Chris Hedges, an uncompromising writer in the tradition of George Orwell wrote a critique on the rich 1% of the nation and praises F. Scott’s Fitzgerald assessment of the rich in The Great Gatsby. This resource has a link to Hedges’ article originally publish on Truthdig.org. There is also a video link with Hedges discussing these ideas to assist students in understanding his argument. This assignment can be conducted in a study of The Great Gatsby or independent of reading the book. It focuses on recognizing the rhetorical appeals in Hedges’ article. There is a link to and guide written to show a 12 minute segment of Woody Allen’s 2011 film Midnight in Paris, where a 21st Century character travels to 1920s Paris.
The resource also includes links to The New York Times series Room for Debate on “Why We Like to Watch Rich People” where students have an opportunity to write a synthesis essay. The teaching packet contains the prompt, links to a rubric, and three student samples with commentary from an experience AP English scorer for the College Board.
Key words: AP English Language, American Literature, argument, the rich %, The Great Gatsby, economics, social justice, film study, rhetorical appeals, synthesis essay, non-fiction