The Great Gatsby is the story of eccentric millionaire Jay Gatsby as told by Nick Carraway, a Midwesterner who lives on Long Island but works in Manhattan. Gatsby’s enormous mansion is adjacent to Carraway’s modest home, and Carraway becomes curious about his neighbor after being invited to one of his famous parties. Nick soon learns that Gatsby is in love Daisy Buchanan, Nick’s cousin and the wife of one Tom Buchanan, an acquaintance of Nick’s from Yale. Buchanan takes his old friend for a day in the city, where Nick learns that Buchanan has a kept woman, Myrtle, the wife of a long island mechanic.
Gatsby sends a message through he and Nick’s mutual friend, professional golfer Jordan Baker, insisting that Nick plan a “chance” meeting for Gatsby and Daisy. Nick learns that Gatsby, Jay Gatz at the time, and Daisy had once been in love, but Daisy married Tom while Gatsby was in Europe during the Great War. In the aftermath of this, Jay Gatz abandoned his old identity, becoming Jay Gatsby and amassing a fortune with the help of notorious criminal Meyer Wolfsheim. Gatsby chose the site of his house in Long Island because it was across the bay from Daisy’s house, from which a green light could be seen at night.
Nick manages to get Gatsby and Daisy together, and while the meeting is awkward at first, Gatsby soon relaxes and invites Nick and Daisy back to his mansion. Gatsby and Daisy begin to see each other secretly with some frequency. Nick and Gatsby also become close, as Nick is one of the only people who continues to support Gatsby despite the myriad rumors that circulate around the man. Buchanan eventually confronts Gatsby in Manhattan about the affair, and the two argue at length about who it is that Daisy genuinely loves. Daisy claims to love both of them, but she decides to return to Long Island with Gatsby, not her husband. Daisy drives Gatsby’s car, but she accidentally kills a woman on the side of the road, and then speeds off. It turns out that this woman is Buchanan’s girlfriend Myrtle—she had only run out to see the car because she thought it was Buchanan’s.
Myrtle’s husband blames Buchanan for the death, but Buchanan informs him that it was Gatsby’s car that killed the woman. The mechanic goes to Gatsby’s house, where he shoots Gatsby and then himself. Daisy refuses to confess to her crime, and only a few people, including Gatsby’s father Henry, show up for Gatsby’s funeral.
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Other articles in the Literature Archives related to this topic include “Comparison of Toomer’s “Cane” and “The Great Gatsby” as well as summaries of a number of other texts