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English Notes Chapter OneThe Great Gatsby
Narrator=Nick Carraway

- “non-judgmental”

- Accused of being a “politician” because he befriends everyone and everyone feels they can confide in him

- When he came back from the East last fall he didn’t want to be bothered with people

o The only person exempt from his scorn (hatred) is Gatsby.

o He says Gatsby was okay, but it was what preyed on Gatsby (what destroyed him) that made the narrator so cynical.

Nick:

- Comes from old wealth

- Midwestern family

- went to Yale

- went to world war I

- came back from war “restless”

- Decided to go “East” to learn the bond business (stocks)

- Daddy will support him

- he lives in a small house (yet has a maid)

Structure

-Nick starts telling the story (autumn) (reflects on what happened the previous summer) and why he is so cynical or “done with” people ( takes place in the summer 1922

-Gatsby

Long Island:

West Egg:

-Nick lives on West Egg (pays $80 a month)

- “less fashionable”

- There are mansions but he describes them as “colossal” “imitation”

- Gatsby is Nick’s neighbor

East Egg:

- “glittered”

- Tom and Daisy Buchanan live in East Egg (Daisy is Nick’s cousin and Nick went to college with Tom)

o Their house is huge, old fashioned, yet very sophisticated

Tom Buchanan:

- Football player at Yale

- Extremely wealthy

- From Chicago

- Always threw away money like it was nothing to him

- Peaked at age 21 everything else was anti-climatic

• 30 yrs old

• Thinks he’s superior

• Arrogant

• Very physical

• Condescending

Chapter One Plot Summary:

• Nick Carraway, the novel’s narrator begins by retelling a bit of advice his father taught him: Don’t criticize others because most people have not had the advantages he has had. Nick says that he has...
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