Perhaps Gatsby having more of a “blank slate” appearance allows the reader to more easily project his shifting characterization onto him (from mysterious party host to the military man madly in love with Daisy to the ambitious farmboy James Gatz), whereas characters like Tom Buchanan and Myrtle are more stiffly characterized.Gatsby was born “James Gatz,” the son of poor farmers, in North Dakota.
Through Jordan and Nick, Gatsby is thus able to meet with Daisy again and begins an affair with her in Chapter 5.
Throughout all of this Gatsby continues to do business with Meyer Wolfsheim and run his own bootlegging “business," mainly based on the mysterious phone calls he's always taking.
He met Daisy in Louisville before he was shipped out to Europe.
In his uniform, there was no way for anyone to know he wasn’t wealthy, and Daisy assumed he was due to his manners.
This guide explains Gatsby’s rags-to-riches story, what he does in the novel, his most famous lines, and common essay topics.
We're using this system since there are many editions of Gatsby, so using page numbers would only work for students with our copy of the book.Nick is Daisy’s second cousin, and through that connection he is able to reunite with Daisy during the novel.To see how Gatsby's life fits into the biographies of the novel's other characters, check out our timeline.He moved to West Egg, bought an extravagant mansion and a Rolls Royce, and started throwing lavish parties and building up a reputation, all in the hopes of meeting Daisy again.Luckily, an aspiring bond salesman named Nick Carraway moves in next door just as the novel begins.That said, Nick’s description of Gatsby’s smile – “rare” and “full of eternal reassurances” that “understood you the way you wanted to be understood” – sets Gatsby apart as someone special and alluring.Gatsby has tan skin and short hair, but otherwise most of Gatsby’s characterization comes through his dialogue and actions – Nick doesn’t linger on his physical appearance the way he does with other characters (especially Tom and Myrtle).It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life.It faced--or seemed to face--the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor.It understood you just so far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.Precisely at that point it vanished--and I was looking at an elegant young rough-neck, a year or two over thirty, whose elaborate formality of speech just missed being absurd.