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Reference Guide

The Great Gatsby - Reference Guides

2 pages78 viewsFall 2015

Computer Science
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The Great Gatsby
• Story develops through the spring,
summer, and fall of 1922
• Mainly Long Island Sound; two
districts: East Egg and West Egg
• Also New York City and the valley of
ashes, which separates Long Island
from New York
Takes place during Prohibition
• Plot character
• Chorus
• Performs the dual role of narrator
and character
• Tells the reader what is happening
through his perception
Observes other characters
Grew up in American mid-west
Honest and realistic; possesses
high moral standards
• Moved to Long Island after WW1
• Somewhat impressed with the
wealth of others; however, he also
recognizes the liability of money
Nonjudgmental; he changes
towards Jordan and the Buchanans
near the end of the story
• Repelled by Buchanan’s behavior
in the end
Matures and becomes morally
responsible, as opposed to Gatsby,
who does not
• Financial investor
• Conservative, middle-class
• Lives in small bungalow beside
Gatsby in West Egg
• Daisy Buchanan’s cousin
• Has a relationship with Jordan
• Arranges Gatsby’s funeral
• In the end, he moves back to the
Brutally honest; 2 exceptions
He lies to Tom, as he denies
Gatsby’s illegal business dealings
• He does not admit to Tom that Daisy
was driving the car that killed Myrtle
• Would rather side with Gatsby than
He illuminates the shortcomings of
other characters
• A simple character who cannot
dream like Gatsby; therefore,
Gatsby’s dreams seem great
Describes the author’s view of the
American Dream
• Stable character who is worthy of
• Reveals other characters
• Offers a more mature and realistic
love than Gatsby
• Plot character
• Protagonist
Tragic hero
• Born Jimmy Gatz
• Raised on farm in the mid-west
• His parents where poor farmers
• Removed from his past
• At 17, he met Dan Cody and sailed
with him for two years
• Changed his name to Jay Gatsby
and later joined the army
As a lieutenant, he was stationed
near Louisville, which is where he
met Daisy Fay
• He courted Daisy Fay, but then had
to go to war
While away at war, Daisy married
• Self-made man
• Mysterious character (i.e., it is
unclear as to the legal status of his
current business activities)
Buys a huge traditional manor
house in West Egg
• He returned to West Egg to regain
Daisy’s affection
• Romantic (i.e., he believes money
can buy anything, such as youth,
beauty, and love)
• His only reason for living is to win
Daisy back; he creates a wealthy
image to impress her
Ends up having an affair with Daisy;
at the same time, he loses his
reason to live
• Material wealth-based ideals lead
to his destruction
Others are disillusioned
(except Nick)
• Mythical character
• Character remains shadowy
• Idealizes the rich; however, in the
end, he is betrayed by them
• Shot and killed by George Wilson,
who thought that Gatsby was
having an affair with Myrtle
• He becomes destroyed by his own
• Great because of his dream
Plot character
Arrogant and rich man
He comes from an upper class
upbringing and from long-term
• Physically strong; he is also
powerful because of his wealth
• Former football player at Yale
• Went to college with Nick
• An egocentric man who shows off
his possessions to entertain his
• Lives in a classic Georgian house in
East Egg
Married to Daisy
Has an ongoing affair with Myrtle
• Unemotional
• Becomes concerned about Daisy
and Myrtle only when he thinks that
he might lose them
Seems emotionally unaffected by
Myrtle’s death
• Well-suited to lifestyle of the East
• Violent man (e.g., breaks Myrtles
nose for saying Daisy’s name)
• Demonstrates how money corrupts
• Destroys Gatsby’s idealism
• Contrasted to Nick’s and Gatsby’s
Plot character
Raised in an upper class family
Double-sided personality, charming
and glamorous, yet selfish and
• Gatsby’s first love
• Wanted to marry Gatsby; she ended
up marrying Tom
Aware of, yet calm about, Tom’s
• Complains about her life with Tom;
although she is unhappy, she will
not leave even though the
opportunity is there
• Falls in love with Gatsby again;
however, she will not leave Tom to
be with him
She drove the car that killed Myrtle
• Never admits her guilt to her
• Daisy and Tom end up leaving the
United States
Weakest main character
Will not challenge her husband
Emotionally distant from her
daughter, Pammy; she spends very
little time with her
• Careless regarding the lives and
feelings of others
• In the end, she deserts Gatsby
• Object of Gatsby’s ideal
• Represents the American Dream
• Plot character
• Professional golfer; she was once
accused of cheating on a game
• Daisy’s friend
• She has a relationship with Nick;
another conduit into society
• A wealthy upper class woman
• Morally bankrupt and dishonest
• As careless and unemotional as
Daisy and Tom
• Fills in gaps about Daisy and
Gatsby’s earlier relationship
• Displays Nick’s character
• Plot character
• Married to George Wilson
• Mistress of Tom Buchanan
• Hates her husband whom she finds boring
• Lower class woman who seeks upper class lifestyle through Tom
• Sexual and vibrant woman
• Gets run over by car that was driven by Daisy
• Dies without achieving her dreams
• Deserves sympathy
• Shows Tom’s arrogant and corrupt characteristics
• Story character
• Owns a garage in the valley of ashes between West Egg and New York
• Opposite of Gatsby
• Not idealistic
• Murders Gatsby believing (erroneously) he is Myrtle’s lover, and then
immediately commits suicide
• Lacks vitality that was shown by Myrtle
• Story character
• Myrtles younger sister
• See her at the party where Nick
meets Toms mistress
• Story characters
• Neighbors at Tom and Myrtle’s
New York love nest
• Story character
• Lives with Gatsby for short period
• Refuses to attend his funeral
• Story character
• A guest at one of Gatsby’s parties
• The only party guest that attends
Gatsby’s funeral
• Appears as an observer on only
three occasions
• Observes detail; he sees what is
truly good about Gatsby and how
corrupt American society is for
valuing money
• Identifies what the reader should
• Story character
• Fixed the 1919 World Series
• Wears human-molar cufflinks
• Gangster and gambler associated
with Gatsby’s wealth
• Through association, he reveals
Gatsby’s connection to crime
• Does not attend his funeral;
he believes that friends are only
important and useful when they are
• Story character
• Moved from the West to the East,
achieving great wealth
• Became Gatsby’s image of wealth
• Millionaire who taught Gatsby how
to get rich
• A self made man whose money has
no purpose
• Story character
• Tom Buchanans friend
• Visits Gatsby with Tom and acts
rude to him
• Story character
• Daisy and Tom’s daughter
• Displays the emotional distance
between herself and Daisy
• Symbolizes the reality of
Buchanan’s marriage
• Story character
• Owns coffee shop next to
Wilson’s garage
• Witnesses Myrtle’s death
• Story character
• Gatsby’s father
• Attends his funeral
• Impressed by Gatsby’s wealth
and idealizes him as a true
American hero
Nick Carraway moves from the
mid-west to a small house in
West Egg
• He has dinner with his cousin,
Daisy, her husband, Tom Buchanan,
and their friend, Jordan Baker
• He learns that Tom is having an
affair with Myrtle Wilson
(parallel plot)
Tom introduces Nick to his mistress
at a party in New York City
• Everyone gets drunk and Tom ends
up breaking Myrtles nose for
saying Daisy’s name
Gatsby also lives in West Egg, which
is where he bought a mansion to
impress Daisy, his love
• Nick attends one of Gatsby’s parties
and runs into Jordan
She later asks him to arrange tea
for Daisy and Gatsby at his house
• He learns that Daisy and Gatsby
were once lovers; the parties were
arranged so they could meet again
Once Daisy and Gatsby have tea,
the parties end
• Nick becomes involved with Jordan
(parallel plot)
Main plot is Gatsbys dream of
reviving his relationship with Daisy
• Gatsby meets Daisy at Nick’s house
and says that he loves her
• He is thrilled about it, but she cries;
Gatsby realizes that his idealization
of her does not match reality
• He takes her to his house and
shows off his possessions, believing
that his wealth will win her
They have a love affair and she
visits regularly
• A few weeks later, Tom and Daisy
go to a party at Gatsbys, which
Daisy finds ostentatious
• Gatsby is aware of her feelings
• Gatsby insists Daisy tell Tom she
does not love him, but she cannot
• Gatsby, Nick, and Jordan have
lunch at the Buchanan’s house
• Daisy tells Gatsby indirectly, in front
of Tom, that she loves him and Tom
reacts by arranging for everyone to
go to New York City
• Tom insists that Gatsby and Daisy
ride together in his car, while the
rest ride with him in Gatsby’s car
Tom stops at Wilson’s garage
George locked Myrtle upstairs
because of her infidelity; he tells
Tom that he plans to move because
of the affair
Tom worries that he will lose both
his wife and mistress
• The group rents a hotel room in
New York, where Tom confronts
Gatsby says Daisy never loved Tom
and is leaving him
• Tom confronts Daisy and she says
she loves Gatsby but will not leave
her husband
• Tom realizes that he has won; as a
result, he makes Daisy and Gatsby
ride home together in Gatsby’s car
this time
• Tom stops at Wilson’s garage
• He learns that Myrtle has been
killed in a hit-and-run car accident
• A witness says that it was a yellow
car; George assumes that it was the
same car Tom was driving earlier
• Tom tells George that the car does
not belong to him
• Gatsby takes Daisy home and
stands guard outside her home,
still hoping that she will leave Tom
for him
• Nick arrives and finds Gatsby
outside the Buchanan’s home
• Gatsby tells Nick that Daisy drove
the car and hit Myrtle
• She was scared because she had
refused to stop the car
• Gatsby finally goes home and Nick
visits him
• Gatsby tells him the truth about his
• Gatsby was born as James Gatz to
a poor farm couple in the mid-west
• He change his name at 17 to Jay
Gatsby and lived on a yacht with
Dan Cody
• He met (and fell in love with) Daisy
when he joined the army
• She married Tom during the war
• Gatsby believed that he could win
her back by becoming rich
• George seeks revenge on the driver
who killed his wife
• Tom tells George that Gatsby was
the driver
• George goes to Gatsby’s house;
he finds him lounging in his pool
• George shoots him and then
commits suicide
• Failure of American Dream realized
• Nick arranges funeral for Gatsby out
of respect; in doing so, he declares
that he is not like the others
• Only Nick, Gatsby’s father,
Henry C. Gatz, “Owl-Eyes,” and
several servants attend
• Tom and Daisy leave East Egg
• Later, Nick meets Tom and accuses
him of telling George where Gatsby
• Tom says Gatsby got what he
deserved for killing Myrtle
• Nick realizes that Daisy never told
Tom the truth
• Nick ends his relationship with
Jordan and she accuses him of
being dishonest
• He moves back to the mid-west
• The story closes with an historical
look at how early Dutch settlers
idealized Long Island
• A dramatization of how American dreams and ideals made America great, but
also how those ideals made America corrupt
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