The Great Gatsby Nick Carraway ??“ The novel??™s narrator, he is a young man from Minnesota who after going to Yale and fighting in the First World War, goes to New York to learn the bond business. He lives in West Egg, next door to Gatsby. Nick is also Daisy??™s cousin, which enables him to observe and assist the resurgent love affair between Daisy and Gatsby.
Nick is the narrator of this story, which functions as a personal memoir of his experiences with the two in the summer of 1922. As he tells the reader in chapter one he is tolerant, open-minded, quiet, and a good listener and as a result other characters tend to trust him and tell them their secrets. Gatsby in particular, comes to trust him and treat him as his confidant. Nick generally assumes a secondary role throughout the novel, preferring to describe and comment on events rather than dominate the action. Nick has mixed reactions to life on the east coast, he is attracted to the fast-paced, fun-driven lifestyle of New York. On the other hand he finds that lifestyle is grotesque and damaging. This is also reflected in his romantic affair with Jordan Baker.
He is attracted to her vivacity and her sophistication just as he is repelled by her dishonesty and her lack of consideration for other people. After Gatsby??™s death Nicks view of the East is ???distorted beyond my eyes??™ power of correction???, he realises that the fast life of revelry on the East Coast is a cover for the moral emptiness that the valley of ashes symbolizes, he returns home in search of a quieter life. ??? ???Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, he told me, ???just remember that all the people in the world haven??™t had the advantages you??™ve had.
??? ??“ Nick??™s Father writing service methods ??? ???Gatsby, who represented everything for which I had an unaffective scorn. If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away.??? ??“ Nick ??? ???I began to like New York, the racy, adventurous feel of it at night, and the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and women and machines gives to the restless eye.?????? ???Dishonesty in a woman is a thing you never blame deeply ??“ I was casually sorry, and then I forgot.??? ??“ Nick ??? ???Every one suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.
??? ??“ Nick??? ???…
I had merely grown used to it, grown to accept West Egg as a world complete in itself, with its own standards and its own great figures, second to nothing because it had no consciousness of being so…??? ??“ Nick ??? ???After Gatsby??™s death the Eat was haunted for me like that, distorted beyond my eyes??™ power of correction.??? ??“ Nick ??? ???Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us.
It eluded us then, but that??™s no matter ??“ tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms further … And one fine morning – So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.??? ??“ Nick Jay Gatsby- the title character of The Great Gatsby, Gatsby is a young man who rose from an impoverished childhood in rural North Dakota to become fabulously wealthy. He achieved this goal by participating in organized crime, including distributing illegal alcohol and trading in stolen securities. This motivation to become wealthy came from when he met Daisy while training to be an officer in Louisville before leaving to fight in WWI in 1917, and he immediately fell in love with Daisy??™s aura of luxury, grace, and charm, and lied about his own background in order to convince her that he was good enough for her.
Daisy promised to wait for him, but married Tom Buchanan in 1919, while Gatsby was studying at Oxford after the war in attempt to get an education. From that moment on Gatsby dedicates himself to winning Daisy back, acquiring millions of dollars in illegal businesses, moving to West Egg and throwing lavish parties every Saturday night. Gatsby??™s reputation precedes him ??“ he appears surrounded by spectacular luxury, courted by powerful men and women. Gatsby has literally created his own character, changing his name from James Gatz to Jay Gatsby, creating his own background rather than the truth of his raisings in a farm in North Dakota, this represents his reinvention of himself.
He has an extraordinary ability to transform his hopes and dreams into reality, as his relentless quest for Daisy demonstrates. This talent for self-invention is what gives Gatsby his quality of ???greatness???, suggesting that the persona of Jay Gatsby is a masterful illusion. As the novel progresses he revels himself to be an innocent, hopeful man who stakes everything on his dreams, not realizing that his dreams are unworthy of him. Gatsby??™s love for Daisy is an idealistic perfection that she cannot possibly attain in reality and pursues her with a passionate fanaticism that blinds him to her limitations.
His dream of her disintegrates, revealing the corruption that wealth causes and the unworthiness of the goal, much in the way Fitzgerald sees the American dream crumbling in the 1920??™s, as America??™s powerful optimism, vitality, and individualism become of less importance to the dishonourable pursuit of wealth. Nick views Gatsby as a deeply flawed man, dishonest and vulgar, whose extraordinary optimism and power to transform his dreams into reality make him ???great??? nonetheless. ??? ???He doesn??™t want trouble with anybody.??? ??“ One of the girls in yellow??? He smiled understandingly ??“ much more than understandingly.
It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced ??“ or seemed to face ??“ the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favour. It understood you just so far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.??™ ??“ Nick ??? ???But I knew I had discovered a man of fine breeding after I talked with him an hour.I said to myself: ???There??™s the kind of man you??™d like to take home and introduced to your mother and sister.?????™ ??“ Mr.
Wolfshiem ??? ???Gatsby??™s very careful about women. He would never so much as look at a friend??™s wife.??? ??“ Mr. Wolfshiem??? ???There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams ??“ not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man can store up in his ghostly heart.??™ ??“ Nick ??? ???The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself.
He was a son of God ??“ a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that ??“ and that he must be about His Father??™s business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end.??? ??“ Nick ??? But his heart was in a constant, turbulent riot. The most grotesque and fantastic conceits haunted him in his bed at night. A universe of ineffable gaudiness spun itself out in his brain while the clock ticked on the washstand and the moon soaked with wet light his tangled clothes upon the floor. Each night he added to the pattern of his fancies until drowsiness closed upon some vivid scene with an oblivious embrace.??? ??“ Nick ??? ?????™ Can??™t repeat the past??™ he cried incredulously. ???Why of course you can!??™??? ??“ Gatsby ??? ???He talked a lot about the past, and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy.
??? ??“ Nick ??? ?????™He had a big future before him, you know. He was only a young man, but he had a lot of brain power here.??? ??“ Mr. Gatz??? ???Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that??™s no matter ??“ tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms further .
.. And one fine morning – So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.??? ??“ Nick Daisy Buchanan- Nick??™s cousin, married to Tom Buchanan and the woman that Gatsby loves. A beautiful young women in Louisville before the war, Daisy was courted by a number of officers, including Gatsby. Gatsby lied about his background to Daisy, claiming to be from wealthy heritage in order to convince her that he was worthy of her.
Eventually he won her heart, and they ???made love??? before Gatsby left to fight in the war. While Daisy promised to wait for him, but in 1919 she chose instead to marry Tom Buchanan, a young man from a solid, aristocratic family who could promise her a wealthy lifestyle, who had the support of her parents and because of her deep need to be loved. After 191, Gatsby dedicated himself to winning Daisy back, making her the single goal of all his dreams and the main motivation behind his determination to become wealthy. To Gatsby, Daisy represents the height of perfection ??“ she has the aura of charm, wealth, sophistication, grace, and aristocracy that he longed for as a child in North Dakota and that first attracted him to her. In reality, however, Daisy falls far short of Gatsby??™s ideals. She is beautiful and charming, but also fickle, shallow, bored, sardonic, somewhat cynical, and behaves superficially to mask her pain.
Daisy proves her real nature when she chooses Tom over Gatsby during their final trip to New York, then allows Gatsby to take the blame for killing Myrtle on their return trip even though she herself was driving the car. Finally, rather than attend Gatsby??™s funeral, Daisy and Tom move away, leaving no forwarding address. Daisy is in love with money, ease and material luxury. She is capable of love but not of sustained loyalty or care. He is indifferent even to her own infant daughter loving her as a pretty object, not a person. ??? ???Daisy??™s murmur was only to make people lean in towards her; an irrelevant criticism that made it no less charming.??? – Nick??? ???Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it, bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth,??? – Nick ??? ???Well, I??™ve had a very bad time, Nick, and I??™m pretty cynical about everything.??? ??“ Daisy??? ???She told me it was a girl, and so I turned my head away and wept.
???All right,??? I said, ???I??™m glad it??™s a girl. 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 ??? ???She had asserted her membership in a rather distinguished secret society to which she and Tom belonged.
??? ??“ Nick??? ???…I thought I??™d never seen a girl so mad about her husband.
If he left the room for a minute she??™d look around uneasily, and say: ???Where??™s Tom gone??™ and wear the most abstracted expression until she saw him coming in the door.??? ??“ Jordan ??? ???They moved with the fast crowd, all of them young and rich and wild, but she came out with an absolutely perfect reputation. Perhaps because she doesn??™t drink.??? ??“ Jordan ??? ???She was appalled by West Egg, this unprecedented ???place??™ that Broadway had begotten upon a Long Island fishing village ??“ appalled by its raw vigour that chafed under the old euphemisms and by the too obtrusive fate that herded its inhabitants along a short-cut from nothing to nothing. She saw something awful in the very simplicity she failed to understand.??? ??“ Nick ??? ???It was full of money ??“ that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals??™ song of it…
High in a white palace the king??™s daughter, the golden girl…??? ??“ Nick ??? ???The trouble is sometimes she gets foolish ideas in her head and doesn??™t know what she??™s doing.
??? ??“ Tom ??? ???They were careless people, Tom and Daisy ??“ they smash up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made…??? ??“ Nick Tom Buchanan ??“ Daisy??™s immensely wealthy husband, once a member of Nick??™s social club at Yale.
A powerfully built ???hulking??? man, hailing from a socially solid old family. Tom is arrogant, aggressive, and his social attitudes are laced with racism and sexism, and he never considers trying to live up to the moral standard he demands from those around him. He has no moral issues about his own affair with Myrtle, but when he begins to suspect Daisy and Gatsby of having an affair, he becomes outraged and forces a confrontation.
??? ???Tom would drift on forever seeking, a little wistfully, for the dramatic turbulence of some irrecoverable football game.??? ??“ Nick ??? ???As for Tom, the fact that he ???had some woman in New York??™ was really less surprising than that he had been depressed by a book. Something was making him nibble at the edge of stale ideas as if his sturdy physical egotism no longer nourished his peremptory heart.??? ??“ Nick??? ???God, I may be old-fashioned in my ideas, but women run around too much these days to suit me. They meet all kinds of crazy fish.??? ??“ Tom ??? ?????™And what??™s more, I love Daisy too. Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, and in my heart I love her all the time.??? ??“ Tom ??? ???I couldn??™t forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified.
??? ??“ Nick Jordan Baker ??“ Daisy friends, a woman Nick becomes romantically involved during the course of the novel. A competitive golfer, Jordan represents one of the ???new women??? of the 1920s ??“ cynical, boyish, and self-centred. Jordan is beautiful, but also dishonest and continually bends the truth.??? ???I had heard some story of her too, a critical, unpleasant story, but what it was I had forgotten long ago.?????? ?????™Let??™s get out,??? whispered Jordan, after a somehow wasteful and inappropriate half-hour; ???this is much too polite for me.??? – Jordan ??? ???At first I was flattered to go places with her, because she was a golf champion, and everyone knew her name. Then it was something more.
I wasn??™t actually in love, but I felt a sort of tender curiosity.??? ??“ Nick ??? ???She was incurably dishonest. She wasn??™t able to endure being at a disadvantage and, given this unwillingness, I suppose she had begun dealing in subterfuges when she was very young in order to keep that cool, insolent smile turned to the world and yet satisfy the demands of her hard, jaunty body.??? ??“ Nick ??? ???.
.. I ripped a front wheel off his car. The girl who was with him got into the papers, too, because her arm was broken ??“ she was one of the chambermaids in the Santa Barbara Hotel.??? ??“ Jordan ??? ???But there was Jordan beside me, who, unlike Daisy, was too wise to carry well-forgotten dreams from age to age.??? ??“ Nick Myrtle Wilson ??“ Tom??™s lover, whose lifeless husband George, owns a run-down garage in the valley of ashes. Myrtle herself possesses a fierce vitality and desperately looks for ways to improve her situation, she take advantage of Tom??™s wealth and continually uses his money to buy things she ???needs??™. Unfortunately for her, she chooses Tom, who treats her as a mere object of his desire.
??? ???She was in the middle thirties, and faintly stout, but she carried her flesh sensuously as some women can. Her face…carried no facet or gleam of beauty, but there was an immediately perceptible vitality about her as if the nerves of her body were continually smouldering.??? ??“ Nick ??? ???I married him because I thought he was a gentleman,??? she said finally. ???I thought he knew something about breeding, but he wasn??™t fit to lick my shoe.??? ??“ Myrtle??? ???All I kept thinking about, over and over, was ???You can??™t live forever; you can??™t live forever.
?????? ???I??™m going to make a list of all the things I??™ve got to get. A massage and a wave, and a collar for the dog, and one of those cute little ash-trays where you touch a spring, and a wreath with a black silk bow for mother??™s grave that??™ll last all summer.??? ??“ Myrtle ??? ???..
. It was an expression I had often seen on women??™s faces, but on Myrtle Wilson??™s face it seemed purposeless and inexplicable until I realized that her eyes, wide with jealous terror, were not fixed on Tom, but on Jordan Baker, whom she took to be his wife.??? ??“ Nick – George Wilson ??“ Myrtle??™s husband, the lifeless, exhausted owner of a run-down auto shop at the edge of the valley of ashes. George loves and idealizes Myrtle, and is devastated with her affair. George is consumed with grief when Myrtle is killed and kills Gatsby believing that he was the man she had an affair with, and also her killer. George is comparable to Gatsby in both are dreamers and both are ruined by their unrequited love for women who love Tom.??? He was a blond, spiritless man, anaemic, and faintly handsome.
??? ??“ Nick ??? ???He??™s so dumb he doesn??™t know he??™s alive??? ??“ Tom ??? ???He had discovered that Myrtle has some sort of life apart from him in another world, and the shock had made him physically sick. I stared at him and then at Tom, who had made the parallel discovery less than an hour before ??“ and it occurred to me that there was no difference between men, in intelligence or race, so profound as the difference between the sick and the well.??? ??“ Nick ??? ???Generally he was one of these worn-out men: when he wasn??™t working, he sat on a chair in the doorway and stared at the people and the cars that passed along the road. When anyone spoke to him he invariably laughed in an agreeable, colourless way. He was his wife??™s man and not his own.??? ??“ Michaelis ???I??™m one of these trusting fellas and I don??™t think any harm to nobody, but when I get to know a thing I know it.??? ??“ Wilson