Enjoy the Party, Old Sport

Juniors Host ‘The Great Gatsby’ Themed Soirées


Photo by Rachana Kommineni

Making finger foods, junior Sophie Dawson prepares a charcuterie board for her soirée table. All junior classes had to read “The Great Gatsby” in class and then held a 1920s themed party on March 23-24. “I thought the book itself was really eye-opening and entertaining,” Dawson said. “But the party was more enjoyable than the book, which makes sense, but I thought I would’ve enjoyed the book more. It was fun to act like I lived in the 1920s. I encourage next year’s juniors to not blow it off, because that’s lame and the party is really fun if you actually participate.”

Madison Shields, Reporter

Lavish tables with thoughtful centerpieces and an array of different foods covered the Lecture Hall on March 23 and 24 while juniors bustled around with laughter and smiles on their faces. The Gatsby soirées are something the juniors haven’t been able to do for the past two years due to COVID-19, but now they are back.

Reading “The Great Gatsby” was a requirement for every junior this year, in AP English and on-level alike. Every week a number of chapters were assigned to be read by the next class. After the pages were conversed over in class, assignments were given revolving around what was previously read.

Students were given the option to dress up if they wanted in the 1920s fashion. Junior Amani Graham wore a sequin dress contributing to the flapper girl culture. Many students decided to dress up, but there was still a divide. It all revolved around whether or not they connected with the book. Some students just wanted to put on different clothes for a change, according to Gavin Reid. While others wanted to put themselves in the world of “The Great Gatsby.”

“I thought it would be fun [dressing up], to play a part in what we were reading about,” Graham said. “I wanted to be a part of it while experiencing the Gatsby era itself. Most of the kids in our class dressed up, too.”

Since it was a soirée, students were asked to bring food and drinks depending on their character. Varying from cokes with gold edible glitter to charcuterie boards, there was a spread provided for each party. Their entire table was based on the character they were assigned. Decorating their table with a centerpiece and decorations was also included in the assignment.

“Each of us was given a character and we had to decorate our table according to the character,” Dawson said. “My group got Jordan so we put golf clubs because she played golf. Other people had Gatsby so they brought lights and a stereo. It was fun to see what everyone brought in, and walking around to look.”

Between the two different AP English III teachers, there was an assignment consisting of a roast, toast or eulogy along with a gift for the assigned character and art piece correlating with the story. Students were asked to read aloud all of the things they created.

“I thought it was really entertaining listening to other people’s roasts and toasts,” junior Olivia Young said. “I mean, it was fun to share mine as well, but I thought the toast and roast were really fun to listen to, personally. I helped my friend write the roast, which was really fun. Then I had to write the eulogy which wasn’t as fun to write in my opinion, but overall I enjoyed it.”

By the end of the book some students had formed their opinions on it, and according to junior Tessa Griffin, hers were negative.

“I wasn’t very in touch with the book, and it was very confusing to me,” Griffin said. “There were a lot of big words, it was in a very past setting and I didn’t feel connected to it. I was expecting it to be deep since it’s really hyped up and everybody has read the book. But I was not impressed with it. It was fine, but really hard to understand as well.”

Even if they didn’t enjoy the book, almost all of the students had fun at the party. Since COVID-19 did not allow for Gatsby parties for the past two years, it made this year that much more important, according to junior Brynn Boatright.

“[Incoming juniors] should definitely participate at your party,” Boatright said. “It makes the atmosphere feel more real and almost relaxed. I was looking forward to the party since the beginning of the year. I even have a flapper dress, but I didn’t wear it, and I really regret it now. So that’s why I think it’s important to tell the future juniors they should participate.”