This six-page, fill-in-the-blanks handout challenges your students by going beyond a mere simplifying summary of Fitzgerald's brilliant and most popular short story.
Rather the handout motivates them to explore the rich texture of "Babylon Revisited": the symbolism of its title “Babylon Revisited,” its main themes, its layered plot (including the irony at its ending), and on the characters (protagonist and antagonists) and their symbolic names.
It even calls your students' attention to an apostrophe misspelling which eluded Fitzgerald himself and his subsequent editors. (I have found that students enjoy when their teachers point out such faux pas; these linguistic “slips” humanize literary giants such as Fitzgerald.)
The message of “Babylon Revisited”—that a father regains his “honor” by seeking to regain custody of his daughter (named Honoria in this story)—is very relevant to our students today.
My handout is suitable for a homework assignment or as an in-class small-group activity.
An answer key is provided on a separate page at the end of the handout.
Prepared by Professor William Tarvin, Ph.D., who has published many articles on literature in scholarly journals.