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Journal 1, Chapter 1 – Nick Caraway Arrives in West Egg

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Chapter Summary :

Nick Caraway is indirectly introduced as the narrator.  He talks about advice he got from his father.which reads: “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” The setting of New York City including viWest Egg and East Egg encased within Long Island is introduced by Nick. West Egg, where Gatsby and Nick live is considered for new money. East Egg is for more established prominent people. Nick goes East Egg to have dinner with Daisy, his cousin and her husband, Tom Buchanan at there home. Tom buchanan is painted in a very bad light and is criticized for talking to his mistress and being racist. The chapter ends with a reference to Gatsby reaching out across the bay towards some lights. This is our first look at Gatsby.

Nick Caraway:  “I am still a little afraid of missing something if I forget that, as my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat, a sense of the fundamental decencies is parceled out unequally at birth.”. 

Nick caraways best qualities include : not being snobbish like the rest of the characters introduced thus far, and appreciating the little things like small interactions with other people in his community. Nick’s worst qualities is that he is not honest with him self that he doesn’t judge people even though he does so most of this chapter. 

The characters primary function is to tell the story from a unique prospective. He is inserted in this odd house in a very rich community which makes him the poorest one there by far. I think his purpose it to tell the story and the people in it from a different prospective than the people in the novel. This prospective will most probably align with the majority middle to lower class public that would read this novel at the time. Not being from money allows him to comment on certain things that wouldn’t be highlighted if say Gatsby narrated the story.

Quote :

I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.

Significance :  This quote shows the difference in values from that time period to our  own. This sets up a series of stark differences that are brought up between our two time periods. Also this quote helps characterize daisy and speaks volumes about the relationship between Daisy and Tom.

Comment on Style : (Elaborate)

Nick (Gatsby) used a lot of comparison with similarity and metaphors to convey his points throughout this chapter.
The way Fitzgerald sets up Gatsby is very unique and something that is not very common.

Journal 2, Chapter 2 – Nick, Tom & Myrtle Hit The Town

Chapter Summary :

Nick describes the valley of ashes and the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburgh. This comes as Nick and Tom are making there way to the city. They stop to pick up Myrtle Wilson under the pretext she is going to visit his sister. On the train there Myrtle says she wants a puppy. Tom buys her a puppy and they go the apartment that Tom has for them in the city. They drink and party with other people including the Mckees and Catherine (Myrtle’s sister). They all get way to drunk and it gets out of control. Tom breaks Myrtles nose because she said the name Daisy one too many times. 

Myrtle Wilson:  “I told that boy about the ice.” Myrtle raised her eyebrows in despair at the shiftlessness of the lower orders. “These people! You have to keep after them all the time.” 

Myrtle’s best qualities include : being pretty (she is a pretty bad person). Myrtle’s worst qualities are that she seems fake, superficial, cheats on her husband, gets drunk, has no consideration for others, and is irresponsible.

Myrtle serves many roles in this novel. Thus far, she symbolizes the party girl attitude that many girls in New York had at the time. She serves the purpose of showing the lack of morals and decencies both of them have by having their affairs in secret and lying bluntly to their significant others. Myrtle also shows how girls/women like her had aspirations of being with rich men and throwing extravagant parties and are wiling to sacrifice anyone to get there.

Quote :

“Some time toward midnight Tom Buchanan and Mrs. Wilson stood face to face discussing in impassioned voices whether Mrs. Wilson had any right to mention Daisy’s name. “Daisy! Daisy! Daisy!” shouted Mrs. Wilson. “I’ll say it whenever I want to! Daisy! Dai——” Making a short deft movement Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand.” 

Significance :  This quote comes from the lash out the Tom has against Daisy. This quote and event really highlight the extent of Tom’s issues. The purpose of the book really starts to shine through here with this quote diving into the issues that Tom is having with his relationship with Daisy.

Comment on Style :

Fitzgerald uses strong imagery to describe the Valley of Ashes. This helps the significance of the place and its inclusion in the book be highlighted.
Fitzgerald risqué technique manifests itself in the domestic violence that he includes at the end of chapter 2. A lot of authors in this time period would have stayed away from putting an event like into their novels.

Journal 3, Chapter 3 – Gatsby’s Big Party

Chapter Summary:

Nick is excited to meet Gatsby and a attends his first party at his house after being handed an invitation by a chauffeur. Nick goes into the library at Gatsby’s house and meets a man with owl-eyed spectacles who mentions one of the famous Fitzgerald lines: “I’ve been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit in a library.”Nick discovers he knew Gatsby as they were both in world war one. Nick and Gatsby become instant friends and Gatsby invites Nick over the next morning. Owl Eyes, in his intoxicated state, gets into a car accident.

Jordan Baker:  “And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.” 

Jordans Baker’s best qualities include : she is a good golf player, she is pretty, and she has good social skills. Jordan’s worst qualities are that she seems very basic and superficial (as showed by the selected quote).

Jordan really serves the purpose of adding an additional romantic element. Nicks relationship with Jordan is very telling about Nick. The back and forth between them provides interesting discourse and additional plot element. Jordan also serves as an intermediate along side Nick in setting up Gatsby and Daisy.


“He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself.” 

Significance :  This quote is very telling about Gatsby’s personality. It seems to capture the sense of his emotion and shows the reader how people felt around him. This quote is really the first time we see first hand detail about Gatsby and who he is, so this quote is very important in setting him up and characterizing him.

Comment on Style:

He uses irony between Nick & Gatsby when Nick doesn’t know he is talking about the host to Gatsby who is the host but Nick doesn’t know that.
Fitzgerald uses hyperbole across the text. He is pulling out and exaggerating a lot of the character features about Gatsby to make him seem very grand and special.

Journal 4, Chapter 4 – Gatsby & Nick’s Adventure to Manhattan

Chapter Summary :

Gatsby and his driver show up at Nick’s house. The plan to take Nick to lunch in his yellow Rolls-Royce. Gatsby explains to Nick his own personal history: he’s the son of the wealthy Midwesterners and he was educated at Oxford. In New York, Gatsby introduces Nick to Meyer Wolfsheim. Nick has a gut feeling that  Wolfsheim’s business enrollment with Gatsby is extremely sketch. By accident they run into Tom. Nick wants to intrude them but when he tries Gatsby is no where to be seen. Nick meats up with Jordan and she talks about the initial story of Gatsby and Daisy back in October 1917. Jordan then asks Nick to invite Daisy over for tea along with Gatsby.

Meyer Wolfsheim :  “He’s the man who fixed the World’s Series back in 1919.”

Meyer Wolfsheim’s best qualities include : he is able to get things done (may not be legal but they get done). Meyer Wolfsheim’s worst qualities are that he participates in illegal actives, he shoots people, very rough around the edges, and wears human teeth as an accessory.

Meyer Wolfsheims purpose in the novel is to characterize Gatsby. Firstly he provides a counter point to the fact that Gatsby just inherited all of his wealth. Secondly his presence in the novel suggests that Gatsby is involved with shady people and does shady things to get his money. His presence overall brings a negative view about Gatsby because it suggests that he is the time of person Gatsby likes to interact with or do business with.


“By the next autumn she was gay again, gay as ever. She had a debut after the Armistice, and in February she was presumably engaged to a man from New Orleans. In June she married Tom Buchanan of Chicago, with more pomp and circumstance than Louisville ever knew before. He came down with a hundred people in four private cars, and hired a whole floor of the Seelbach Hotel, and the day before the wedding he gave her a string of pearls valued at three hundred and fifty thousand dollars.” 

Significance :  The quote brings out the real conflict and plot of the novel. This is the first time that it is really hit head on. His talks about money, also bring out the superfluous nature of people in the time period who had money which seems to be a underlying theme throughout the novel.

Comment on Style:

Fitzgerald unique, bold, and confrontational style comes out with the inclusion of the racist stereotyping in relation to Meyer Wolfsheim’s nose.
Fitzgerald references his own life with the Daisy and Gatsby situation. In the quote that I chose to represent the chapter you can see the direct relation the situation he created has to the situation in his own life.

Journal 5, Chapter 5 – Gatsby and Daisy #REUNITED

Chapter Summary :

This chapter starts off with a suspicious offer from Gatsby to Nick so Nick could make some money. When the day of the “tea” party comes, Gatsby s extremely nervous and even makes sure Nicks grass is cut and he has the right materials for a tea party. It is raining and Gatsby thinks Daisy won’t show. When she does, Gatsby runs outside and strolls in. Nick gives Gatsby and Daisy some privacy after some initial awkwardness. Daisy reveals that she still loves Gatsby. They then go and tour Gatsby’s house and Nick and Daisy watch in aw. Many minor events happen within the house, but Nick leaves Gatsby and Daisy alone in the house in the end.

Daisy Buchanan :  “They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed, her voice muffled in the think folds. “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such – such beautiful shirts before.”

Daisy Buchanan’s best qualities include : she is extremely pretty and proper. Daisy Buchanan’s worst qualities she is stupid, manipulative, superficial, and causes so much drama.

Daisy Buchanan is essentially the primary point of conflict in the novel. Without her Nick wouldn’t really have a very strong relationship with Gatsby, Jordan, or anyone else. Daisy Buchanan also serves as a symbol of how rich and proper ladies acted and behaved in that time period. The plot structure is really based on her actions and feelings and their consequences are.


“If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay,” said Gatsby. “You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock.” Daisy put her arm through his abruptly, but he seemed absorbed in what he had just said. Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever.”  

Significance :  The quote brings up a very important symbol in the novel and that is green light. The green light was the focus of our first formal interaction to Gatsby and we (the reader) see its significance diminish in the event that is the pretext for this quote. 

Comment on Style:

Fitzgerald uses very grandiose language to describe Gatsby’s residence. Fitzgerald characterizes Gatsby very specifically to make him seem emotionally vulnerable but financially powerful.
This chapter is used by Fitzgerald and his use of allegory, simile, and symbolism to support the title of “The Great Gatsby”. We see what makes Gatsby so great : his ability to charm Daisy and win her back and the amount of power he has with his wealth.

Journal 6, Chapter 6 – Drama at Gatsby’s House

Chapter Summary :

In this chapter we get a much better understanding of Gatsby. Nick reveals that his name is actually “James Gatz” and he was very poor. Dan Cody is also introduced as to how he shaped Gatsby. The rest of the chapter continues with Gatsby entertaining Sloane and Tom Buchanan. Sloans “girl” invites Gatsby for Dinner but the ditch him when he goes to get dressed. The next time Gatsby has a party Tom and Daisy come and Gatsby and Daisy sneak out from the hostile and drunken party that they are having.

Tom Buchanan:  “I’d like to know who he is and what he does … And I think I’ll make a point of finding out.”

Tom Buchanan’s best qualities include : he is very wealthy. Tom Buchanan’s worst qualities is that he is aggressive, rude, and a adulterer.

Tom Buchanan is the antagonist in the novel. He is really the only real thing that is preventing Daisy and Gatsby from being together. He is put in there to be what the reader considers as the “bad guy” of the novel. He also symbolizes the double standard thats in play in reference to both Daisy and Toms respective marital indiscretions.


“The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God—a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that—and he must be about His Father’s business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen year old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end.”  

Significance :  This comparison to the son of god further build the ominous perception of the “Greatness” of Gatsby. This quote also shows what Gatsby made out of. He started as a poor seventeen year old boy and has become this holier than thou character.

Comment on Style:

I found Fitzgerald allusion to the idea of the “American Dream” very interesting and unique. It shows both that the American dream can be achieved but that just because you can achieve it doesn’t mean you can be happy.
Fitzgerald use of tone in the passage helps illuminate the underlying tension at the party. There was also, I believe, situational irony to the same effect used with the invitation extended to Gatsby earlier on this chapter.

Journal 7, Chapter 7 – Showdown in the City 

Chapter Summary :

The chapter opens with a different type of Gatsby. Gatsby has fired most of his staff and parties are suspended. Nick, Jordan, Daisy, and Tom are all at the Buchanan’s house on the hottest day of the year. Gatsby meets Daisy’s daughter and that was like really awkward. They all kind of chill there and Daisy decides she wants to go to the city. They all get in cars, and Tom actually drives Gatsby’s car. Tom and the party in his car stop at the Wilson garage where Tom learns that George and Myrtle are moving out west. After thinking about the “eyes of god” they continue to New York. The agree to go to the plaza hotel. After banter, Tom formally accuses Gatsby of having an affair. They argue about Daisys true affections. This ends with everyones feelings being hurt. Daisy and Gatsby decide to go home (bad idea). Gatsby and Daisy hit and kill Myrtle.   There is a big scene and Tom is interviewed by the police and everyone (in there group) knows that it was Gatsby’s car. A little while later, Nick finds Gatsby hiding in the bushes at the Buchanan household to make sure there is no violence between Tom and Daisy. Gatsby also declares he wasn’t driving but is willing to accept the blame if it comes to it.

Jay Gatsby :  “Yes,” he said after a moment, “but of course I’ll say I was. You see, when we left New York she was very nervous and she thought it would steady her to drive”

Jay Gatsby’s best qualities include : he is kind, loving, and caring. Jay Gatsby’s worst qualities is that he can be arrogant and pushy.

Jay Gatsby serves as the protagonist of the novel. He also serves as the premise of the novel. Jay Gatsby’s story is really what makes the Great Gatsby such a good novel. His specific interaction with Nick and Daisy shows his loving attitude. The use of “old sport” by Gatsby brings meaning to its preposition and constant use. Without Gatsby this novel or story wouldn’t exist and that really the purpose he serves.


“Oh, you want too much!” she cried to Gatsby. “I love you now – isn’t that enough? I can’t help what’s past.” She began to sob helplessly. “I did love him once – but I loved you too.” 

Significance :  This quote shows the inconsistency and confusion that is Daisy. This really fuels the central conflict of the novel : Daisy can’t make up her mind on who she wants. I thought this quote was important because in sense it served as a climax in the realm of Gatsby and Daisys relationship.

Comment on Style:


Journal 8, Chapter 8 – Blood and Water

Chapter Summary :

Nick goes over to chat with Gatsby after he returns from watching Daisy. Nick advises Gatsby to go away. Gatsby refuses to leave, instead reminiscing on how they met and why she married Tom. Gatsby’s Gardner arrives and asks to drain the pool. Gatsby says he wants to swim in the pool. Nick goes to work and chats with Jordan. With a scenes switch, George Wilson’s neighbor is wondering where George has gone. He as gone and murdered Gatsby in his pool.

George Wilson  :  “You may fool me, but you can’t fool God!”

George Wilson’s best qualities include : he cares for his wife and he is an honest man. George Wilson’s worst qualities is that he is poor and pathetic.

George Wilson has many different roles and purposes in the novel. He represents a poor working class man and how he has so much to loose but nothing to live for. In this specific chapter, he is the primary source of conflict. He also creates irony because he is killing the wrong person. He really should be killing one of the Buchanan’s.


“They’re a rotten crowd, you’re worth the whole damn bunch put together. ”

Significance :  This quote shows a change in Nicks attitude to Gatsby. Him directly complementing him is a departure from the skeptical, critical behavior that Nick has showed Gatsby. It is also the last thing the narrator will l say directly to the protagonist.

Comment on Style:


Journal 9, Chapter 9 – Carless and Uncaring People

Chapter Summary :

Nick attempts to organize a largish funeral because he feels like Gatsby would not want to go through this alone. No one except Nick, Owl Eyes, Henry C. Gatz (Gatsby’s Father), and a few servants attend. Nick decides he has had enough of the week morels and poor attitude of the East and decides to move back to the Midwest. Before this, Nick runs into Tom in Manhattan. Tom tells him that he is responsible for Wilson killing Gatsby. The novel comes to a close with Nick declaring that Tom and Daisy are careless and uncaring people.

Henry C. Gatz :  “He had a big future before him, you know. He was only a young man but he had a lot of brain power here”

Henry C. Gatz’s best qualities include : pride and understanding for his son. Henry C. Gatz’s worst qualities is that he is materialistic, cold (they were estranged) and clueless about his sons life and unhappiness.
By including Henry C. Gatz, Gatsby’s father, the novel comes to a resolution. He embodies Gatsby’s past and future because he is only one of few people who actually care/cared about Gatsby. He is important to resolve the plot in terms of Gatsby after his jarring death. 


“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

Significance :  This quote is the last line in the novel. It symbolizes that humans cannot break away from the nature which draws them to follow their dreams and pursue love no matter how dangerous or difficult it may be. This quote sums up the theme of the novel.

Comment on Style: