THE GREAT GATSBY
By F. Scott Fitzgerald
Chapter One: Nick Carraway, the narrator of the novel, was given advice by his father: never be quick to judge. Thus, he is inclined to reserve judgment. Only Jay Gatsby escaped this criticism; although he represented all that Nick found revolting, he turned out all right in the end. Nick's family have been prominent, wealthy people in the middle-west. He went to the Great War and came back restless; thus he decided to move east and try the bond business. He rented a house at $80 a month in West Egg Village and bought a dozen volumes on banking and credit. West Egg was the less fashionable of the two, though a colossal mansion (Gatsby's) was beside his small house. Nick went to dinner at the home of Tom and Daisy Buchanan. Tom was a football player at Yale, incredibly rich, straw-haired with arrogant eyes and a cruel body. He told Nick immediately "I've got a nice place here." They went into the house and saw Daisy on the couch with another woman, later identified as Jordan Baker. She seemed startled by Nick's entrance, and gave an indication of self-sufficiency. Jordan was a slender girl with an erect carraige and grey eyes. Daisy was bright and passionate. She and Nick talk about home. They mention Gatsby fleetingly. It is summer- two weeks from the longest day of the year. Daisy accuses Tom of hurting her knuckle. Tom mentions a book, "The Rise of the Coloured Empires" by Goddard. He seems worried that the Nordic races will be overtaken. The butler comes in to give Tom a message, after which he gets up and goes inside. Jordan tells Nick that Tom has a woman in New York. Daisy seems cynical about everything- when her daughter, Pammy, was born, she said that she was glad that she had a girl, and hoped that she was a beautiful little fool. Nick remembers hearing a critical, unpleasant story about Jordan. Daisy wants to arrange a marriage between Nick and Jordan. Daidy tells Nick that she and Jordan grew up in Louisville together. After Nick goes home, he sees Gatsby outside, looking across the bay, his arms outstretched. He was enveloped in a green light from the dock.
Chapter Two: The eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg, blue and gigantic, watch over the valley of ashes. Tom took Nick to meet his mistress after having lunch in New York. The only building near the eyes was a gas station and garage owned by George B. Wilson, a blonde, spiritless man. Tom and Wilson talk about fixing up a car. His wife, Myrtle, the mistress, came down. She was the only thing not covered in ashes. Tom takes Myrtle and Nick to New York. She changes into a brown dress, and waited for a lavender taxi cab. Tom bought her an airedale puppy for ten dollars. They went to an apartment where Myrtle planned to call her sister, Catherine, and the McKees. The apartment was crowded, and had a picture of an old woman with a bonnet that appeared to be a hen sitting on a rock. Nick got drunk that afternoon- only the second time in his life. Catherine had red hair and a milky white complexion. She seemed blurred. Chester McKee was a rather feminine photographer who had photographed his wife 127 times. Myrtle changed into a cream colored chiffon dress, which changed her personality; she reverted to an impressive hauteur. The McKees mention going to a party at Gatsby's, whom they think is a nephew or cousin of Kaiser Wilhelm. Catherine tells Nick that neither Tom nor Myrtle can stand the person to whom they are married. They plan to divorce and move to Europe. Lucille McKee mentions how she almost married the wrong man. Myrtle knew she married the wrong person she found out that George borrowed a suit for the wedding. Myrtle related her first meeting with Tom: she was filled with excitement and thought how she couldn't live forever. Tom and Myrtle argue about her right to say Daisy's name, so Tom breaks her nose.
Chapter Three: Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived at Gatsby's house from a fruiterer in New York. The parties at Gatsby's had a set schedule: the orchestra arrived at seven, the musica began, there is dancing, as one woman dances it is rumored that she is Gilda Gray's understudy in the "Follies." Nick was invited to Gatsby's party when his chauffeur brought over an invitation. When he arrived at the party, he made an attempt to find Gatsby, but instead found Jordan Baker and spoke to her. She had just lost in a golf tournament. They gossip about Gatsby- supposedly he killed a man once and was a German spy. The first supper was served, then Jordan and Nick went to find Gatsby, she escaping the persistent undergraduate whom she brought. A drunk man, "Owl Eyes," was inside the library. He pointed out the books, which he did not expect to be real. They went outside again. A man asked Nick if he was in the Third Division during the war. He was, in the Ninth Machine-Gun Battalion. It was Gatsby. He was elegant and young, not florid and corpulent as he expected. At that moment a butler called Gatsby away. Jordan tells Nick that Gatsby was an Oxford man. Jordan is called in to speak with Gatsby, and she does for almost an hour. It was almost two; the party was almost breaking up. When Jordan comes out from speaking with Gatsby, she tells Nick that she heard the most amazing thing. Nick and Gatsby scheduled to go hydroplaning the next day. A car, while leaving, went into a ditch. Owl Eyes was a passenger. The wheel fell off. Most of the time, Nick worked. He even had an affair with a girl from Jersey City. He took dinner at the Yale Club, a dour event. For a while Nick forgot about Jordan, but then felt as if he might be in love with her. It was suggested that she cheated in a tournament. Jordan was incurably dishonest. Nick is one of the few honest people he has ever known.
Chapter Four: There was more gossip about Gatsby: he was a bootlegger who killed a man who found out that he was nephew to von Hindenburg. It was another party on July 5th. Many people attended Gatsby's parties. At nine o'clock one morning Gatsby came in his cream colored car to go to town. Gatsby told Nick that he was the son of now-dead wealthy people from San Francisco, educated in Oxford. After his family died, he traveled Europe, then went to the war, where he received a decoration, even from Montenegro! Gatsby refers to a 'sad thing' which happened to him. A dead man in a hearse passed them as they traveled to New York. They were then passed by a limousine driven by a white with three Negroes. Gatsby introduced Nick to Meyer Wolfsheim at the restaurant. Wolfsheim reminisces about the Metropole, where Rosy Rosenthal was killed. He thinks that Nick is there about a busines 'gonnegtion." Nick asks Gatsby why everything has to come through Miss Baker. Wolfsheim tells Nick that Gatsby went to Oxford. Wolfsheim wears cufflinks made of human molars. Gatsby tells Nick that Wolfsheim is a 'denizen of Broadway,' a gambler who fixed the 1919 World Series. Tom Buchanan was at the restaurant, and before Nick can introduce Gatsby and Tom, Gatsby is gone. Jordan told Nick about one October day in 1917. Jordan was walking about and noticed the red, white and blue banners. It was Daisy Fay's house, and she was eighteen. Daisy called Jordan over and told her that she wouldn't be working at the Red Cross that day, for she was going out- with Jay Gatsby. Later, there were wild rumors about Daisy, that she had been stopped from running off to say goodbye to a soldier going overseas, but later she married Tom at the Seelbach Hotel. Half an hour before her bridal dinner, Daisy was drunk and did not want to marry. She began to cry, so Jordan bathed her. They married the next day. Daisy and Tom lived in Santa Barbara, then Cannes and Deauville and Chicago, then New York. Jordan told Nick that Gatsby bought his house so he could watch Daisy across the bay. Jordan asked Nick to invite Daisy to his house.
Chapter Five: When Nick returned home, he was afraid that his house caught fire, but it was merely the lights from Gatsby's house during another party. Gatsby invited Nick to go to Coney Island, and Nick informed him of his plan. Gatsby plans for Nick's grass to be cut, and offers to get him a better job. Nick called Daisy up and invited her to tea. Gatsby sent flowers over. Gatsby became nervous that Daisy would not show up, for it was 3:58 and Daisy had not yet arrived. However, Daisy did show up. She saw Gatsby and there was a horrible pause. Gatsby almost breaks Nick's clock. Gatsby tells Nick privately that he feels that he made a horrible mistake, but Nick tells him that he's acting like a child. Nick went outside while Gatsby and Daisy spoke. Nick saw that Gatsby glowed. Gatsby takes Nick and Daisy to his house. Gatsby tells Nick that he was in the drug business and the oil business. Through the house, there was the sense that there were guests concealed behind every couch and table. Mr. Ewing Klipspringer, the 'boarder,' was there. Gatsby brushed Daisy's hair. Gatsby shows Daisy his shirts, which he throws out from his closet onto the bed. Daisy began to cry at the beauty of the shirts. Gatsby tells Daisy about the green light which he noticed, and the colossal significance of that light was lost forever. Gatsby showed them a picture of Mr. Dan Cody. Klipspringer played the piano for them- "The Love Nest." Nick left the two alone.
Chapter Six: A reporter from New York arrived one morning at Gatsby's door asking him to 'give a statement'- about what, nobody really knew. Contemporary legends attached themselves to Gatsby. Gatsby was really James Gatz, but he changed his name at seventeen when he saw Dan Cody's yacht drop anchor near Lake Superior. Gatsby's parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people, and his idea of "Gatsby" sprang from a Platonic conception of himself. He went to college in St. Olaf, then left and fond Cody's yacht. Cody was fifty, a product of Nevada silver fields, the Yukon, and every rush for metal since '75. He was a millionaire, but many women, such as Ella Kaye, the newspaperwoman, had tried to separate him from his money. Cody bought him a blue coat, six pair of white trousers and a yachting cap. Gatsby was a personal assistant to Cody until he died the week after Ella Kaye came aboard. Nick saw nothing of Gatsby for several weeks for he was in New York with Jordan. He went over to Gatsby's house and saw Tom Buchanan there with a man named Sloane and a pretty woman in brown. Gatsby invites them to his next party. Tom mentions to Nick that he wonders where Gatsby met Daisy. He thinks that women run around too much. Tom accompanied Daisy to Gatsby's next party. Daisy told Nick that he if wanted to kiss her, present a green card. Tom didn't enjoy the party, although Daisy did. Dr. Civet and Miss Baedeker argue during the party. Daisy despised West Egg. Tom felt that Gatsby must be a bootlegger, for it was the only way to get rich so quickly. After the Buchanans left, Gatsby told Nick that Daisy didn't enjoy the party. He felt far from her. Gatsby wanted Daisy to tell Tom that he never loved him. Gatsby tells Nick "Can't repeat the past? Why of course you can!" Gatsby wanted to recover something that was lost with Daisy.
Chapter Seven: Gatsby replaced his staff with an entirely new one. They were siblings who ran a small hotel, and Wolfsheim got them for Gatsby. He wanted them because they wouldn't gossip. Gatsby told Nick that he was invited to Daisy's house the next day. It was perhaps the hottest day of the year. Nick went into a dark, cool room where Daisy and Jordan lay like silver idols. Daisy introduced her daughter, Pammy, to Nick and Gatsby. Daisy told Gatsby that she loved him, and Tom saw, astounded. They decided to go to the city. Tom drove Gatsby's car with Jordan and Nick, while Gatsby took Daisy in his car. Tom does not believe that Gatsby is an Oxford man, for he 'wears a pink suit.' Tom stops to get gas at Wilson's station. Wilson told Tom that he and his wife were going away, west. Wilson looked physically sick, perhaps at the notion that his wife had a life outside of his own. He felt almost guilty. Myrtle was upstairs, looking out the window, intensely at Jordan, whom she thought was Tom's wife. Tom felt that his wife and mistress were slipping from his control. They went to the Plaza Hotel. Tom remarks on Gatsby's inclination to call others 'old sport.' Daisy mentions how somebody fainted during her wedding- 'Blocks' Biloxi. Tom asks Gatsby about Oxford, not believing that he went there, then asks him what kind of a row he is trying to cause. Tom finally confronts Gatsby for trying to steal his wife. Gatsby tells Tom that Daisy never loved him, and only loves him. Tom feels that Daisy loves him. Daisy tells Tom that he is revolting, and denies that she ever loved him. She tried to light a cigarette, but she was trembling. Daisy finally tells Gatsby that she loved Tom but now loves him. Tom mentions Gatsby's shady dealings with Wolfsheim, and how Walter Chase went to jail because of him. Daisy and Gatsby left together. Nick realized that he turned thirty that day. Michaelis, the young Greek who ran the coffee shop near Wilson's garage, witnessed the accident. Wilson had locked Myrtle up, but she came out and was hit by a car. She died instantly. Tom drove near with Jordan and Nick, and commented that it was good that Wilson would now have some business. At last he stopped and realized what had happened. Wilson was sobbing. A Negro identified the car as yellow. Tom realized who was driving. Tom tells Wilson that the car was not his. Tom tells the policemen everything. Nick reached home, and spoke with Gatsby. He asked if the woman was killed, and asks about her. He tells Nick that Daisy was driving, although he will take the blame. Tom locked Daisy in her room. They could see in the windows that Tom and Daisy were sitting at a table together, as if they were conspiring together.
Chapter Eight: Nick couldn't sleep because of a fog-horn on the Sound. Gatsby waited up all night for Daisy. Nick told him to get away, but Gatsby could not until he knew what Daisy would do. It was that night that Gatsby told about Dan Cody. Daisy was the first 'nice' girl that Gatsby ever met. Gatsby felt meeting Daisy was exhilirating. Gatsby did well in the war, but became worried by the quality of despair in Daisy's letters. She began to date, and married Tom Buchanan. Gatsby didn't believe that Daisy ever loved Tom. While Tom and Daisy were on their honeymoon, Gatsby visited her house in Louisville, which still seemed beautiful despite her absence. Gatsby decided to use the pool that day, for he had not the entire summer. Nick told Gatsby that "They're a rotten crowd" and that "You're worth the whole damn bunch put together." Jordan called Nick, but he refuses to meet her. Wilson had a difficult time locating Catherine, who fainted at the news. Wilson was still incoherent as Michaelis advised that he seek religious help during the situation. Wilson shows Michaelis the dog collar that he found. He believes that Myrtle was murdered. Wilson looked out on the ashheaps, and saw the eyes of Eckleburg, which he mistakes for God's. Michaelis left, then Wilson left. He reached West Egg, having traced Gatsby. At two, Gatsby put on his bathing suit and went out to the pool. It was around four that the chauffeur heard the gunshots. Nick, the gardener, chauffeur, and butler hurried to the pool. They saw Gatsby, then saw Wilson's body in the grass.
Chapter Nine: The reporting of the incident was bizarre. Nick was alone on Gatsby's side. He called Daisy up, but she and Tom had gone away, leaving no address. Nick then called Wolfsheim, then sent a letter for him to come out. Wolfsheim sent a letter back, saying that he did not want to be involved in any of this, although he was deeply sorry. A man named Slagle called and mistook Nick for Gatsby. A telegram from Henry C. Gatz arrived from Minnesota telling Nick to postpone the funeral until he arrived. It was Gatsby's father, a solemn old man, helpless and dismayed. He had a sparse grey beard. He learned of Gatsby's death in a Chicago newspaper. Nick offered to let Mr. Gatz take the body west, but he wanted Gatsby buried in the east. Even Klipspringer could not attend the funeral. Nick went to see Meyer Wolfsheim at "The Swastika Holding Company." Wolfsheim told Nick that he made Gatsby out of nothing. He still could not attend the funeral. Wolfsheim told Nick to show friendship for men when alive rather than dead. Mr. Gatz showed Nick a schedule of Gatsby's as well as resolutions that he had made. There were only three cars in the funeral procession: the motor hearse, Mr. Gatz and the minister, Nick, and a car of servants. Owl Eyes also attended the funeral. Nick heard "Blessed are the dead that the rain fall on." One of Nick's most vivid memories is coming back west from prep school and from college. Nick realized that his was a story of the west, for Tom, Gatsby, Daisy, Jordan and he were all Westerners displaced. After Gatsby's death the East seemed haunted. Nick bid farewell to Jordan, who had become engaged to another man. Nick saw Tom and refused to shake his hand. He asked Tom what he said to Wilson that afternoon. Tom told him that Wilson would have killed him instead. Nick realized that Tom and Daisy were careless people. Nick erased an obscene word written on Gatsby's steps. Nick thought of Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out the green light. Gatsby believed in the green light and the orgastic future.