The great Gatsby : Theme, Characters and Plot Summary

Published on 05-Oct-2022


Upper-Class, Wealth, Old-Money, Marriage, Love, Affair, Betrayal, America's dream, Luxurious lifestyle, Rags to Riches, Melancholy, Death. 


Jay Gatsby, Nick Carraway, Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan, Pammy Buchanan, Henry C. Gatz, Jordan Baker, Meyer Wolfsheim, George B. Wilson, Myrtle Wilson, Catherine, Ewing Klipspringer, Dan Cody, Michaelis.

Plot Summary

"The Great Gatsby," written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925, is portrayed from the 1st Person Point Of View of Nick Carraway. Nick narrates his story of Jay Gatsby, a millionaire he met on his previous visit to West Egg on the Long Islands in 1922. In the beginning, Nick moves to the West Egg village in a small house next to a huge mansion owned by a man named Gatsby.

The area was divided by 'class' and status by the wealthy occupants. The West Egg was for people who were "newly rich," while the East Egg village across the pond was populated by people from "old money" or "born rich." Nick's cousin, Daisy Buchanan, resided on the East side of the pond with her abundantly loaded husband, Tom Buchanan. One night, the Buchanans invited Nick over for dinner at their mansion, where he met Jordan Baker, an amateur Golfer and Daisy's close friend. Jordan was staying with Daisy and her husband back then. Nick and she initially hit it off quite well, even though she had a rather devious reputation from the get-go.

On their first meeting at the Buchanan's house, she confessed to Nick about Tom's "mistress in New York," Myrtle Wilson, who often caused arguments between the married couple. This information urged Nick to confront his 2nd cousin Daisy, who reluctantly admitted to her "unhappy marriage." Nick first encounters Gatsby that same night upon returning to his house. He caught the billionaire standing at his open balcony of the mansion and opening his arms forward towards a weird green glow coming from the Buchanan's dock. Nick's flashback fasts forward to the following July when he takes a short trip down to Manhattan with Tom and meets his Mistress, Myrtle Wilson. Myrtle was relatively poor and married George B.

Wilson, who owned a small garage business where he repaired and sold cars. Nick depicts Myrtle as someone with "Vitality," insinuating that despite her average looks, she was a rather charming woman. That night Tom, Nick, and Myrtle return to her apartment that she shares with her husband and sister Catherine. Catherine was aware of Myrtle's affair and supported her in hopes of a better and more luxurious life. However, things go very wrong after a couple of drinks as the night ends with Tom breaking her nose after she dragged Daisy's name in their conversation.

The story progresses to mid-July when Nick attends one of Gatsby's grand parties at his mansion. The party was the optimum of glamorous with newly turned rich and famous people spread around the place and a full jazz orchestra performing in the background, not to mention an abundance of alcohol with a "well-stocked bar." Nick finds Jordan again at the party and spends the rest of the evening catching up with her.

Although the party was buzzing, the clear absence of the host made many unruly rumors fly regarding Gatsby's past. Later that evening, Nick converses with the long-awaited Jay Gatsby as he introduces himself. Gatsby intrigues Nick from the first encounter, which makes him even more curious about the secrecy of Gatsby's life. Around late July, Gatsby drives Nick to Manhattan for lunch with his business partner of a long-time Meyer Wolfsheim.

On their way, Gatsby opens up about his life to Nick and addresses the rumors surrounding him. He explained that he was from the lineage of a wealthy bloodline. He was an "Oxford graduate" and a "war hero," and now he lived alone due to the passing of all his relatives. Nick didn't buy the story as it seemed he was skeptical about the truth behind Gatsby's words. That same evening Nick met Jordan, who he had been dating for a while now, for evening tea.

Their Jordan confessed that Gatsby shared with her about his former love life with Daisy before being deployed to the war. Surprised by this new revelation, Nick approaches Gatsby, who confirms the story and requests Nick to arrange a meeting with Daisy, to which Nick agrees. After a couple of days, Daisy comes over to Nick's place for some tea, where she meets her former lover Jay Gatsby again. Despite the visible awkwardness at first, the two former lovers seemed to reconcile after Nick gave them some room to talk in private; from then on, Daisy started an affair with Gatsby. 

Tom Buchanan gets a whiff of his wife's affair with Gatsby, so he decides to attend another one of Gatsby's glamorous parties with Daisy. On the other hand, Daisy was entirely revolted by the outrageous party with wild Americans new to the Rich lifestyle partying away. Daisy dislike urged Gatsby not to hold such parties in his manor from then on forward. The same night Tom lashed out at Gatsby, accusing him of "selling drugs and alcohol" after the war during his probation.

After the party, Gatsby confides in Nick, telling him that he wants Daisy to confess their love to Tom and then leave her husband to marry him instead. Following that, a lunch party was organized at the Buchanan's house, with Nick, Jordan, and Gatsby as the prominent guests. The lunch seemed to have moved well until Daisy was noted to be very comfortable with Gatsby and gave him compliments which irked Tom. It caused him to insist everyone move the party to Manhattan and out of their house.

The group split as Tom, Jordan, and Nick drove Gatsby's Yellow car while Gatsby and Daisy took Tom's Blue one. Gatsby and Daisy reach the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan before the trio as Tom stops by George Wilson's garage to fill up gas. There he encounters George, who informs him about their plans to move to East Egg very soon.

The account of his mistress residing so close to his wife doesn't sit well with him, and he speeds off. Back at the hotel, Gatsby and Daisy enjoy their alone time until Tom arrives with Jordan and Nick on his toe and directly confronts Daisy and Gatsby regarding their affair.

Gatsby admits to their love dating back to their first encounter in Louisville and insists on their separation so that he can marry Daisy. Outraged, Tom exclaims that he knows about Gatsby's illegal business with Meyer Wolfsheim around bootlegging of drugs and alcohol from an investigation he has run behind him.

At this, Daisy doesn't defend Gatsby, much to his dismay, but instead tries to escape the situation by ending the party. On their way back, Daisy and Gatsby take Gatsby's yellow car this time around with Daisy in the driver's seat and accidentally hit Myrtle, who ran in front of the speeding vehicle, mistaking it for Tom. Daisy and Gatsby escape the situation, but Tom discovers Myrtle's dead body in George's garage.

Upon reaching West Egg, Nick confronts Gatsby, telling him that he would take the blame for the accident for Daisy when the investigators came looking for his car. He also confesses the absolute truth about his past of being a poor man before the war when he met Daisy to his illegal business after the war, which made him go from rag to rich. The next day, George Wilson approaches Tom and accuses him of Myrtle's death while Tom rotates the blame on Gatsby, instigating George to take action against him.

Later that evening, George goes to Gatsby's mansion with a gun, where he finds him floating in the pool and shoots him dead before shooting himself in the head. Devastated, Nick finds Gatsby's dead body floating in the pool and later arranges his funeral, which was attended by none of Gatsby's partners, wild party guests, or even Daisy but himself and Gatsby's father, Henry C. Gatz, who later revealed Gatsby's actual name to be James Gatz. The Buchanans, on the other hand, left the East Egg village without leaving much behind. At the same time, Nick also decided to leave the hollow pretentious town of West Egg to move back to the Midwest, severing all contact with Jordan. 

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