The narrator is a young man from Minnesota called Nick Carraway. He’s got wealth and calss and he went to Yale. He not only narrates the story but casts himself as the book’s author. He begins by commenting on himself, stating that he learned from his father to reserve judgment about other people, because if he holds them up to his own moral standards, he will misunderstand them. "Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had" (P.5) He characterizes himself as both highly moral and highly tolerant. We learn that the narrator is non-judgmental. As a result, people tell him their life stories like he's a bartender. He briefly mentions the hero of his story, Gatsby, saying that Gatsby represented everything he scorns (= verachten), but that he exempts (= befreien) Gatsby completely from his usual judgments.
Nick had just arrived in New York, where he moved to work in the bond business (he’s a financier type), and rented a house on a part of Long Island called West Egg. West Egg and East Egg are the twin villages of Long Island. West Egg, where Carraway lives, is not as fancy as East Egg. But it's still pretty fancy compared to the rest of the world. Nick’s comparatively modest West Egg house is next door to the mysterious Mr. Gatsby’s huge mansion.
Nick heads over to East Egg to have dinner with Daisy, his second cousin once removed, and her husband, Tom Buchanan, an old college buddy. Tom, a powerful figure dressed in riding clothes, greets Nick on the porch. Inside, Daisy lounges on a couch with her friend Jordan Baker, a competitive golfer who yawns as though bored by her surroundings. The Buchanans have tons of money, and Nick likes to tell us all about it. We see that Tom is a rather large and "aggressive" former football player. In other words, this guy is not the sensitive, lyric-writing type. We then meet two women... [continues]
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