Inference In Literature: Skills of inference are needed not just to be able to "read between the lines," to detect the unspoken hidden meanings that enrich overall understanding of a text or to draw one's own personal conclusions about a text. They are needed in handling texts: to understand the effects achieved through choices in vocabulary, to recognize what the writer is trying to accomplish through the whole text and to appreciate what the impact on the reader may be.
1. We begin to learn about Gatsby in chapter 3. There are several details relayed through indirect characterization. Provide two examples.
2. Regardless of his lavish parties, Gatsby doesn't drink. Instead, he stands back and watches the guests at his parties, preferring to be in the background. Why do you believe he does this? What inferences can you make about Gatsby based on what you know from Chapters 1-3? What predictions?
3. Ch.3 brings the 1920s glitz and glamour into focus. What do you notice about the social hierarchy? How is Fitzgerald's mood of 1920's America depicted?
4. Gatsby is said to be an enigma....a cross between East and West egg, what characteristics make him part of both?
5. Describe Gatsby's smile. Why is Nick so fascinated with it? What is the inference?
6. How is Jordan depicted? What does Nick's interest in her infer about his acclamation to the East Coast?
1. How does the historical context of when the text was written, or the historical setting of the narrative affect current readers' interpretations? I.E. Based on the 1920s social world and what Fitzgerald illuminates within the novel, how did he interpret the 1920s via Nick Carraway's eyes? How does this affect you as the reader?
2. To what extent is Fitzgerald's message sustained or lost to the present-day reader?