SparkNotes Blog

7 Awesome Literary Prom Themes

Anyone can purchase a Rolling in the Deep–themed prom set, complete with Wavy Ocean Whispers Columns and Deep Blue Dream Pool Kit, and call it a day. But only a true high school event–planning committee badass would tackle one of these amazing literary prom themes:

The Great Gatsby. Easy to pull off, as long as your school has the budget for engraved invitations, a 17-piece jazz band, a sparkling cider tower, solid gold fountains, bouquets of ostrich feathers and exotic flowers, a raw bar, and fireworks. Dress is, of course, flapper and dapper, and the night should end in a moral hangover.

Revolutionary Road. The venue is decked out like a 1950s home. Food includes classic Betty Crocker–style hors d’oeuvres like pigs in blankets, canned deviled ham on Ritz crackers, and olive cheese puffs. Attendees are invited to dress in 50s cocktail fashion and dance the night away beneath the looming image of a papier mâché Eiffel Tower in the distance. Everyone must end the evening fighting with his or her date.

Edgar Allan Poe. At the Poe-rom, the gym is decked in black and illuminated only by a scarlet light. A large pendulum swings from the ceiling, and beverages are served from casks. Prom-goers wear Victorian mourning garb, and the only music is the deep bass of a tell-tale heart emanating from under the gym floorboards.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. All corsages and boutonnieres must be red roses. The dinner portion of the evening is, of course, a tea party at which prom-goers feast on highly peppered beautiful soup and “Eat Me” cakes. The Prom Queen gets to call “off with their heads” to anyone wearing the same dress as her. In addition to dancing, there is croquet on the football field.

A Game of Thrones. Invitations for A Prom of Ice and Fire will, of course, be delivered by raven. Every student will be assigned a house and will be expected to proudly display that house’s sigil as part of his or her outfit. Chaperones will dress as members of the Night’s Watch, and the prom king and queen will sit on Lead Thrones made of highly sharpened pencils.

Wuthering Heights. Students dressed in Romantic costume, complete with capes, will gasp in terrible awe to find the gym transformed into the windswept Yorkshire moors, thanks to heather carpeting and at least a dozen fog machines. All windows will be left open, of course. Students must dance around the graves of Catherine, Heathcliff, and Edgar.

Animal Farm. Like a farm-themed prom (also good for Homecoming), only with more communism and a windmill! Instead of limos, students arrive and leave in knacker vans. Instead of a prom king and queen, there is a prom dictator. Dinner will be barbecued pork.

What would the best literary prom theme be?