The Great Gatsby Exam Questions: Characters, Themes and Narrative Techniques

Last Updated on August 8, 2023 by Ralph Nyadzi

The Great Gatsby exam questions in this post are standardized essay questions that are good for anyone studying the novel for a test. Do you want an examination guide for The Great Gatsby? You can use these questions for your practice tests by providing your best answers to as many as you want.

Are you an American literature enthusiast who desires to delve into the themes and narrative style of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby? Then these essay questions are good for you.

Utilize them as a reference point for analysing the various characters and themes in The Great Gatsby.

I’ve divided the questions into four parts:

  • Questions based on the characters in the novel.
  • Theme-based questions on The Great Gatsby
  • Questions that assess your understanding and appreciation of the literary techniques in the narrative and
  • Plot structure and plot development questions.

Exam Questions About Characters

Here are twenty likely examination questions about characters and characterization in The Great Gatsby:

1.Analyze the character of Jay Gatsby. How does his characterization evolve throughout the novel?

2. Compare and contrast the personalities of Tom Buchanan and George Wilson. How do their characterizations highlight different social classes?

3. Discuss the role of Nick Carraway as both a character and a narrator. How does his perspective influence our understanding of other characters?

4. How does F. Scott Fitzgerald use symbolism to develop the character of Daisy Buchanan?

5. Explore the motivations and complexities of Jordan Baker’s character. What role does she play in the novel’s themes?

6. In what ways does Myrtle Wilson’s characterization reflect the themes of social ambition and the American Dream?

7. Describe the character of Meyer Wolfsheim and his significance in Gatsby’s life.

8. How does the character of Klipspringer represent the shallow and materialistic aspects of the 1920s society?

9. Analyze the character of Daisy’s daughter, Pammy Buchanan, despite her limited presence in the novel.

10. What does the character of Dan Cody reveal about Gatsby’s aspirations and dreams?

11. How does Gatsby’s past, as depicted in his conversation with Nick, shape his present actions and motivations?

12. In what ways does the character of Owl Eyes serve as a symbol of the disillusionment prevalent during the Jazz Age?

13. Explore the similarities and differences between Tom and Gatsby’s views on wealth and social status.

14. Describe the character of George Wilson and the tragic role he plays in the novel’s events.

15. How does the character of Catherine contribute to the portrayal of the upper-class lifestyle in the novel?

16. Analyze the character of Henry C. Gatz (Gatsby’s father) and his relationship with his son’s dreams and legacy.

17. Discuss the portrayal of female characters in “The Great Gatsby” and their significance in the novel’s themes.

18. How does Gatsby’s character embody the concept of the “self-made man” and the pursuit of the American Dream?

19. Compare the attitudes and behaviours of the East Egg residents (like the Buchanans) and the West Egg residents (like Gatsby) and how they reflect the theme of social class.

20. In your opinion, which character in “The Great Gatsby” undergoes the most significant transformation throughout the novel, and why?

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Questions on Themes

21. Discuss the theme of the American Dream in “The Great Gatsby” and how it is portrayed through various characters.

22. Analyze the theme of social class and its impact on the characters’ lives and relationships.

23. How is the theme of love and obsession depicted in the novel, particularly in Gatsby’s pursuit of Daisy?

24. Explore the theme of illusion and reality in “The Great Gatsby” and its significance in shaping the characters’ actions.

25. Discuss the theme of wealth and materialism and how it contributes to the characters’ motivations and aspirations.

26. How does the theme of time and its passage affect the characters and the narrative in the novel?

27. Analyze the theme of morality and the lack of ethical boundaries in the society depicted in the novel.

28. Discuss the theme of loneliness and isolation and how it affects the characters, especially Gatsby and Nick.

29. How does the theme of identity and self-invention play a crucial role in the lives of various characters in the story?

30. Explore the theme of fate and the inevitability of certain events in the novel.

31. Discuss the theme of memory and nostalgia in “The Great Gatsby” and its influence on the characters’ actions and motivations.

32. How does the theme of excess and hedonism contribute to the portrayal of the Roaring Twenties in the novel?

33. Analyze the theme of betrayal and its consequences on relationships among the characters.

34. Discuss the theme of disillusionment and its prevalence among the characters in the novel.

35. How does the theme of gender roles and expectations shape the actions and decisions of the characters?

36. Explore the theme of social mobility and the challenges faced by characters trying to rise above their social status.

37. Analyze the theme of appearance versus reality and how it impacts the characters’ perceptions of each other.

38. Discuss the theme of hope and its significance in Gatsby’s pursuit of Daisy.

39. How does the theme of West versus East symbolize different aspects of American society during the 1920s?

40. Explore the theme of power and its corrupting influence on certain characters in the novel.

41. Discuss the theme of fate versus free will and how it affects the characters’ destinies.

42. How does the theme of nature versus civilization reflect the contrasting elements in the novel?

43. Analyze the theme of social decay and the decline of traditional values in the society depicted in the novel.

44. Discuss the theme of accountability and the lack of consequences for immoral actions in the story.

45. How does the theme of religion and spirituality (or lack thereof) in The Great Gatsby influence the characters’ worldviews and actions?

46. Analyze the theme of the past and its hold on the present lives of the characters.

47. Discuss the theme of the outsider and how it applies to characters like Gatsby and Nick.

48. How does the theme of judgment and superficiality manifest in the characters’ interactions?

49. Explore the theme of the pursuit of happiness and its connection to the characters’ desires in The Great Gatsby.

50. Discuss the theme of social critique in “The Great Gatsby” and how it reflects the author’s commentary on the era.

Exam Questions on Narrative Techniques in The Great Gatsby

Let’s now have the most possible examination questions about the writer’s use of narrative techniques and other literary devices in The Great Gatsby.

51. How does F. Scott Fitzgerald use first-person narration through Nick Carraway to shape the reader’s perspective on the events in the novel?

52. Discuss the significance of the novel’s non-linear narrative structure and how it contributes to the themes and character development.

53. Analyze the use of symbolism in “The Great Gatsby” and its impact on the story’s themes and messages.

54. How does the recurring motif of the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock symbolize different aspects throughout the novel?

55. Explore the significance of the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg as a recurring symbol in the novel.

56. Discuss the role of the weather and nature as a literary device in “The Great Gatsby” and how they mirror the characters’ emotions and circumstances.

57. How does the use of flashbacks enhance our understanding of Gatsby’s past and his motivations?

58. Analyze the theme of colour symbolism in the novel, particularly the colours associated with different characters and settings.

59. Discuss the use of irony in “The Great Gatsby” and its effects on the reader’s interpretation of the characters and plot.

60. How does the author use foreshadowing to build tension and anticipation in the narrative?

61. Explore the significance of the parties and social gatherings as literary devices that reflect the hedonistic atmosphere of the Jazz Age in The Great Gatsby.

62. Discuss the use of allusions in the novel, such as references to mythology and historical events, and their impact on the story.

63. Analyze the role of music and popular culture references in “The Great Gatsby” and their influence on the characters and themes.

64. How does F. Scott Fitzgerald use repetition and parallelism to emphasize certain ideas and motifs in the novel?

65. Discuss the role of setting and the contrast between East Egg, West Egg, and the Valley of Ashes in conveying themes and atmosphere.

66. Explore the significance of the automobile as a symbol of modernity and its role in the novel’s themes and plot developments.

67. How does the author employ dramatic irony to create tension and deepen the reader’s understanding of the characters’ actions in The Great Gatsby?

68. Discuss the use of poetic language and imagery in “The Great Gatsby” and its impact on the overall narrative.

69. Analyze the influence of the Jazz Age and the Roaring Twenties on the novel’s style and themes.

70. How does F. Scott Fitzgerald use Nick’s observations and reflections to convey the novel’s themes of disillusionment and moral decay?

71. Discuss the significance of the title “The Great Gatsby” and its connection to the central themes of the novel.

72. How does the author of The Great Gatsby utilize dialogue to reveal the characters’ personalities and motivations?

73. Analyze the narrative tone and its effect on the reader’s emotional engagement with the story.

74. Discuss the use of weather symbolism in The Great Gatsby and its connection to the novel’s major plot points and emotional arcs.

75. How does Fitzgerald employ literary devices to depict the contrasting worlds of the rich and the poor in The Great Gatsby?

76. Explore the role of minor characters, such as Owl Eyes and Klipspringer, in adding depth to the story’s themes.

77. Discuss the use of literary foils in “The Great Gatsby” and how they highlight certain qualities of the main characters.

78. Analyze the significance of the novel’s final sentences and how they encapsulate the story’s themes and messages.

79. How does Fitzgerald employ descriptive language and sensory imagery to immerse the reader in the setting and atmosphere of The Great Gatsby?

80. Discuss the impact of the novel’s closing words and how they leave a lasting impression on the reader’s interpretation of the narrative.

Exam Questions on the Plot of The Great Gatsby

See below likely exam questions on plot structure and plot development in “The Great Gatsby”:

81. Analyze the exposition of “The Great Gatsby” and its role in introducing the main characters and setting the stage for the story’s conflicts.

82. How does the inciting incident, represented by Jay Gatsby’s introduction to Nick Carraway, spark the major conflicts in the novel?

83. Discuss the rising action in “The Great Gatsby” and how it builds tension leading up to the climactic events.

84. Explore the significance of the novel’s major turning points, such as Gatsby’s reunion with Daisy and the revelation of Gatsby’s past.

85. How does the author use foreshadowing to hint at the tragic events that unfold later in the plot?

86 .Analyze the climax of the novel and its impact on the characters and overall themes.

87. Discuss the falling action and resolution of “The Great Gatsby,” and how they address the story’s conflicts and character arcs.

88. How does F. Scott Fitzgerald use flashback sequences to provide essential background information and shape the plot’s structure?

89. Analyze the plot’s subplots, such as Tom Buchanan’s affair and George Wilson’s pursuit of the truth, and their connection to the main narrative.

90. Discuss the role of coincidences and chance encounters in advancing the plot and character development.

91. How does the party at Myrtle Wilson’s apartment contribute to the plot’s development and the novel’s overall themes?

92. Analyze the significance of the car accident in the plot and its consequences on the characters’ lives.

93. Discuss the role of misunderstandings and miscommunications in shaping the plot’s conflicts and resolutions.

94. How does the author use pacing and narrative structure to create a sense of urgency and suspense in the plot?

95. Explore the novel’s denouement and the implications of the closing events on the characters’ futures and the themes of the story.

Final Thoughts

I trust that these likely exam questions on The Great Gatsby will help you to identify the key issues in the novel that may come up in your Literature test.

You can find many other past questions and likely questions for your preferred subjects on this site.

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