The Great Gatsby – Responsibility

A conversation with Martin Luther on responsibility, beginning with his famous quote, “You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say,” will raise core questions for students, who are frequently faced with these dilemmas. Are we bound by loyalty to keep confidences, or must we act when we witness something wrong? What are the consequences for each? In The Great Gatsby, narrator Nick Carraway is entangled in and repulsed by others’ attitudes and choices, but he stays silent. Is he protecting others, or keeping himself in their good graces? Students can have a conversation over these vexing questions and deepen their understanding of the novel.

Level: Secondary English/Language Arts

Subject Area: American Literature

Author: Karina Isley



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