The Great Gatsby
- How does the narrator describe Gatsby?
- Where did the narrator come from and why?
- Describe the narrator’s house.
- Describe the Buchanan’s house.
- How does Nick know Daisy and Tom?
- Describe Tom. What is our impression of him in Chapter 1?
- What kind of person is Daisy?
- What did Miss Baker tell Nick about Tom?
- What did Daisy say when she discovered she had a baby girl? Why does she say this?
- How is Gatsby introduced in the novel?
- What is on the billboard that is described? What does this symbolize?
- Describe the setting of the valley of ashes where George and Myrtle live.
- How does Nick meet Tom’s mistress?
- Describe George Wilson. How does he react to Tom’s arrival?
- How does Myrtle react to Tom’s arrival?
- How does Myrtle behave as the party progresses?
- How does Fitzgerald describe Myrtle Wilson? Does her physical appearance reflect her character in any way?
- Compare the setting of the party in this Chapter with the setting of the party in Chapter one. What is similar and different.
- Why does Tom attack Myrtle at the end of the party? How does this connect with Fitzgerald’s description of Tom in Chapter one?
- Describe the two ways in which Nick differs from the other guests at Gatsby’s party.
- What does Nick think of Gatsby when he first meets him?
- Where has Nick met Gatsby before?
- What are two of the rumors that Nick has heard about Gatsby?
- Describe the events and atmosphere of the party.
- What does the owl-eyed man in the library find extraordinary about Gatsby’s library?
- What does Nick learn about Jordan Baker after he has sent some time with her?
- How does Nick characterize the guests at Gatsby’s party? What sense of life in the Jazz Age do we get from the description of this party?
- Describe the ambiguity in Gatsby’s character that strikes Nick.
- Describe two incidents involving automobiles in this Chapter. What role do automobiles seem to play in the novel so far?
- What does Gatsby tell Nick about himself?
- What accomplishments of Meyer Wolfshiem’s does Gatsby describe to Nick? How does Nick react?
- According to Jordan, what did Daisy do the day before her wedding day? Why?
- Why does Gatsby want to have tea with Daisy in Nick’s house? Why doesn’t Gatsby ask Nick for this favor himself?
- What did Tom do when he and Daisy returned from their honeymoon?
- Aside from the improbability of his story, what other evidence is there that Gatsby is lying when he tells Nick about his background?
- What does Gatsby’s friendship with Meyer Wolfsheim imply about his own background?
- How does Daisy behave after Gatsby goes overseas? What does her behavior show about her feelings for Gatsby?
- After Jordan tells Nick the story of Gatsby and Daisy, Nick says that Gatsby “came alive to me, delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless splendor.” How do you think Gatsby is going to act from now on?
- With Jordan in his arms, Nick thinks of a phrase: “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.” How do you think this phrase reflects on the events of the novel so far? Do you think that Gatsby would agree with the phrase?
- What does Gatsby offer to do for Nick in return for Nick’s cooperation in inviting Daisy to his house?
- What is the meeting between Gatsby and Daisy like initially?
- How are Daisy and Gatsby different when Nick returns to the house after a half an hour?
- What are Gatsby’s feelings by the end of the Chapter?
- What does Gatsby reply when Nick asks him how he makes his money?
- What is Gatsby’s dialogue like in this Chapter? What does it tell us about Gatsby?
- Why do you think Daisy sobs when Gatsby shows her his shirts?
- What is the weather like in this Chapter? How does it reflect on the emotional climate of Gatsby and Daisy?
- In this Chapter, Gatsby’s dream seems to be fulfilled. What indications are there, though, that reality cannot satisfy his dream?
- When does James Gatz change his name? Why?
- What is Daisy’s real response to the party, according to Nick?
- What does Gatsby tell Nick he wants Daisy to do?
- Tom, Mr. Sloane, and a young lady visit Gatsby and the lady invites Gatsby to come to dinner with them. What does Gatsby’s response tell us about his social sensitivity? What connection, if any, do you think this scene might have with Gatsby’s love of Daisy?
- What is Gatsby’s view of the past? When Nick says that Gatsby “wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy,” what do you think he means?
- At the end of the Chapter, Nick describes Gatsby kissing Daisy in Louisville five years before. What is Gatsby giving up when he kisses her? Why?
- Why does Gatsby stop giving parties?
- When does Tom first realize that Daisy loves Gatsby?
- Why is Myrtle Wilson upset when she sees Tom and Jordan?
- Why does George Wilson lock Myrtle in the bedroom?
- How does Gatsby characterize Daisy’s voice? What do you think he means by this?
- Why does Gatsby lose Daisy during the confirmation at the Plaza? Could he have done anything to win her, do you think? If he could have, why doesn’t he?
- Why does Tom insist that Daisy go home with Gatsby? What do you think this tells us about Tom’s character and his relationship with Daisy?
- What indications are there are the end of the Chapter that Tom and Daisy are going to stay together despite his philandering and her love for Gatsby?
- At the end of the Chapter, Gatsby is standing alone, looking out at Daisy’s house. Where else in the novel does he do this? How is this different?
- What does Gatsby tell Nick the night of the accident? Why?
- Did Gatsby want to go to Oxford?
- How does George Wilson spend the night after the accident?
- What evidence had Wilson found that his wife was having an affair?
- What would you day is the principal reason for Daisy’s appeal to Gatsby?
- How is Nick’s attitude toward Gatsby ambivalent even at the moment when he says goodbye to him?
- What do the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg symbolize to George Wilson? What is significant about this symbol?
- How do you think Wilson got Gatsby’s name? Does any evidence in this Chapter point to a particular person?
- How does Nick characterize Gatsby’s state of mind before he is killed?
- What is the motive publicly given for Wilson’s murder of Gatsby?
- What does the telephone call from Chicago tell us about Gatsby’s business?
- What does Klipspringer want from Nick? How does Nick react to this?
- Why is Gatsby’s father so proud of him?
- What does Tom confess to Nick when they meet that fall? Does he regret what he has done?
- Nick says that “this has been a story of the West, after all.” What do you think he means by that?
- How does Nick characterize Tom and Daisy at the end of the book? What has each of them “smashed” during the course of the novel?
- At the end of the book, Nick imagines what the continent must have been like when it was first seen by Dutch sailors. How does this contrast with the environment described in the novel?
- What does the green light symbolize at the end of the novel?