The Great Gatsby Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 46 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Great Gatsby.
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Coming of Age

The term "coming of age" is analytical shorthand for a story (fiction, non-fiction, drama) in which a young character, innocent (at least to some degree) about the ways of the world comes to a more mature understanding of life, relationships and himself. A character in such a story emerges into a new wisdom, a new sensibility, and/or a new maturity. This is what happens to Nick Carraway, the narrator and protagonist of The Great Gatsby. As he himself says in his narration, he came out East (where the novel takes place) with ideas about who he wants to be and wants to relate to the world, particularly the world of finance and fashionable society. As the result of the people, relationships, and situations he encounters, however, he "comes of age", learning that his ideas, in effect his dreams, are in fact illusions and essentially wishful...

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This section contains 1,095 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Great Gatsby Study Guide
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Novels for Students
The Great Gatsby from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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