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Discussion Questions for Chapter Four of The Great Gatsby
Where are the people when the Church bells are ringing on Sunday morning? What might this tell you about their morality? (65) They are still at Gatsby’s party. Fitzgerald does this to tell us their spiritual or community values are not nearly as important to them as having a good time and partying. What is the next piece of gossip we hear about Gatsby’s possible career? (65) He is a bootlegger.

According to one of the young ladies at the party, to whom is Gatsby a nephew? (65) Von Hidenburg.
According to this same woman, to whom is Gatsby second cousin? (65) The devil.
Nick accounts that “Mrs. Ulysses Swett’s automobile ran over his [Ripley Snell’s] right hand.” What was Mr. Snell’s condition? (66) He was drunk.
Why do you believe Nick blames the automobile and not Mr. Snell or Mrs. Swett? What does giving responsibility to a car for hurting a human being say about these characters’ values? (66) He blames in inanimate object rather than the person driving it. It allows the people involved to not take responsibility for their actions, like saying “I didn’t shoot him, the gun did.” Based on the list of people who attend Gatsby’s parties, how would you describe these people? Answers may vary, but may include: they are all wealthy and famous, or infamous. What does Mr. Klipspringer become known as and why? (67)

The boarder; he was there so often and for so long it was as if he had moved in. Gatsby arrives at Nick’s house early one July morning. What is his purpose? (68) To have lunch with him.
Gatsby’s car is something to admire. What might his car be symbolic of? (68) Wealth.
What disappoints Nick about Gatsby? (69)
Gatsby always had little to say; he’s not living up to his (Nick’s) first impression of him as a man of importance. What replaces Nick’s first impression of Gatsby? (68)
Gatsby had become the proprietor of an elaborate roadhouse next door. Does Gatsby know about all of the rumors about him? (69)
Yes.
What, exactly, does Gatsby reveal to Nick about himself? (69) He is the son of some wealthy people in the middle-west, brought up in America and educated at Oxford. What does Gatsby do that makes Nick believe he may be lying about his past? (69) He looked at Nick sideways, and hurried through or choked or swallowed the phrase “educated at Oxford” as if it bothered him. From what part of the ‘middle-west’ does Gatsby claim to be? (70) San Francisco.

Do you believe Gatsby? Why or why not?
Answers will vary.
Where does Gatsby say his money comes from? (70)
When his family died he inherited all their money.
What simile does Nick use to describe his fascination? (71)
It was like skimming hastily through a dozen magazines.
What proof does Gatsby offer Nick that he was in the army and involved in Montenegro? (71) A medal slung on a ribbon with his name inscribed on the back along with For Valour Extraordinary. What does Gatsby carry as proof of his education at Oxford? (71) A photo of half a dozen men in blazers, standing under an arch with spires visible in the distance. What do the two pieces of physical evidence do as far as Nick’s belief in Gatsby’s story? (71) Suddenly Nick believes Gatsby’s story.

Why does Gatsby say that he surrounds himself with strangers? (71-72) He is trying to forget the sad thing that once happened to him. How does Gatsby’s character change as he nears the city? (72) He grows more correct.

What do Nick and Gatsby pass through on their way to the city? (72) The Valley of Ashes and Port Roosevelt.
What does Gatsby’s waving off of the policeman with a supposed card from the commissioner suggest about his character? (73) That he is powerful and influential; or at least, that he derives power and influence from those who are powerful or influential themselves. Whom do we meet at lunch with Gatsby? (73)

Mr. Wolfshiem.
Meyer Wolfshiem is a foreshadowing of Gatsby’s past. What do you infer Mr....
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