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Is Fitzgerald Writing a Love Story or a Satire?

01 Nov 2016We help students

If you do not know how to go about writing this essay, the essay plan below will help you keep your ideas organised. You can return to it over and over again and change ideas as you read the novel while you write your essay. Also, you can search for more help in our Great Gatsby essay outline.

The Topic

Is Fitzgerald writing a love story or a satire? Discuss your views on the subject with examples from the text.


Your thesis statement could swing either way. Remember that there is no one correct answer. Fitzgerald himself though that his novel was about illusions, delusion and failure. On the other hand, the director Baz Luhrmann thinks that the novel is a great, tragic love story’.

Possible thesis statements:

Authors use satire to bring the reader’s attention to various aspects of a society by exaggerating the ridiculous and criticizing the evils he sees. Throughout The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald criticizes the leisure classes of 1920s America, who had so much money they could get away with adultery and murder without consequences. Fitzgerald’s disillusion with his times will be illustrated in this essay, with examples drawn from the novel.

This essay will take a look at how love and desire are the biggest motivators of nearly all the characters in The Great Gatsby. In particular, it will try to answer the question of whether Fitzgerald argues that love is unstable or that the way the characters approach love and desire is problematic and destructive.

Paragraph 1

Argument: The characters in the novel are motivated by money and desire for material things.

Evidence: Daisy marries Tom and holds on to their marriage because he is wealthy. Myrtle has an affair with Tom because he brings her closer to the privileged life that she wants, etc.


Argument: All the characters in the novel are motivated by love and desire.

Evidence: The five major relationships in the novel portray different kinds of love or relationships motivated by sex and desire. The marriage of Daisy and Tom, for instance, endures despite cracks because they are a unit with similar motivations. Myrtle and George’s marriage, on the other hand, is clearly over because they have different motivations and personalities.

Paragraph 2

Argument: The Great Gatsby is a satire of society seen through the eyes of the narrator.

Evidence: Fitzgerald’s choice of Nick Carraway, raised with strong Midwestern values of hard work, justice, perseverance etc., as narrator shows that he values Nick’s moral sense which differentiates him from the other materialistic characters in the novel. OR Argument: Daisy is a portrayal of male desires. Evidence: Throughout the novel Daisy is characterized by her coquettish qualities, her low thrilling voice’, her feverish warmth’ and the exhilarating ripple’ of her voice.


What makes The Great Gatsby so rich and textured is that it could be seen as both satire and love story. On one level, it is a story of a man who is so in love with a woman that his entire life is focused on his pursuit of her. The novel is a complex look at love and desire. At another level, it is a satire of 1920s materialistic American society, where marriages exist without love and characters are driven by greed and led to destruction. This essay looks at each of these approaches, illustrated by examples from the novel. To see another topic on Great Gatsby, you can read an essay outline on our blog.


Include all your references in the plan and gather the details for these references as you go. Format according to the style that your professor asks for.


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