Why should students be required to read the Great Gatsby? How is it relatable for kids today?
I once asked a class of high school students in a rigorous private school who were reading The Great Gatsby if they found it relevant today. To my surprise, they generally said no. I think The Great Gatsby is extremely relevant today. It is "the great American tragedy" that speaks to common, timeless themes of wealth, class, love and loss, envy, and, moreover, identity. Jay Gatsby, we learn, is not at all who he says he is. He is a person created of his own imagination. This leads me to inquire: who am I? what persona do I present to various "publics" and what is my true self? We all put on different "faces" depending on who we are with, but who has ever really created a self based entirely on a fiction that is so entrenched in the person's mind that he actually believes he is who he says he is?