Great Gatsby | Important Question & Answers | Board Exam Class12

Q1. Sketch the Character of George Wilson.

Ans. George Wilson is one of the important characters in the novel The Great Gatsby. He is the husband of Myrtle Wilson. He is an automobile mechanic and owns a house and a garage in the Valley of Ashes.

He is a hard-working and honest person. He is poor. Therefore, his wife is not satisfied with him. She has an immoral love affair with Tom Buchanan but he does not know that. Later, he locks her up in a room when he suspects her to have an affair with someone.
One day, Daisy happens to kill her by striking with a car. Tom tells George that it was Gatsby who killed Myrtle Wilson. Then Tom encourages him to kill Gatsby. Finally, he shoots Gatsby and shoots himself too.

George also represents modern American men. As he is simple and innocent, he is not successful in life. He can not earn much money. He is psychologically wounded and is a victim of his wife’s deceptive nature.

Q.2 Sketch the character of Myrtle Wilson.

Ans. Myrtle Wilson is one of the important characters in the novel ‘The Great Gatsby’. She is the wife of George Wilson. She is an immoral and deceptive woman. The novelist wants to show the nature of modern women through her.

Her husband George Wilson is poor. She is attracted to Tom Buchanan because he has a lot of property and is well-fed. She is in an immoral love affair with him. Tom has bought an apartment for her in New York. They meet there secretly. As she is closer to him, she is always dissatisfied and irritated with her husband.

George suspects her to have an affair with someone and locks her up in a room. She escapes away from there and runs to a street wildly. At the very time, Gatsby’s car which was being driven by Daisy strikes her and she is killed. She is herself responsible for her death.

Myrtle is a typical American woman who does not have any sense of morality. She gives more importance to money and physical relationship than to love and family life. The readers can understand the nature, way of life, and loss of morality of the American women in the the1920s.

Q.3 Sketch the character of Jordan Baker.

Ans. Jordan Baker is an important female character in the novel The Great Gatsby. She is a friend of Daisy. She plays golf. Nick and Jordan fall in love but their love terminates because of her nature. She has a habit of telling lies.

Jordan and Nick arrange parties at the request of Gatsby. Those parties help Gatsby and Daisy come closer. It is Jordan Baker who tells Nick about the love affair between Gatsby and Daisy in the past. She is bad-tempered and unreasonable but charming. She is also a typical American woman in the 1920s.

Q.4 Sketch the character of Dam Cody.

Ans. Dan Cody is a rich man. He earned a lot of money from copper mines. He employed Gatsby and taught him what is it like to be a rich man and how to become rich. He changed Gatsby’s name from Jay Gatz to Jay Gatsby. His role is important in the transformation of Gatsby’s life. He represents modern men of property, their lifestyle, and fate.

Q.5 Discuss The Great Gatsby as a comment on the American dream.

Ans. The Great Gatsby is a famous novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It represents America and American life in the 1920s. This novel can be interpreted as a comment on the American dream. It means that this novel comments on the dream that the American people have.

America is a land of infinite possibilities. Everybody has an opportunity to succeed in life. All the people there have their dream to become rich, to live a sophisticated life and make their position in their society. They always rush for money and position. They struggle to achieve their dream. But finally, their dream leads them to doom. The main character in the novel Jay Gatsby also has the same dream. He is from the poor family background. He uses his own brain and becomes rich but he is not satisfied.

All American people have the dreamlike Gatsby has. Their dream is based on materialism. It is hollow from the inside. The novelist does not like that dream of the Americans. That dream can’t come to be true because that has roots on materialism. Their dream becomes the cause of their own doom and death. The novelist comments on that very false dream of the Americans. Therefore, this novel can be interpreted as a comment on the American dream.

Q.6 Discuss The Great Gatsby as a love story.

Ans. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a novel of love. It means that it is written on the theme of love. This novel is trying to show how love is taken in the 1920s. The tragic and unsuccessful love between Gatsby and Daisy is the main plot of the novel. Their love turns to be tragic and unsuccessful because of the loss of moral and spiritual values and modern sophistication. This is also trying to say that love has become a game among the American people.

There are three love stories in the novel and they all contribute to the love theme of the novel. Gatsby and Daisy were in love in their past. Gatsby goes to join war so that he could earn a lot of money and could marry Daisy. But Daisy leaves Gatsby and gets married to Tom for his property.

Tom’s property and sophisticated lifestyle are greater for her than Gatsby’s true love. Their love is broken because of the deceptive nature of Daisy. But Gatsby always loves her from the core of his heart. He thinks that one day Daisy will come back to him because now he has more property than Tom has. They gradually come closer. He finally tries to save Daisy’s life without thinking about his own life. He sacrifices his life for Daisy’s love.

Here, Daisy represents a selfish American woman who does not have any stand in love. But Gatsby is devoted To love. Gatsby is victim of the selfish love of Daisy. Their love does not come to be successful because of the modern attitude towards money and loss of spiritual values.

Tom and Myrtle Wilson also are in love. Tom has got a wife and Myrtle also has got a husband. That is immoral love. Their love is just a physical one. Their love does not have any moral ground. Nick Carraway and Jordan Baker also are in love but their love terminates because of the nature of Jordan Baker. These two love stories are in shadow of the love between Daisy and Gatsby. Anyway, they all contribute to the love theme of the novel.

The three love stories in the novel mean that love has become a superficial matter in the modern world. There is not any belief and morality in love. No one is honest in love. To love someone is like playing a game. That very reality of love is presented in the novel.

Q.7 Discuss The Great Gatsby as a satire.

Ans. The Great Gatsby is a bitter satire on 20th-century American society and the way of life. It mainly satirizes the loss of moral, cultural, and spiritual values in western societies. It also satirizes the domination of power and wealth over cultural and moral values.
There is pomposity in modern society. The novelist is trying to satirize the nature of modern Americans. He is satirizing the American people who try to buy love with their property and have a false dream in life.

To tell in short, entire American and American people in the 1920s are satirized in the novel. That is why this novel can be interpreted as a novel of satire. The novelist wants to correct the evils in American society by satirizing them.

Q.8 Discuss The Great Gatsby as a symbolic novel.

Ans. The novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a symbolic novel. It means that there are many symbols in the novel. A symbol is a thing that refers to or stands for something else. There are many symbols in the novel which have deeper or alternative meaning going beyond what is said. Those symbols have made this novel very meaningful.
Most of the characters in the novel have symbolic significance. Gatsby is the symbol for the person having a false dream that leads to doom. Daisy is the symbol of a deceptive lover who cares more about money than to love. Tom, Nick, and the Wilsons to have symbolic significance.

There is the description of Valley of Ashes in chapter two. It symbolizes the loss of moral and spiritual values in American society. It means that these qualities have turned into ashes. The landscapes mentioned here also have symbolic significance. Greenlight and white colors also are symbolic. Greenlight suggests hope and productivity and white color suggests purity and innocence.

The parties and meetings also have symbolic significance. They symbolize the chaos and disorder in American societies. Dan Cody’s fate symbolizes the western reality that one’s own property causes his doom. Gatsby’s car also is symbolic. It symbolizes the property that causes the doom.

Tom’s house and the luxurious things symbolize the rich people and their lifestyle in the 1920s. There are many other symbols in the novel. They have made this novel meaningful and interesting. Therefore, this novel can be interpreted as a symbolic novel.

Q.9 Justify the title The Great Gatsby.


Discuss the significance of the title of the novel The Great Gatsby.

Ans. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby is a well celebrated novel in English literature. This is a story of a character named Jay Gatsby. The whole story of the novel moves around him and he is presented as a great person. So, Fitzgerald has entitled this novel ‘The Great Gatsby’.

Gatsby is from a simple family. He applies his mind and becomes rich and successful. He has to struggle for that. His fate also supports him in every aspect of life except in love. He has a dream to become rich and make his position in life.

His dream is the dream of all Americans. Fitzgerald wants to comment on that dream by presenting him as a typical character. This novel is the story of his greatness. He is great because of his courage, confidence struggle, and true love for Daisy. He really deserves the title ‘Great’.

Here, the main character of the novel is Gatsby and he is great. The novel is about his greatness. The title of the novel gives an idea to the readers about who the main character of the novel is, what type of person he is and what the novel is about. Therefore, the title of the novel is quite justifiable.

Q.10 Who is responsible for Gatsby’s death?

Ans. Jay Gatsby is the main character of the novel The Great Gatsby. He dies at the end of the novel. Many people are responsible for Gatsby’s death directly and indirectly.

Directly speaking, George Wilson shot him. Therefore, he is responsible for Gatsby’s death. It was Tom who encouraged George to kill him. In this sense, Tom is responsible for his death. Daisy was driving the car when it strokes Myrtle Wilson. But it was told that Gatsby was driving the car. George shot Gatsby thinking that he killed Myrtle. In this sense, Daisy is responsible for his death.

To the most, Gatsby himself is responsible for his death. He had a chance to save his life but he did not run away for Daisy. He was ready to face any difficulty for her. He did not care about his life and finally was shot by George Wilson. In this sense, Gatsby himself is responsible for his death.

Q11 What is the significance of social gatherings in the novel ?

Ans. While reading the novel we get various parties, luncheons, and meetings arranged by different characters in different places and occasions. All these have symbolic significance in the novel.

They show chaos and disorder in the American societies. American people believe in pump and show . They want to show their position in the societies by arranging parties and spending money. That type of materialistic view of American people is shown by the social gatherings in the novel.

On the other hand Nick Carraway gets chances to study the behaviour and character of many people in those social gatherings. The novelist presents different types of characters in the novel through the social gatherings. They symbolize the self-corruption of the modern Americans. Through the language of the characters in the social gatherings, we come to know how does the novelist use different types of languages to different characters. In this way, the social gatherings have great significance in the novel. They contribute to the theme of the novel.

Q12 Describe the symbolic significance of the ‘Valley of Ashes’.

Ans. At the beginning of chapter two, there is the description of the ‘Valley of Ashes’. This is the place where George and Myrtle Wilson live. This place has a great symbolic significance.

In the 1920s, America has become a spiritually barren land. There is a great loss of moral and spiritual values in American. The Valley of Ashes symbolizes that all the moral and spiritual values have turned into ashes in America. In fact, the description of the Valley of Ashes has made the meaning of the novel more effective. That represents the American society where moral and spiritual values are found no more. All these values are turned into ashes.

Q.13 Write a short note on ‘Jazz Age’.

Ans. Jazz is a type of music of American- Negro origin. It is a type of strange and syncopated music that was popular in the 1920s in America. It is a type of showy music that is characterized as nonsense music by some people. But the novelist Fitzgerald has used this music to characterize the 1920s.

Jazz Age is Fitzgerald’s own creation. The lifestyle of the American people during that time was as polished, nonsense, and strange as jazz music for him. The American society was nice to look at from the outside but it was hollow from the inside. There was nothing meaningful in the life of that time as there was nothing in Jazz music.

Thus, Fitzgerald has characterized that age as the jazz age. It has great symbolic meaning. It suggests the American society in the 1920s to have been the age of disorder, meaninglessness, and sophistication.

Q.14 What was the rumor about Gatsby’s past?
What did Nick hear about Gatsby at the party?

Ans. Gatsby is a famous rich man in his locality. But his past is mysterious for all. Nobody there knows about his real past. There is a great rumor about him.

Some people say that he once killed a man. Some say that all his property was from racketeering. Some people think that he worked as a spy for Germany during the war. In fact, these were the rumors about his past. But nobody is sure about them. These were the rumors heard by Nick Carraway about Gatsby at his party which he attended for the first time.

Q.15 Why does Tom break Myrtle Wilson’s nose?

Ans. Daisy’s husband Tom Buchanan and George Wilson’s wife Myrtle Wilson are in secret immoral love. Their love is physical love. Tom has taken a room for her in New York City. They meet there in the room. One day, they go to stay there like before. In the course of the conversation, Myrtle utters Daisy’s name. Tom does not like Myrtle uttering her name. There is a tussle between them. Tom gets angry with her. He can not stand her. Therefore, he breaks her nose.

Q.16 Write about the union and separation of Daisy and Gatsby.

Ans. Daisy and Gatsby are the two important characters in the novel The Great Gatsby. The novel is the story of their love. But their love is not successful because of their thought and way of life.

Daisy is the only girl whom Gatsby loves. He loves her passionately from the core of his heart. He is honest in love with her. He likes and loves her from their first meeting to the end of life. He knows that Daisy is interested in money. Then he goes to join the war to earn money so that he could make her happy after marriage. But Daisy comes closer to Tom Buchanan who is wealthy. She gets married to him. Then Daisy and Gatsby are separated. That is their first separation.

Later, Gatsby comes back from war and buys a large mansion near Daisy’s house. Gradually, their meeting is increased. Then they come closer. Gatsby still has the hope and belief that he will get Daisy. He thinks that she will come back to him because he has moiré property than Tom has. They talk together and pass time together. They are united once more in life.

One day, Daisy kills Myrtle by striking her with Gatsby’s car. George Wilson believes that it is Gatsby who killed his wife and then shoots Gatsby. Then Gatsby is dead. After that Daisy and Gatsby are separated for ever.

Q.17 What was Tom Buchanan’s attitude towards the fame of Gatsby?

Ans. Tom Buchanan and Gatsby both had a relationship with Daisy. Tom was Daisy’s husband and Gatsby was her ex-lover. Gatsby’s relation to Daisy formed Tom’s negative attitude towards Gatsby. Gatsby was the richest person in their locality and he had great fame. But Tom thought him to have been his competitor in property and position. He didn’t like Gatsby from the beginning of their meeting. He made negative comments on Gatsby’s name and fame. In fact, Tom’s attitude towards Gatsby was always negative. He always talked bad about him and finally encouraged George to kill him.

Q.18 Describe the role of money among the people in the 1920s.

Ans. Money played a great role among the people in the 1920s. Money was everything for them. They struggled the best for money. They thought that money could buy everything. They thought that it could buy the heart and love of people as well. The upper-class women thought that money could do everything for them in their life. Money was the source of satisfaction and dissatisfaction for them.

Q.19 The Great Gatsby as a tragedy of/a comment on the American dream.

Ans. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a symbolic novel, which shows the tragedy of the great American Dream rooted in the concepts of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The American Dream is a belief that every person, no matter who he or she is, can become successful in life by his or her hard work, honesty, and skills. Progress and achievements are possible to anyone who makes tireless efforts in that direction. America is a land of infinite possibilities and opportunities for aspiring and hardworking individuals. The American Dream refers also to the belief that money can bring everything, including honor and happiness.

The term American Dream was coined by James T. Adams. However, it is a dream as old as the founding of America itself. In the novel, the main characters, Tom and Daisy as well as Gatsby, all try to achieve their dream of happiness. Tom and Daisy are the perfect examples the wealth and prosperity and the American Dream because they have almost everything they could possibly want—money and social status. Yet, their life is empty and without purpose. They are not happy and satisfied despite their so much wealth and so secure social status. That is the reason why their situation represents the corruption of the American Dream.

Gatsby is a highly ambitious and determined gentleman. He sees himself as a failure as Daisy chooses Tom instead of himself because of his social and financial insecurity. This is the very beginning of the failure of the American Dream on his part. Then, he determines to get Daisy back at any cost. For this, he earns a lot of money by hook or by crook. However, he cannot get Daisy or her love back. Instead, this very longing for Daisy becomes the cause of his tragic death. His dream of improving his social status or upward social mobility by means of money is useless. In fact, he is in the illusion that money can buy him happiness and everything else. But it only corrupts his dream and makes him a victim.

The dishonesty and immoralities of the characters and the desolate land of The Valley of Ashes, etc. also add to the tragedy of the American Dream. In fact, the death of Gatsby at the end symbolizes the death of the American Dream itself.

Q.20 Describe the symbols applied in The Great Gatsby.
Discuss The Great Gatsby as a symbolic novel.

Ans. The Great Gatsby is rich in its use of symbolism. F. Scott Fitzgerald has applied several symbols in the novel to depict the emptiness and degeneration of life in the 1920s, especially of that of the rich. The principal symbols are the green light, the billboard, the automobiles, the parties, the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg, and Gatsby’s house and library.

The green light at the end of the Buchanans’ dock symbolizes all of Gatsby’s longings and wants, Daisy being the most important one. It also stands for his money, success, and status. It is, in fact, the symbol of the search for something better and the hope of mankind.

The billboard, advertising Dr. T. J. Eckleburg’s long-gone optometry business represents the only omniscient God in the dying society. The automobiles—Gatsby’s yellow Rolls Royce and Tom’s blue car—stand for the carefree irresponsibility. Gatsby’s car becomes a murder weapon in the irresponsible hands of Daisy. As a whole, these automobiles are symbols of material prosperity and the source of danger.

The extravagant parties represent the moral degeneration of the time, esp. due to excess drinking and revelry (festivities). The eyes of Dr. Eckleburg looking over the decaying wasteland of The Valley of Ashes stand for the death of the American Dream through moral degradation and spiritual barrenness.

Gatsby’s magnificent house is symbolic of the rapidly gained wealth and luxury. It symbolizes the external structure of Gatsby’s life, which must collapse when Gatsby dies.
Apart from these, there are other symbols in the novel contributions to the theme of the tragedy of the great American Dream. Thus, the novel becomes a symbolic novel of the failure of the American Dream.

Q.21 Discuss colour symbolism in the novel.

Ans. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby is full of colour symbolism. The main colors Fitzerald uses in the novel are green, white, yellow, and blue. The green light at the end of the Buchanans’ dockyard basically symbolizes Gatsby’s longing for Daisy. It further stands for something better but unattainable.

The white girlhood or white dress the main characters wear represents deception. Daisy is dressed white and so is Jorden Baker. Both of them are beautiful and attractive from the outside but their white clothes hide their virtues and deceive others. This colour also stands for immaturity, purity, emptiness, and innocence. Similarly, the yellow colour of Gatsby’s car is symbolic of modernity and danger. The car becomes the cause of Gatsby’s early tragic end. The blue colour that Tom’s car has represents the pride and superiority complex. Tom makes a show of his car and looks down upon Gatsby. The cars serve as the symbol of material prosperity but their different colors mean different things in the novel.

Q.22 Discuss Fitzgerald’s motives for writing The Great Gatsby.

Ans. Every great writer generally writes their works with some distinct and special motives. F. Scott Fitzgerald also did have such motives in writing his masterpiece novel The Great Gatsby. Basically, he had two chief motives for writing this work:

  • To depict the Age, especially to satirize it.
  • To break new ground as a writer and an artist.

The novel was written during the Jazz Age—the flamboyant pleasure-seeking age of the 1920s and that it beautifully portrays the Age. One of Fitzgerald’s comments on the Age is well-known: ‘It was an age of miracles, it was an age of art, it was an age of excess, and it was an age of satire’ (‘Echoes of the Jazz Age, p. 10). Fitzgerald’s use of the term ‘satire’ here draws attention to what is clearly part of his intention in The Great Gatsby—to subject the values of the society in which lived and depicted so graphically in his novel, to close scrutiny and to draw attention to their defects as he perceived them.

Since the Fitzgeralds lived a life not very far removed from those of his characters, Fitzgerald himself probably felt well qualified to explore the theme of wealth and its effects. Although in terms of biographical detail Fitzgerald resembles Gatsby less than the heroes of his earlier novels, there is a strong sense of identification with him, both as the romantic idealist and for the difficulties, Gatsby faced as a penniless young man who wanted to be successful: ‘That was always my experience—a poor boy in a rich town; a poor boy in a rich boy’s school; a poor boy in a rich man’s club at Princeton. I have never been able to forgive the rich for being rich, and it has coloured my entire life and work. This theme comes up again and again because I lived it.’ (Cross, Scott Fitzgerald, p. 51).

In writing The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald also wanted to break new ground as a writer and an artist. He wished to produce ‘something new—something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned’ (Turnbull, Scott Fitzgerald, p. 154). He saw the novel as a quite conscious attempt to harness and control his imaginative potential and raise his work to the level of true art: ‘In my new novel, I’m thrown directly on purely creative work—not trashy imaginings as in my stories [short stories] but the sustained imagination of a sincere, youth radiant world …This book will be a consciously artistic achievement and must depend on that as the first books did not’ (Turnbull, Scott Fitzgerald, p. 157).

Important : The Great Gatsby ; Summary and Character Sketch (Class 12 Major English)

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