I’ve been teaching the great The Great Gatsby to my juniors. We are just about to finish the book (like, within the next 24 hours), and so that means it could be time to show some book summary videos, now that there can be no spoilers (well, those kids who were sleeping will be all like, “George shot Gatsby!?” or “Daisy was driving!?” but whatever). Anyway, I’ve been looking up several summaries and showing most throughout this unit, and I thought it would be neat to pack all my favorite Gatsby summaries into one place!
I actually chose to skip most of the first chapter of Gatsby, which many may consider to be a sin against all that is literary and beautiful, but I didn’t wanted my Reg students to just dismiss the book because Nick spends 20 pages rambling (though eloquent as it is) about who he is and why he is where he is. Eventually we get to the fact that Tom Buchanan is a racist, cheating dirtbag and some guy the book is named after is staring at a green light. I thought the time I might spend snail-reading through chapter 1 could be better used to discuss the American Dream, happiness, life in the 20’s, and the few key things from chapter 1 they really need to remember later. The following Vlog Brothers video helped me do just that–it’s a great and fast-paced summary of chapter 1.
The next Vlog Brothers video summarizes the rest of the book, and without big spoilers. I think this video is great, like Gatsby.
OK, you can probably skip the third of the three Vlog Brothers videos (it is the weakest of the bunch), unless you are really, really into them now, or unless you need someone else to explain the Dr. T.J. Eckleberg metaphor, or unless you feel the need to defend liberal arts degrees. Anyway, here it is.
This video is one of my favorite Gatsby summaries–it is a dry, witty, sarcastic, poorly-drawn-and-animated cartoon by two guys who create “High School Summary” videos. I’ve watched this several times and I still find it funny. I especially love anything the narrator says about Myrtle. Sexy, sexy Myrtle.
Would you believe there is a Gatsby game for NES? Yeah, me either. But some people online would like us to believe it, so they CREATED A FAKE NES GAME! It’s excellently done (I mean, it’s as good and as accurate as an online fake NES game about The Great Gatsby could be!) and really fun to play. Go play it. Seriously.
There are a ton of lousy Gatsby raps online, and this is maybe the least lousy of them. It takes about a minute before anything happens, but it is a fun video to show to students. It’s called “Daisy’s Lullaby.”
I don’t love this summary, but I guess the premise is kind of fun–it’s a “tough guy” (he’s wearing a “Tap Out” hoodie) telling the story of The Great Gatsby with lots of ‘tude and a few swear words.
And of course, there is the “Better Book Title,” which is essentially a summary.