The Great Gatsby Chapter Summaries

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CHAPTER 1 • In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since."Whenever you feel like criticizing any one," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had." He didn’t say any more, but we’ve always been unusually communicative in a reserved way, and I understood that he meant a great deal more than that. In consequence, I’m inclined to reserve all judgments. (1). To me, it seems as if the narrator, Nick, is very privileged, but he was raised with a moral conscious. Since he grew up in a privileged society, Nick knows that all anyone truly cares about is the size of someone’s wallet. Nick’s father’s advice allows him to not pass judgment on anyone and it allows Nick to be more conscience of his [class] whenever he meets new people. (Example: When Jordan spoke about class and he asked her to change the subject). His reserved judgement makes him want to have “the world to be uniformed.”


• The valley of ashes is bounded on one side by a small foul river, and, when the drawbridge is up to let the barges through, the passengers on the waiting trains can stare at the dismal scene for as long as half an hour. There is always a halt there of at least a minute, and it was because of this I first met Tom Buchanan’s mistress. The fact that he had one was insisted upon wherever he was known. His acquaintances resented the fact that he turned up in popular restaurants with her and, leaving her at a table, sauntere...

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...or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together and let other people clean up the mess they had made. (179). This quote goes hand in hand with the quote selected for chapter 53. Because of Tom and Daisy’s dissatisfaction with their life, they ruined other lives. By seeking outside satisfaction, Tom and Daisy thought that by doing other things, it would help to satisfy their life. But, Tom destroys his wife’s love and trust for him; Daisy destroys her marriage [technically already destroyed]; Gatsby destroys himself; and Jordan who seems to have everything put together is still not satisfied with her life. 
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