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The Great Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Key Facts. Setting: Summer of 1922 on Long Island and in New York City Point of view: First and Third person Narrator: Nick Carraway Protagonists: Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby

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the great gatsby

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald

key facts
Key Facts
  • Setting: Summer of 1922 on Long Island and in New York City
  • Point of view: First and Third person
  • Narrator: Nick Carraway
  • Protagonists: Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby
  • Major conflict: Gatsby attempts to regain the love of Daisy by dazzling her with his great wealth that was amassed illegally
  • Rising action: Series of events that lead up to Gatsby reuniting with Daisy
  • Falling action: ??? To be filled in later….I don’t want to spoil the ending.
  • Climax: To be filled in later….I don’t want to spoil the ending.
  • Themes:
    • 1. The Decline of the American Dream
    • 2. The Spirit of the 1920s
    • 3. The difference between the social classes
    • 4. The role of symbols in the human conception of meaning
    • The role of the past in dreams of the future (provided by Spark Notes)
  • Symbols: Colors, East/West Egg, The eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg, The valley of ashes
  • Motifs: (To be covered as novel is read. Please leave space open in your notes.)
major characters
Major characters
  • Daisy Buchanan (Cousin of Nick): Married to Tom Buchanan
    • Promised to wait for James Gatz (AKA Jay Gatsby) before he was shipped to Europe in WWI.
    • Emotionally could not keep her promise as she felt a need to be loved and courted
    • Married Tom Buchanan, a wealthy, egotistical , self-absorbed man of questionable morals.
    • Lives across the water from Jay and from Nick in the more fashionable district of East Egg on Long Island
  • Tom Buchanan : Married to Daisy Buchanan
    • Wealthy, egotistical Yale man (like Nick)
    • Arrogant, hypocritical, violent, adulterer
    • Racist, sexist, believer in the superiority of the white race
  • Jordan Baker: friend of Daisy Buchanan
    • Wealthy, competitive golfer.
    • Lives with her great-aunt
    • Liar/cheat to get ahead in golf or to cover up mistakes
    • Love interest of Nick Carraway
  • Narrator: Nick Carraway (Cousin of Daisy Buchanan)
    • Home is Minnesota, studied at Yale, fought in WWI
    • Goes to New York to learn the bond business
    • Non-judgmental, extremely honest, sincere
    • A good listener
    • Next door neighbor and friend to Jay Gatsby at West Egg
  • Protagonist: Jay Gatsby (in love with Daisy Buchanan)
    • Mysterious, absurdly wealthy young man
    • Neighbor of Nick Carraway
    • Famous for extravagant parties
    • Guests are the wealthy: old rich (East Egg) and new rich (West Egg), famous celebrities and their managers, great athletes, and those who want to be seen
    • Wealth achieved through “ill-gotten” gain
    • Extreme optimist
    • Developed/lived a five year plan to get Daisy
    • Believes her to be more worthy, wonderful than she really is
more characters
More characters
  • Owl Eyes: very minor character
    • Great reader who is a guest at one of Gatsby’s luxurious parties
    • Enamored by Gatsby’s library
  • Klipspringer: very minor character
    • A free loader who frequently spends the night at Gatsby’s mansion.
    • No honorable characteristics
    • Very shallow character of no redeeming value
  • Myrtle Wilson (Tom’s lover)
    • Married to George Wilson (garage/gas station owner)
    • Big, sensuous woman who openly flaunts her affair in New York (George does not know) where she and Tom have a “love nest”
    • Tom gives her everything she wants as long as he is physically satisfied
    • Causes Daisy grief by phoning for Tom at home during the dinner hour
  • George Wilson: faithful, non-motivated husband of Myrtle
    • Minor character that plays an important role
    • garage/gas station owner across from the industrial ash dump
    • Idolizes Myrtle
    • Has no vision about his future
    • Lived above the garage for eleven years
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