· The last line of the book is arguably the most important: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past.” How does this line embody the thematic conflict that defines The Great Gatsby?
· Is Gatsby’s desire for success—however we define it—evidence of the American dream, obsession, a personal sense of honor, or something else? Does Gatsby symbolize our culture and even our own desires, or is he an outlier?
· How does Fitzgerald’s characterization create a tone around the theme of happiness? What is Fitzgerald’s attitude toward happiness? Does it depend on love, on external markers such as wealth, on repairing or atoning for the past, or on something that is unattainable?
· The notion of the American dream figures prominently in this story. How do readers define the American dream? Moreover, is pursuing the American dream necessarily a good thing?