's novel work as social criticism?
  • What parallels does Lauren use to adapt The Great Gatsby to create the movie G?
  • What is the function of music in the novel?

Questions for Part 3 (36:00 to 59:00)

  • How does The Great Gatsby contribute to building "moral frameworks"?
  • How does the context in which the book is read shape interpretations of it? How have different educators taught about the book?

Finally, EDSITEment provides a lesson plan for reading The Great Gatsby in light of the economic and social climate in which Fitzgerald wrote the novel (grades 9-12).