The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Nick Carraway (narrator): Born in Minnesota, educated at Yale, and a former soldier in WWI, Nick goes to NYC to become a stockbroker. He’s approachable, and therefore often ends up as other characters’ confidant. Nick lives in West Egg (new money section of Long Island) next to the rich and mysterious Jay Gatsby, who has long been in love with Nick’s cousin, Daisy.
Jay Gatsby: His past is a mystery, but his parties are legen-(wait for it)-dary. We eventually learn through Nick (who becomes friends with deeply flawed but inherently likeable Gatsby) that he was born James Gatz, son of simple North Dakota farmers. He worked for a millionaire (Dan Cody), though, and got a taste for the high life. He fell in love with Daisy while he was training to be an officer, but things didn’t work out; he simply wasn’t her type (rich and snobbish and handsome). He dedicated the rest of his life to attaining wealth through bootlegging, but finds that social status is not so easy to acquire/
Daisy Buchanan: Nick’s cousin, Tom’s wife, and Gatsby’s longtime crush. She was raised in Louisville; Long Island is not her native home. She said she would wait for Gatsby, but instead she married hunky and fabulously wealthy Tom Buchanan. The two now live in East Egg (old money), across the bay from Nick and Gatsby. In my opinion, she’s one of the most annoying, superficial, and stupid characters in the history of literature.
Tom Buchanan: Daisy’s better half . . . not. He’s handsome and descended from old money; he’s also unfaithful. He has an ongoing affair with Myrtle Baker. He’s not even discreet about it. Then when he thinks Daisy and Gatsby are sneaking around behind his back, he flips.
Jordan Baker: Friend of Daisy and Nick’s sort-of girlfriend. She’s pretty, but not very nice.
George Wilson: Myrtle’s husband. He runs a second-rate...
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