The Great Gatsby – Character

1 – Describe three key characters and how they change in the novel.

2 – Explain what each character helped you to understand about illusion in the novel. Use quotes to support your ideas.

3. Describe three important relationships in the text and explain what they revealed about illusion

Nick:  Nick Carraway is the stories narrator, and everything is told from his perspective and what he thinks about the situation. He is lower class to everyone else that he surrounds himself with, such as Daisy, Tom and Gatsby, but he is accepted in because he is family to Daisy being her cousin. Throughout the novel he often serves the other characters by being their confidant, meaning the other characters trust him to hold their secrets. This is because Nick is honest and tolerant. He could be seen as a character that is almost spying around everyones personal lives. He changes throughout the novel as he realises he is actually really lonely and he has no one. “Thirty – the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning brief-case of enthusiasm, thinning hair.” Throughout the novel, Nick portrays the illusion of him being a kind and understanding person that wouldn’t want to offend anyone, but as he hangs around with Gatsby, Tom and Daisy a lot, they begins to rub off on him. He really is quite judgemental and self-absorbed by the end of the summer.

Daisy: Daisy Buchanan is Gatsby’s dream that he has devoted a lot of his life to getting back after he got back from the war and she was married to a man called Tom Buchanan. She was born into a wealthy family and has lived as an upper class citizen her whole life. Daisy now lives with Tom across the bay From Gatsby in Long Island, New York. Without her Gatsby’s entire extravagant lifestyle of partying every night would of never happened because Gatsby thinks that if he has money that she will want him. She changes throughout the novel because at the start of the novel she seems as though she is a really beautiful and charming person, but by the end of the story she is seen as disappointing character. This is shown in the story as she knows about her husband, Tom’s affairs with other woman, and she does nothing about it. This is because she loves the life with so much power and money. She helps portray the idea of illusion as she can be seen as a rose. It looks innocent on the outside but when you touch it the thorns will hurt you, Daisy being the rose and Gatsby, the one touching it.

Gatsby: James Gatsby is a very wealthy man that lives in the giant mansion next to Nick’s small house. He hosts massive parties every night and anybody who is anybody attends. Most of the people who go to his parties don’t even know Gatsby, and many thinks he isn’t a real person. Jay Gatsby is an actual person, he is a wealthy man living in a mansion in the West Egg of Long Island in New York. He has devoted his life to get his girl of his dreams, Daisy Buchanan, which is why he has his extravagant parties, in hope that Daisy will wander into a party one day. Gatsby changes throughout the novel because at the beginning of the novel he thinks Daisy is the perfect woman, he thinks she is a loving, caring person which is why he wants her so bad. Towards the end of the novel he begins to realise that Daisy really is a shallow and disappointing person. He realises that he is in love with the idea of Daisy not Daisy herself.  Gatsby’s illusion is the biggest of all. When James Gatz left to the war, Daisy left him as she was in need of someone who could treat her to a wealthy lifestyle, so she left Gatz to be with Tom Buchanan, a very wealthy man who lived in Long Island, New York. 5 years later, a man by the name of Jay Gatsby emerged from nothing into this wealthy lifestyle that people like Daisy want to be part of. Jay Gatsby is an illusion, James Gatz is the real person behind him, he only became Gatsby so he could get the girl of his dreams.

Relationship between Gatsby and Daisy: This relationship began 5 years prior to when the events in the book take place. Gatsby and Daisy were madly in love, but Gatsby had to leave to go to war. Daisy said she would wait but then left him as he was poor and she wanted a man with wealth and riches. 5 years after that, and when the book takes place Gatsby is a wealthy man who lives in Long Island, New York in a gigantic mansion. This relationship shows illusion because Gatsby is not a real person. James Gatz is a poor man that is acting as Jay Gatsby, only because he wants to be with Daisy.

Relationship between Gatsby and Nick: Nick lives in a tiny house next to Gatsby’s massive mansion, the two become close acquaintances over the summer as Gatsby is on the quest for Daisy. They meet at a party at Gatsby’s near the beginning of the novel and create a close bond throughout the novel. This relationship shows an illusion because in the duo Nick is meant to be the kind and caring character, when throughout the novel Gatsby begins to rub off on Nick and Nick becomes a more self-absorbed person.

Relationship between Daisy and Tom: These two characters are a married couple living in the East Egg of Long Island, New York, which is the area of ‘old money,’ meaning they were born into a wealthy family and lived well their entire life. Daisy is aware that Tom is in an affair with another woman, called Myrtle from The Valley of Ashes, but never does anything about it. This relationship shows illusion as Daisy knows of Tom’s affairs, but doesn’t want to leave him because he is a wealthy and powerful individual. She only loves him for his money and not for him.





2 Replies to “The Great Gatsby – Character”

  1. For Nick, I want you to consider more evidence to support your descriptions and fully unpacking that evidence. Also consider how his “judgemental” nature is presented in the novel and how this changes.

    For Daisy, consider how she is represented in the beginning of the text, the picture that Fitzgerald paints of her. How is this “illusion” shattered once Myrtle and Gatsby are killed?

  2. You need more evidence all round. Unpack it, really examine what it means and why that is important to the development of the character.

Respond now!