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    THE PROMPT: Your final essay for the semester is a reaction to the essay “Guys vs. Men” by Dave Barry, which should be a center point of your paper.  Make sure that you explain the content and the purpose behind that essay for your reader, then go on to discuss the personalities and actions of characters from Gatsby in light of points Barry makes. Using that essay, do another bit of character analysis of Gatsby, Tom, Nick, and/or other characters of The Great Gatsby in view of the assertions of the essay.  In addition to characters from the novel, you should also discuss Fitzgerald himself and evaluate him the same way you do his characters…is Fitzgerald a ‘man’ or a ‘guy? 

    Consult your notes about F. Scott Fitzgerald, and/or revisit the A&E Biography program about him (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. to refresh your memory of his personality and commentary made about him from various interviewees.  You MAY bring in other articles from the Rereading America text, such as the “Guy Code” or others, too, though I will not require you to do so.  It would be impressive if you did, though…hint hint!

    You could organize this paper several ways:

    1. Perhaps you wish to discuss certain male characters one by one in order, comparing them to ideas in the “Guys Vs Men” essay, and then finish with discussion of Scott Fitzgerald;
    2. Perhaps you wish to take the sections of the essay, such as “Guys Like Neat Stuff,” etc., one by one, and stack certain characters and the author of your choice up against those sections.  
    3. Maybe you can start with a discussion of the F Scott Fitzgerald, establishing his personality and style, then comparing his characters to ideas in Barry’s essay.
    4. You may have other ideas too…just make sure to organize in a helpful and clear pattern for coherence and flow…don’t have a pile of random ideas and leave it at that!

    Take the discussion where you will, so long as you organize things in a flowing way, quote from the source essay, quote from the novel, AND have an overall thesis statement that your paper strives to prove/illustrate/discuss throughout.  Yes, in some ways this is a little similar to your “in class” essay as well as the stuff you wrote about the codes of males and females, but there you were tackling whether or not characters were admirable…here you are synthesizing your response to the last reading and its humorous content with character analysis from the novel, as well as its author.   Again, if you wish to bring in the other articles you responded to previously, feel free to…for some this may be an extra task, while for others it may make things easier because you have more to talk about and more space filled up…use or don’t use those past articles as you see fit. 

    Whatever you choose, make sure you have a consistent, coherent, flowing pattern of organization, and comment on characters of The Great Gatsby as well as its author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, in comparison to that reading.  Which characters are guys?  Which are men?  Are they both?  What do you personally think of real life people such as this, as well as these fictional characters?  How does Fitzgerald himself fit into this analysis?  

    WHOM TO DISCUSS IN THE PAPER: Obviously Tom, Gatsby, and Nick are prime candidates for discussion, and you certainly should most likely discuss all three of those characters, but don’t forget other characters, too…George Wilson, Meyer Wolfsheim, Dan Cody (even though you never really see him), Michaelis, Gatsby’s father, Owl-Eyes, Klipspringer, perhaps even Mr. McKee…minor characters can be (and probably should be) included as well.

    RHETORICAL APPROACH: Pretend that you are writing this for someone that has not ever read Dave Barry’s article, and doesn’t know much about The Great Gatsby.  That means you need to give some background and context about Barry’s article, as well as about the novel and its characters.  You don’t want to ramble on in needless summary, but neither do you want to assume the reader knows who Nick Carraway is and what he does in the novel, or that your reader knows anything about Dave Barry’s article…provide enough background so that the reader knows what is being discussed without any previous knowledge of the novel or the essay. 

    Also, don’t refer to the class itself, such as saying, “In class we read Fitzgerald’s novel and Dave Barry’s essay…”.  That’s considered poor form! 

    You MAY use first person point of view if you wish, however…some of you have been trained to never do that, but honestly…in certain situations it can be okay, and this is one of them.


Subject Essay Writing Pages 5 Style APA


Reaction to Barry’s “Guys Vs Men”

Dave Barry uses the essay “Guys vs. Men” to provide a discussion of the differences between men and guys. He starts by expressing his view that men are expected to have a higher level of maturity, responsibility, senses of control and seriousness. However, one of the differences that he makes is that whereas men are of a more relaxed nature, guys have lesser responsibilities and thus tend to be “fun-loving” and competitive. He admits that the role of the essay is not to describe men, but rather guys. Three characteristics of guys that Barry (2010) makes an in-depth description is that guys like neat stuff, pointless challenges, and fail to have a rigid and well-defined moral code. The essay aspects can be discussed in light of the characters and personalities in the novel The Great Gatsby such as Jay Gatsby, Tom, and Nick. Based on the differences between guys and men, then Gatsby and George Wilson are guys whereas Tom and Nick are men. However, the author of the novel, F. Scott Fitzgerald, is both a guy and a man as his personality is represented by the contrasting characters of Gatsby and Nick.

Jay Gatsby is a guy because of his distaste for poverty and love for net stuff such as expensive parties and beautiful women. In specific, he is presented as an aloof as well as an enigmatic host of various opulent parties at his mansion and an individual who is surrounded by luxury and greatness. His love for neat stuff is demonstrated by the two women found in his house who “were both in white and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house” (Fitzgerald, 1991, p.10). Such a penchant for neat and beautiful things aligns with Barry’s description of guys. In specific, according to Barry (1996), “guys like neat staff” (xi) in which neat implies unnecessary complex things. The example that Barry provides in his essay about his power computer can also be compared to the opulence of Gatsby house as “On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d’oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold” (Fitzgerald, 1991, p.44). Such examples show that Jay Gatsby was a guy as he had a liking for neat things.

Myrtle’s husband, George Wilson, is a dreamer just like Gatsby and thus a guy as he demonstrates his capability to engage in a needless challenge. In his second appearance in chapter seven of the novel, the major characters in the novel, Nick Carraway, Jay Gatsby, Daisy, Tom Buchanan, and Jordan Baker visits his gas station. However, they find him unwell because he had “discovered that Myrtle had some sort of life apart from him in another world and the shock had made him physically ill” (Fitzgerald, 1991, p.152). However, although he did not have to engage in the challenge of fighting with his secret lover, he ends up taking his wife somewhere out the west and far away from the secret lover. Barry (1996) is clear that “guys like a really pointless challenge” (xv). One of the examples he provides to support his point is that of co-workers “talking about how fast they could run the forty-yard dash” (Barry, 1996). Despite it not being a requirement for them to have physical fitness, they nevertheless decided to engage in the challenge to prove their worth. The same pointless challenge was taken by Wilson when he decided to challenge his secret lover by taking his wife away and she ended up being hit by a car.

Labeling Nick as a man is pegged on the fact that he is not only tolerant and open-minded, but also quiet and a good listener which makes his friends comfortable in telling him their secrets. Such a description implies that he had a rigid and well-defined code that he followed. For instance, according to Fitzgerald (1991), although he was attracted to the vivacity and sophistication of Jordan Baker, he was also not comfortable with her dishonesty and lack of consideration for other people. Such a personality demonstrates that Nick is not a guy because, according to Barry (1996), although “guys are aware of the rules of moral behavior, but they have trouble keeping these rules in the forefronts of their minds” (xix). However, it is evident that Nick knew the rules of moral behavior and followed them to the latter. At the end of the novel, Nick returns to the quieter life of Minnesota and thus agrees to abide by the existing traditional moral values. The fact that Nick had those rigid and well-defined values that he held true implies that he was more of man that he was a guy based on Barry’s differentiation of the two.

Tom was definitely a man because of his physical and mental hardness. In specific, he had not only a large but also a muscle-bound imposing frame which was represented by his cruel body and enormous power. The strength and bulk of his body made him look dangerous and aggressive. Such a description is also confirmed by Daisy who calls him a “brute of a man, a great, big, hulking physical specimen…” (Fitzgerald, 1991, page??). According to Barry (1996), men are mostly “aggressive macho dominators” and their masculinity result in “unfortunate results such as violent crime, war, spitting…” Just as Tom was serious, Barry states that the term “man” is a serious word just as are “manhood” and “manly.” Tom’s physical and mental hardness results in him using the brutish personality to engage in both threats and violence with the aim of maintaining control. Such a person is different from that of a guy as Barry (1996) is clear that guys do not tend to attach great significance to their masculinity and manhood, but men do so. As a result, Tom is a man based on his physical and mental hardness as well as the manner in which he used threats and violence to control other people.

Scott Fitzgerald is both a guy and a man as his personality is represented by the contrasting characters of Gatsby and Nick. Notably, although Fitzgerald poses a great talent for both creativity and self-expression, he also had a penchant for neat things considering the beauty of his wife. In specific, Fitzgerald married to Ginevra King, one of the beauties of her generation. Such a wife’s description aligns with Barry’s view that guys like near staff such as the wife of Scott Fitzgerald. However, he was a guy because he failed to engage in a needless challenge, especially when his wife, Zelda, was involved in a relationship with a French aviator. Moreover, the personality of Fitzgerald is an intermix of the passionate and active character of Gatsby as well as the sober and reflective characters of Nick. The previous paragraphs have demonstrated that Gatsby was a guy because he was a dreamer and a person fond of neat things whether houses, women, or parties. However, Nick’s high level of morality results in the conclusion that he was a man considering that guys do not have a well-defined moral code. As such, Fitzgerald is both a guy and a man based on his personality traits as well as the various features which can be seen through the characters of Gatsby and Nick in the novel.

In conclusion, Gatsby and George Wilson are guys whereas Tom and Nick are men: however, the author of the novel, F. Scott Fitzgerald, is both a guy and a man as his personality is represented by the contrasting characters of Gatsby and Nick. Barry’s essay describes guys as those with a penchant for neat stuff, people who like pointless challenges, and those who do not have any well-defined or rigid moral code. Gatsby is a guy because he loved neat stuff such as beautiful women and lovely houses. Similarly, Wilson was a guy because he engaged in unnecessary challenges such as the challenge with his wife’s secret lover. However, the manner in which Nick followed a rigid moral code means that he is a man as guys cannot internalize the rules of morality. Equally, Tom is a man considering his mental and physical nature as well as his love for violence to assert control. However, the author of the novel; Fitzgerald, is both a guy and a man as his personality is represented by the contrasting characters of Gatsby and Nick.



Barry, D. (1996). Dave Barry’s complete guide to guys. Ballantine Books.

Fitzgerald, F. S. (1991). The Great Gatsby (1925). na.














Appendix A:

Communication Plan for an Inpatient Unit to Evaluate the Impact of Transformational Leadership Style Compared to Other Leader Styles such as Bureaucratic and Laissez-Faire Leadership in Nurse Engagement, Retention, and Team Member Satisfaction Over the Course of One Year

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