The Great Gatsby


Jay Gatsby

The title character of the novel is young, approximately thirty years of age, and came from a rural North Dakota childhood that was deeply impoverished. He has become wealthy to a point beyond the wildest dreams of most people. Despite his status in society, the goal of becoming wealthy was achieved by engaging in illegal activities. He bootlegged alcohol during the prohibition years, and was also involved in the trading of stolen securities. He despised being poor, and wanted wealth from his earliest memories. He longed for money, status, sophistication, and luxury. He went to college, originally, but was using a janitorial job in order to pay his tuition. He hated the job so much that he could not bear it, and he dropped out of college after only attending for two weeks. Wanting to be rich was something to which he had always aspired, but one of the central reasons for his acquisition of wealth was to win the love of Daisy Buchanan. When he was in the military in Louisville he fell in love with her, and then he left to fight in WWI.

When Gatsby first met Daisy, he started lying to her about his background. He did that to show that he was good enough, because she was so full of charm and grace. It was obvious she was used to luxury. Originally, Daisy promised that she would wait for him when he went off to war. Unfortunately, she changed her mind and married Tom Buchanan. That occurred in 1919, and Gatsby was studying at Oxford during that time. He was trying to get a good education to help back up the claims he had made about his past. From the moment Gatsby found out Daisy had married someone else, he dedicated his entire life to winning her back. By acquiring millions of dollars and purchasing a big, gaudy mansion on West Egg, he is desperately trying to get Daisy's attention. It is one of the main reasons why Gatsby throws wild, lavish parties every Saturday night.

Most of the information about Gatsby's past is delayed until a later point in the story. The reputation Gatsby has precedes him, and he does not even have a word to say in the book in the...

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