Chapter Questions

Chapter One
1. How does the narrator see himself at the start of this chapter?
2. Why is Gatsby exempt from Nick’s reaction?
3. Why does Nick describe Gatsby as having an “extraordinary gift for hope?”
4. What is Nick’s impression of Tom when he sees him on the porch in riding clothes?
5. How do Daisy’s voice and its musicality affect Nick?
6. To Nick, how does life in the East differ from life in the West?
7. Why does Daisy suddenly throw her napkin and walk out?
8. Why did Daisy cry when she learned her baby was a girl?
9. How does Daisy’s name fit her personality so far in the novel?
10. Nick first sees Gatsby in chapter one. How does Gatsby strike him?
11. Why doesn’t Nick call out to Gatsby?
12. Why is the darkness “unquiet?”

Chapter Two
1. What is the tone of the description of the Valley of ashes?
2. Why isn’t Tom discreet about having a mistress?
3. What is the effect on the reader of describing Wilson as coated with “white ashen dust?”
4. How does Myrtle’s behavior change when she changes clothes?
5. Daisy is not Catholic. Why does Catherine say she is?
6. What do we learn about Nick when he reflects, “I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the in exhaustible variety of life?”
7. Why does Myrtle shout Daisy’s name?
8. Why does Tom hit Myrtle and break her nose? (Hint: it is not because Myrtle was shouting her name….)
9. Pay attention to all the things mentioned in this chapter that are fake, phony, distorted, or artificial. Why does Fitzgerald spotlight these kinds of behaviors and settings?

Chapter Three
1. Why are Gatsby’s gardens “blue?”
2. Why does Jordan take Nick to meet Gatsby?
3. Why is the man surprised that the books are real?
4. What is the tone of the conversation between Nick and Gatsby?
5. Why is Gatsby not drinking at the party?
6. How does Gatsby’s smile effect Nick?
7. Owl Eyes appears for a second time in the novel in the accident scene. What is the significance of his second appearance?
8. Why is the dinner the “gloomiest event” in Nick’s day?
9. What is your reaction to Nick’s comment, “dishonesty in a woman is a thing you should never blame deeply?”

Chapter Four
1. Why do the women discuss Gatsby’s reported past?
2. Why has Nick’s impression of Gatsby—“that he was a person of such undefined consequence”—changed to seeing him as “simply the proprietor of an elaborate roadhouse next door?”
3. What motivates Gatsby to Nick about his life?
4. Fitzgerald again focuses on Gatsby’s smile. What is its effect this time?
5. What is Nick’s first impression of Meyer Wolfsheim?
6. Why is Wolfsheim so proud of his cufflinks?
7. Why does Gatsby want Nick to know about Wolfsheim’s involvement with the 1919 World Series?
8. Why is Tom irritated with Nick when they run into each other at the restaurant?
9. What was Daisy like as a teenager when Jordan Baker knew her?
10. Why does Daisy get drunk the night before she marries Tom?
11. What is it in “that voice of [Daisy’s]” that makes Jordan comment on it?
12. What connection does Jordan make about Daisy and Gatsby?
13. In what ways does Gatsby [come] alive to Nick, delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless splendor?”
14. What does Jordan mean when she says “And Daisy ought to have something in her life?”
15. What is the significance to Nick’s thought, “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired?”

Chapter Five
1. Why does Fitzgerald (the author) begin this chapter with such a startling visual scene but without sound?
2. What is the effect of Gatsby’s clothing-a white flannel suit, silver shirt, and gold-colored tie?
3. What is Gatsby’s mood as he waits for Daisy?
4. What does nick notice about Daisy’s voice in this scene (87)?
5. What is the effect of seeing on the tree and lawn?
6. In what ways does the description of Nick’s house and lawn provide a buildup for the quote, “Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry?”
7. What is the mood in the room when Nick returns from the yard?
8. What impressions does Nick have about the inside of Gatsby’s house?
9. How does Gatsby reacting to Daisy’s presence in his house?
10. Why does Daisy begin to cry and say “They’re such beautiful shirts….it makes me sad because I’ve never seen such-such beautiful shirts before?”
11. Why would the significance of the green light have vanished for Gatsby now?

Chapter Six
1. Why does the reporter come out to interview Gatsby, and why does Gatsby fall “just short of being news?”
2. Why is James Gatz?
3. Why does Gatsby row out to Dan Cody’s yacht?
4. Why is Dan Cody such an object of admiration for Gatsby?
5. Why is Nick surprised to see Tom at Gatsby’s and then, upon reflection, is surprised it “hasn’t happened before?”
6. Why is Nick looking at the party “through Daisy’s eyes,” and what conclusions does he come to by doing this?
7. What about Daisy’s voice catches Nick’s attention?
8. Why is Daisy so enamored with the actress at the party?
9. Why does Tom think that Gatsby is a bootlegger?
10. Why does Tom decide to find out the details about Gatsby and his business?
11. What is the significance of Nick’s comment, “You can’t repeat the past,” and Gatsby’s response, “Why of course I can!”? Why does Gatsby want to defeat the power of time?

Chapter Seven
1. What has changed about Gatsby’s house?
2. Why do the people in the area think that the new employees are not servants?
3. Daisy, Jordan, Nick, Tom, and Gatsby meet for lunch the next day/ why does Daisy kiss Gatsby in front of Jordan and Nick?
4. Why does Gatsby look at Daisy’s daughter Pammy with surprise?
5. Why does Tom first encourage the tip to down and them seem against it?
6. How does the weather mirror the mood of the scene?
7. Why does Nick notice Dr. Eckleburg’s eyes?
8. What is Tom’s behavior like toward Wilson when they stop for gat at Wilson’s garage?
9. Myrtle is watching from the window. How does she misinterpret the scene she is observing?
10. Daisy does not go into detail about the Chicago incident. Based on Tom’s reaction, however, what kind of incident could have happened there?
11. How is Daisy’s voice described in this chapter?
12. Why is Gatsby surprised when Daisy says, “I did not love him once [Tom]--but I loved you too?”
13. What is Daisy’s reaction to the news about Gatsby’s drugstores and Meyer Wolfsheim’s behavior?
14. Nick, Jordan, and Tom took Gatsby’s yellow car into town; Daisy and Gatsby rode in the blue coupe. Why does Tom tell Daisy to return home with Gatsby in the yellow car, instead of having him return with him?
15. How does Nick perceive life now that he is thirty?
16. Why is George Wilson “his wife’s man and not his own?”
17. Why does Nick relate Myrtle’s injuries in such graphic detail?
18. Why does Tom tell the policeman “it was a yellow car?”
19. Why is Tom crying (at the accident scene)?
20. How does Nick guess the truth—that Daisy was driving the car?
21. What is the tone of the scene where Daisy and Tom are at the kitchen table?

Chapter Eight
1. Why does Nick want to warn Gatsby, and what about?
2. Why does Gatsby feel that “Jay Gatsby had broken like glass against Tom’s hard Malice?”
3. Why does Gatsby feel “married” to Daisy?
4. Why is Daisy described as “gleaming like silver?”
5. What attracts Daisy to Tom Buchanan?
6. Why does Nick think, “I didn’t want to leave Gatsby?”
7. Why does Nick say, “They’re a rotten crowd…you’re worth the whole damn bunch put together?
8. Why does Nick describe Gatsby’s dream as incorruptible?
9. Was Myrtle running from something or to something?
10. Why does Wilson say, “God sees everything?”
11. What has happened to Gatsby when Nick returns to his house?
12. Why does Fitzgerald have Gatsby die in a pool? Why is the description of his death so mild and clean, compared to Myrtle’s?
13. What has happened to Wilson?
14. What is “the holocaust” now complete?”

Chapter Nine
1. Why does Nick feel he is responsible for taking care of the situation?
2. What is Nick’s first impression of Gatsby’s father?
3. Why does Nick say, “we were close friends?”
4. Why does Nick feel a certain shame for Gatsby?
5. What does Gatsby’s schedule reveal about him?
6. Why is it significant that Owl Eyes is the only other person to come to Gatsby’s funeral?
7. Why does Nick avoid Tom?
8. Why does nick say that Tom and Daisy are careless people?
9. Why does Nick feel as if he is talking to a child when he talks to Tom?
10. What is Gatsby’s dream?
11. What is the significance of the last line of the novel: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back carelessly into the past?”