THE GREAT GATSBY: READING QUESTIONS
1. Why are we still reading a book written in the 1920's? What gives a book its longevity?
Reading old books helps us to understand more about today and the past. It helps us understand
where things came from and why. History and old facts give a book is longevity.
2. How was the 1920's a reaction to WWI? The reaction to WW1 was the segregation of people
with and without money and the importance this had in life.
3. Some people think that having money leads to happiness. Do you agree? Why or why not?
What are the advantages or disadvantages of being wealthy. Money does not lead to
happiness at all. This is because happiness is not what you own or have, but the love you have
in your life. Yes, being wealthy assures you of all the things you want, but then you lose track of
your NEEDS and your true self.
4. What is the "American Dream"? Where did it originate, and how has it changed over the
centuries? The american dream is being wealthy and successful in life. It has changed
drastically over years because nowadays youre so highly judged on this matter which makes
people want and work for it more.
5. Have you ever wanted to relive a moment from your past, to redo it? Describe the
situation. How and why would you change the past? One thing I would change in my past is
my relationship with my sister. She is all moved out and grown up 24 years old, but i wish i had a
closer bond with her like friends. I would've made more of an effort to look past her mistakes and
what she did to our family at times.
1. Notice how many times Fitzgerald uses the words hope, or dream. Why does he do this?
By using the words hope or dream alot shows that in this time period, these things were number
one in people's lives and is a huge part of the book.
2. Nick starts the novel by relaying his father's advice "Whenever you feel like criticizing
anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that
you've had." List Nick's advantages. Does he reserve judgement in the novel? Nick never
judges, he says it gives him more hope of what people are truly inside. His advantages in this are
definatly wealth and his popularity and his known family backround.
3. Pay attention to time. What is the day and year during the first scene at Daisy's house? It
was a summer afternoon.
4. Describe Nick. What facts do you know about him, and what do you infer about him? What
kind of a narrator do you think he will be? Nick is a kind and reserved man who came from
wealthy family in Chicago. He moved to NY and had dreams of becoming a successful bond
salesman to make his OWN money. I think he'll be a great and detailed narrator.
5. What image does the author use to describe Jordan Baker? What does it mean? The author
shows that Jordan is very supersticial and concieted.
6. How does Nick react to Jordan? Nick feels like he was bothering her and in her way, but in
short time they bond quickly and closley.
7. What does Tom's behavior reveal about his character? Tom's behavior shows that he is'nt
very loving, but is reserved and wealthy and proud of his life.
1. Describe the "valley of ashes." What does it look like and what does it represent? Valley of
Ashes is a farm between West Egg and NY where ash grows and sticks to everything and takes
over the city. It shows the difference between Wealthy and no money where hope and dreams
are low in peoples lives.
2. Describe Mr. Wilson and Myrtle. Do they seem to fit into the setting? Mr.Wilson and Myrtle
are a married couple that live in home above a gas station. They dont seem to fit in because they
are poor and she is having an affair with Tom, Daisy's husband.
3. What more have you learned about Nick in this chapter? Is he similar or different than the
people he spends his time with? I learned again, how kind and sweet Nick is and how he sees
the affair with Tom and Myrtle being so wrong which shows he has good morals knowing right
from wrong, yet still keeping to himself knowing its not his place.
4. Describe the violent act Tom comitted against Myrtle. What does this reveal about
him?Tom broke myrtles nose by striking her because she wouldnt stop talking about Daisy and
Tom didnt like it. This shows that he wants to be in all control of everything and everyone and
what a buff man he really is.
1. Pay attention to Nick's judgements. What do they reveal about his character that he does
this (especially in relation to his opening comments)? In this chapter opening, Nick describes
everything and everyone that goes to and from Gatsby's home and exactly what happens there. I
think this shows that Nick may be lonley in his own life, but still lives his privacy and keep to
hiimself while observing other's lives.
2. Describe Gatsby the first time Nick sees him. When Nick first meets Gatsby, he has no idea it
is him and thinks he is just talking to another guest at the party. Gatsby was very warm and kind
and humorous and nothing what Nick would have thought.
3. What rumors have been told about Gatsby? Why does Fitzgerald reveal rumors rather than
fact? Rumors such as killing a man, being in the American Army during the war, and being an
Oxford man are revealed about Gatsby. I think the author uses rumors over facts because he
wants Gatsby to reveal the truth himself later on.
4. What does Nick think of Gatsby after meeting him? Nick thinks that Gatsby is very caring,
down to earth, and nice. It was nothing He, or I as a reader, had expected.
5. How is Gatsby different from his guests? Gatsby's different from his guests because he is
more laid back and doesnt enjoy the party as much as just watching it while others are dancing
and drinnking and having a grand time.
6. Why does Nick choose to share his thoughts and feelings with Jordan? Nick shares this
with Jordan because he knows shes careless and wont judge him. He also knows that she has
no real family and they really made a good connection and bond together at Gatsby's party.
7. Nick thinks he's one of the few honest people he knows, why? Do you think he is
honest?Nick thinks hes one of the few honest people he knows simply because all of his past
has been lies. I think he is this way also, becasue of his strong family backround of not judging.
1. List all of the rumors told about Gatsby. He killed a man, hes a bootlegger, he was nephew of
Von Hidenburgd and second to the devil, was an oxford man, and participated in the war.
2. Why does Fitzgerald list all of Gatsby's party guests? The author l ists all of Gatsby's party
guests to show what people he associated with and why and how different they are from him.
3. Why does Gatsby tell Nick about his life? Do you believe Gatsby? Does Nick? Gatbsy tells
Nick is, in fact was educated by Oxford because of family tradition, was the son of wealthy people
from San Francisco, and all his family died and he came into good money and that he was also in
the war. I dont believe him and either does Nick because it was odd that he just one day decided
to come out and state these facts and wouldnt reveal the rest unless Jordan did it for him.
4. What role does Meyer Wolfsheim play in the novel? Why is there so much focus on his
nose and what does this tell you about Fitzgerald's politics? Wolfsheim is Gatsby's friend
who is a jew and it focuses on his nose because it shows that even though its signifigant, Nick
doesn't judge him on it.
5. What does Jordan's story of Daisy's marriage reveal about Daisy? Jordan's story reveals
that Daisy and Gatsby used to have a fling and that Daisy didnt really love or want to marry Tom
6. Why did Gatsby want Daisy to see his house? Gatsby wanted Daisy to see his house so she
knows that he bought it right across the bay from her house so he could see and be near her.
7. Nick says, "There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired." What does
Nick mean? How does each character in the novel fit into this schema? Nick means that
those who want to succeed will, and those who don't simply wont. Hes saying that everyones
future is up to them.
1. Why does Gatsby deliver so many goods and services to Nick's house? Gatsby does this
because he knows Nick is doing him a favor by bringing Daisy back to him, and also because he
wants everything to look perfect for her.
2. Describe the effect of rain on the plot. The effect of rain is the feeling of dark and
uncomfortabel situations and Gatsby cant show Daisy what he wanted to about his home..that he
can see and watch her across the bay.
3. Why does Gatsby offer Nick work? How does Nick feel about this? Gatsby offers Nick work
becuase he knows he doeesnt make alof of money and the work would help him learn more
about selling bonds, which was his dream. Nick was offended and quickly denied his offer.
4. Explain the significance of the green light. The green light is the light at daisy's home across
the bay from Gatsby which allowed him to watch and love her still.
5. Why does Gatsby get so many phone calls? What does this say about him?Gatsby gets so
many phone calls because he owns numerous small buisness and it shows that hes independent
1. How truthful was Gatsby when he relayed the story of his life to Nick? Why does Fitzgerald
tell the story of Jay Gatz now? Gatsby was very far from the truth when he told Nick about his
life. Nothing he said was truthful. I think Fitzgerald decided to reveal the truth now because of
the upcoming situation and relationship with Daisy.
2. Describe the meeting of Tom and Gatsby. What does this meeting reveal about them?
Theyre meeting was friendly but Tom secretly started seeing the signs of Gatsby and his Wife
having an affair and becomes hostile toward him. However, by him staying descrite it shows he
is private and reserved.
3. Why did Daisy and Tom find Gatsby's party loathsome? The married couple found the party
loathsome because there wasn't many people there they knew and was an akward feeling.
4. How did Gatsby measure the success of his party? Gatsby saw his party a much lesser
success as the others.
5. When Nick told Gatsby that "you can't repeat the past", Gatsby replied, "Why of course
you can!" Do you agree with Nick or Gatsby?I agree with Nick becuase you cant only NOT
repeat the past, but you shouldnt want to because youre past it who and what youa re today
whether it is good or not.
1. Who is Trimachio? Explain how this describes Gatsby. Trimachio was who Gatsby honestly
used to be as a lie and shows how untruthful and fake he is.
2. Describe Daisy and Gatsby's new relationship. Daisy and Gatsbys new relationship is very
secretive and sensual.
3. Compare George Wilson and Tom. What did each man learn about his wife and how did
they each react? Wilson and Tom both learned their wives were having affairs and both reacted
as any man would, yet Tom was a little more at east and calm about it while it make Wilson
4. If Daisy says she's never loved Tom, is there someone whom she thinks she loves? Yes,
when Daisy reveals this, she knows she loves and always has loved Gatsby.
5. Describe the fight between Gatsby and Tom. What do these men think of each other? How
are they similar and how are they different? The fight between Tom and Gatsby is expected
by a man encountering another man whose been sleeping with his li fe. Gatsby stands strong
and doesnt seem remorseful or ashamed at all while Tom stands embrasses and foolish felt.
They obviously hate eachother.
6. What was significant about Nick's 30th birthday? Nick's 30th birthday is significant because
he didnt even know it was his birthday he had totally forgotten a bout it, possibly due to all the
drama that day.
7. What do you think Tom and Daisy were saying to each in the kitchen? Do you think that
Tom knew Daisy was driving the "death car"? Why, why not? I think Tom and Daisy were
discussing what to do about their marriage and don't think he suspects she was the one driving at
8. At this point, how would you end the novel?If i were to end the novel right now I would have
Jordan and Nick run away together as a couple, along with Gatsby and Daisy, and leave Tom all
alone by himself because i personally don't like him. I would leave George and his wife together
because he is so madly in love with her.
1. How does Fitzgerald achieve a melancholic mood in the beginning of this chapter?
Fitzgerald gives a suspicious and foreshadowing feeling int he beginning by telling why Nick
2. How are seasons used in constructing this novel? It was grotesquley hott summer and then
soon to fall when they find WIlson and Gatsby dead.
3. Who is Dan Cody and what is his significance in Gatsby's life? Dan Cody was a sailor and
the reaon for "Gatsbys" wealth.
4. How does Nick's statement "You're worth the whole bunch put together" show a change in
Nick from the beginning of the novel? By Nick saying this, it shows a difference in him from the
beginning because he said he never judged or examined others but he obviously was the whole
time if he made this observation/opinion.
5. How does T. J. Eckleberg affect Mr. Wilson?
1. Why did Nick take care of Gatsby's funeral? Nick took care of Gatbys funeral because they
were close friends, his father was too old, and because he really had no friends so there was
2. How was Jay Gatz's childhood schedule consistent with the adult Gatsby's behavior?
Gatzs childhood scheduel matched his fathers life because it was very schedueled, consistant,
and successful and professional.
3. Who attended Gatsby's funeral? How and why is this significant? Only Nick, Gatzs father,
ONE friend, and the butlers and servants attended. ITs signifcat because he always had so
many guests in his home at his parties youd think they wouldve been there.
4. What is the purpose of Nick's last meeting with Jordan? The purpose of Nicks and Jordans
last meeting was a final conversation and to tell waht they really felt about eachother.
5. Why does Nick call Tom and Daisy "careless people"?Nick calls Tom and Daisy "careless
people" because after all theyd been through with Gatsby they didnt think twice about his death.
1. Does this novel have villains and heroes? Why, why not? If yes, who fits into these
categories and why? I dont think there are heroes or villains in this book.
2. Nick is both part of the action and acting as an objective commentator. Does this narration
style work? Why, why not? I think Nick being the narrator AND in the action is very positive and
gives us great detail and insight as to wahts happening through him seeing hes part of it all.
3. How did Fitzgerald use weather to reflect the mood of the story? When its fall in the book,
everything begins to fall apart and death comes, and when rain comes it shows rock bottom and
hurt and despairity and winter shows a happy time for Nick where he wants to be again.
4. Again, why are we still reading a book written in the 1920's? What gives a book its
longevity? And which of its themes are eternal in the American psyche.Were still reading
this old book today ceause it gives us some history into the world and what things used to be like
and maybe how they've effected how things are today.