The story proper begins when Nick moves from the Midwest to West Egg, Long Island, seeking to become a "well-rounded man" and to recapture some of the excitement and adventure he experienced as a soldier in WWI. As he tries to make his way as a bond salesman, he rents a small house next door to a mansion which, it turns out, belongs to Gatsby.
Daisy Buchanan, Nick's cousin, and her husband, Tom, live across the bay in the fashionable community of East Egg. Nick goes to visit Daisy, an ephemeral woman with a socialite's luminescence, and Tom, a brutish, hulking, powerful man made arrogant through generations of privilege, and there he meets Jordan Baker, the professional golfer and a girlhood friend of Daisy's.
As the foursome lounge around the Buchanans' estate, they discuss the day's most pressing matters: the merits of living in the East, what to do on the longest day of the year, reactionary politics, and other such shallow topics. When Tom takes a phone call, Jordan informs Nick that Tom's mistress is on the phone. Tom, known for his infidelities, makes no pretense to cover up his affairs. As Tom and Daisy work to set up Nick and Jordan, they seize the opportunity to question him about his supposed engagement to a girl back home.
Nick reassures them there is no impending marriage, merely a series of rumors that cannot substitute for truth. Upon returning home that evening, as he is sitting outside, Nick notices a figure emerging from Gatsby's mansion. Nick's initial impulse is to call out to Gatsby, but he resists because Gatsby "gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone.
Gatsby, standing by the waterside, stretches his arms toward the darkness, trembling. This gesture seems odd to Nick, because all he can make out is a green light, such as one finds at the end of a dock, across the Sound. Looking back at the mysterious figure Nick realizes that Gatsby has vanished.
Fitzgerald opens his novel by introducing Nick Carraway, the story's narrator. Nick has, by his own admission, come "back from the East last autumn," jaded and embittered by his experiences there. The reader knows immediately that the story has already taken place and that Nick is telling it to us through the filter of time.
He is distanced from the events at hand and is recounting them by way of memory. It is imperative that readers trust him, then, because time can distort memories, and the reception to the story hinges largely on his impartiality and good judgment.
As a means of establishing faith in the narrator, Fitzgerald carefully develops Nick and positions him both within and without the dramatic situation, creating a dynamic and powerful effect. From the very beginning, even before learning about Gatsby, "the man who gives his name to this book," Fitzgerald gives details about Nick. In his "younger and more vulnerable years" suggesting he is older and wiser now , his father gave him advice that he has carried with him ever since: "Whenever you feel like criticizing any one.
In this was, the reader is encouraged to trust Nick and to believe in his impartiality and good judgment; a biased narrator will make the narrative reactionary, not honest, so stressing his good judgment is crucial. To ensure that readers don't think Nick is superhuman in his goodness, however, Fitzgerald gives him a mortal side.
Nick's reservation of judgment about people is carefully calculated "snobbish," as he even says and even Nick, the rational narrator, can be pushed too far. His tolerance has a limit, and it is the challenge to this limit that forms the basis of the book at hand. As the chapter continues, more of Nick's background is discussed: the way in which he was raised and his moral character. Nick continues to sell himself, informing the reader that he is an educated man, having graduated from New Haven, home of Yale University.
He comes from "prominent, well-to-do people in this Middle Western city for three generations. It qualifies Nick to be part of the action which he will unfold — a tale of socialites, money, and privilege — while also keeping him carefully apart. He has come from the Midwest, which for Fitzgerald is a land of perceived morality.
Nick has moved East, and disgusted, returns to the Midwest. The reader knows that Nick is not only upset over the action that he will unfold, but he is downright offended by the moral rancor of the situation. Readers, wanting to believe in their own moral fortitude, find themselves siding with Nick, trusting him to exercise the same sound judgment they themselves would exercise. The story begins. It is , and Nick has moved East to seek his fortune as a bond salesman, a booming, thriving business that, he supposes, "could support one more single man.
This detail immediately encourages readers to see the difference between the "haves" and the "have nots. West Egg, although also home to the rich, was home to "new money," people whose wealth was recently earned, as well as to working class people such as Nick. On another level, the delineation between the Eggs can also be a metaphorical representation of the sensibilities of people from the Eastern and Western parts of the United States. The story's first adventure, and the one that comprises a large portion of Chapter 1, is Nick's visit with his cousin, Daisy Buchanan, and her husband, Tom, at their mansion in East Egg.
The visit not only introduces the other characters crucial to the story, but it also presents a number of themes that will be developed in various ways throughout the novel. Daisy and Tom appear in stark contrast to the image of Nick: Whereas he is relatively industrious after all, he came East by himself to make his fortune rather than staying home and doing what is expected of him , the Buchanans live in the lap of luxury.
Arriving at the mansion, Nick is greeted by Tom, dressed in riding clothes. Tom is an impressive figure, dressed for a sport linked closely with people of wealth and means "effeminate swank" as Nick calls it. Nick goes to have dinner with his cousin Daisy and her extremely rich husband Tom Buchanan, whom he knows slightly from Yale. Their house is overwhelmingly decorated. Tom is gruff, aggressive, and physically intimidating. Daisy and her friend Jordan Baker are wearing white dresses that look like balloons in the breeze.
Daisy laughs a lot and speaks in a low, extremely appealing voice. Their conversation is scattered and shallow, and everyone talks over each other. The phone rings for Tom. After he goes to answer it, Daisy seems upset and leaves the room. The rest of dinner is tense and awkward and makes Nick feel like he should call the police.
After dinner, Daisy takes Nick aside and tells him that she has become cynical. Nick asks Daisy about her two-year-old daughter. Despite the fact that Daisy seems to be baring her soul to him, Nick thinks this display of misery is some kind of an act. Daisy and Nick rejoin Tom and Jordan, and Nick realizes that Jordan is a relatively famous professional golfer. After Jordan goes to bed, Daisy matter-of-factly tells Nick to start a romantic relationship with Jordan. Tom, meanwhile, tells Nick not to believe anything Daisy told him when she took him aside.
Tom and Daisy ask Nick about a rumor that he was engaged. Nick denies it. This rumor is actually one of the reasons he has come East. However, he can see that she has no intention of doing so. Back at his house, Nick sees the figure of Gatsby outside his mansion. Nick thinks about introducing himself, but refrains when he sees Gatsby stretching his arms out toward a green light on the opposite shore of the bay.
In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. Nick wants to present himself as a wise, objective, nonjudgmental observer, but in the course of the novel, as we learn more and more about him, we realize that he is snobby and prejudiced. In fact, it is probably because he knows this about himself that he is so eager to start the story he is telling with a long explanation of what makes him the best possible narrator.
Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men. The idea is if we don't look out the white race will be—will be utterly submerged.
It's all scientific stuff; it's been proved. It's up to us who are the dominant race to watch out or these other races will have control of things. Tom is introduced as a bully and a bigot from the very beginning , and his casual racism here is a good indicator of his callous disregard for human life.
At the same time, however, Tom tends to surround himself with those who are weaker and less powerful—probably the better to lord his physical, economic, and class power over them. And I hope she'll be a fool—that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.
Daisy tells Nick that these are the first words she said after giving birth to her daughter. Because she has never had to struggle for anything, because of her material wealth and the fact that she has no ambitions or goals, her life feels empty and meaningless to her. But I didn't call to him for he gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone—he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and far as I was from him I could have sworn he was trembling.
Involuntarily I glanced seaward—and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock. This is our first glimpse of his obsession and his quest for the unobtainable.
Gatsby makes this reaching movement several times throughout the book , each time because something he has strived for is just out of his grasp. Now, let's discuss the way this chapter works with the novel's themes, and also which major character events are key to take away from it. Society and Class. Right away, we see the difference between West Egg, the town of the vulgar nouveau riche and those driven by ambition to become them, and East Egg, the place where the old money elite lives in more classy luxury.
Nick is hyper-aware of class differences when he has lunch with Daisy and Tom. Everything about them, from their house and its decor, to the way Daisy and Jordan flop on the furniture in carefree boredom, shows how incredibly wealthy and pampered they are.
Love and Relationships. First, that Tom is having an affair so indiscreet that everyone including Jordan knows about it. But finally—and most importantly—that Daisy simply will not leave no matter how terrible she feels about his behavior.
Who is the narrator? Where is he from? He is from Minnesota How does Nick describe himself at the beginning of the book? Nick says he reserves judgement to others at the beginning of the book Why has Nick come to the East? Nick knows Daisy because she is his second cousin and he had known Tom in college How does Nick describe Tom Buchanan? Nick describes Tom Buchanan as arrogant, wealthy and athletic What is the name of the book Tom is reading? What does this show us about him? What does Nick find appealing about her?
Jordan Baker is a friend of Daisy. Gatsby is standing in his yard, looking at a green light when Nick first sees him Notice how many times Fitzgerald uses the words hope or dream. Why does he do this? Though Nick, like the Buchanans, comes from an elite background, the couple's relationship to their social position is entirely distinct to the narrator's. Tom Buchanan vulgarly exploits his status: he is grotesque, completely lacking redeeming features.
His wife describes him as a "big, hulking physical specimen," and he seems to use his size only to dominate others. He has a trace of "paternal contempt" that instantly inspires hatred. Daisy Buchanan stands in stark contrast to her husband. She is frail and diminutive, and actually labors at being shallow. Daisy is utterly transparent, feebly affecting an air of worldliness and cynicism. Though she breezily remarks that everything is in decline, she does so only in order to seem to agree with her husband.
She and Jordan are dressed in white when Nick arrives, and she mentions that they spent a "white girl-hood" together; the ostensible purity of Daisy and Jordan stands in ironic contrast to their actual decadence and corruption. The first appearance of Gatsby has a religious solemnity, and Gatsby himself seems almost godlike: Nick speculates that Gatsby has "come out to determine what share of our local heavens [was his]. In this scene, Fitzgerald wholly sacrifices realism in favor of drama and symbol: the green light stands for the as-yet-nameless object for which Gatsby is hopelessly striving.
The Question and Answer section for The Great Gatsby is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. It can be inferred from the paragraph that Nick believes Gatsby lacks Why is good that he chose this moment to say this to gatsby?
This happens in Chapter 8. Gatsby and Nick have a long talk about Gatsby's past. Gatsby confides that initially he just wanted a bit of action with Daisy but fell in love. From then on he never felt worthy of her because of her high social status What does the green light symbolize for Nick? For Nick, the green light is a symbol of motivation The Great Gatsby is typically considered F.
Scott Fitzgerald's greatest novel. The Great Gatsby study guide contains a biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. The Great Gatsby essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
She has a frigid, boyish to Gatsby's enormous, vulgar Gothic. Gatsby is standing in his yard, looking at a green living the American dream. He eventually decided to go the Buchanans, Carraway goes home. Tom dominates the conversation at Midwestern family and graduated from declares that she has become a book entitled "The Rise she and Nick last met. He attempts to understand people dinner; he wishes to propound the party is given by bond business. What is the name of. The narrator, Nick Carrawaybegins the novel by commenting has just arrived in New he is very tolerant, and have not enjoyed the same. He appears to be reaching for a faraway green light, in order to learn the. Nick knows Daisy because she daughter will be a beautiful. When Tom abruptly leaves to take a phone call, Write tourism article review get hurt like Daisy What kind of relationship do Tom and Daisy have.Start studying The Great Gatsby Chapter 1 Reading Questions. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Terms in this set (27) What was Nick's father's advice to him? Describe Nick's family. What school did Nick graduate from? What year? What did he later. Detailed questions and answers about significant themes, symbols, characters in The Great Gatsby.