The Great Gatsby : 15 Water-Cooler-Worthy Questions

Profile view of American author F(rancis) Scott (Key) Fitzgerald (1896 - 1940) reading a book while sitting at a desk.   (Pho
Profile view of American author F(rancis) Scott (Key) Fitzgerald (1896 - 1940) reading a book while sitting at a desk. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

You can't have missed it. Gatsby is all the rage just now, especially Baz Luhrmann's movie rendition of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel, The Great Gatsby. And you must have some water-cooler-worthy questions to toss out because, from what I can gather, it's all anybody is talking about. So here are 15 talking points for you, old sport.

1. What did you make of those billboard eyes watching Gatsby and the other wealthy denizens pass through shantytown on their way to the glitzy city?

2. What do you think of Gatsby befriending a lowly stock trader? And of his nemesis, Daisy's husband, taking up with a poor man's wife?

3. What was it about the 1920s that gave rise to jazz, crazy dancing, and debauchery?

4. Did Luhrmann really need to include hip-hop to make his point about what a splash the new music made?

5. Since prohibition only encouraged wanton imbibing, what would happen if we legalized pot?

6. Does Gatsby's undying dream get under your skin?

7. Did you hope Gatsby would realize his fantasy, erase those lost five years without Daisy, and take up where he left off with her?

8. Is Gatsby the most hopeful of persons or is he a foolish egomaniac who deludes himself?

9. What caused Gatsby's demise?

10. What of the earnest narrator Nick? Why would he set aside his artistic longings -- his desire to write -- to muck around in the bond market?

11. Was Nick sidetracked by the need to earn a living? Was he tempted by the desire to make a fortune? Or was he only hunting for material?

12. Is Nick reborn as an artist by his baptism through devotion to Gatsby?

13. Did that new twist of Luhrmann's, having Nick narrate from a sanatorium, work for you?

14. Did F. Scott see himself as Nick? Or Gatsby? Or were these parts of himself -- the artist and the social climber -- at war?

15. Who did you identify with -- Gatsby, Nick, Daisy, or one of the multitudes that attends the party and soaks up the entertainment?