The Great Gatsby

“The Great Gatsby,” penned by F. Scott Fitzgerald and published in 1925, stands as a timeless classic of American literature. This iconic novel explores the intricate web of wealth, ambition, love, and illusion that characterizes the elusive American Dream. Set against the backdrop of the Roaring Twenties, a tumultuous era of economic prosperity and cultural transformation, Fitzgerald’s novel delves into the lives of the enigmatic Jay Gatsby and those drawn into his extravagant world.


In 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald, an American writer, published his iconic novel, “The Great Gatsby,” a captivating portrayal of the Jazz Age set on Long Island, near New York City. The story revolves around Nick Carraway, the first-person narrator, and his intriguing interactions with the enigmatic millionaire, Jay Gatsby, who is consumed by his obsession to reunite with his former lover, Daisy Buchanan.

Fitzgerald himself was a prominent figure of the Jazz Age, a term he coined to capture the essence of the era’s exuberance and extravagance. Through his captivating prose and sharp social commentary, he exposes the contradictions and disillusionments lurking beneath the surface of the era’s glitz and glamour. “The Great Gatsby” vividly portrays the contrast between the ostentatious wealth of the nouveau riche and the moral decay that often accompanies it, ultimately revealing the emptiness of the pursuit of material success.

The story is narrated by Nick Carraway, a young man from the Midwest who finds himself entangled in the lives of Gatsby, his mysterious neighbor, and his cousin Daisy Buchanan, a woman from Nick’s past. As Nick becomes immersed in the extravagant parties and extravagant personalities that populate Gatsby’s world, he uncovers the truth about Gatsby’s relentless pursuit of wealth and success—a pursuit driven by his undying love for Daisy.

Inspiration for the Novel

Fitzgerald drew inspiration from his own youthful romance with socialite Ginevra King and the extravagant parties he attended on Long Island’s North Shore in 1922. After relocating to the French Riviera, Fitzgerald managed to complete a rough draft of the novel in 1924. He submitted it to his editor, Maxwell Perkins, who encouraged him to revise the work during the following winter. Fitzgerald heeded the advice and made the necessary revisions, though he remained undecided about the title, considering several alternatives. The stunning dust jacket art by painter Francis Cugat deeply impressed Fitzgerald, and he cleverly integrated its imagery into the novel.

Characters in The Great Gatsby

“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald features a cast of complex and memorable characters, each contributing to the rich tapestry of the novel. From the enigmatic and mysterious Jay Gatsby to the disillusioned narrator Nick Carraway, the characters in this iconic work bring depth and nuance to the narrative, shedding light on themes of love, wealth, and the corrupting influence of the American Dream.

1. Jay Gatsby

The titular character, Jay Gatsby, is a self-made millionaire who embodies the pursuit of the American Dream. Gatsby is known for his extravagant parties, but his true motivation is his undying love for Daisy Buchanan, a woman from his past. Gatsby is both an enigma and a symbol of the hollow nature of wealth and success. Despite his opulent lifestyle, he remains a deeply flawed and ultimately tragic figure.

Jay Gatsby
Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby
2. Daisy Buchanan

Daisy Buchanan is Nick’s cousin and the object of Gatsby’s affection. She represents the epitome of wealth and privilege, but also embodies the emptiness and shallowness of the upper class. Daisy is torn between her love for Gatsby and her loyalty to her husband, Tom Buchanan. Her character explores the disillusionment and compromises of the wealthy, showcasing the destructive power of societal expectations.

Daisy Buchanan
Daisy Buchanan, in movie The Great Gatsby
3. Nick Carraway

The story’s narrator, Nick Carraway, is a young man from the Midwest who moves to New York to work in the bond business. Nick provides the reader with an outsider’s perspective as he becomes entangled in the lives of the wealthy elite, including Gatsby. He serves as a moral compass, observing and reflecting upon the excesses and moral decay of those around him. Nick’s narrative voice offers insight into the complexities of the characters and the society they inhabit.

4. Tom Buchanan

Tom Buchanan is Daisy’s husband and a wealthy and arrogant man who represents the established upper class. He is a symbol of inherited wealth and the sense of entitlement that comes with it. Tom is both physically and emotionally abusive, reflecting the toxicity and corruption at the heart of the American Dream. His character highlights the destructive impact of unchecked power and privilege.

5. Myrtle Wilson

Myrtle Wilson is Tom Buchanan’s mistress, married to George Wilson, a working-class mechanic. She aspires to climb the social ladder and escape her unsatisfying life. Her character serves as a critique of the pursuit of wealth and status, as she becomes a victim of the upper class’s callousness and indifference. Myrtle’s tragic end further underscores the consequences of striving for a life beyond one’s reach.

6. Jordan Baker

Baker is a professional golfer and a friend of Daisy’s. She is portrayed as a cool and independent woman who becomes romantically involved with Nick. Jordan’s character embodies the moral ambiguity and superficiality prevalent in the novel’s society. She is an observer and participant in the wealthy world, representing the disillusionment and moral compromises that come with pursuing success at any cost.

Minor Characters

“The Great Gatsby” features a broader cast of characters beyond the six mentioned earlier. Here are a few additional notable characters:

1. George Wilson

George Wilson is Myrtle’s husband and the owner of a run-down garage in the Valley of Ashes. He is portrayed as a working-class man who becomes entangled in the events surrounding Gatsby and the Buchanans

2. Owl Eyes

Owl Eyes is a minor character who appears at one of Gatsby’s parties. He symbolizes the jaded intellectuals of the era who are critical of the superficiality and excesses of the wealthy elite.

3. Meyer Wolfsheim

Meyer Wolfsheim is a mysterious and shadowy figure known for his criminal connections. He is a business associate of Gatsby and is believed to be involved in organized crime. Wolfsheim’s presence highlights the corrupt underbelly of the Roaring Twenties and the blurred lines between the worlds of legitimate business and criminal activities.

4. Dan Cody

Dan Cody is a wealthy copper magnate who plays a significant role in Gatsby’s past. Gatsby idolizes Cody, who serves as a mentor figure and represents the allure of wealth and the possibility of attaining the American Dream. Cody’s influence shapes Gatsby’s ambitions and sets him on his path of self-transformation.

5. Klipspringer

Klipspringer is a regular partygoer at Gatsby’s mansion and is known as “the boarder.” He symbolizes the hangers-on and opportunists who take advantage of Gatsby’s lavish hospitality without any genuine connection or loyalty to him.

The Plot

The plot is described in the chapter wise below;

Chapter 1

The novel opens with the narrator, Nick Carraway, introducing himself and describing his move from the Midwest to the East Coast, specifically Long Island. He rents a small house in West Egg, a community populated by the newly wealthy. Across the water is East Egg, where the old money resides. Nick visits his cousin Daisy Buchanan and her husband Tom at their luxurious mansion. Tom is introduced as an arrogant and racist man. During the visit, Daisy’s friend, Jordan Baker, informs Nick about Tom’s affair.

Nick Carraway, the narrator, introduces himself and describes his move from the Midwest to Long Island, specifically West Egg. He rents a small house next to a grand mansion owned by the enigmatic Jay Gatsby. Nick’s cousin, Daisy Buchanan, and her husband, Tom, live across the water in the more fashionable East Egg. Nick attends a dinner at their mansion, where he learns about Tom’s affair. Later, Nick sees Gatsby standing alone on his lawn, reaching out toward a green light across the water.

Chapter 2

Nick attends one of Gatsby’s extravagant parties at his mansion. The party is filled with revelry and excess, but Nick struggles to find Gatsby among the guests. He meets Gatsby’s business associate, Meyer Wolfsheim, who is involved in organized crime. Nick also encounters Tom, who brings him along to meet his mistress, Myrtle Wilson, in the Valley of Ashes, a desolate area between West Egg and New York City. Nick travels to the Valley of Ashes, a desolate area between West Egg and New York City. There, he joins Tom and his mistress, at her husband George’s garage. They take a train to New York City, where they spend the afternoon partying in an apartment Tom keeps for his affairs. The chapter ends with a drunken Tom punching Myrtle after she mentions Daisy.

Chapter 3

Nick receives an invitation to one of Gatsby’s extravagant parties at his mansion. He attends with his friend Jordan Baker and witnesses the opulence and excess of the Jazz Age. Nick tries to find Gatsby but is unable to meet him. Gatsby’s parties attract countless guests, many of whom have no real connection with Gatsby himself. While partying, Nick observes Gatsby’s yearning for someone who never attends his parties. Later, Gatsby reveals his desire to reunite with Daisy, whom he loved five years ago.

Chapter 4

Gatsby takes Nick on a drive, sharing his version of his past. Gatsby claims to be from a wealthy family and a decorated war hero. He shows Nick a photograph of himself with various famous people. Nick becomes suspicious of Gatsby’s stories. Gatsby invites Nick to a meeting with a man named Meyer Wolfsheim, where Gatsby expresses his plan to win Daisy back. Gatsby shares stories about his experiences in the war and how he accumulated his wealth. He introduces Nick to Meyer Wolfsheim, a shady character with criminal connections. Nick becomes suspicious of Gatsby’s claims.

Chapter 5 (The most famous chapter in which Daisy meets Gatsby at his house)

Gatsby invites Nick to arrange a reunion with Daisy at his mansion. The meeting is initially awkward, but soon Gatsby and Daisy reconnect emotionally. Gatsby proudly showcases his mansion and wealth to Daisy, trying to impress her. As their relationship deepens, Gatsby’s true feelings for Daisy are revealed. They share a passionate kiss, and Gatsby is hopeful that he can recreate the past with Daisy.

jay meets daisy
Jay Gatsby meeting with Daisy, movie scene
Chapter 6

The narrative shifts to Gatsby’s past. Gatsby, originally named James Gatz, grew up in a poor farming family. He had a brief encounter with wealth when he met Dan Cody, a copper magnate, and became his assistant. Gatsby’s connection with Cody shaped his ambitions and desire for wealth. Gatsby’s transformation into his present persona is explored, along with his efforts to erase his impoverished background.

Chapter 7

The Buchanan’s lavish lifestyle is contrasted with the extravagant parties at Gatsby’s mansion. Gatsby hosts a small gathering, attended by Daisy, Tom, Jordan, and Nick. Tension arises as Tom becomes suspicious of Gatsby’s wealth and intentions. The group decides to go to New York City, and during a confrontation, Tom accuses Gatsby of being a bootlegger. Daisy becomes conflicted and torn between Gatsby and Tom.

Chapter 8

The Buchanan’s lavish lifestyle is contrasted with the extravagant parties at Gatsby’s mansion. Gatsby hosts a small gathering, attended by Daisy, Tom, Jordan, and Nick. Tension arises as Tom becomes suspicious of Gatsby’s wealth and intentions. The group decides to go to New York City, and during a confrontation, Tom accuses Gatsby of being a bootlegger. Daisy becomes conflicted and torn between Gatsby and Tom.

Chapter 9

Nick arranges Gatsby’s funeral, but only a few people attend. Nick reflects on Gatsby’s remarkable determination and ambition while condemning the moral bankruptcy of those around him. He ends his narrative by acknowledging the emptiness of the rich and their indifference to Gatsby’s fate. Nick’s final words are a contemplation on the unattainable nature of the American Dream.

Throughout the novel, F. Scott Fitzgerald presents a tragic tale that delves into the complexities of love, ambition and the corrupting influence of wealth. “The Great Gatsby” provides a scathing critique of the superficiality and moral decay of the Jazz Age, leaving readers with a profound exploration of the elusive nature of happiness and the consequences of unchecked ambition.

Major Themes of the Novel

“The Great Gatsby” explores several prominent themes, shedding light on the complexities of the human experience and the societal landscape of the Jazz Age. Here are some of the major themes in the novel:

1. The American Dream

One of the central themes in the novel is the concept of the American Dream. Fitzgerald examines the pursuit of wealth, success, and social mobility, questioning whether the American Dream is attainable or merely an illusion. The characters, particularly Gatsby, strive to achieve their dreams, but ultimately discover that material wealth alone cannot guarantee happiness or fulfillment.

2. Illusion vs Reality

Throughout the story, there is a stark contrast between appearances and the truth. The characters, including Gatsby himself, create elaborate facades to hide their true identities or to project an image of wealth and success. Fitzgerald explores the destructive power of illusions and the consequences of living in a world driven by superficiality and false perceptions.

3. Love and Relationships

Love, in its various forms, is a significant theme in the novel. Gatsby’s obsessive love for Daisy, as well as Tom and Daisy’s turbulent marriage, exposes the complexities and flaws of romantic relationships. Fitzgerald examines the illusions and idealizations associated with love, and how they can lead to disappointment and heartbreak.

4. Social Class and Inequality

“The Great Gatsby” explores the rigid social hierarchy and class divisions of the 1920s. The characters are divided into different social strata, with the old money elite represented by the Buchanans and the newly wealthy represented by Gatsby. Fitzgerald critiques the disparity between the rich and the poor, highlighting the moral decay and corruption that often accompany extreme wealth.

5. The Decline of the American Dream

The novel presents a disillusioned view of the American Dream. Fitzgerald depicts the decay of traditional values and the loss of moral integrity in the pursuit of wealth and social status. The characters’ inability to find true happiness and their eventual downfall symbolizes the decline of the American Dream and the dark side of the Roaring Twenties.

6. The Hollowness of the Jazz Age

Fitzgerald portrays the Jazz Age, a period of exuberance and decadence, as a shallow and empty era. The excessive parties, materialism, and hedonism of the time are shown to be devoid of genuine substance and meaning. The characters, engrossed in a world of indulgence, are left feeling unfulfilled and spiritually bankrupt.

7. The Corruption of the American Dream

The novel explores the corrupting influence of wealth and power on individuals and society. Gatsby’s pursuit of wealth and his desire to win Daisy’s love lead him down a path of moral compromise and illegal activities. Fitzgerald suggests that the relentless pursuit of the American Dream can lead to a loss of values and a disregard for ethical boundaries.

8. Time and the Past

The theme of time and the past permeates the novel. Gatsby’s obsession with reliving the past and recapturing his lost love with Daisy reflects the characters’ longing for a time that has slipped away. Fitzgerald emphasizes the impossibility of fully recapturing or recreating the past, emphasizing the transience of time and the inevitable passage into the future.

“The Great Gatsby” explores these themes with nuance and depth, offering a critical commentary on the human condition and the disillusionment that can arise from the pursuit of wealth, love, and the American Dream. Fitzgerald’s exploration of these themes continues to resonate with readers, prompting introspection and reflection on the complexities of society and the human experience.


“The Great Gatsby” has had several notable adaptations for both stage and screen, each bringing F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic novel to life in unique ways. Here is a detailed overview of the major adaptations of “The Great Gatsby”:

Stage Adaptations
  1. “The Great Gatsby” (2006) – Adapted by Simon Levy, this stage adaptation premiered at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. The play captures the essence of the Jazz Age through elaborate sets, costumes, and music. It faithfully presents the key characters and pivotal moments of the novel, highlighting themes of love, illusion, and the American Dream.
  2. “Gatz” (2005) – This immersive theater production, created by Elevator Repair Service, offers a unique experience by presenting the entire text of “The Great Gatsby” as a theatrical event. The play unfolds over six hours, with actors seamlessly transitioning between reading the novel and acting out the story. “Gatz” received critical acclaim for its innovative approach to storytelling.
Film Adaptations
  1. “The Great Gatsby” (1974) – Directed by Jack Clayton and starring Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby and Mia Farrow as Daisy Buchanan, this film adaptation aimed to capture the glamour and decadence of the Jazz Age. It remained relatively faithful to the novel, depicting the opulent parties, romantic entanglements, and tragic consequences of Gatsby’s pursuit of love and wealth.
  2. “The Great Gatsby” (2013) – Directed by Baz Luhrmann and featuring Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby and Carey Mulligan as Daisy, this adaptation sought to infuse the story with a contemporary energy. Luhrmann’s signature style brought vibrant visuals, elaborate production design, and a modern soundtrack to the film, aiming to capture the excesses and allure of the 1920s while exploring themes of illusion, desire, and the fading American Dream.

Each adaptation of “The Great Gatsby” brings its own interpretation of the novel’s themes, characters, and settings. From stage productions that immerse the audience in the story to film adaptations that visually depict the grandeur and disillusionment of the Jazz Age, these adaptations aim to capture the essence of Fitzgerald’s work while presenting it through various artistic lenses. Through these adaptations, audiences continue to engage with the timeless story of “The Great Gatsby” in new and captivating ways.

Is there Antisemitism in The Great Gatsby?

In the novel, there are two instances where antisemitism is indirectly referenced. The first instance occurs in Chapter 2 when Tom Buchanan mentions his business associate, Meyer Wolfsheim, who is described as a man involved in organized crime. Wolfsheim’s character is loosely based on real-life Jewish gangsters of the time. Although Fitzgerald does not explicitly perpetuate stereotypes about Jewish individuals, the inclusion of Wolfsheim as a criminal figure does play into certain antisemitic tropes prevalent during the era.

The second instance is when Tom accuses Gatsby of being a bootlegger in Chapter 7. Although bootlegging was a widespread illegal activity during the Prohibition era, the fact that Tom specifically targets Gatsby as a bootlegger echoes the antisemitic sentiment of the time. While Gatsby is not explicitly identified as Jewish, Tom’s accusation carries a derogatory undertone that aligns with the antisemitic stereotypes prevalent during the 1920s.

It is essential to understand that these instances reflect the social context of the Jazz Age, a time when discrimination and prejudices, including antisemitism, were prevalent in American society. However, it is crucial to differentiate the portrayal of such elements within the novel from the author’s personal beliefs. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s intent may have been to depict the social dynamics of the era rather than endorse or promote antisemitism.