Back to Frankie's
ESL Worksheets

THE GREAT GATSBY, F Scott Fitzgerald




a)  If you had to make a film of the novel, how would you open it?
b) What scenes might you change, and why?

While viewing (Novel Chapters 1-4)

1. As the camera pans through Gatsby’s bedroom, it picks out photographs of Daisy and various expensive toilet items engraved with the monogram “JG”.  One object comes as a shock: what is it?

2. How does Nick’s trip to East Egg differ from that in the novel?

3. How closely does the Buchanans’ living room resemble that in the novel?  Tick or cross the following details:

  • “a bright rosy-coloured space …
  • A breeze blew curtains in …
  • the frosted wedding cake of the ceiling …
  • the wine coloured rug”
4. What is the predominant colour?

5. How does Jordan’s appearance/behaviour differ from the description in the novel?

(“extended full length …  completely motionless …  with her chin raised a little …   If she saw me …  she gave no hint of it”)
 6. “He stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way”.
Why do you think Gatsby does not do this in the film?

7. How has the scriptwriter/director altered the original order of events?  (Complete the second column of the table with notes.)
Original Order 
New Order 
Nick visits East Egg (including Daisy’s talk about being cynical) 
Nick visits East Egg 
Valley of ashes & Myrtle’s party 
Gatsby’s parties 
Garden party and golf at Buchanans 

8. How closely do George and Myrtle Wilson resemble their descriptions in the novel?
George (“a blond, spiritless man, anaemic, and faintly handsome … light blue eyes …  A white ashen dust veiled his dark suit and his pale hair ”)
Myrtle (“faintly stout…  Her face, above a spotted dress of dark blue crepe-de-chine, contained no facet or gleam of beauty, but there was an immediately perceptible vitality about her”)

9. How do we learn about Jordan’s dishonesty?

10. In the novel, Nick meets Gatsby quite by accident at a table during
one of Gatsby’s parties.  In the film, how do the two men meet?
11. As Gatsby drives Nick into NY, he makes the latter an offer.  What?

12. Does Wolfshiem fit the description we have in the novel?

(“a small, flat-nosed Jew …  large head …  two fine growths of hair … in either nostril …  tiny eyes …”)

13. What do you think is the significance of Wolfshiem’s cufflinks?


While viewing (Novel Chapters 7-9)

1. How does Gatsby react to Daisy’s child?  (What do you think is the reason for this?)

2. What is Myrtle’s state of mind when Tom’s group stop for gasoline?

3. What does Gatsby find painful about Daisy’s explanation, “I loved you too”?

4. “That’s an advertisement” (referring to the eyes of Dr T J Eckleburg).  Who says this in:

a) the movie?
b) the novel?
5. How does the movie explain the accident that led to Myrtle’s death?

6. Who does George Wilson believe killed Myrtle?

7. What is the significance of the image of the island when Dutch sailors first set eyes upon it?

8. What is ironic about the green light on Daisy’s dock?

9. How is Gatsby “worth the whole damn bunch of them put together”?  (What did Nick admire about him?)

10. What social class does Gatsby’s father belong to?

11. What does Gatsby’s boyhood journal reveal about him?

12. Which character from the novel is absent from Gatsby’s movie funeral?

13. How do Tom and Daisy react to the deaths of Myrtle and Gatsby?

Frankie Meehan