352:343 American Literature of the 20th Century
Paper 4, Due Friday, October 30, 2009
The Great Gatsby and The Sun Also Rises

Select either Topic 1 or Topic 2. Write a well-argued and well-supported essay of 2-3 pages in which you show the depth and quality of your own reading and responses. Use selected brief quotations from each text as appropriate supporting evidence, providing page citations for them (in parentheses). Please do not excessively summarize the plots, echo the class discussions, or rely on general knowledge.

Topic 1. What are the attitudes of Fitzgerald and Hemingway respectively towards Nick Carraway and Jake Barnes as characters, and how do these attitudes shape the roles entrusted to them as narrators? What is the evidence in each text? To what extent do we accept what Nick and Jake say about themselves?

Topic 2. The introductory chapters of The Great Gatsby and The Sun Also Rises focus on a relative outsider, someone who does not belonging to the social group that serves as the cultural norm or moral starting point of each novel. How does this tension, created by the difference represented by the outsiders, Gatsby and Cohn, shape the development of each of the novels?