The Great Gatsby – Light and Dark…

Essay Topic:

The paired opposites of light and dark are an important subtext in The Great Gatsby. Of course, Fitzgerald was well aware of this; while working on The Great Gatsby in 1924, he wrote “That’s the whole burden of this novel – the loss of those illusions that give such color to the world so that you don’t care whether things are true or false as long as they partake of the magical glory.”

Discuss Fitzgerald’s overt and covert uses of light and dark as a way to convey and enhance his concept and perception of the pursuit of the American Dream.

After thoughtful contemplation of the prompt offered above, write an essay in which you critically explore light and dark in the novel. Your essay should include at least three body paragraphs that address three specific examples of light and dark.


  • 3-4 pages
  • 5 paragraphs (minimum): introduction with thesis statement, 3 or more body paragraphs followed by a conclusion
  • Textual evidence/supporting quotations required (at least 3)
  • MLA format for in-text citation