The Great Gatsby Chapter 4 Summary Nick makes a list of all the people who attended a parties at Gatsby’s house that summer. The list includes New York businessmen, wealthy East Eggers, theatre people, a doctor and even a man presumed to be a prince. He then goes with Gatsby for lunch to New York. As they drive to the city Gatsby tells Nick about his past but Nick suspects that he is lying. Gatsby gives a long list of his accomplishments. When a policeman pulls Gatsby over for speeding, Gatsby shows him a white card and the policeman apologises for bothering him. Gatsby explains to Nick that he had once done the police commissioner a favour. Gatsby introduces Nick to Meyer Wolfshiem who, he claims, was responsible for fixing the 1919 World Series. He gives Nick the impression that the source of Gatsby’s wealth might be due to something unsavoury and that he may have connections to the sort of organised crime that Wolfshiem is in. Nick sees Tom Buchanan in the restaurant and goes over to introduce Gatsby, but when he turns around he finds that Gatsby has left to avoid seeing Tom. After lunch Nick sees Jordan Baker who tells him the details of her conversation with Gatsby at his party. She reveals that Gatsby wants Nick to invite Daisy to tea as he afraid that she will refuse to see him. He intends to show up at the tea as well and surprise Daisy. Characterisation S. Gatsby is proud of his achievements. Q. “He reached in his pocket, and a piece of metal, slung on a ribbon fell into my palm.” A. This shows that he is proud of his achievements in the war because he carries the medal around with him and shows them off to Nick. S. Gatsby is paranoid. Q. “What’s your opinion of me anyhow?” A. This shows that Gatsby is paranoid because he asks to know what Nick thinks of him to see if he really likes him, as there are a lot of rumours about him and he is a ware of this. He needs to make sure that Nick really likes him as he does not have many real friends, people just use him for his parties. Characterisation S. Nick shows an interest in the people who came to Gatsby’s house. Q. “Once I wrote down on the empty spaces of a timetable the names of those who came to Gatsby’s house that summer… All these people came to Gatsby’s house in the summer. A. This shows that Nick shows interest in the people who come to Gatsby’s house because he made a long list of everyone and adds information about each of them. It gives the impression that maybe he wants to be invited to some of Gatsby’s parties. S. Gatsby is aware of the rumours that are being told about him. Q. “I don’t want you to get a wrong idea of me from all these stories you hear.” A. This shows that Gatsby knows that people spread rumours about him and he doesn’t want Nick to get the wrong impression of him from what he hears and doesn’t want him to believe the rumours. Theme Class - The card that Gatsby shows to the policeman when he gets pulled over for speeding suggests that Gatsby is of higher class as when he produces the card the policeman then says “Know you next time Mr Gatsby. Excuse me.” Also all of the people who came to Gatsby’s party in the summer seemed to be of a high class. Desire – Nick listing all the people who came to Gatsby’s party suggests that perhaps he desires to be invited to one of Gatsby’s parties. It becomes clear that Gatsby bought his house to be across the bay from Daisy, this shows his desire to be with Daisy and to have her love him, as in chapter 1 we see him standing looking out over the bay, he is looking at the light at the end of Daisy’s dock. The light for him represents Daisy, and represents hope. He hopes that he will be able to win her back from Tom. Theme American Dream – Gatsby’s car could represent the American Dream. His car is really high class and would have been expensive, which suggests that Gatsby has a lot of money and is living a life of high class. “It was a rich cream colour… a labyrinth of wind-shields that mirrored a dozen suns.” The American Dream means something different to different people, but for Gatsby, the dream is that through acquiring wealth and power, one can also gain happiness. To reach his idea of what happiness is, Gatsby must go back in time and relieve an old dream. To do this, he believes, he must first have wealth and power. Key Incidents The key incidents in this chapter are when we find out that Gatsby wants Nick to invite Daisy over for tea and that Gatsby plans to show up to surprise Daisy. This shows that he wants to see her but he was too shy too talk to her himself and he was afraid that she would say no, so he wanted to see her through Nick. Another key incident is when Nick and Gatsby go to lunch in the city and Nick meets Meyer Wolfsheim. We find out that Gatsby may have been involved in some crime with Wolfsheim when he was younger and this may be how he gained some of his wealth. Symbolism White is a colour that has the deeper meaning of false purity or goodness. Daisy and Jordan are always seen in white. An egg symbolises a false show of purity on the outside, but rotten and corrupt on the inside. Setting This chapter is set in New York at first for lunch with Gatsby and Nick meets Wolfsheim, he finds out that in his past Gatsby was involved in organised crime, this may be how he gained some of his wealth. Nick then met Jordan Baker in the city to find out what Gatsby had talked to her about at his party and found out that Gatsby wanting Nick to invite Daisy to tea and Gatsby would then show up. Foreshadowing The way that Daisy acted on the night before her wedding suggests that she didn’t really want to marry Tom and that she just wanted to be married. This also suggests that she may not be happy with Tom and now that Gatsby is back she will want to go back to him, because she loved him so much before he went to the war and before she met Tom. The only reason that she couldn’t be with Gatsby in the past was because he had no money, but now that he has money and everything she wants, she could now be with him if she wasn’t married. Quiz 1. What does Nick make a list of at the beginning of the chapter? 2. Why did Gatsby get pulled over on his way to New York with Nick? 3. Who does Gatsby introduce Nick to? 4. Who does Nick meet after lunch? 5. How is Gatsby shown to be paranoid? 6. How is it shown that Nick has an interest in the people who came to Gatsby’s house? 7. Why does the card that Gatsby shows the policeman when he gets pulled over show that Gatsby is of a high class? 8. What does the light at the end of Daisy’s dock represent for Gatsby? 9. Name one key incident in this chapter? 10. What does an egg symbolise? 11. Where is this Chapter set? 12. What does the way that Daisy acted on the night before her wedding suggest? Answers 1. The people who attended Gatsby’s house in the summer. 2. He was speeding. 3. Meyer Wolfsheim 4. Jordan Baker 5. He asks to know what Nick thinks of him. 6. He makes a list of everyone who attended his parties. 7. Because the policeman apologises to Gatsby. 8. Represents Daisy and hope. 9. Find out about Gatsby’s plans for tea with Daisy/meeting Meyer Wolfsheim and finding out about Gatsby’s possible past. 10. False purity on the outside, rotten on the inside. 11. New York. 12. That she didn’t really want to marry Tom and just wanted to be married.
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