Writer/narrator Nick Carroway-- Graduated from Yale-- Moved from Minnesota to West Egg to work bonds in New York-- Was a soldier- reserves judgment of others because they could have been raised in a less well-off environment-- Lives in a small, run-down place next door to Gatsby’s great, hulking mansion-- Gatsby represents everything Nick hates, but has a “gorgeous” personality Summer of 1922-- East Egg and West Egg
Nick’s cousin Daisy Buchanan+ husband Tom Buchanan (Nick new from college-played football) live in East Egg, across the Sound from Nick+ Gatsby-- Very rich Tom (as described by Nick)-- “Now don’t think my opinion on those matters is final,” he seemed to say, “just because I’m stronger and more of a man than you are.” (displays his smug aura and air of superiority) Daisy (after she had her daughter)-- “All right, I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful fool.” (conveys Daisy’s intelligence and perspective on how the world treats girls)
Tom’s mistress lives in valley of ashes in the apartment above the gas station her husband owns--eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleberg look down on the valley in disapproval, God disapproving of his creation-- Tom buys his mistress a dog-- have a party in their apartment-- Nick goes with them, there is also a photographer named Mr. Mckee, (Nick leaves party to go back to his apartment) Mrs. Mckee, and Myrtle’s sister Catherine Myrtle repeats Daisy’s name over and over, so Tom breaks her nose I think Tom broke her nose because he does actually love Daisy, despite having a mistress, and cannot bear the thought of how much being with Myrtle could hurt her. He ignores that thought until Myrtle brings her up and it hurts Tom to think about his wife while he is with Myrtle. It also annoys him, because, honestly it seems that Myrtle is nothing more than incredibly annoying. She is like a lost little puppy that is begging for attention from the rich and trying to force her way into that life, even though she does not fit in it.
Gatsby throws one of his party’s- Nick is invited by one of Gatsby’s people- Nick hears a couple of strange stories about how Gatsby graduated from Oxford and killed a man, when Jordan said that he was the nephew of some Kaiser or something, it all seems very unlikely to Nick- Nick meets Gatsby, but does not realize it is Gatsby at first, then Gatsby tells him- Jordan is called away from the party to talk to Gatsby. Gatsby is very polite and his speech is incredibly formal, in a seemingly awkward way, even considering the period speech patterns his seems strange in a way that actually managed to make me, as the reader, feel uncomfortable. His speech pattern sets him apart from even the other members of the upper class. The formality and the way it seems almost forced, like every word is thought out in incredible detail makes the entirety of his being seem falsified.
Gatsby+ Nick drive into the city, very, very fast- stopped by a police officer, but Gatsby shows officer a picture and gets a free pass because he did a favor for the commissioner- Gatsby wants to dispel rumors, so he explains to Nick that all of his family died and that he was from San Francisco- he said he went to Oxford and traveled around the world collecting fine jewels like rubies- Nick does not entirely believe him- agrees with what Jordan said about it all being a little suspicious, but goes along with it anyway- Gatsby introduces Nick to Meyer Wolfshiem (fixed 1919 World Series, has a funny accent) who kind of makes Nick suspect that something weird might be going on with Gatsby, since he is friends with this not-so-legal guy- Jordan tells Nick what Gatsby wants, which is a little ridiculous because they were just out to lunch together, so he definitely had more than a few opportunities to talk for himself, but he’s a bit of a creep, so who knows what he was thinking.
Nick goes on a date with Jordan because, surprise, surprise, he actually has a life outside of Gatsby. Shocking, I know. So he goes on this date, and the book sort of implies that they are a thing, so apparently Nick is a human, not a life of Gatsby documenting robot, like, he has a job and a girlfriend and does normal human things besides following around his neighbor in a stalker-like life-absorbing fashion- when he gets back, Gatsby has lit up his entire house like a Christmas tree and he’s outside staring at it because, again, he’s absolutely bonkers- Gatsby invites Nick to go to Coney Island, and then to go swimming in a way that seems like he is begging them to spend time together. I think this is because he really wants to impress Nick one last time before the whole Daisy meet and greet thing goes down, one last chance to prove himself before he reveals his inner crazy person- just as things are beginning to reach the apex of all awkward, he informs Gatsby that tea with Daisy is actually going to happen. He tells him this to his face, not through Jordan, because, you know, communicating through her is what rich insane people do, not obsessive robots- I cannot take these notes seriously, but it is a really good, albeit creepy, book- Gatsby says he wants someone to cut Nick’s grass- Nick invites Daisy over and makes sure she will not bring Tom- It is pouring rain and Gatsby is having a miniature panic attack (minus the crying, hyperventilating, and curling into a ball in the corner, but he is getting pretty close to that too)- Nick tells Daisy to have her driver go away for an hour, but I am almost positive that he is gone for way way way more than an hour- Gatsby and Daisy have tea and Gatsby almost breaks a clock in the midst of his awkwardness- Nick leaves, it stops raining, he comes back and makes a lot of noise, then interrupts them, then Gatsby says they should go over his house- they make Nick come with them- Nick pretty much plays the awkward third wheel the entire time and puts up with it in a very nonhuman way (this book is definitely from the future, not the past. Maybe Fitzgerald was a time lord and Nick is a reprogrammed cyberman…or just one of the robots that they made to watch over the crazy people instead of making mental hospitals. YAY FUTUUUURE.) Daisy starts crying over beautiful shirts (I think she may have been infected with Gatsby’s crazy, like an STD)-Gatsby tells Daisy about the green light, just so she knows that he’s crazy- Gatsby has the sad piano guy, Kilspringer, come out and play for them, and Nick, finally becoming self-aware of his third wheel robot situation, leaves
Nick explains exactly who Gatsby used to be , even though this is not the point in the story where he tells Nick, so things are a little out of order- He explains that his name was James Gatz on a farm in North Dakota, he went to college at Saint Olaf’s for a while, but it bothered him that everyone there was so small and unimportant, so he went to work on Lake Superior where he saw Dan Cody on his yacht pull up in a way that would have him grounded, so he went to help him out- Gatsby, being the crazy person that he is, told Cody that his name was Jay Gatsby, a fake persona that he created in his head and had thought out in many daydreams before this moment- they become friends and travel together and when Cody dies he leaves Gatsby a lot of money, but his mistress, Ella Kaye, takes it instead, so Gatsby is still this poor, fake, hollowed out shell of a man, filled to brimming with insanity and lies- Wow, looking back you can visibly see the quality of my notes deteriorating. Ouch… Oh well.- After that he does not see Daisy or Gatsby for a while until he sees Tom at Gatsby’s house with a guy named Sloane and a lady- Conversation is a bit awkward, and Gatsby mentions that he knows Tom’s wife which is even more awkward because Tom is a possessive jerk, which he especially shows when he brings Daisy to the next party- Gatsby introduces him as “the polo player’ even after he expressly asks Gatsby not to, Gatsby’s way of passive aggressively degrading him and ignoring him- Daisy does not like the party, but she spends some time in the garden with Gatsby, pretty much the only time she is happy all night- Tom thinks Gatsby is a bootlegger- Nick stays really late and Gatsby expresses his concern about Daisy not enjoying the night, after he set up his entire life like this just for her- all Gatsby wants is for Daisy to say, “I never loved you,” to Tom- Then it explains in a very mushy and romanticized way how Daisy and Gatsby was love at first sight
Gatsby does not throw any more parties, and Nick, still being a stalker/crazy person doctor robot, asks if he is sick. He is not, but he did fire his whole staff and hire a new one of a family that used to run a hotel and now works for him because they will not spread rumors because Daisy comes over a lot- It is crazy hot out, hottest day of the summer, and Nick goes to lunch with Tom and Daisy at their house- Jordan and Gatsby are there and Daisy “shows off” her daughter, who she very obviously does not care about at all- Daisy keeps complaining and saying they should go into town- Daisy talks about how amazing she finds Gatsby, then Tom gets angry and says they should go into town and Daisy objects- Tom, Jordan, and Nick go in Gatsby’s car and Daisy and Gatsby go in Tom’s car- Tom stops at the gas station and Wilson says that him and Myrtle are leaving and she is locked in her room (he figured out she was cheating on him, but not with who)- tries to buy Tom’s car, Tom tries to sell Gatsby’s, but eventually concedes to sell his own, claiming that Gatsby’s car is his- They go to a suite in town and joke around a little until there is this little freak out thing going on and Tom and Gatsby start to argue, which freaks out Dais- She gets all worked up and Gatsby is trying to get he to tell Tom she never loved him, and she does, even though it is not true, which she also say- Tom says he has done research on Gatsby and found out just how shady he really is- they all go back, in their proper cars this time, same grouping, just switched cars- Myrtle escapes from the confines of her room and runs into the street where she gets hit by a car that just keeps driving- Tom gets there and freaks out because his whole life is unraveling- a man says that he saw the car and it was big, yellow, and new- Tom freaks out and tells Wilson that the car was not actually his- They go back and Nick sees Gatsby in the garden- Gatsby says that Daisy was driving, but he would take the fall for her- Gatsby says he is staying to make sure Tom does not hurt Daisy- Nick makes sure everything is okay and tells Gatsby so he will just go home and take a break from the obsessive, creepy, stalker boyfriend routine, but Gatsby says he is staying until she goes to sleep. Once a weirdo, always a weirdo.
Nick goes to Gatsby’s in the morning- Gatsby tells him that he waited at her house until around 4 am- freak- despite what quite a bit of literature says, I do not find watching girls sleep to be a romantic gesture- Nick suggest that Gatsby goes away so they will not find him because of his car being connected to a murder, but Gatsby does not want to leave Daisy when he has worked so hard to get to where he is with her- Gatsby tells Nick about James Gatz, the man he once was (so basically, insert the beginning of chapter 6 here to put things in chronological order)- Nick reluctantly goes to work, but he falls asleep at his desk (he has a spinny chair! I want a spinny chair!)- Jordan calls at noon and Nick calls Gatsby 4 times, but the line is being held for Detroit- Wilson is freaking out and muttering things (told Myrtle that God was watching, referring to the eyes) and Michaelis (dude from next door) is watching him and being really patient and helping out until some other guy comes to take over- Michaelis leaves to go to sleep, comes back four hours later and Wilson is gone- Wilson was seen stumbling around and had Gatsby’s name by 2:30- Gatsby gets in his pool on an air mattress floaty thing at 2 and one of the butlers hears gunfire, finds Gatsby dead in the pool and Wilson dead in the grass Wilson, in his sad, broken state, refers to the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleberg as the eyes of God. They are a symbol for God, watching over his creation and staring at the horrible thing it has become. Wilson is telling Myrtle that God saw everything she had done, even if he did not.
Chp 9- all things must come to an end
2 yrs later- There is tons of reporters and rumors and they call Wilson a ‘mad man’- Nick tries really hard to get people to come to the funeral, he even tracks down Meyer Wolfshiem who says he’s too busy and explains how he made Gatsby from back when the only clothes he had was his uniform and he did not have any food to eat- Gatsby’s dad finds out about it in the newspaper and he comes for the funeral- he has a book that belonged to Gatsby and has Gatsby’s schedule in it, practically a self-improvement plan- his dad is overwhelmingly proud of all that Gatsby has accomplished and shows Nick a picture of the house they are standing in- Nick cannot get ahold of Daisy, they went away- Later Nick sees Tom in the street and refuses to shake his hand- Nick asks Tom why he told Wilson about Gatsby, and Tom said that Wilson had a gun pointed through his coat so he told him, but he says he had it coming anyway- Nick gives in and shakes his hand, he says it is like talking to a child- Jordan and Nick talk, I think they might hate each other now, but I am not sure, it is kind of an unimportant mess, but they are not together anymore and Jordan is engaged- Nick moves back west Nick says that this was a story of the west because they were all from the west and never really fit in in the east. None of them truly fit in. Gatsby threw his big parties and Daisy and Jordan went about their upper class business and Tom went and found a mistress and Nick worked in bonds and became massively infatuated with Gatsby, but none of them truly fit in.
Nick might not be judging anyone here, but I definitely am. Nick has a very one sided personality. He is his obsession. Gatsby is an absolute creep, he also has an obsession, a fatal one. His obsession with Daisy is what fuels every aspect of his life. Tom and Daisy have an incredibly messed up relationship, but they seem to manage to love each other despite the twisted way they practically torment one another throughout the book. They have no redeeming qualities as parents either. Jordan, to me, represents wealth and riches. The whole essence of her seems to scream ‘I am rich and that means you should bow down to my gracefulness.’