The Great Gatsby
1. How does the narrator describe Gatsby?
He says Gatsby had an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as he had never found in another person.
2. From where did the narrator come and why?
The narrator came from the Midwest to study the bond business.
3. Describe the narrator's house.
The house is very average, middle-class. It is nothing extraordinary like his neighbors' houses. It is small and sort-of stuck in between the mansions, as if it had been overlooked.
4. Describe the Buchanans' house.
The Buchanans have a Colonial Georgian mansion. It is very formal and traditional.
5. How does Nick know Daisy and Tom?
Daisy is Nick's cousin, and he knew Tom from his school years.
6. Describe Tom. What is our impression of him in Chapter 1? Tom has an athletic build and an arrogant attitude. He is an old-money snob.
7. What kind of person is Daisy?
In this chapter, we see Daisy as a flighty socialite--very superficial.
8. What did Miss Baker tell Nick about Tom?
She told him that Tom had a mistress. It is interesting to note that she thought "everyone" knew about Tom's mistress, and yet she whispers a "family secret" about the butler's nose.
9. When asked about her daughter, what does Daisy say?
Daisy says, "I suppose she talks--and eats, and everything."
10. How is Gatsby introduced into the novel?
His name first comes up in conversation between Nick and Jordan. Later, Nick sees him out on the lawn in the moonlight, but Gatsby quickly vanishes. These first appearances help introduce Gatsby's mysteriousness.
1. What is the "valley of ashes"?
The valley of ashes is an industrial zone on the way to the city. It sharply contrasts with the wealthy neighborhoods of Gatsby and the Buchanans.
2. What are the "eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg?
They are on a billboard, apparently close to George B. Wilson's garage, near the valley of ashes.
3. Who did Tom take Nick to meet?
Tom took Nick to meet his mistress.
4. Identify Myrtle and George Wilson.
Myrtle Wilson was Tom's mistress. George was her husband, who, we learn later, kills Gatsby and himself.
5. What did Mrs. Wilson buy while she was out with Tom and Nick? She bought a dog.
6. Where did they go? What was at 158th Street?
They went to an apartment that Tom apparently kept for their meetings.
7. Identify Catherine and Mr. & Mrs. McKee.
Catherine is Myrtle's sister. Mr. and Mrs. McKee live downstairs at the apartment complex.
8. What does Mr. McKee tell Nick about Gatsby?
He tells Nick that Gatsby is the nephew of Kaiser Wilhelm, another rumor which adds to Gatsby's mysteriousness.
9. What reason did Myrtle give for marrying George Wilson?
She thought he was a gentleman, but she regretted marrying him when she found out he borrowed a suit from a friend to wear to the wedding.
10. What did Tom do to Myrtle when she mentioned Daisy's name? He hit her and broke her nose.
1. Describe Gatsby's wealth. List some of the things that represent wealth. Gatsby's wealth is "new" money; recently acquired, not old, family money. He is one of the newly rich in the post-war period of the twenties. He spends his money on flashy, extravagant things (a huge home, a fantastic car, and wild parties).
2. What kind of people come to Gatsby's parties?
The newly-rich, famous, and their friends came to Gatsby's parties.
3. Why did Nick Carraway go to the party?
Nick went because Gatsby sent him a direct invitation, and he was curious about his neighbor.
4. How does Nick meet Gatsby?
He casually starts a conversation and Nick doesn't realize he is talking to Gatsby until Nick asks where Gatsby is.
5. What are some of the stories about Gatsby?
Some said he killed a man; some said he was a German spy during the war.
6. Is Gatsby a "phony"?
Yes, in the strictest sense of the word, but his motivating ideal is somewhat...