We’ll go over some basic dos and don’ts for writing compare/contrast essays before diving into some analysis of the most asked-about character pairings.
Keep reading if you have a Compare/Contrast assignment on the horizon!
With those thoughts in mind, let's jump into the top 5 pairings!
For each pairing, we will suggest a few possible larger arguments you can either build from or disagree with, but these are far from comprehensive!
Finally, differences between Nick and Gatsby raise some of the novel’s larger questions about the American Dream, repeating the past, and identity.
In short, these pairings have become common because they each allow fairly easy access to one of the novel’s larger issues.Furthermore, these pairings help teachers get you to explore some of the novel’s larger themes.For example, comparing Daisy/ Myrtle or Tom/George can help you explore the differences between the wealthy and the working class.Comparing Daisy/Myrtle or Daisy/Jordan can help you explore the changing status of women during the 1920s.Comparing Tom and Gatsby can get at the old money/new money divide.Although you can definitely start brainstorming by making a list of similarities and differences, just presenting that list in essay form won’t get you a good grade, since you need to go deeper and explain what the similarities/differences suggest about the novel as a whole.And, on the other side, don’t make big claims without some evidence from the text to back them up.Daisy is miles above Gatsby in terms of social class.Jordan and Nick are of the same social status, but Jordan doesn't seem free to make her own decisions since an aunt controls her financial life.Like anything you write for English class, your essay should be clearly organized, with a thesis statement (a one-sentence summary of your argument), and topic sentences for each body paragraph.And you should definitely have an overall argument!