The Great Gatsby Chapter Summaries 1 to 4

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Information about The Great Gatsby Chapter Summaries 1 to 4

Published on September 6, 2016

Author: KtTlens


1. Chapter Summaries

2. Chapter 1 Summary • Nick Caraway. He not only narrates the story but casts himself as the book’s author. • In the summer of 1922 arrives in New York – Lives in West Egg, next to Gatsby.

3. Chapter 1 Summary • Nick has dinner with Daisy(Nick’s cousin), Tom (an old friend from Yale), and Jordan Baker (A golfer and friend of Daisy’s)

4. Chapter 1 Cont’d. • A phone call from Tom’s lover in New York interrupts the evening.

5. • Tom and Daisy would like Nick to take a romantic interest in Jordan.

6. Chapter 1 Cont’d. • When Nick arrives home, he sees Gatsby for the first time, a handsome young man standing on the lawn with his arms reaching out toward the dark water. Nick looks out at the water, but all he can see is a distant green light that might mark the end of a dock

7. Chpt 2 Summary • Halfway between West Egg and New York City is the Valley of Ashes.

8. Chpt 2 Summary • The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg, watch over everything that happens in the valley of ashes.

9. • Tom invites Nick to go to town (New York) for lunch at Yale club. They ride on a train.

10. • Tom forces Nick to follow Nick out of the train at one of these stops.

11. • Tom leads Nick to George Wilson’s garage, which sits on the edge of the valley of ashes.

12. – Tom’s lover Myrtle is Wilson’s wife.

13. – Wilson is a lifeless yet handsome man, colored gray by the ashes in the air.

14. • Tom takes Nick and Myrtle to New York City, to the Morningside Heights apartment he keeps for his affair.

15. – Impromptu party with Myrtle’s sister, Catherine, and a couple named McKee.

16. – The group proceeds to drink excessively. Nick claims that he got drunk for only the second time in his life at this party.

17. • The behavior and conversation of the others repulse Nick.

18. • Tom gives Myrtle a new puppy as a gift, she begins to talk about Daisy.

19. – Tom warns her never to mention his wife. – Myrtle begins chanting Daisy’s name. – Tom breaks her nose.

20. The Valley of Ashes • A grotesque place • Dirty, dusty, and polluted • In-between West Egg and New York • It has railroad • It has a stinky (foul) river

21. The Eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg • It symbolizes God • It symbolizes the loss of spiritual values and growing commercialism in America • It appears on a gigantic billboard in the Valley of Ashes • Dr. T.J. Eckleburg is an oculist (long forgotten)

22. George Wilson • Garage owner • Car mechanic • He pumps gas and repairs cars • He is Myrtle’s husband

23. Tom’s gifts to Myrtle and Daisy • Tom gave Daisy A STRING OF PEARLS valued AT THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS $350,000 • Tom gave Myrtle a puppy

24. Catherine • She is Myrtle’s sister • She is friends with the couple named McKee • She appeared in Chapter 2 in Tom and Myrtle’s apartment in Morningside Heights • She was at the party with Tom, Myrtle, Nick, and the couple named McKee

25. Rumor about Gatsby according to Catherine • She tells Nick that Gatsby is the nephew of Kaiser Wilhelm, another rumor which adds to Gatsby's mysteriousness. • Additionally Catherine says that is how Gatsby got his money. Kaiser Wilhelm was the ruler of Germany during World War I

26. How does Catherine tell Nick about Tom and Myrtle’s relationship? • According to Catherine, Daisy is Catholic and refuses to give Tom a divorce. • Catholics do not believe in divorce. • Neither Tom nor Daisy is happy with their married life.


28. Omnibus •– a bus or long motor vehicle

29. Once a fortnight •– fourteen nights or two weeks

30. Harlequin design •– fancy variation in color

31. Castile •– allusion to former kingdom of Spain

32. erroneous •– incorrect / wrong

33. Majestic hand •– handwriting

34. Eddies •– a current moving in the opposite direction of the main current

35. Cordial •– friendly

36. Staid •– serious or permanent

37. Spectroscopic •– full spectrum or color and light

38. Veranda •– a porch or balcony

39. Gothic •– gloom, darkness

40. Florid •– a healthy reddish color

41. Implore •– to beg urgently

42. Vinous •– relating to wine


44. • Gatsby has become so famous around New York for throwing elaborate parties every weekend

45. – Guests exchange rumors about their host. • a German spy, graduate of Oxford, and he killed a man in cold blood

46. • Nick and Jordan try to find Gatsby, but they don’t have any luck.

47. • Instead, they run into a middle-aged man with huge, owl-eyed spectacles (whom Nick dubs Owl Eyes) who sits poring over the unread books in Gatsby’s library.

48. • At midnight, Nick and Jordan go outside to watch the entertainment.

49. • They sit at a table with a handsome young man who says that Nick looks familiar to him; they realize that they served in the same division during the war. The man introduces himself as none other than Jay Gatsby. Gatsby’s speech is elaborate and formal, and he has a habit of calling everyone “old sport.”

50. • Nick officially meets Gatsby, and it turns out that they served together in the War in the same division.

51. – Gatsby does not drink and keeps himself separate from the party, standing alone on the marble steps, watching his guests in silence.

52. • Jordan meets Gatsby and learns something extraordinary.

53. • Nick says goodbye to Gatsby, who goes inside to take a phone call from Philadelphia. Nick starts to walk home.

54. • On his way, he sees Owl Eyes struggling to get his car out of a ditch.

55. • Nick then proceeds to describe his everyday life, to prove that he does more with his time than simply attend parties.

56. • Nick follows the advice of Daisy and Tom and begins seeing Jordan Baker. – Jordan a dishonest person; – she cheated in her first golf tournament. – Nick feels attracted to her despite her dishonesty.

57. Chapter 3 FACTS

58. Parties at Gatsby’s Mansion • Gatsby throws extravagant parties every weekend • It is where East Egg and West Egg people meet • No one knows why Gatsby throws a party every weekend

59. Station Wagon & Rolls-Royce • The vehicles used to transport Gatsby’s guests to his parties

60. Guests’ Behavior at the party • The guests display the rules of behavior associated with amusement parks.

61. Nick’s attire at the party • He dresses up in his white flannels.

62. Gatsby’s interaction with guests • He does not drink • He does not participate • He just observes

63. Owl Eyes • Jordan and Nick found him in the Library while trying to find Gatsby

64. Gatsby’s library • The library contains real books though the pages have yet to be cut. ---according to Owl Eyes

65. Jordan learned about Gatsby • Something extraordinary • (Maybe a secret about his past)

66. Nick’s impressions of Gatsby • Mysterious • He is impressed with his smile and his genuine interest.

67. Nick’s impression of Jordan • Incurably dishonest person • She cheated in her first golf tournament.

68. Nick’s impression of Jordan • Incurably dishonest person • She cheated in her first golf tournament. • Cynical • Glamorous

69. What Nick feels about Jordan • Nick followed Tom and Daisy’s advice about Jordan • He feels attracted to Jordan despite of her dishonesty.

70. Chapter 4 Vocabulary

71. Bootlegger someone who sells smuggled goods illegally

72. Bootlegger

73. Knickerbockers – loose-fitting pants that gathered at or below the knee

74. Knickerbockers

75. Sporadic •– random, happening at irregular intervals

76. Sporadic

77. Indecisive •– hesitant, uncertain, unable to make decision

78. Evasion •– avoiding something unpleasant, escaping

79. Sinister •– evil, bad, wicked

80. Rajah •– an Indian king, prince, or chief

81. Threadbare •– shabby, thin, worn off

82. Incredulity •– inability or unwillingness to believe

83. Girders •– large beams that support a building

84. Anteroom •– an entry room or waiting area

85. Somnambulatory •– sleepwalking

86. Juxtaposition •– placing two or more things side by side

87. Succulent •– juicy, rich in desirable qualities

88. Succulent

89. Beaux •- boyfriends

90. Chapter 4 SUMMARY

91. • Nick lists all of the people who attended Gatsby’s parties that summer, a roll call of the nation’s most wealthy and powerful people.

92. • Gatsby invited Nick for a lunch in New York City

93. –On their way to New York Gatsby lies about his past. • He claims, for instance, to be the son of wealthy, deceased parents from the Midwest. When Nick asks which Midwestern city he is from, Gatsby replies, “San Francisco.”

94. –Gatsby then lists a long and preposterously detailed set of accomplishments:

95. –he claims to have been educated at Oxford, –to have collected jewels in the capitals of Europe, –to have hunted big game, –and to have been awarded medals in World War I by multiple European countries.

96. • Gatsby produces a medal from Montenegro and a picture of himself playing cricket at Oxford.

97. • Gatsby’s car speeds through the valley of ashes, a policeman pulls Gatsby over for speeding, Gatsby shows him a white card and the policeman apologizes for bothering him.

98. • Gatsby introduces Nick to Meyer Wolfshiem, who fixed the 1919 World Series.

99. • Wolfshiem is a shady character with underground business connections. He gives Nick the impression that the source of Gatsby’s wealth might be unsavory, and that Gatsby may even have ties to the sort of organized crime with which Wolfshiem is associated.

100. • After the lunch in New York, Nick sees Jordan Baker, who finally tells him the details of her mysterious conversation with Gatsby at the party.

101. • She relates that Gatsby told her that he is in love with Daisy Buchanan. According to Jordan, during the war, before Daisy married Tom, she was a beautiful young girl in Louisville, Kentucky, and all the military officers in town were in love with her.

102. • Daisy fell in love with Lieutenant Jay Gatsby, who was stationed at the base near her home.

103. • Gatsby went to the war

104. • A year later, Daisy married Tom Buchanan

105. • Tom bought Daisy’s love for a peal necklace worth $350,000

106. • Though she chose to marry Tom after Gatsby left for the war, Daisy drank herself into numbness the night before her wedding, after she received a letter from Gatsby.

107. • Daisy has apparently remained faithful to her husband throughout their marriage, but Tom has not.

108. • Jordan adds that Gatsby bought his mansion in West Egg solely to be near Daisy.

109. • Nick remembers the night he saw Gatsby stretching his arms out to the water and realizes that the green light he saw was the light at the end of Daisy’s dock.

110. • According to Jordan, Gatsby has asked her to convince Nick to arrange a reunion between Gatsby and Daisy.

111. • Because he is terrified that Daisy will refuse to see him, Gatsby wants Nick to invite Daisy to tea. Without Daisy’s knowledge, Gatsby intends to come to the tea at Nick’s house as well, surprising her and forcing her to see him.

112. Chapter 4 Facts

113. Rumors about Gatsby from Ch.1 - 4 •He has killed a man •He was German Spy during the war •He was a bootlegger

114. Rumors about Gatsby from Ch.1 - 4 •He’s the Nephew of Kaiser Wilhelm, the German Ruler •He’s an Oxford man •He’s a war hero

115. Why does Gatsby tell Nick about his life? • Gatsby tells Nick about his life because he wants Nick to trust him. Also because nobody really knows about Gatsby's path so he doesn't want Nick to hear wrong things about him. Nick is skeptical about Gatsby's story, even after he tries to prove it with the photo.

116. Gatsby tells Nick about his life •He went to Oxford •He came from Midwest (San Francisco) •All his family died

117. Gatsby tells Nick about his life •He lived a life like a Rajah when he was young •He collects jewelries and rubbies

118. Gatsby tells Nick about his life •He went to live in the capitals of Europe (Paris, Venice, Rome)

119. Gatsby tells Nick about his life •Go hunting for big games •He was painting a little •He wanted to die in the war to forget his sad past

120. Gatsby tells Nick about his life •From lieutenant Gatsby was promoted to be a Major

121. Jordan’s story about Daisy • Daisy was drunk at her bridal dinner and denying that she ever wanted to marry Tom at all. • She is clutching a letter from Gatsby and falling apart over her impending wedding to Tom. • However, she marries Tom the next day fully aware that her social and economic status will always be among the rich.

122. Gatsby wants Daisy to see his house: • He wants to impress Daisy • He wants to show her that he has a lot of money and he is now very rich • He wants to win Daisy back

123. Evidence/ objects Gatsby show to Nick • Photo of him playing cricket at Oxford • Medal from the government of Montenegro

124. Meyer Wolfshiem • A professional gambler • He fixed the 1919 World Series • A friend of Gatsby • A Jewish • Has many business connections

125. White Card • Gatsby shows to the policeman • The policeman did not arrest Gatsby for over-speeding • Gatsby did the commissioner a favor

126. The Favor Gatsby asked • Nick should invite Daisy (without Tom) for an afternoon tea at his cottage in the West Egg • Daisy must not know that Gatsby is going to be there


128. Elongating •– extended, lengthened

129. Tactless •– lacking of what is fitting and considerate in dealing with others

130. Obliged •– to place under a debt of gratitude for some benefit

131. Scrutinize •– to examine in detail with careful or critical attention

132. Harrowed •– distressed

133. Defunct •– no longer in effect or use, not operating

134. Demoniac •– pertaining to demon

135. Exultation •– the act of rejoicing greatly

136. Postern •– private entrance other than the main one

137. Garnish •– to provide with something ornamental

138. Disarray •– disorder, confusion

139. Corrugated •– wrinkled

140. Pompadour •– arrangement of man’s hair brushed up high from the forehead

141. Nebulous •– hazy, vague, indistinct, confused

142. Remote •– far apart, far off, distant

143. Chapter 5 Summary

144. • Nick comes home from the city after a date with Jordan. • He sees Gatsby’s mansion lit up brightly, but it seems to be unoccupied, as the house is totally silent.

145. As Nick walks home, he saw Gatsby from across the lawn. Gatsby tries to make Nick happy— he invites him to Coney Island, then for a swim in his pool.

146. Nick realizes that Gatsby is nervous because he wants Nick to agree to his plan of inviting Daisy over for tea. Nick tells Gatsby that he will help him with the plan.

147. Overjoyed, Gatsby immediately offers to have someone cut Nick’s grass.

148. Gatsby also offers Nick the chance to make some money by joining him in some business he does on the side—business that does not involve Meyer Wolfshiem.

149. Nick refuses Gatsby’s offers, but he still agrees to call Daisy and invite her to his house.

150. • It rains on the day of the meeting, and Gatsby becomes terribly nervous.

151. • Despite the rain, Gatsby sends a gardener over to cut Nick’s grass and sends another man over with flowers.

152. • Afternoon came and Gatsby went to Nick’s house dressed in a white flannel and suit. • They waited for Daisy at Nick’s house

153. • Daisy arrives in the afternoon, but when Nick brings her into the house, he finds that Gatsby has suddenly disappeared.

154. • There is a knock at the door. Gatsby enters, having returned from a walk around the house in the rain.

155. • At first, Gatsby’s reunion with Daisy is terribly awkward. Gatsby knocks Nick’s clock over and tells Nick sorrowfully that the meeting was a mistake.

156. • After he leaves the two alone for half an hour, however, Nick returns to find them radiantly happy—Daisy shedding tears of joy and Gatsby glowing.

157. • Outside, the rain has stopped, and Gatsby invites Nick and Daisy over to his house, where he shows them his possessions.

158. • Daisy is overwhelmed by his luxurious lifestyle, and when he shows her his extensive collection of English shirts, she begins to cry.

159. • Gatsby tells Daisy about his long nights spent outside, staring at the green light at the end of her dock, dreaming about their future happiness.

160. •For the moment, however, their romance seems fully rekindled.

161. • Gatsby calls in Klipspringer, a strange character who seems to live at Gatsby’s mansion, and has him play the piano. Klipspringer plays a popular song called “Ain’t We Got Fun?”

162. • Nick quickly realizes that Gatsby and Daisy have forgotten that he is there. Quietly, Nick gets up and leaves Gatsby and Daisy alone together.

163. Settings • Lawn • Nick’s Cottage • Gatsby’s Mansion

164. Main Characters • Nick • Gatsby • Daisy

165. Supporting Characters • Gatsby’s Gardeners • Daisy’s Driver • Klipspringer

166. Events • Nick goes home after a date with Jordan

167. • Nick finds Gatsby in his lawn looking worried

168. • Gatsby offers many good things to Nick

169. • Nick refuses the offers and realizes that Gatsby is nervous

170. • Gatsby asks about his favor

171. • Nick decides to do him a favor

172. • Rain comes in the morning

173. • Gatsby sends his gardener to cut Nick’s lawn

174. • Nick and Gatsby wait for Daisy

175. • Daisy comes to Nick’s cottage

176. • Daisy sends his driver off

177. • Nick and Daisy gets into the cottage • Gatsby is not inside

178. • Gatsby goes out to the main door and knocks

179. • Finally Gatsby and Daisy meet again • Both of them are nervous

180. • Nick leaves them alone

181. • Rain stops

182. • Nick comes back and makes some sound in the kitchen • Gatsby and Daisy do not seem to hear him

183. • Gatsby invites Daisy and Nick to his mansion

184. • Gatsby shows Daisy all his shirts • Daisy cries

185. • Gatsby tells Daisy how he waited for her and the nights he looks at the green light

186. • Gatsby calls Klipspringer to play the piano “Ain’t we Got Fun”

187. • Nick leaves Gatsby and Daisy

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