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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Study Guide Chapter 1 1.

Explain what Fitzgerald achieved by using Nicks point of view to tell Gatsbys story? Nick gives us the reader an unbiased view. 2. What do we learn about Nick Carraway in the introductory section of the novel? Trained to be nonjudgmental but later it becomes an issue with other certain characters. 3. In discussing East Egg and West Egg, Nick states, To the wingless a more arresting phenomenon is their dissimilarity in every particular except shape and size. Indicate what the dissimilarities might be. There is an architectural difference between the two. East egg is traditional and west egg is a little more modern. East egg is snobby and narrow minded while west egg is open minded on new ways to use money. 4. Compare the homes of Nick, Gatsby and the Buchanans. How does each home reflect the personality of its owners? Nick owns a little bungalow, its practical, secluded, and shows his independence. Gatsbys mansion is creative, flashy, open minded, carless, and lonely. Buchanan mansion is traditional, narrow minded, plain, boring, dull, and gray. 5. Fitzgeralds description of Tom, Daisy, and Jordan creates not only an impression of physical appearance, but also contains added information. What do you learn about their history and interests, and from their gestures and mannerisms? Tom is athletic and plays polo, he is a bigot, and only interested in himself. He is blunt and hurtful. Daisy is traditional and comes from a spoiled childhood. Daisy is polite to company but subtle in her forcefulness. 6. When Nick leaves the Buchanans house, he is confused and a little disgusted. Why? What does this suggest about his values? Daisy and tom are forcing their way into the rumor of his engagement. Nick doesnt agree with their approach and really doesnt understand the Buchanan situation. 7. Though we do not meet Gatsby until Chapter 3, we hear references to him in the conversations of others. Note each reference. What impression do you get? Nick discusses Gatsby on page 24 and then he sees Gatsby outside his house. We see Gatsby as a mysterious man who seems carefree and a little creepy. Chapter 2 1. I what way is the description in the opening paragraphs of Chapter 2 appropriate to the total atmosphere of this chapter? What is symbolic about the valley of ashes and the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg? Everything is grey. The chapter is dull and there is no relevance just a loss of hope. The eyes are the eyes of God and the loss of God in the modern world. 2. Evaluate Myrtles talk of her unhappy marriage. What does she seem to be trying to justify? Myrtle claims she married George because he was a gentleman. In reality what she wants is an old timey gentleman with money. AKA Tom 3. How does Myrtles speech reveal her character? Myrtle is simple minded, selfish, dimwitted, low self-esteem, and not the pretty sister. 4. What does the scene in this New York apartment reveal about Tom? About Myrtle?

Tom is abusive, selfish, and only there for his own reasons. 5. Does Nick enjoy the afternoon at the apartment in New York? Why or why not? Nick did not enjoy his superficial company and becomes drunk for the second time in his life. He doesnt remember much of that evening. Chapter 3 1. Chapter 3 describes Gatsbys little party. Enumerate details about the party itself, about the guests and about their conversation and behavior. The party is huge and the place to be for the young and rich. Gatsby throws around his money and belongings like nothing. Nicks explanation is that the guests behave like at an amusement park. 2. Describe the meeting between Nick and Gatsby. Comment on Fitzgeralds skill in preparing for Gatsbys entrance into the story. There is an unexpected but casual meeting between Nick and Gatsby. Gatsby is still mysterious and sneaky like a magician. 3. In what way are Nick and Gatsby similar at this point? Why are they paradoxical? Gatsby and Nick were in the army at the same time. Both are outsider, uncomfortable, and loners. They contradict each other. 4. What is the reason for Nicks breaking the story at this point? Read the section beginning with Reading over what I have written so far . . . Nick wants to explain that these events have taken place over a period of time and that he doesnt just attend parties. Now the real story has begun, since all our main characters have been introduced. 5. At the end of Chapter 3, Nick meets Jordan again. The author includes several episodes that emphasize her carelessness and basic dishonesty. Discuss these instances. What do they reveal about Jordan? About Nick? Jordan is a hypocrite, with the discussion about careless driving, lying about her bad driving, leaving the top down, and not liking dishonest people. 6. Notice the last paragraph in Chapter 3. Is Nick being overly proud here? Discuss. Nick comes out a little cocky and arrogant but honestly he is just being a realist. Chapter 4 1. The introductory section of Chapter 4 gives a long roster of those who attended Gatsbys parties. How do they behave toward their host? Why, then, do they accept his hospitality? They dont treat Gatsby or his house in a polite manner, they just want to have a good time. 2. Describe Gatsbys car? Rich cream color, bright nickel, a monstrous length, and a windshield that mirrors a thousand suns. 3. Discuss the details that Gatsby shares with Nick about his past. The discussion is of oxford, Gatsby carries a medal with him from Montenegro and all his family is dead meaning he inherited all his money. 4. Does Nick believe Gatsbys story? Why or why not? Nick believes him at first but when he pushes about the middle west and Gatsby chokes on his words things dont really match up. 5. Who is Meyer Wolfsheim? What seems to be his connection with Gatsby? He is a gambler and Gatsbys business partner. He fixed the World Series and is Jewish. He could have connection to the mob and his cufflinks are made from human molars.

6. Jordan Baker tells Nick about Daisy, Gatsby, and Tom. Summarize the story. In Louisville, Kentucky Daisy and Gatsby knew each other. Gatsby was shipped off to war and daisy tries to sneak out to say goodbye. Afterwards she doesnt date soldiers and gets engaged to a man from New Orleans. Day of the wedding she is drunk with a letter she will not let go of. They give her a bath put on her pearls and throw her back downstairs. 7. Explain the epigraph on the title page of the novel. What does it reveal about Gatsby and his love for Daisy? He will do whatever it takes to get her. 8. Do we know why Gatsby has so many parties? Why did he buy the house? Explain. He was hoping Daisy would walk into one of his parties and also to be close to her. 9. What new meaning do you see in the last two paragraphs of Chapter 1? What does Nick mean when he says, Then it had not been merely the stars to which he had aspired on that June night? He was reaching toward Daisy thats why he bought a house near the woman he loves. 10. When Gatsby spoke to Jordan in his library in Chapter 3, he had devised a plan involving Nick. What was it? Why did he not ask Nick directly? So he can invite Daisy to tea along with Gatsby. Chapter 5 1. Gatsbys actions in preparing for Daisys arrival seem both flamboyant and absurd. What does he do? Why? Gatsby doesnt want Daisy to feel like any of it was set up. 2. Discuss Gatsbys actions once Daisy arrives. How do we know he is nervous? How does he try to impress her? Gatsby movements are stiff and awkward. He tries to impress daisy with his house and his belongings. 3. Toward the end of the chapter, Nick attempts to explain the expression of bewilderment that had come back into Gatsbys face. What explanation does Nick give? Why, in his opinion, is daisy not at fault? Gatsby had a sad, doubtful, unbelievable look on his face. Gatsby has built up this huge thing on the daisy he use to know. 4. Describe Daisys reactions during the course of her meeting with Gatsby. Daisys reactions are over the top emotional because of the situations being thrown at her so suddenly. 5. Has Nick been affected by the meeting between Gatsby and Daisy? In what way? Yes, he feels sympathetic, frustrated, disappointed, and happiness. Chapter 6 1. What was Gatsbys real name? Why and when had he changed it? His real name is Jay Gatz, he changed it at the age of 17-18, when he met Dan Cody. 2. In what way was Dan Cody involved in Gatsbys destiny? Gatsby wanted to be Dan Cody minus all the alcohol. He was the master and Gatsby was the apprentice. 3. Why does Tom attend Gatsbys party? How does this scene reveal that contrast between Gatsby and Tom? Tom goes to keep an eye on daisy and learn more about Gatsbys true nature. Gatsby is more polite then Tom and Tom doesnt understand how to be at a party. 4. What is deeply ironic in Toms statement, . . . I may be old-fashioned in my ideas, but women run around too much these days to suit me?


6. 7. 8.

Its ironic because he is being a hypocrite. He is doing exactly what he said he didnt like. Note the reactions of Tom and Daisy at different times during Gatsbys party. Did they enjoy themselves? Explain. Tom didnt like the party at all. Daisy didnt enjoy the guests, she had her moments but overall didnt enjoy herself. What suspicions does Tom have about Gatsby? What does he vow to do? That Gatsby is a bootlegger and will figure out the truth. What do Nick and Gatsby talk about after the party? They discuss that daisy didnt like the party. What is Gatsby expecting of Daisy that prompts Nick to warn him, I wouldnt ask too much of her . . . You cant repeat the past? Gatsby is expecting the daisy he knew five years ago.

Chapter 7 1. Note the use Fitzgerald makes of the weather as a background for significant events. Point out examples in this chapter and in previous chapters. When the group goes into town and everyone complains about the broiling heat. Just like the arguments between tom and Gatsby. When daisy comes to tea and the rain is pouring it lets up every time he mood lifts. 2. Gatsby has made some changes in his lifestyle that so concerned Nick that he went to check on him. What changes do you note? Why did he make them? He has fired his whole staff for daisy and to not have any rumors. 3. Analyze daisys attitude toward her child as evidenced in this chapter and in Chapter 1. Is she a good mother? Explain why Gatsby looked at the child with surprise. Daisy talks about her child like shes a possession. She speaks to her like people talk to puppies. Daisy is half the mother she should be. She isnt active in pamis life. However giving her a home and not beating her is enough from a mother but a child can be scared without proper love. Pami looks like a mine daisy. 4. With whom does Tom talk on the telephone early in the chapter? About what? Tom is either talking to George about the car or with myrtle pretending to talk with Tom. 5. What startling discovery does Tom make shortly after lunch? Tom discovers that something is going on between Daisy and Gatsby. 6. What does Gatsby mean when he says that Daisys voice is full of money? Why does Fitzgerald put those words in Gatsbys mouth and not Nicks? Daisy has changed through the years and now Gatsby has come to realization, which is why Gatsby says Daisy voice is full of money. 7. What arrangements are made regarding the passengers of each car on the trip to the city? Why? Tom, Jordan, and Nick go in Gatsbys car. Gatsby and Daisy go in Toms car. The reason could be because tom planned to hurt or frame Gatsby. 8. Eyes play a significant role in this chapter. Explain. The eyes show their importance with myrtle and the stare between Daisy and Gatsby that Tom sees. Also we see the eyes with Dr. T. J. Ecklburg. 9. Explain Nicks statement paralleling Tom and Wilson. . . . 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. Refer to the text and explain what prompted Nick to say this.

They are both men who have come to realize that their wives arent who they thought they were. 10. What does Gatsby do that makes Nick want to get up and slap him on the back? Why does Nick feel this way? When he explains to Tom about Oxford he doesnt get slapped or punched for standing up to him. 11. Does Daisy know what love is? Whom does she really love? Daisy doesnt know what true romantic love is. She loves Pami but doesnt know how to be a mother. Daisy is most likely in love with herself. 12. In what way is each of the main characters involved in the tragedy that occurs at the end of this chapter? Tom makes Myrtle crazy, Daisy runs over Myrtle, Gatsby being in the car makes him an accessory to murder, and Nick knows everything but doesnt day anything. 13. Is there any significance in the fact that the day is Nicks birthday? As soon as nick turns 30 he is faced with a tragedy and 30 is a turning point when you face mature things. Not only is it Nicks turning point but everyone elses as well. It also shows that nick isnt selfabsorbed and cares about everyone else. 14. Why is it necessary for the author to introduce a new character, Michaelis, at this point in the novel? It gives George something to hold onto. It shows that he actually has friends unlike Tom. 15. Explain what Nick means when he says, . . . suddenly I guessed at the truth? Nick has come to realize that daisy was the one who had been driving. He now realizes who killed who. 16. At the end of Chapter 7 Nick observes Gatsby, Tom, and Daisy after the accident. What conclusions does he reach? Nick has come to the conclusion that Gatsby will not give up even though Daisy has chosen Tom. 17. Explain the last paragraph of Chapter 7. Gatsby remain under Daisys window even though there is nothing left for him there at that house. Daisy will never be Gatsbys. Chapter 8 1. At the beginning of the chapter, the story is interrupted at its most dramatic point. What is the authors purpose in breaking the story here? For the readers to see why he loved and still loves her so much. 2. What had prompted Gatsby to talk freely to Nick now, when he was unwilling to do so in the past? Gatsbys protective barrier has broken since the scene of the car. 3. What further information do we learn about Gatsby? Gatsby took what he could of daisy because he couldnt have her hand in marriage. 4. As Nick leaves Gatsby the morning after the accident, he remarks, Theyre a rotten crowd. Enumerate the people they refers to. Why are they rotten? They are Jordan, daisy, and Tom. The entire group is snobby, careless, messy, and selfish people. 5. What is the compliment that Nick pays to Gatsby? Why does Nick feel compelled to commend Gatsby? Youre worth the whole damn bunch put together. Nick feels compelled because he has never given him a complement before. Gatsby is the only bearable one so far. 6. Explain Nicks meaning when he balances Gatsbys supposed corruption against his incorruptible dream. He let people guess about his corrupted ways and continued toward his dream of daisy. 7. How does Wilson view the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg? Does Wilsons statement have a symbolic level for the novel as a whole? Explain.

The eyes of God are Dr. T. J. Eckleburg. Its not just Eckleburg but God who has taken a physical form of symbolism and he can see everything. 8. Trace the movements of Gatsby and Wilson at the end of Chapter 8. What Nicks meaning when he says, . . . the holocaust was complete? His movements are slow through town in the three hours and figures out who Gatsby is a where he lives. The holocaust is referring to the death of the main characters relationships, Gatsby and Daisy and Tom and Myrtle, and George and Myrtle.

Chapter 9 1. What makes Nick assume responsibility for the funeral arrangements? Specify the things he did. Nick was the only person who actually cared. Makes efforts to announce everything, call Gatsbys father, the priest, and burial plots. 2. What version of the tragedy appeared in the newspapers? How would you account for the fact that this version went unchallenged and uncorrected? All the flashy opinions and no facts, Calling George a mad man Its all yellow journalism and nobody cares about the story. 3. How had Gatsbys father learned of the tragedy? To what extent does the father know his son? His father heard through the Chicago Newspaper. He knows he is financially successful and his young Jay but not the darker side to Jay Gatsby. 4. Discuss the significance of Gatsbys boyhood program for self-improvement? He always wanted to be something better then who he was. 5. What is the irony of Gatsbys funeral? No one showed up. They will show up to Gatsbys parties but not to his funeral. For a popular guy he isnt very popular. 6. What is the significance of including the scene with Jordan Baker? They agree that whatever was between them is over. It shows that Nick can clean up after himself. 7. What moral judgment does Nick make about Tom and Daisy? Discuss. They are all selfish, careless, messy people who retreated into the world. 8. Explain the significance of the last page of the novel in relation to Gatsbys dream and the the American Dream. The relationship between the two is that each of us dream in the past and most dream of wealth but somewhere along the line our dreams are morphed and there is no longer self-discovery in it but a corruption of our original dream.