of literature, history, poetry and life (or so the website claims)…
Shmoop is what I like to call CliffsNotes with panache!
Take a stroll through the literature section of the site and you’ll find countless study guides and resources to help you and your students discover and explore classics like Beowulf, the Pearl and Brave New World.
Click on Shmoops guide to The Great Gatsby and you will find an intro, summary, themes, quotes, plot analysis, study questions, characters, literary devices, trivia and more…
What I love about Shmoop, is its emphasis on the “Why should I care?” of literature. For example, why should a student of the 21st century take time out of his/her busy schedule of family, friends, Facebook, text messaging, sports, music, etc. to give Fitzgerald’s work the time of day? Shmoop writes:
The Great Gatsby is a delightful concoction of MTV Cribs, VH1’s The Fabulous Life Of…, and HBO’s Sopranos. Shake over ice, add a twist of jazz, a spritz of adultery, and the little pink umbrella that completes this long island iced tea and you’ve got yourself a 5 o’clock beverage that, given the 1920’s setting, you wouldn’t be allowed to drink.
The one thing all these shows and Gatsby have in common is the notion of the American Dream. The Dream has seen its ups and downs. But from immigration (certainly not a modern concern, right?) to the Depression (stock market crashing? We wouldn’t know anything about that), the American Dream has always meant the same thing: it’s all about the Benjamins, baby.
Yet Gatsby reminds us that the dollars aren’t always enough…
I’m skippin’ MTV today. Pass the F. Scott Fitzgerald please!
P.S. Don’t have a copy of The Great Gatsby on hand? Here is a free e-book. Thanks Shmoop!
P.P.S. Thanks zenera for creating the picture above!