What type of book: Fiction, told in First Person.
- Nick Carraway: (Direct Character) Nick is the main character telling us the story. He attended college at Yale University, and started a bond business in New York. He lives in West Egg, Long Island, the low part of the Island, near his cousin Daisy, who lives in East Egg. His neighbor is Jay Gatsby, Daisy’s lover, and he dates Jordan Baker, Daisy’s best friend. He also hates where he lives.
- Daisy Buchanan: (Indirect Character) Daisy is Nick’s second cousin, once removed, and absolutely loves Nick. She tries to set him up with her best friend Jordan Baker. She also married Tom Buchanan, Nick’s old classmate from college, and lives in the upper part of Long Island called East Egg. She is a well-respected girl, and is still in love with her ex-lover Jay Gatsby.
- Tom Buchanan: (Indirect Character) He is Daisy’s husband, and, an old classmate of Nick’s. A well-known rich sophisticated, and yet snobby and racist, businessman. Tom is having an affair with young Myrtle Wilson. Tom has suspicions of his wife Daisy and Jay Gatsby having an affair.
- Jay Gatsby: (Indirect Character) He is a rich man who always throws parties, and lives next door to Nick’s summer house in West Egg. In the beginning he is a quiet, well-respected, rich man, but in the end it turns out he has a history of crime, and wasn’t at all who he said he was. Gatsby is having an affair with Daisy Buchanan, and is very jealous of her husband Tom.
- Jordan Baker: (Indirect character) Jordan is a woman who acts very unfeminine. She smokes, drinks, swears, and is also a pro-golfer. She is quite the “modern woman,” and has been friends with Daisy for a long time. Nick Carraway and her become involved.
- Myrtle Wilson: (Indirect Character) George Wilson’s wife and Tom Buchanan’s lover. Her and her husband operate a garage fixing, or pumping gas into cars.
Two main conflicts:
Gatsby vs. Tom: Both Tom and Gatsby are in love with Daisy. Daisy is Gatsby’s lover from the past, and they were supposed to get married, but lost contact. Gatsby wants to marry her now that he found her, but she is already married to Tom Buchanan. Tom loves her, but also has a mistress, Myrtle Wilson. Gatsby thinks that Tom is not treating Daisy right, and wants her to go with him. In the end Gatsby asks Daisy to go with him and she chooses to stay with Tom. Tom’s mistress dies when Gatsby and Daisy hit her with a car, and Tom stays with Daisy. After Gatsby is killed they leave town together.
Nick vs. Society: Nick just moved to New York from the Midwest to start a business in bonds. When he gets there he realizes he hates it. He doesn’t like where he lives on Long Island, and doesn’t know that many people. His cousin Daisy introduces him to some of her friends, and he also attends one of his neighbor’s parties to meet people. A lot of the people he meets are crooked, and dishonest, and Nick isn’t used to that.
At Gatsby’s funeral Nick realizes that rich people have nothing. All they have to offer is money, and that’s it. When ever Gatsby had a party a lot of people would be there, but only his father and Nick attended his funeral. He sees that, all the people are interested in is money, parties, and fame, and it doesn’t matter where it comes from or who’s party they have to go to. Most of them have a hidden background that no one is to know about, and they want everyone to think that they are happy, when in fact, most of them aren’t.
Where: This book takes place on Long Island New York. Gatsby and Nick Carraway live in West Egg, Long Island, the less populated, unsettled part of town. Only the people of lower class live in West Egg, except for Gatsby’s mansion. Dick’s cousin Daisy and her husband Tom live in East Egg, Long Island, the upper class part of town. The people of higher societies live in this part of town. When: 19226.)
Plot: Nick Carraway just moved to NY, from he Midwest, to learn the bond business. He buys a house in a town called West Egg, Long Island. West Egg is the lower class part of town, and Nick hates it there, but his neighbor Gatsby lives in a mansion. His cousin, Daisy Buchanan, lives in East Egg, Long Island, the upper class part of town. Shortly after he gets there his cousin invites him over for dinner. At Daisy’s house, Nick meets Jordan Baker, Daisy’s best friend. Daisy tries to hook them up. During dinner, the phone rings and it is Myrtle Wilson, Tom Buchanan’s mistress. Shortly after dinner, Jordan leaves to her golf tournament.
A couple days later Tom takes Nick to the garage where Myrtle lives with her husband George. Nick sees that Myrtle is young, and beautiful, whereas George is very plain. A little while later Tom, Nick, Myrtle, and her sister go to Tom’s apartment in New York. They are sitting around in his apartment, and soon are all drunk. Then Myrtle starts saying Daisy’s name, and Tom hits her and breaks her nose.
A couple weeks go by, and Nick is invited to one of Gatsby’s parties. He goes there and talks with Jordan Baker. He learns that Gatsby throws big, fancy parties, but no one knows anything about him. Later that night Nick finally meets his neighbor, Jay Gatsby, and they talk for a while.
One day Gatsby drives Nick into New York for lunch. While talking, Gatsby tells Nick that he is from the Midwest, and went to Oxford University in England. He also told him that he fought in the war, all of which Nick doesn’t believe. During lunch with Gatsby, Nick meets his associate, Meyer Wolfsheim, and learns that he was the one who fixed the World Series in 1919. Nick then thinks that Gatsby’s wealth comes from his connection to Meyer.
Later Jordan tells Nick all about Gatsby and Daisy. She tells him how they used to be lovers, but she married Tom Buchanan, and that he still loved her. Nick then realized that Gatsby is his friend because Daisy was his cousin. She also tells him that Gatsby wants to see Daisy again, and that he should help. Nick invites Daisy to his house so she can reunite with Gatsby. Gatsby gets a little nervous, but Nick tells him no to worry. When Daisy gets there she is surprised. After a while she gets used to him and they start to talk, and they end up talking all night.
After this Gatsby tells Nick the truth about himself. First he told him about how he and Daisy were once in love. Then he tells him how his real name is Jay Gatz, and that he was the son of a farmer. He also told him that he dropped out of college, and befriended a millionaire, which would explain his wealth. One day Nick goes over to Gatsby’s house and finds him talking to Tom. He sees that Tom does not like Gatsby, and no longer trusts Daisy alone. Nick, Jordan, and Gatsby are all invited to Tom and Daisy’s house for lunch. Daisy and Gatsby cannot hide their love for each other, and Tom sees his.
Tom gets very angry from seeing this. They all decide to go to the Plaza hotel, in New York, and get a suite. There, Tom and Gatsby yell at each other, and Tom makes sure that everyone knows that he never went to Oxford. Gatsby tells Tom that Daisy doesn’t love him, and that she only married him because she didn’t have any money, and didn’t want to wait for him anymore. Daisy then chooses to stay with Tom, even though she is not happy.
Gatsby is heartbroken. Tom then sends Daisy home with Gatsby, knowing that nothing will happen, and on the way home they hit Myrtle Wilson, and kill her. To protect Daisy from Tom, Gatsby takes the blame for the accident, even though it was Daisy who was driving, and stays at Tom’s to prevent him from beating Daisy.
Nick and Gatsby talk at Gatsby’s house, and Gatsby is really depressed. While at work, Nick worries about Gatsby, and decides to go find him. Meanwhile, Tom told George that Gatsby killed his wife, and where to find him. When Nick gets to Gatsby’s house, he finds him shot to death, and a few yards away is George Wilson’s body. George went there to kill Gatsby, and also killed himself.
Nick goes to Gatsby’s funeral, and nobody shows up except for Gatsby’s father. Nick is disgusted on how so many people can go to Gatsby’s parties, but no one can show up for his funeral. Tom and Daisy moved out of town, and Nick broke up with Jordan to move out west.
Two things I learned from this book:
- I learned that money doesn’t bring you anything but unhappiness. Gatsby had all the money in the world, but he didn’t have any real friends, except for Nick, and was left alone in the world. He lost Daisy, and ended up dying with nothing.
- The second thing I learned is that you should never have an affair when you are married. It only makes things a lot worse. Like in Tom and Daisy’s situation. Daisy ran Myrtle over, and Tom killed Gatsby, by telling George that Gatsby killed his wife, knowing that George would go after him.
Two main themes:
- One possible theme could be, don’t waste your life on riches and material things, spend more time trying to get to know yourself, and others around you.
- Another possible theme is, money doesn’t make you popular, or well known. Like Gatsby, he threw all these parties that were crowded with people, but when his funeral was, only Nick and his father showed up. You can’t buy your friends.