Rumors still abound About this time an ambitious young reporter from New York arrived one morning at Gatsbys door and asked him if he had anything to say
James GatzNick begins to set the record straight about Gatsbys past.James Gatz was James Gatz his legal name.He had changed it at the age of Jay Gatsby seventeen.
ChildhoodHis parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people from North Dakota.Even as a boy, he dreamed of a better life.
At age sixteen, he set off tomake his own way as aclam digger and salmonfisherman on the shore ofLake Superior.
The TransitionWhile working along Lake Superior, Gatsby saw a large yacht drop anchor nearby.It was James Gatz who had been loafing along the beach that afternoon in a torn green jersey and a pair of canvas pants, but it was already Jay Gatsby who borrowed a rowboat and pulled out to the Yacht.
Dan CodyDan Cody was fifty years oldWorth millions due to his Montana copper mining venture.With vast wealth and no purpose, he became a drifter, drinker, and womanizer,
Traveling Dan Cody took an immediate liking to the young Gatsby and believed him to be quick and ambitious. As a result, Cody invited the youth to sail with him to the West Indies while serving in a vague capacity as steward, mate, skipper, and secretary.
In essence, Gatsby became Codys assistant and protector, watching over him during his drunken outings and wild parties.Cody trusted the young man more and more.The arrangement lasted five years and through three trips around the continent.
Ella KayeElla Kaye was newspaper woman involved with Dan Cody.Ella Kaye came on board one night in Boston and a week later Dan Cody died.
Inheritance LostAnd it was from Cody that he inherited moneyA legacy of twenty-five thousand dollars.He didnt get it.He never understood the legal device that was used against him, but what remained of the millions went intact to Ella Kaye.
Back to the presentNick has not seen his neighbor in several weeks because Gatsby is devoting his time to Daisy, and Nick has been involved with Jordan.As a result, Nick decides to go over and check on Gatsby one Sunday afternoon.He has not been in Gatsbys mansion for two minutes when a party of three horseback riders stops for a drink.
Moved by an irresistible impulse, Gatsby turned to Tom, who had accepted the introduction as a stranger. “I believe weve met somewhere before, Mr. Buchanan.” “Oh, yes,” said Tom, gruffly polite, but obviously not remembering. “So we did. I remember very well.” “About two weeks ago.” “Thats right. You were with Nick here.” “I know your wife,” continued Gatsby, almost aggressively. “That so?” Tom turned to me. “You live near here, Nick?” “Next door.” “That so?”
Social GracesGatsby asks the trio to stay for dinner.The female rider suggests, out of politeness, that Gatsby come to supper with them.Gatsby does not realize that she doesn’t mean it, and he goes off to change for the dinner party.Tom remarks, “My God, I believe the mans coming. Doesnt he know she doesnt want him?”Tom immediately recognizes Gatsbys lack of class and wonders how in the world Daisy knows him.When Gatsby returns downstairs, he discovers he has been left behind.
Next SaturdayTom was evidently perturbed at Daisys running around alone, for on the following Saturday night he came with her to Gatsbys party.I felt an unpleasantness in the air, a pervading harshness that hadnt been there before.
The party Daisy and Gatsby danced. I remember being surprised by his graceful, conservative fox-trot - I had never seen him dance before. Then they went to Nick’s house and sat on the steps for half an hour. Nick “remained watchfully in the garden. “In case theres a fire or a flood,” she explained, “or any act of God.”
The Party continuesDaisy tries to be excited about the party-goers and involved in the festivities, but everything about the party offends her. The women are inebriated and acting poorly, and Tom is chasing a girl who is “common but pretty.”Gatsby introduces Tom as the polo player….And Tom does not like it.
Tom & Daisy Leave“Who is this Gatsby anyhow?” demanded Tom suddenly. “Some big bootlegger?”“Whered you hear that?” I inquired.“I didnt hear it. I imagined it. A lot of these newly rich people are just big
After the partyGatsby asks Nick to stay after the other guests have left.Nick immediately notices that his neighbors eyes look tired and that his face is drawn tight.He is the picture of misery.Gatsby tells Nick that Daisy did not enjoy the party, that she does not understand him, and that he feels far
Gatsby’s dreamHe wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say: “I never loved you.”After she had obliterated four years with that sentence they could decide upon the more practical measures to be taken.One of them was that, after she was free, they were to go back to Louisville and be married from her house ‟
Recapturing the pastHe 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.His life had been confused and disordered since then, but if he could once return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what that thing was. . . .
conclusionNick tries to warn his neighbor that it is difficult to repeat the past,but Gatsby fools himself into believing that through his wealth he can make everything right with Daisy.
The Party’s over Itwas when curiosity about Gatsby was at its highest that the lights in his house failed to go on one Saturday night. As obscurely as it had begun, his
Trimalchio Trimalchio is a character in the Roman “novel” The Satyricon by Petronius. Trimalchio is a freedman who through hard work and perseverance has attained power and wealth. His wife is Fortunata, a former prostitute.
Trimalchio Trimalchio is known for throwing lavish dinner parties, where his numerous servants bring course after course of exotic delicacies, such as live birds sewn up inside a pig and a dish to represent every sign of the zodiac. He sought to impress his guests, the Roman nouveau riche, mostly freedmen - with the ubiquitous excesses seen throughout his dwelling.
Changes Wondering if he were sick I went over to find out, an unfamiliar butler with a villainous face squinted at me suspiciously from the door. Nick learns that Gatsby has dismissed his whole staff and replaced them with some of Meyer Wolsheims people. (Supposedly family members) Since Daisy frequently comes to
Invitation Gatsby calls Nick the next day and invites him to lunch at Daisys house the following day. Daisy calls to confirm that he is coming.
Lunch The next day was broiling, almost the last, certainly the warmest, of the summer. When Gatsby and Nick arrive at the Buchanans, Daisy and Jordan, in their typical white dresses, lay upon an enormous couch, like silver idols. Tom is on the phone arguing with Wilson about selling him an
Cozy Gathering? Tom goes to get drinks Daisy gets up, gives Gatsby a kiss on the mouth, and tells him she loves him. She tells Jordan to kiss Nick.
Pammy Enters Daisys daughter, Pammy, is then brought into the room by her nurse. “Bles-sed pre-cious,” she crooned, holding out her arms. “Come to your own mother that loves you.” Daisy shows her off like a toy or plaything. It is obvious that Daisy is incapable of sustained or true maternal emotion.
Drinks & conversation Tom comes in carrying cold gin rickeys for everyone. He then leads Gatsby and Nick out to the veranda in order to show them the place. Gatsby proudly points out his own
Lunch We had luncheon in the dining- room, darkened too against the heat, and drank down nervous gayety with the cold ale.
After lunch Daisy moans about her boredom and asks, “Whatll we do with ourselves this afternoon and the day after that and the next thirty years?” “But its so hot,” insisted Daisy, on the verge of tears, “and everythings so
“Who wants to go to town?” demanded Daisy insistently. Gatsbys eyes floated toward her. “Ah,” she cried, “you look so cool.” Their eyes met, and they stared together at each other, alone in space. With an effort she glanced down at the table.
Trip to town Tom insists that he drive Gatsbys car into town, while Gatsby take his coupe. Gatsby does not like the idea, but agrees to it. Tom pushes Daisy towards Gatsbys car, calling it a circus wagon. Daisy resists going with Tom and announces she will ride with Gatsby.
Tom is ready to explode with anger. Once inside the car, he blurts out to Nick and Jordan that he knows what is going on with Gatsby and claims that he has been making an investigation into his past.
Stopping for gas Nick,Jordan, and Tom grow irritable in the heat of the car. Just as they pass the faded eyes of T.J. Eckelberg, the cautious Nick reminds Tom that he needs gas. Tom impatiently pulls
Wilson comes out and explains he is not well and apologizes for having called Tom. He says that he needs money so he and Myrtle can move to the West, suggesting that he has finally realized that Myrtle is having an affair. Tom is suddenly in a real panic.
Myrtle In one of the windows over the garage the curtains had been moved aside a little, and Myrtle Wilson was peering down at the car. Her eyes, wide with jealous terror, and were fixed not on Tom, but on Jordan Baker, whom she
the Plaza Hotel Theyleave Wilson’s and catch up to Gatsby and Daisy. theyall decide to meet in front of the Plaza Hotel, where they rent a suite for the
The Suite The room was large and stifling “Open another window,” commanded Daisy, without turning around. “The thing to do is to forget about the heat,” said Tom impatiently. “You make it ten times worse by crabbing about
The Fight “Why not let her alone, old sport?” remarked Gatsby. “Youre the one that wanted to come to town.” Tom then asks Gatsby, “What kind of a row are you trying to cause in my house?” Daisy comes to Gatsbys defense. Tom says, “I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your
“Let’s Go” “Ivegot something to tell YOU, old sport...” began Gatsby. But Daisy guessed at his intention. “Please dont!” she interrupted helplessly. “Please lets all go home. Why dont we all go home?” “Thats a good idea.” I got up. “Come on, Tom. Nobody wants a
“Your wife doesnt love you,” said Gatsby. “Shes never loved you. She loves me.” “You must be crazy!” exclaimed Tom automatically.” Gatsby sprang to his feet, vivid with excitement. ”She never loved you, do you hear? he cried.” “She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me. It was a terrible mistake, but in her heart she never loved
Fighting over daisy Daisy stands between the two men, looking terrified. Gatsbys expression looks like he had just “killed a man.” Gatsby tries to defend himself to Daisy, but she merely draws further and further into herself. Gatsby knows he is losing her - - that his dream is vanishing. At the same time, Tom knows he has won the battle and will never lose Daisy. Therefore, he feels comfortable in sending Daisy and Gatsby off together in Gatsbys yellow car. He has nothing to fear; Daisy will always belong to him
Leaving Nick suddenly remembers it is his thirtieth birthday and he is feeling old. He notices that it is seven oclock when he and Jordan get in the car with Tom.
The drive Tom talked incessantly, exulting and laughing, but his voice was as remote from Jordan and me as the foreign clamor on the sidewalk or the tumult of the elevated overhead. So we drove on toward death through
Michaelis Nick now brings up Michaelis and the accident The young Greek who ran the coffee joint beside the ashheaps was the principal witness at the inquest.
He had slept through the heat until after five, when he strolled over to the garage, and found George Wilson sick in his office Michaelis advised him to go to bed, but Wilson refused, saying that hed miss a lot of business if he did. While his neighbor was trying
“Ive got my wife locked in up there,” explained Wilson calmly. “Shes going to stay there till the day after to-morrow, and then were going to move away.” Michaelis is shocked at Wilsons words, for he is normally a mild, colorless man.
A little after 7:00, Michaelis comes outside and hears Myrtle screaming at her husband. “Beat me! Throw me down and beat me, you dirty little coward!” A moment later she rushed out into the dusk, waving her hands and shouting - before he could
The accident The “death car.” as the newspapers called it, didnt stop; it came out of the gathering darkness, wavered tragically for a moment, and then disappeared around the next bend.
Michaelis wasnt even sure of its color - he told the first policeman that it was light green. It is immediately obvious that she is dead.
When Tom, Nick, and Jordan approach the Valley of Ashes, a crowd has already gathered around the site of the accident. Tom decides to stop and see what is going on. When Tom peers inside the garage, he makes a harsh sound and shoves his way through the crowd.
Myrtle is dead Nick and Jordan follow Tom inside, where Myrtles body, wrapped in a blanket, is laying on a work table. Wilson is in his office staring down at the lifeless form and moaning, “O my Gao-od!” over and over. Tom, with a dazed look and glazed eyes, is bending over
Tom physically picks up Wilson and carries him back to his office, putting him in a chair. He then tells Nick and Jordan it is time for them to leave. As Tom drives away from the death scene and the Valley of Ashes, he moans, “The God Damn coward! . . . He didnt even stop his car.” He obviously believes that the driver was Gatsby.
Home again When they arrive at the Buchanans, Tom is relieved to see that Daisy is home. He tells Nick and Jordan to come inside and have the help prepare them some dinner. Nick, feeling a little sick about the events of the day, refuses to go inside, saying to himself, “Id had
As he walks down the driveway to wait for his taxi, Gatsby steps out from the bushes and asks if Nick has seen the scene of the accident and if the woman was killed. Gatsby explains that he drove to West Egg by a side road and put the car in his garage and came to Daisys in a taxi. He hopes that no one has spotted the car. Suddenly Nick realizes that Gatsby was not driving the car; it was Daisy who hit Myrtle and kept going.
Meanwhile… Daisyand Tom were sitting opposite each other at the kitchen table, with a plate of cold fried chicken between them, and two bottles of ale.
They werent happy, and neither of them had touched the chicken or the ale - and yet they werent unhappy either. There was an unmistakable air of natural intimacy about the picture, and anybody would have said that they were conspiring together.
“I want to wait here till Daisy goes to bed. Good night, old sport.” He put his hands in his coat pockets and turned back eagerly to his scrutiny of the house, as though my presence marred the sacredness of the vigil. So I walked away and left him standing there in the moonlight - watching over nothing.
Nick cannot sleep„ I couldnt sleep all night; a fog-horn was groaning incessantly on the Sound„ I tossed half-sick between grotesque reality and savage, frightening dreams.
Gatsbys house„ At dawn, Nick jumps out of bed and heads to Gatsbys house.„ I saw that his front door was still open and he was leaning against a table in the hall, heavy with dejection or sleep.
„ His house had never seemed so enormous to me as it did that night when we hunted through the great rooms for cigarettes.„ I found the humidor on an unfamiliar table, with two stale, dry cigarettes inside.„ Throwing open the French windows of the drawing-room, we sat smoking out into the darkness.
Gatsby’s Youth„ Gatsby wanted to talk about Daisy.„ She was the first “nice” girl he had ever known.„ While he was in the army at Camp Taylor, he went to her house as often as possible.„ It amazed him - he had never been in such a beautiful house before.
„ As a penniless young man, he knew that he did not belong there.„ Gatsby knows he misled Daisy, for he had made her think that he came from a similar background to hers, that he could take care of her.„ he committed himself to someday being able to support her, to be worthy of her.
Falling in love„ “I cant describe to you how surprised I was to find out I loved her, old sport.”„ “I even hoped for a while that shed throw me over, but she didnt, because she was in love with me too.”
Off to war„ He was a captain before he went to the front„ Following the Argonne battles, he got his majority and the command of the divisional machine-guns.
Meanwhile, daisy moves on„ Daisy began to move again with the season; suddenly she was again keeping half a dozen dates a day with half a dozen men.
Tom„ That force took shape in the middle of spring with the arrival of Tom Buchanan. There was a wholesome bulkiness about his person and his position, and Daisy was flattered.
Daisy Dumps gatsby„ The letter reached Gatsby while he was still at Oxford.
Gatsby returns„ He came back from France when Tom and Daisy were still on their wedding trip
Louisville„ Gatsby used the last of his money to go to Louisville and soak up the memories of her.„ As he left Louisville on the train, "He stretched out his hand desperately, as if to snatch only a wisp of air, to save a fragment of the spot that she had made lovely for him. . .he knew that he had lost that part of it, the freshest and the best, forever."
Back to the present„ The gardener, the last one of Gatsbys former servants, came to the foot of the steps.„ “Im going to drain the pool to-day, Mr. Gatsby. Leavesll start falling pretty soon, and then theres always trouble with the pipes.”„ “Dont do it to-day,”
After breakfast„ Nick is worried„ “I didnt want to go to the city.”„ “I didnt want to leave Gatsby.”„ “I missed that train, and then another, before I could get myself away.”
Nick Leaves„ “Theyre a rotten crowd,” I shouted across the lawn.„ “Youre worth the whole damn bunch put together.”„ Ive always been glad I said that. It was the only compliment I ever gave him, because I disapproved of him from beginning to end.
Nick at work„ Just before noon the phone woke me, and I started up with sweat breaking out on my forehead.„ It was Jordan Baker.
Jordan’s call„ “You werent so nice to me last night.”„ “How could it have mattered then?”„ “However - I want to see you.”„ “I want to see you, too.”„ “Suppose I dont go to Southampton, and come into town this afternoon?”„ “No - I dont think this afternoon.”
„ We talked like that for a while, and then abruptly we werent talking any longer.„ I dont know which of us hung up with a sharp click, but I know I didnt care.„ I couldnt have talked to her across a tea-table that day if I never talked to her again in this
Valley of Ashes„ When Nick had passed through the Valley of Ashes on the way to work, he had crossed to the other side of the train.„ He did not want to see the curious crowds that would be gathered around the place of the accident.
Catherine„ They had difficulty in locating the sister, Catherine.„ She must have broken her rule against drinking that night, for when she arrived she was stupid with liquor and unable to understand that the ambulance had already gone
Wilson is going crazy„ Michaelis tries to calm him down.„ About three oclock the quality of Wilsons incoherent muttering changed - he grew quieter and began to talk about the yellow car.„ At 6 am, one of the watchers of the night before, came back.
Wilson Disappears„ Wilson was quieter now, and Michaelis went home to sleep; when he awoke four hours later and hurried back to the garage, Wilson was gone.„ Wilson had gone out on foot to search for the owner of the yellow car.„ By half past two he was in West Egg, where he asked someone for directions to Gatsbys house.
Gatsby Uses the pool„ At two oclock Gatsby put on his bathing-suit and left word with the butler that if any one phoned word was to be brought to him at the pool.„ He stopped at the garage for a pneumatic mattress that had amused his guests during the summer, and the chauffeur helped him pump it up.
Wilson Finds Gatsby„ The chauffeur - he was one of Wolfsheims proteges - heard the shots - afterward he could only say that he hadnt thought anything much about them.
Death at the mansion„ Nick arrived at Gatsbys house, anxiously looking for his friend. He hurried to the pool with the chauffeur, the butler, and the gardener.„ "The laden mattress moved irregularly down the pool," surrounded by a red circle in the water.„ It was after we started with Gatsby toward the house that the gardener saw Wilsons body a little way off in the grass,„ and the holocaust was complete.
Two Years Later• Nick writes this chapter two years after Gatsbys death.• I remember the rest of that day, and that night and the next day, only as an endless drill of police and photographers and newspaper men in and out of Gatsbys front door.
Catherine• She swore that her sister, Myrtle had never seen Gatsby.• Her sister was completely happy with her husband and had been into no mischief whatever.• So Wilson was reduced to a man “deranged by grief.” in order that the case might remain in its simplist form.• And it rested there.
Preparing for the funeral• Nick realizes he is the only person who seemed to really care about Gatsby and one of the few who was on his side.• Nick calls Daisy to give her the news within the hour, but the servants tell him that she and Tom have gone out of town without leaving an address or a date of return.• He then tries to call Meyer Wolfsheim at his office, but it is after five oclock,
No one cares• When Nick is in the room with Gatsbys body, he imagines him saying, “Look here, old sport, youve got to get somebody for me. . .I cant go through this alone.”• The next day no one telephoned, even though everyone would have read about Gatsbys murder in the newspaper.• no one comes to Gatsbys house.
Shady Business• When the phone finally rang, Nick thought it would be Daisy at last.• It was someone named Slagle, who did not know Gatsby was dead.• “Young Parkes in trouble,” he said rapidly. “They picked him up when he handed the bonds over the counter.”• When Nick tells him Gatsby is dead, he hangs up quickly.
Henry C. Gatz• On the third day after Gatsbys death, a telegram arrives from Gatsbys father.• It said to postpone the funeral until he came from Minnesota.• Mr. Gatz was a solemn old man, very helpless and dismayed.
• he was proud of his son “Jimmy” and the wealth he had amassed.• He tells Nick that “he had a big future. . .”• “If hed of lived hed of been a great man. . . helped build up the country.”
Klipspringer• That night an obviously frightened person called up, and demanded to know who I was before he would give his name.• It was Klipspringer, the boarder• Nick tells him about the funeral arrangements, scheduled for the next day at three oclock.• Klipspringer indicates that he is tied up and probably will not be able to make it.
Wolfsheim• The morning of the funeral, Nick went to New York to see Meyer Wolfsheim.• His secretary said he was in Chicago.• He knows she is lying.• Nick mentions Gatsby, and the secretary goes into the office to get
Memories of Gatsby• “My memory goes back to when I first met him,” he said. “A young major just out of the army and covered over with medals he got in the war.”• “He was so hard up he had to keep on wearing his uniform because he couldnt buy some regular clothes.”• Wolfsheim tells Nick about how he discovered Gatsby and “made him -- raised him up out of nothing, right out of the gutter.”• Wolfsheim then says he regrets he cannot come to Gatsbys funeral,
Leaving Wolfsheim’s• “When I left his office the sky had turned dark and I got back to West Egg in a drizzle.”• Nick changes his clothes and goes over to check on Mr. Gatz.
Mr. Gatz• The old man explains he last saw Gatsby two years ago when he came home for a visit and to buy his father a house.• Gatz then shows Nick a picture of Gatsbys mansion that he has carried in his wallet to show his friends.
Gatsby’s Schedule• He also shows a ragged copy of “Hopalong Cassidy,” a book Gatsby owned when he was a boy.• Inside, on the back cover, Gatsby had written out a detailed schedule for his day on September 12, 1906.• At the bottom of the schedule were his “resolves,” including
The Funeral• A little before three the Lutheran minister arrived from Flushing, and I began to look involuntarily out the windows for other cars.• So did Gatsbys father.• The minister glanced several times at his watch, so I took him aside and asked him to wait for half an hour.• But it wasnt any use. Nobody came.
• About five oclock our procession of three cars reached the cemetery and stopped in a thick drizzle beside the gate - first the hearse, then Mr. Gatz and the minister and I in the limousine, and a little later four or five servants and the postman from West Egg in Gatsbys
• As we started through the gate into the cemetery I heard a car stop and then the sound of someone splashing after us over the soggy ground.• I looked around. It was the man with owl-eyed glasses whom I had found marvelling over Gatsbys books in the library one night three months before.
Nick Goes Home• After Gatsbys death the East was haunted for me like that, distorted beyond my eyes power of correction.• So when the blue smoke of brittle leaves was in the air and the wind blew the wet laundry stiff on the line I decided to
Goodbye Jordan• There was one thing to be done before I left, an awkward, unpleasant thing that perhaps had better have been let alone. But I wanted to leave things in order and not just trust that obliging and indifferent sea to sweep my refuse away.
• I saw Jordan Baker and talked over and around what had happened to us together, and what had happened afterward to me, and she lay perfectly still, listening, in a big chair.• When I had finished she told me without comment that she
Goodbye Tom• One afternoon late in October I saw Tom Buchanan.• "Whats the matter, Nick? Do you object to shaking hands with me?" "Yes. You know what I think of you." "Youre crazy, Nick," he said quickly.• "Tom," I inquired, "what did you say to Wilson that afternoon?"
Tom & Wilson• “I told him the truth,” he said. “He came to the door while we were getting ready to leave, and when I sent down word that we werent in he tried to force his way up- stairs.”• “He was crazy enough to kill me if I hadnt told him who owned the car. His hand was on a revolver in his pocket every minute he was in
Tom & Daisy• I couldnt forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified.• It was all very careless and confused.• They were careless people, Tom and Daisy - they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was
Goodbye Gatsby• Gatsbys house remained empty, but it haunted Nick.• On weekends, he still heard the music and laughter of Gatsbys extravagant parties; as a result, he went into the city to escape the sounds in his head.• On his last night on West Egg, Nick walks over to Gatsbys mansion
• “He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it.”• What Gatsby never really knew or accepted was that the dream was in the past.• For the Great Gatsby, however, as long as he could see the green light, he had a purpose in life.
The End• So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.