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The Great Gatsby Unit Test questions
COMPREHENSION / RECALL (multiple choice)
1) Nick Carraway believes that his father’s influence and guidance made him…
A. A bad sport / sore loser.
B. An understanding listener.
C. Pessimistic (negative) and depressed.
D. Greedy and ambitious.
2) Why does Nick Carraway initially relocate to the New York City area?
A. To play baseball professionally
B. To reunite with his high school sweetheart
C. To attend college and become a writer
D. To work in finance (investments)
3) Viewed from above, the area of Long Island where Nick lives is shaped like a/an…
4) Tom Buchanan lets anyone who will listen to him know that he supports…
B. A woman’s right to vote.
C. A United States invasion of Canada.
D. Child labor.
5) Why doesn’t Nick talk to Gatsby when he first sees him on the mansion lawn one night?
A. Gatsby runs away and slams the door.
B. Gatsby seems lost in a private moment.
C. Gatsby lies unconscious on the ground.
D. Trick question! The two have a bizarre and memorable conversation.
6) How do Tom and Nick know each other?
A. They work at the same company.
B. They went to college together.
C. Tom is Nick’s uncle.
D. They served together in the navy.
7) How does Myrtle’s nose get broken?
A. She falls down some steps.
B. She drops a table on herself.
C. Tom strikes her.
D. Daisy accidentally hits her with a door.
8) How does Nick gain admission to one of Gatsby’s parties without having an invitation?
A. He climbs through a window.
B. He claims that his friends are inside.
C. He pretends to be making a delivery.
D. Trick question! He does get an invitation.
9) Early in the novel, Nick interrupts the narrative about Gatsby to explain…
A. A time when he almost drowned.
B. His work life in New York City.
C. The death of his first wife.
D. A history of the prohibition of alcohol and the rising popularity of jazz.
10) Why did Gatsby buy the mansion in West Egg in the first place?
A. A doctor believed the climate would improve his health.
B. He wanted to be close to Daisy.
C. He needed access to the ocean to receive his illegal deliveries.
D. Trick question! He did not buy it.
11) An intoxicated party guest finds it difficult to believe that Gatsby’s ____________ are real.
12) In a telling moment, Daisy Buchanan explains why she hopes her daughter will be…
B. A fool.
C. A musician.
D. Ambitious and greedy.
13) What about Jay Gatsby has a powerful, almost hypnotic, effect on Nick?
A. His whistling
B. His hands and gestures
C. His voice
D. His smile
14) Gatsby’s grand plan uses Nick Carraway to…
A. Establish a cover story for the police.
B. Reinforce the lie that he went to Yale.
C. Test Jordan’s trustworthiness.
D. Arrange an important meeting.
15) What about Daisy do Nick and others find extraordinarily alluring (attractive)?
A. Her hair
B. Her voice
C. Her figure (shape)
D. Her graceful movements
16) It turns out that Gatsby truly comes from…
A. A family of poor farmers in North Dakota.
B. A Catholic orphanage in New Jersey.
C. Wealthy European aristocracy.
D. A very religious family in Georgia.
17) Where does the 17-year-old Jay Gatsby first meet Mr. Dan Cody?
A. In a mine in Alaska
B. On a city bus
C. On a boat in a lake
D. On a golf course in Connecticut
18) Who invents the personae (imagined identity) of Jay Gatsby?
A. Nick Carraway
B. Dan Cody
C. D.B. Cooper (author)
D. James Gatz
19) When Daisy attends a Gatsby party, she…
A. Has “a positively magical adventure.”
B. Becomes “wild, unhinged, and violent.”
C. Finds it crass (not classy) and distasteful.
D. Trick question! She never actually attends.
20) Tom objects to Gatsby calling him…
A. “Daisy’s boy.”
B. “The polo player.”
C. “Ignominious goat.”
D. “His Excellency.”
21) What does George Wilson plan to do about his wife’s infidelity (cheating on him)?
A. Sue for divorce
B. Kill Tom Buchanan
C. Move away
D. Nothing. He realizes he does not care.
22) Tom Buchanan mocks Gatsby’s habit of calling people…
A. “My sweet child.”
B. “Old sport.”
C. “Good fellow.”
D. “Dearest chum.”
23) How did Jay Gatsby become rich?
A. Organized crime
B. He was born rich.
C. He inherited his money from Dan Cody.
D. Stock market speculation (investing)
24) Who kills Myrtle Wilson?
A. Tom Buchanan
B. Jay Gatsby
C. George Wilson
D. Daisy Buchanan
25) How does Tom discover that Daisy and Gatsby are having a romantic relationship?
A. Daisy confesses everything.
B. Nick accidentally tells Tom on the phone.
C. He sees how they talk to one another.
D. He receives an anonymous letter, but the reader knows it was sent by Gatsby.
26) Who sits up all night with George Wilson after the death of Myrtle?
D. Trick question! Everyone abandons him.
27) Who kills Jay Gatsby?
C. Gatsby (himself)
D. George Wilson
28) Nick is surprised in the final chapter when _____________________ comes to West Egg.
A. His own mother
B. His fiancée
C. Gatsby’s father
D. Dan Cody
29) What does Nick say to Gatsby the last time that they are together?
A. “You have doomed yourself — and us all.”
B. “You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.”
C. “I had supposed that the music would never stop.”
D. “I think you should choose the title.”
30) Why does Nick face difficulty in organizing Gatsby’s funeral?
A. The police cannot find the body.
B. People refuse to attend.
C. He cannot seem to think straight.
D. Trick question! Daisy organizes it.
31) How does Daisy react when she first sees Gatsby’s dead body?
A. She acts like she never knew him.
B. She becomes hysterically sad.
C. She insults and abuses the remains.
D. Trick question! She never sees the body.
32) How did George Wilson figure out who owned the “death car?”
A. A witness wrote down the license plate.
B. Tom Buchanan told him.
C. He saw the car in a newspaper photo.
D. He visited every address in his wife’s secret notebook.
33) At the end, Nick makes it clear that…
A. He can never return to California.
B. The Pretty Good Gatsby is a lousy title.
C. Baking potatoes are not just for baking.
D. Daisy and Tom are scum.
LITERARY KNOWLEDGE AND ANALYSIS (multiple choice)
34) The period in which The Great Gatsby takes place is known as…
A. The Roaring Thirties.
B. The Information Age.
C. The Jazz Age.
D. The Atomic Age.
35) Which of these topics is NOT an aspect of the novel’s historical context?
A. Preparation for WWI
B. Prohibition era (alcohol made illegal)
C. The Women’s Movement
D. Urbanization (growing cities)
36) At the time of the novel’s publication, the women who defied many traditional social expectations were known as…
D. Gal Fridays.
37) Which of the following does NOT describe the narration of The Great Gatsby?
A. Past tense
B. Unreliable narrator
C. Omniscient point of view
D. First person perspective
38) The narration in Chapter 4 informs us that many of Gatsby’s guests will come to bad ends. What is the main point of this inclusion?
C. Developing Gatsby’s motivation
39) Which literary element or device does the following excerpt best demonstrate?
If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away.
A. Ironic tone
B. Figurative language
C. Internal conflict
40) What is the main role of the minor character known as Owl Eyes?
A. He symbolizes evil intent.
B. He predicts the tragic outcome.
C. He points out the truth about Gatsby.
D. He develops the theme on obsession.
41) What aspect of Fitzgerald’s style does the following excerpt best demonstrate?
Yet high over the city our line of yellow windows must have contributed their share of human secrecy to the casual watcher in the darkening streets, and I was him too, looking up and wondering. I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.
A. External conflict
B. Second person narration
C. Authorial intrusion
D. Steam of consciousness narration
42) Which literary element or device does the following excerpt best demonstrate?
Two shining, arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face and gave him the appearance of always leaning aggressively forward. Not even the effeminate swank of his riding clothes could hide the enormous power of that body…
D. Suspense (effects of structure)
43) We know from Fitzgerald’s personal letters that aspects of the novel were inspired by…
44) Which is NOT reflected by the excerpt?
… Daisy’s white face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.
A. Figurative language
45) Which theme subject do Nick and Gatsby discuss explicitly (directly) in the novel?
A. The responsibilities of being wealthy
B. Trying to recapture the past
C. Learning to trust a lover
D. Justifications for committing murder
46) Which choice accurately describes the dialogue in The Great Gatsby?
A. It is generally direct and sincere.
B. It usually contains subtext and irony.
C. Each character uses a unique accent.
D. Narration in disjointed monologues
47) Which statement about the historical context of the novel is NOT true?
A. Technology and appliances became more common in more households.
B. Women returned to traditional roles and norms as the economy improved.
C. Prohibition of alcohol led to an increase in organized crime (mobsters).
D. Authors and artists reflected an increased negativity and cynicism.
48) What makes Nick an unreliable narrator?
A. He takes no responsibility for the murder.
B. He tells you from the start that he may have made up the entire story.
C. The event happened long ago; his memory may be playing tricks on him.
D. He is biased (unfair) in favor of some characters and against others.
49) The point of view of the narrative changes profoundly when…
A. Owl Eyes becomes the narrator.
B. Gatsby becomes the narrator.
C. The narration switches to present tense.
D. Trick question! It does not change.
50) Which is LEAST reflected in the excerpt?
Thirty—the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning briefcase of enthusiasm, thinning hair. But there was Jordan beside me, who, unlike Daisy, was too wise ever to carry well-forgotten dreams from age to age. As we passed over the dark bridge her wan face fell lazily against my coat’s shoulder and the formidable stroke of thirty died away with the reassuring pressure of her hand.
So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight.
B. Tone (of the narrator)
C. Direct characterization
51) According to the narrator, what makes Gatsby so great?
A. His ability to win the total trust of others.
B. His dance moves.
C. His imagining of life’s possibilities.
D. Nothing. He is being sarcastic.
52) Fitzgerald positions Tom and Gatsby to highlight their differences. This makes them…
A. Socially awkward.
B. Structural devices.
C. Foil characters.
D. Landmark points of view.
53) Which choice is the best example of a dynamic character?
54) Which is LEAST reflected in the excerpt?
“I told her she might fool me but she couldn’t fool God. I took her to the window—” With an effort he got up and walked to the rear window and leaned with his face pressed against it, “—and I said ‘God knows what you’ve been doing, everything you’ve been doing. You may fool me but you can’t fool God!’”
Standing behind him Michaelis saw with a shock that he was looking at the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg which had just emerged pale and enormous from the dissolving night.
A. Inciting incident
C. Theme development
55) According to the excerpt that follows, what is NOT true about the green light?
… to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…. And one fine morning——
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
A. Everyone has their own green light.
B. It represents Gatsby’s perfect life.
C. It represents Gatsby’s past with Daisy.
D. One can only attain it by looking forward.
56) Which character’s name can be translated as meaning ‘fairy flower?’
A. Meyer Wolfsheim
B. Tom Buchanan
C. Daisy Fay
D. Nick Carraway
57) Which of the following choices is NOT a motif in the novel?
A. Bad driving
C. Horses / riding
58) Which choice accurately describes the overall structure of The Great Gatsby?
A. The story proceeds chronologically with occasional flashbacks and prolepses.
B. Each chapter gives one character’s point of view on the same tragic event.
C. The tale is framed as recorded notes from Nick’s psychiatrist.
D. The book begins in the present tense and then reverts to the past tense.
59) The symbol of Jay Gatsby’s car helps to develop the theme that…
A. Reality cannot compare to our dreams.
B. Entitled people are callous (uncaring).
C. Being rich can be a curse.
D. It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.
60) Owl Eyes refers to Gatsby as “a regular Belasco.” This is detail is an example of a/an…
A. Framing device.
C. Foil character.
61) The following excerpt is an example of…
The touch of a cluster of leaves revolved it [Gatsby’s dead body] slowly, tracing, like the leg of compass, a thin red circle in the water.”
62) Which theme subject gets the LEAST attention in The Great Gatsby?
D. Social class
63) Which of the following is NOT an accurate theme from The Great Gatsby?
A. People can be careless and cruel.
B. You can never recapture the past.
C. True love conquers all obstacles.
D. Most friendships are shallow charades.
64) We know that Daisy will stay with Tom, but Gatsby does not. This is an example of…
A. Parallel construction
B. Dramatic irony
D. Figurative language
65) Which is NOT an accurate description of Fitzgerald’s overall language style?
A. Dynamic (moving / changing) and poetic
B. Sparse (simplified) and direct
C. Intricate (detailed) and ornate
D. Illogical and fragmented
66) Literature experts view The Great Gatsby as representing a specific literary movement.
Identify the movement and explain the aspects of the novel that correspond to the movement. Circle ONE:
67) Explain the excerpt that follows in terms of theme development.
And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms further… And one fine morning—
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
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The Great Gatsby unit test items:
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- 80 Literary knowledge and analysis questions (multiple choice)
- 15 Short answer prompts
- 5 Extended response / essay prompts
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