Character Analysis: The Great Gatsby

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby Pages: 5 (1753 words) Published: October 16, 2013
Allie Lee
Mrs. Oberdank
AP English Lang and Comp
AP 1 Sheet: The Great Gatsby
Title: The Great Gatsby
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Written: 1925
Major Characters
Nick Carraway is a very dynamic character; he is the voice and perspective throughout the entire novel. He is very insightful and observant of every detail around him—although he is able to read into the smaller more intricate networks of details, he is “inclined to reserve all judgments” (p.1); he also states in the very first page of the book that he was “privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown men”. Daisy Buchanan is yet another major character in the story; she is described in a very positive manner by Nick and is the stereotypical American Woman during the 1920s. As Nick describes her demeanor, she formulates before the readers’ eyes as faint and delicate, as well as charming (“I looked back at my cousin who began to ask me questions in her low, thrilling voice…” (p.9) “… a singing compulsion that whispered, ‘Listen,’ a promise…” (p.9)). Jay Gatsby is the protagonist and focus throughout this story. He is open and charismatic, although at the same time, he is reserved and nearly disliked. Many rumors spread about him because he is mysterious to the community as a whole; those who get to know him learn that, perhaps he is not the most honest of people. (“‘An Oxford man!’ He was incredulous. ‘Like hell he is! He wears a pink suit!’”(p.122)) Minor Characters

Myrtle Wilson is a lower-class woman with a high-class imagination. She seems to forget that she isn’t really a higher class citizen and acts as if she has the wealth and demeanor that makes up a majority of that class. She pretends that she has enough money to throw around carelessly (“It’s just a crazy old thing. I just slip it on sometimes when I don’t care what I look like.”(p.31)) and excessively takes on the arrogant persona of the only wealthy person she really knows—Tom Buchanan. She is very stubborn and refuses to see any reason other than her own (“‘Daisy! Daisy! Daisy! I’ll say it whenever I want to…’… broke her nose with his open hand.”(p.37)) George Wilson represents oblivion and somewhat ignorance in the story The Great Gatsby. Although everything he needs to know plays out right under his nose, he either seems to fail to recognize it or he plainly dismisses it due to his submissive nature. (“‘How’s business?’ … ‘I can’t complain… Works pretty slow, don’t he? I don’t mean that…’”p.25) Jordan Baker represents perfectly the type of life every American woman dreamed of during this time period—independent and rich. Although she is the picture of every woman’s dream during the 20s, she is also the picture of what every woman did not want—at least in my perspective. Along with having everything she desires she also has nothing at all. She has no solid future set in stone or a guaranteed way of life; this would probably explain why she is so fluid with the unexpected turns of events but also why she lies and is very deceitful (“You said a bad driver was only safe until she met another bad driver? Well, I met another bad driver, didn’t I? I mean it was careless of me to make such a wrong guess…” (p.177)) Plot Outline

Nick Carraway moves to Long Island, New York in 1922 to pursue a career in the ‘bond business’. Nick differs greatly from the rest of West Egg (he graduated from Yale and is connected to some East Eggers). He goes to visit his cousin, Daisy Buchanan, and finds that she is unhappy with her marriage; her husband has been having affairs with another woman. Jordan Baker and Nick meet on the same day he is reunited with his cousin and Jordan strikes him as a cynic as well as a bit intimidating. Eventually, Nick is invited to the house of the famous Jay Gatsby (who is also his next-door neighbor). A twisted love story unravels from this point forward; Nick finds that Gatsby and Daisy were lovers five years ago, and now Gatsby is trying to win Daisy back and live the life he dreamed...
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