Resources for studying The Great Gatsby


Literary influences

Fitzgerald didn’t use source texts, as he used the ‘material’ from his own experiences as the basis for much of his writing. However, there are some earlier and contemporary texts which may have influenced his style or subject matter. The following is a very brief list, in chronological order rather than order of importance:

  • Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven (1845)
  • Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851)
  • Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)
  • Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady (1881)
  • Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1899)
  • T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land (1922)

Literary legacy

The following texts are a small selection of novels published after The Great Gatsby which may have been influenced in some way by Fitzgerald’s work:

  • Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises (1926) and A Farewell to Arms (1929)
  • John O'Hara, Appointment in Samarra (1934)
  • J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
  • Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road (1961)

Further Reading

  • Nicolas Tredell, Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (A Reader’s Guide) (2007)
  • Ruth Prigozy, The Cambridge Companion to F. Scott Fitzgerald (2001)
  • Malcolm Bradbury, The Modern American Novel (1992)
  • Matthew J. Bruccoli, Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald (2nd revised edition 2002)


This is a popular text for study and there are numerous websites offering detailed commentaries and discussions of themes and interpretations. The websites below are a small selection:

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