Jay Gatsby

Jay Gatsby

    The Great Gatsby
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up... in the country. His parents were unsuccessful farmers, but he never really accepted them as his family. Jay always saw himself as someone exceptional, and he set out to make that true.

Living... in his mansion in West Egg, Long Island. Although it is in the less fashionable of the two Eggs, it is impressive nevertheless. His place an imitation of Hotel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side under a thin beard of raw ivy, a marble swimming pool, and more than forty acres of lawn and garden.

Profession... socialite. He throws large parties, but he never goes to them. He just waits for Daisy to show up.

Interests... diving from the tower of his raft, cruising in his motor boats, and taking his friends for rides into the city with his Rolls Royce.

Relationship Status... completely in love with Daisy. As he says, "My heart beats faster and faster as Daisy's white face comes up to my own. I knew that when I kissed this girl, and forever wed my unutterable visions to her perishable breath, my mind would never romp again like the mind of God." It’s too bad she's married to Tom.

Challenge... keeping his secret. No one knows how he made all his money. And he'll never tell. The only thing he really cares about is being with Daisy. He’s gotten all this money and thrown all these parties and he’s done it all for her. But will she ever return his affections?

Personality... hard to pin down. His business ventures suggest someone cunning, manipulative, and acquisitive. But there’s a completely different person inside – a hopeless romantic and an eternal optimist. His friend Nick says his smile is of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it that you may come across four or five times in life.


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