hpaddict19861986
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I am just wondering if anyone can help me understand what the question means, when it says ‘Consider the view that in The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald presents love as being ultimately destructive.’ I am not asking for the answer to the question, but a different explanation of what it means/asking, so I can understand how to approach this topic. And also hints on starting essays, as I haven't done essays since 2015 and have lost practice.
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ItsAnotherGrad
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(Original post by hpaddict19861986)
I am just wondering if anyone can help me understand what the question means, when it says ‘Consider the view that in The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald presents love as being ultimately destructive.’ I am not asking for the answer to the question, but a different explanation of what it means/asking, so I can understand how to approach this topic. And also hints on starting essays, as I haven't done essays since 2015 and have lost practice.
Hi!

It’s been a while since I’ve done A Level Eng Lit but I’ll try my best to answer!

The question itself is asking you to explore the idea of love being destructive in the novel - how far do you agree with that statement of love being destructive in gatsby? Are there moments where that’s not the case? That’s the approach I would take on it. By thinking of it as a “how far do you agree with” question, u are automatically considering that the statement could be true, but then u’re also looking at whether it’s a limited view or not.

As for essay writing, the general is to follow the PEE format. I usually break this down more into P(point), E(evidence) E(brief explanation), I(Interpretations), I(Impact) and L(link back to question) but it can vary according to spec and what skills are being assessed. I can’t remember A-Level exactly, what spec are u doing and what exam/coursework is this from so I can get more of an idea of what u need to include?

A really good tip I learnt though is to always look at meanings of individual words in quotes and consider how the different meanings could change your interpretation of the point as a whole. It’s gotten me some really good interpretations in the past. Also, use short quotes and embed them into ur sentences.

When writing your essay, have this “so what?” mindset. Like does ur explanation/analysis fully explain ur point? My old teacher would always leave that comment all over my essays when I was struggling and it really helped because it made me think more about what I was trying to say.

I hope that helps!
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mabeloliver
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(Original post by hpaddict19861986)
I am just wondering if anyone can help me understand what the question means, when it says ‘Consider the view that in The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald presents love as being ultimately destructive.’ I am not asking for the answer to the question, but a different explanation of what it means/asking, so I can understand how to approach this topic. And also hints on starting essays, as I haven't done essays since 2015 and have lost practice.
I'm currently studying great Gatsby, so hopefully this helps!
I would maybe break down the paragraphs into different relationships, such as Tom/Myrtle and how social climbing and the quest of status that Myrtle tried to achieve through love lead to her death. Or Tom/Daisy and loveless, abusive relationships that are more just formalities, and Fitzgerald uses lots of strong language to convey both the destructive nature of Tom and his effect.
I'm not sure if this is what you're asking but hopefully this helps :/
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Englishteacher24
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(Original post by hpaddict19861986)
I am just wondering if anyone can help me understand what the question means, when it says ‘Consider the view that in The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald presents love as being ultimately destructive.’ I am not asking for the answer to the question, but a different explanation of what it means/asking, so I can understand how to approach this topic. And also hints on starting essays, as I haven't done essays since 2015 and have lost practice.
'ultimately destructive' invites you to consider the end point of romantic relationships within the novel.

You could consider some of the following ideas:

Myrtle dies which is symbolic of her poverty, her inability to truly be with Tom due to differences in social class, and the destructive potential of the wealthy. Gatsby dies due to similar reasons.

Gatsby's love for Daisy is idealistic and, like the American Dream, flawed and fantastical. While it motivates him to elevate himself within society, he is not able to gain the old money status of Tom and is therefore unable to obtain Daisy. Love is destructive for Gatsby as it leads him to take responsibility for Daisy, resulting in his death.

A lot of the women are objectified, especially Myrtle. Myrtle and Daisy are both drawn to Tom because of his patriarchal power, and also victims of this - Daisy is a victim of his control and Myrtle is a victim of his physical abuse.

Nick also has a dismissive approach to love - he easily dismisses his love interest back home and pursues a relationship with Jordan not out of sentiment, but out of curiosity.

Wilson, disadvantaged because of his class, loses Myrtle. As a result of misdirection and manipulation, he kills Gatsby and then himself. Also, during his relationship with Myrtle, he control and manipulates her and tries to imprison her at one point.

You could also argue that it is not love that is the destructive force, but social class which interferes with love and causes destruction.
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hpaddict19861986
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(Original post by ItsAnotherGrad)
Hi!

It’s been a while since I’ve done A Level Eng Lit but I’ll try my best to answer!

The question itself is asking you to explore the idea of love being destructive in the novel - how far do you agree with that statement of love being destructive in gatsby? Are there moments where that’s not the case? That’s the approach I would take on it. By thinking of it as a “how far do you agree with” question, u are automatically considering that the statement could be true, but then u’re also looking at whether it’s a limited view or not.

As for essay writing, the general is to follow the PEE format. I usually break this down more into P(point), E(evidence) E(brief explanation), I(Interpretations), I(Impact) and L(link back to question) but it can vary according to spec and what skills are being assessed. I can’t remember A-Level exactly, what spec are u doing and what exam/coursework is this from so I can get more of an idea of what u need to include?

A really good tip I learnt though is to always look at meanings of individual words in quotes and consider how the different meanings could change your interpretation of the point as a whole. It’s gotten me some really good interpretations in the past. Also, use short quotes and embed them into ur sentences.

When writing your essay, have this “so what?” mindset. Like does ur explanation/analysis fully explain ur point? My old teacher would always leave that comment all over my essays when I was struggling and it really helped because it made me think more about what I was trying to say.

I hope that helps!
The exam I am doing is A-Level English Language and Literature for AQA.
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hpaddict19861986
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(Original post by mabeloliver)
I'm currently studying great Gatsby, so hopefully this helps!
I would maybe break down the paragraphs into different relationships, such as Tom/Myrtle and how social climbing and the quest of status that Myrtle tried to achieve through love lead to her death. Or Tom/Daisy and loveless, abusive relationships that are more just formalities, and Fitzgerald uses lots of strong language to convey both the destructive nature of Tom and his effect.
I'm not sure if this is what you're asking but hopefully this helps :/
This helps me so I thank you, as I was thinking of answering the question relating to Myrtle and Tom's relationship and how wanting to increase her social status leads to her death as it changes her in many ways.
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hpaddict19861986
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(Original post by Englishteacher24)
'ultimately destructive' invites you to consider the end point of romantic relationships within the novel.

You could consider some of the following ideas:

Myrtle dies which is symbolic of her poverty, her inability to truly be with Tom due to differences in social class, and the destructive potential of the wealthy. Gatsby dies due to similar reasons.

Gatsby's love for Daisy is idealistic and, like the American Dream, flawed and fantastical. While it motivates him to elevate himself within society, he is not able to gain the old money status of Tom and is therefore unable to obtain Daisy. Love is destructive for Gatsby as it leads him to take responsibility for Daisy, resulting in his death.

A lot of the women are objectified, especially Myrtle. Myrtle and Daisy are both drawn to Tom because of his patriarchal power, and also victims of this - Daisy is a victim of his control and Myrtle is a victim of his physical abuse.

Nick also has a dismissive approach to love - he easily dismisses his love interest back home and pursues a relationship with Jordan not out of sentiment, but out of curiosity.

Wilson, disadvantaged because of his class, loses Myrtle. As a result of misdirection and manipulation, he kills Gatsby and then himself. Also, during his relationship with Myrtle, he control and manipulates her and tries to imprison her at one point.

You could also argue that it is not love that is the destructive force, but social class which interferes with love and causes destruction.
Thanks for your help. This is helpful in seeing the different ways I need to look at answering this question.
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