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The Great Gatsby: A Guide Book.


Introduction In the classic american novel The Great Gatsby, we follow a man by the name of Nick Carraway. He moves to New York city to pursue the business of bonds, which was very popular back in the day. He moves into West Egg, right across the lake from his cousin Daisy Buchanan and her husband Tom Buchanan. Nick soon learns that he is the now the next door neighbor to a man named Jay Gatsby. Gatsby is the talk of the town, throwing parties every week that draw extensive crowds. The only concern is no one knows who Gatsby really is. Nick’s curiosity peaks and he is drawn towards Gatsby and his life. Gatsby befriends Nick as well and soon Nick discovers that Gatsby and his cousin Daisy, used to be lovers years ago before Gatsby left for the war. Time separated the two and daisy eventually married Tom even though he still loved Gatsby. Gatsby after all the years, was still deeply in love with Daisy. She was the reason behind all of his parties and successes in town. He just wanted to see Daisy again and get her back. From here, trouble ensues between everyone involved: Tom, Nick, Jay, Daisy and other characters involved in one of the best piece of American Literature ever written.

What to look out for. -Keep Notes of the green light. What is it? What is its purpose? -What about the eyes? -Jay’s True purpose in life. -What are peoples True thoughts of Jay? Historical terms to keep in mind: -New Money -Old Money -The 18th Amendment -Jazz Age -WW1 -Speakeasies. -The American Dream. Great Gastsby Sparknotes Review.

NOTE: Spoilers

List of Places To Note New York City: Place of booming business in the 1920’s. Where Nick and Jay both do their business. Place of entitlement and riches. Represents the most high end place of success. The Valley of Ashes: In between the eggs and New York City. Place filled with rundown roads, shops and businesses. In it resides, Myrtle and George Wilson. Represents decay in morals and social norms in the pursuit of wealth and success. East Egg: Place of actual aristocracy.Lives across a lake opposite of West Egg. More “classy.” Those with “Old Money” Came into money before the booming 20’s, inherited money. West Egg: Place of “New Money.” Those who came into money during the booming 20’s. Lower-Upper Class living. Promotes independent living, self-discovery and potential success.

List of Main Characters Nick Carraway From minnesota, went to Yale and fought in WW1 moves to New York for business. Quiet, reserved and moves to West Egg (Ritzy), neighbor of Jay Gatsby. Cousin of Daisy Buchanan. Narrator of story. Jay Gatsby Protagonist, next door neighbor to Nick Callaway, lives in West Egg. Throws lavishing parties every saturday. Very mysterious.Very rich and famous except no one knows a thing about him. Fell in love with Daisy Buchanan many years ago while training for the war. Daisy Buchanan Lives in East Egg. Cousin of Nick Carraway. Married to Tom Buchanan and has one young daughter. Loved Jay Gatsby many years ago and waited for his return. Lacked the feeling of love until Tom came and married her. Very reserved but superficial. Beautiful and social with those around her. Tom Buchanan Lives in East Egg. Husband of Daisy Buchanan. Incredibly wealthy, arrogant, hypocritical, complete idiot. Example of stereotypical sexist and racist during the time period. Has extravagant affair with Myrtle Wilson.


List of Main Characters

Jordan Baker Represent the boyish, strong, independent “new woman” of the 20’s. Romantically involved with Nick Carraway. Pathological liar and golf champion. Myrtle Wilson Lover of Tom Buchanan. Wife of George Wilson. Hates her life in the Valley of ashes, the run down place between downtown and the Eggs, chooses Tom to help her escape. George Wilson Husband of Myrtle Wilson. Lifeless owner of Garage in The Valley of Ashes. Loves Myrtle to pieces, is devastated by suspected affair upon realization.

Want flashcards to help you practice these terms, places and characters? Click here.



Chapter 1 Within chapter 1 we first meet the writer and narrator of the story, Nick Carraway. Nick Carraway arrived in New York in the summer of 1922 to work in the bond business. Nick rented a house in West Egg, dubbed as the area of “new money” in which those who claimed their fortune in recent years and do not have any prior social connections in order to move to the East Egg, in which the society of “new money” claims its territory. West Egg exhibits extremely lavish displays of wealth and poor taste in design, such as Nick’s neighbor, Jay Gatsby’s monstrosity of a mansion. Although Nick remain different from his neighboring West Egg civilians in that he does have prior social connections having graduated from Yale. Nick’s cousin, Daisy Buchanan lives on East Egg and one night he ventures out to see her and her husband Tom who Nick just so happened to know already from his days spent at Yale. When Nick arrives, Daisy and Tom are there to greet him along with Daisy’s friend Jordan who is a professional golfer. During their social gathering, Tom attempts to entice his guests in the book he is reading in which the content comes off to be extremely racist, which Tom takes comfort in because of his racist nature. Tom’s speech is then cut off when he runs into the kitchen to answer a phone call in which Daisy seems to be quite nervous about, rushing into the kitchen after him to listen in on the business the call would entail. While

Nick and Jordan still remain in the sitting room, Jordan tells Nick that the call is from Tom’s lover in New York. After an awkward dinner, the group disperses, and before Nick leaves, Daisy hints that she’d like him and Jordan to have some sort of romantic affiliation. Upon his arrival home, Nick spots Gatsby for the first time reaching his arms out towards the water. Out of curiosity, Nick looks at the water to find nothing but a green light at the end of the dock.

Questions Answer these questions addressing Chapter 1 of The Great Gatsby 1. What is the social representation of those who live in East Egg versus those who live in West Egg?

Quote Analyze this quote. What does it mean? “I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”

2. How does Nick perceive Gatsby as an individual?

3. What are Nick’s feelings towards New York?



Chapter 2 In between West Egg and New York City lay a plain called the valley of ashes where New York’s ashes are dumped and the men who live there work by shoveling the ashes. Overhead, two large eyes framed with glasses appear on a billboard advertising a long vanished eye doctor, T.J. Eckleberg, who is said to watch over all the occurs in the valley of ashes. One day Tom and Nick are riding the train into the city. Along the way, the train stops at numerous places in the valley of ashes. Tom forces Nick to come with him as the train slows and comes to one of the stops in the valley. He takes Nick to George Wilson’s garage, who’s wife, Myrtle Wilson, is Tom’s lover. Wilson is lifeless yet handsome, colored by the color of the ashes that he sweeps, while Myrtle is desperate to be loved and to have human contact. Nick finds something rather sensuous in Myrtle despite her stocky figure. Tom begins to tease Wilson, and taunt until he allows for his wife to follow Tom and Nick back onto the train. Tom takes the two into the city to his apartment in which he keeps for his affair. When they arrive they have a small get together with Myrtle’s sister and a couple that goes by the name of McKee. Myrtle’s sister Catherine and Nick get to talking and Catherine says that she hears that Jay Gatsby is is the nephew or cousin of Kaiser Wilhelm, the ruler of Germany during WWI. At the party everyone drinks excessively, Nick claiming that this was only his second

time getting drunk in his life. Nick is bothered by the faux demeanors and conversations surrounding him, so he tries to leave. Although Nick is mesmerized by the group’s dynamic in that they can hold such egotistical conversation. As the party goes on, Myrtle becomes more drunk causing her to become loud and obnoxious. Tom gifts Myrtle with a new puppy and Myrtle begins to talk about Daisy. Tom responds sternly saying to never make mention of his wife again. Myrtle becomes increasingly angered by this, saying that Tom cannot tell her what she can and cannot talk about. So in response, Myrtle begins chanting Daisy’s name. Tom becomes livid and responds to Myrtle’s behavior by breaking her nose, bringing the party to an abrupt end. Nick ends up leaving the party extremely drunk, taking the 4 A.M. train back to long island.

Questions Answer these questions addressing Chapter 2 of The Great Gatsby 1. What are your thoughts on Doctor T.J. Eckleberg’s eyes?

Quote Analyze this quote. What does it mean? “But above the grey land and the spasms of beak perceive, after a moment, the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg…. But his eyes, dimmed a little by many paintless days under sun and rain, brood on over the solemn dumping ground.”

2. Where does George live? John Green explains briefly The Great Gatsby and the Valley of Ashes.

3. What is Tom’s relationship with Myrtle Wilson?



Chapter 3 Gatsby has made a name for himself around long island by throwing elaborate parties in which everyone yearns to be invited to. One day, Nick receives an invitation to one of Gatsby’s extravaganzas. The night of the party, Nick endured the short walk over to Gatsby’s, walking through the double doors of his mansion to a large group of strangers, feeling extremely out of place. There is constant chatter regarding rumors heard about their host but nobody seems to have a real grasp on who Jay Gatsby is. Nick and Jordan Baker reconnect, introducing him to her friend Lucille who claims to know that Gatsby was was German spy in the war. He exchanges information with Lucille stating that he heard through the grapevine that Gatsby studied at Oxford and once killed a man in cold blood. Guests continue to linger throughout the party and admire all of Gatsby’s luxurious possessions, while alcoholic beverages are continuously moving through the crowd. Nick and Jordan continue to relish in their curiosity of who Gatsby is, attempting to find him but instead, run into a man in large, round glasses who Nick names “Owl Eyes”. Come dinner time, Jordana and Nick sit at a table with a young man who claims to have recgonized Nick from somewhere. Soon they figured out that they served the same division during the war. The man turned out to be Gatsby himself. Nick observed Gatsby’s behaviors and noticed some patterns in his interac-

tions with people. He tended to refer to people as “Old Sport” and lingered off by himself while the crowds were talking, drinking, and having a grand time. Later on in the night a butler approaches Jordan telling her that Gatsby would like to see her. As she returned from her meeting with Gatsby she had claimed that she had just heard something extraordinary. As Nick says goodbye to Gatsby, he excuses himself to go inside to take a phone call from Philadelphia. On Nick’s way home he stumbles across a car accident in which Owl Eyes climbs out along with another man and drunkenly declares, “I have washed my hands of this whole business”. Nick then goes on to narrate his principles in life, saying that he doesn’t have time to just go to parties and drink. Nick then decides to take the advice of Tom and Daisy and begin seeing Jordan Baker romantically. Nick says that Jordan is a dishonest person, knowing that she cheated in her first golf tournament, but is still attracted to her despite her dishonesty. Although Nick claims to be one of the only honest people around.

Questions Answer these questions addressing Chapter 3 of The Great Gatsby 1. How has Gatsby acclaimed his fame around New York?

Quote Analyze this quote. What does it mean? “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.”

2. How can we connect Owl Eyes to Dr. T.J. Eckleburg's eyes as mentioned in chapter 2?

3. What is Nick’s impression of Gatsby after the party?



Chapter 4 Nick recites a list of people that attended Gatsby’s party that summer, all rich, wealthy, powerful people. Then Nick goes on to tell the story of a time when him and Gatsby shared lunch. On the drive, Gatsby proceeds to tell Nick about his life, although Nick is extremely skeptical due to some holes in the line of his story. Gatsby claimed to have come from a deceased wealthy man from the midwest. When Nick asked which city Gatsby was from, Gatsby replied with, “San Francisco”. He then said that he had studied at Oxford, was a big hunter, collected many expensive and rare jewels from different places in Europe, and earned numerous medals from many different countries during WWI. Taking notice of Nick’s skepticism, Gatsby shows him pictures of him playing croquet at Oxford and also pulled out a medal. Nick and Gatsby drove into the city and got lunch together where Gatsby introduced Nick to a man named Meyer Wolfshiem who claimed that he was the one responsible for fixing the 1919 world series. Nick begins the think that Gatsby’s wealth comes from shady and underhanded crime related encounters. After lunch in New York Nick sees Jordan Baker who finally fills him in on the conversation she had with Gatsby at the party. She told Nick that Gatsby had told her that he was in love with Daisy. She tells Nick that Daisy had fell in love with lieutenant Jay Gatsby who was stationed at a base nearby, but when he was

sent off to war, she decided to marry Tom Buchanan. Throughout the marriage, Daisy had remained faithful throughout her marriage to Tom but Tom had not. Then Jordan goes on to tell Nick that Gatsby bought his mansion sorely to be by Daisy because he had always been in love with her. Jordan tells Nick that Gatsby wants him to invite Daisy for tea and he will be there so him and Daisy can reconnect.

Questions Answer these questions addressing Chapter 4 of The Great Gatsby 1. Why does Nick become skeptical of Gatsby’s persona after eating lunch with him?

Quote Analyze this quote. What does it mean? “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the buys and the tired.”

2. Who is Wolfsheim and what is Gatsby’s relation to him?

3. What was Gatsby’s leading cause to moving to West Egg?



Chapter 5 Nick comes back from a date with Jordan, to see that Gatsby’s mansion is fully lit yet unoccupied. Gatsby then comes out of nowhere and startles Nick, trying to impress him and make him happy. Nick realizes that it is because he wants him to get Daisy to come over to his house for tea so he can reconnect with her. Come the day of the meeting, Gatsby is extremely squeamish. He is nervous for how Daisy is going to react when she sees that Gatsby is there. He also worries that things will not be the same as they used to be. When Daisy comes to knock on the door, Gatsby all of a sudden vanishes, soon after returning back to the house after a walk around the house in the rain. At first the reunion is extremely awkward. At first Gatsby believe that the entire meeting was a mistake. Nick left the two alone and came back half an hour later to find them extremely happy. Gatsby then invites Nick and Daisy over to his house and begins showing Daisy all of his beautiful possessions. Then Gatsby begins to tell Daisy about staring out at the green light, dreaming of the happiness that they could have together. Nick begins to wonder if Daisy can live up to Gatsby’s expectations of her. So quietly, as they rekindle their love, Nick slips away to leave them alone on account that they had forgotten that he was there.

Questions Answer these questions addressing Chapter 5 of The Great Gatsby 1. What is Gatsby trying to gain Nick’s approval over?

2. When Gatsby is showing Nick and Daisy his luxurious possessions, why does Daisy begin to cry?

Quotes Analyze these quotes. What do they mean? “I heard the owl-eyed man break into ghostly laughter.”

“Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever.” Like Pale Gold- The Great Gatsby Part 1

3. What is the significance of the Green Light?

By Crashcourse. 13


Chapter 6 Rumors circulate about Gatsby’s life, a reporter even traveling to Gatsby’s mansion to interview him. The reporter had done some digging prior to the interview and discovered parts of Gatsby’s earlier life. Nick then interrupts the story to inform the readers of Gatsby’s true story. Gatsby’s real name is James Gatz and he was born on a farm in North Dakota. He attended St. Olaf’s in Minnesota until soon after he dropped out, regretting the awful janitorial work that he had to endure in order to pay for his college education. The next summer he fished for salmon and clams on Lake Superior. One day Gatsby spotted a yacht out on the waters and rowed out to the yacht to warn the owner, Dan Cody, of an oncoming storm. Cody took James in giving him the name of Jay Gatsby. Cody was a guide to Gatsby and inspired him to shoot higher in life and become a rich man of high stature. When Cody passed, he left Gatsby $25,000.00, but his mistress wouldn’t allow Gatsby to inherit his fortunes. So Gatsby decided that he owed it to Cody to become a rich man. Nick doesn’t see Gatsby for quite a bit, so he decides to stop by his mansion, alarmed by the fact that Tom is there. Gatsby is nervous and remain on his toes around Tom, who was also at Gatsby’s long with his friends the Sloane’s who he had been out riding with. They take a drink with Gatsby and Gatsby invites them to stay for dinner although they decline, and insincerely invite Gatsby to eat with them, out of politeness. Gatsby accepts the invitation

aloof of the fact that the invitation was insincere. Tom and the Sloane’s are awestruck by Gatsby’s lack of social grace and Tom is extremely leery of Daisy visiting Gatsby’s house alone but has still not discovered their love yet. That next Saturday, Tom and Daisy attend a party at Gatsby’s house. Nick does not like the vibe or environment of the party. There is something different about it this time.

Questions Answer these questions addressing Chapter 6 of The Great Gatsby 1. What name was Gatsby originally born to?

Quote Analyze this quote. What does it mean? “It is invariably saddening to look through new eyes at things upon which you have expended your own powers of adjustment.�

2. Who is Dan Cody and what was his affect on Gatsby?

3. Why is Gatsby in distraught after the party?



Chapter 7 Gatsby was so preoccupied with his love for Daisy that he called off all of his prior engagements to spend time with her. He also fires all of his servants and replaces them with shady people connected to Meyer Wolfsheim. Nick takes the train to East egg for lunch with Tom and Daisy. He also saw Jordan Baker and Gatsby there as well. The nurse brings in Daisy’s baby and Gatsby is in shock that the child is real. Although, Daisy is completely uninterested in her child. Gatsby and Daisy are unable to hide their love for one another and it is then that Tom becomes certain of their feelings from one another. Instead of confronting the situation right at the scene, Tom invited everyone to go to New York together. When the group stops for gas at Wilson’s garage, he soon discovers his wife’s infidelity. The group goes to the plaza and Tom pokes fun with Gatsby and begins the confrontation by mocking the way that he calls people, “Old sport”. Then he prompts to confront Gatsby about all of the lies he has created about his life in order to impress people, such as attending Oxford. Then Tom comes out with the confrontation and Daisy admits that she is in love with Gatsby and not Tom. Then he accuses Gatsby of running a bootlegging business As Tom and Gatsby argue back and forth, Daisy steps back from the situation and begins to realize how she is growing closer to Tom because of the velocity of the fight. Driving back, crossing through the valley of ashes Nick came across a frightening scene in which

someone was hit by an automobile. It was Myrtle Wilson that was the victim. Nick believes that it must have been Gatsby and Daisy that hit her on their way back as well. Tom thinks that Wilson will remember Gatsby’s large yellow automobile and he also assumes that Gatsby was the driver. Back at Tom’s house Nick finds Gatsby hiding in the bushes. Gatsby said he had been waiting there to make sure he didn’t hurt Daisy. He tells Nick that Daisy was driving the car when it struck Myrtle but he himself takes the blame.

Questions Answer these questions addressing Chapter 7 of The Great Gatsby 1. What does George Wilson discover?

Quote Analyze this quote. What does it mean? “Her voice is full of money, he said suddenly. That was it. I’d never understood before. 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...”

2. What does Tom accuse Gatsby of doing?

3. What do Nick, Tom and Jordan find when driving back to Long Island?



Chapter 8 After the day of traumatic events, Nick did not sleep that night. The next day he visits Gatsby at his mansion Nick suggests that he forget about Daisy and leave Long Island, but Gatsby will not consider leaving. Gatsby tells Nick the story of him and Daisy back in Louisville in 1917. He said that he loved her and she was the first person that he ever felt close to, and he lied about his background so she would love him. She promised she would wait for him when he got back from the war. Instead she married Tom who was a more stable human being and was approved by her parents. There is a flashback of the night before Myrtle was killed, and it is of Wilson talking to the owner of a local Greek restaurant saying that he is aware of his wife’s infidelity. He believes that her killer must be her lover. He talks to Tom because he knows that Tom is familiar with the automobile that was being driven. Eventually he figures out that Gatsby is the most likely to have been the killer and he goes to his mansion. He finds Gatsby laying on a blow up mattress floating in his pool. Wilson then prompts to shoot Gatsby and then shoots himself.

Questions Answer these questions addressing Chapter 8 of The Great Gatsby 1. Why did Gatsby lie about his personal background?

Quote Analyze this quote. What does it mean? “Dr. T.J. Eckleburg which had just emerged pale and enormous from the dissolving night. “God sees everything,” repeated Wilson.”

2. Why didn’t Daisy wait for Gatsby after the war?

3. What were George Wilson’s motives to go to Gatsby’s mansion?



Chapter 9 Two years after Gatsby’s death, Nick describes the events that surrounded the funeral. There were swarms of reporters and photographers. There were many wild and untrue stories published in the papers about Gatsby. Nick tries to hold a large funeral for Gatsby but none of his friends or former acquaintances show. Nick decides to move back to the midwest and breaks off his relationship with Jordan. Nick runs into Tom one last time and at first refuses to shake his hand but eventually accepts. Tom tells Nick that he was the one that told Wilson that Gatsby was the one driving the car that killed Myrtle. He said that Gatsby deserved to die. Nick comes to the conclusion that Nick and Daisy are careless and selfish people. His last night in West Egg, Nick walks over to Gatsby’s mansion and erases an obscene word written on the steps. He realized Gatsby’s dream, the American dream, was over.

Questions Answer these questions addressing Chapter 9 of The Great Gatsby 1. Why does nobody attend the funeral in which Nick tries to hold for Gatsby?

Quote Analyze this quote. What does it mean? “He did not know what it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night..”

Was Gatsby Great? The Great Gatsby Part 2

2. How does Gatsby’s father feel towards Gatsby, and what does he show Nick?

3. What does Nick imagine the Green light to represent in the end of the book?

By Crashcourse 21


Prologue Now that you have read the book, answered some questions and analyzed the text, why don’t you work on the webquest! This webquest is designed for you to take the knowledge that you have gained and make something out of it. A Newspaper! You will going more in depth on key terms and grammatical sequences, while putting yourself in the shoes of a reporter from the 1920’s. Link to the webquest If you choose to not do the webquest, then here are some final questions you should be able to answer to test your knowledge and understanding of The Great Gatsby. -How are Owl Eyes and The eye of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg linked? -How were Jay Gatsby and George Wilson similar? -How does the green light relate to the concept of The American Dream?


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The Great Gatsby Guide E-book  

A guide book to the classic American novel, The Great Gatsby.

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