Review Questions  -- The Great Gatsby

Chapter 1 

  1. Nick Carraway begins by telling the reader some advice passed to him from his father. What does this advice mean? Why does he begin the novel with this information?
  2. Where is Nick from and what are three things that characterize him?
  3. What are some of the colors associated with the Buchanan's house?
  4. How are Jordan and Daisy first described? How does Nick know them?
  5. What is Tom Buchanan like?
  6. What issue does Tom raise at dinner?
  7. Daisy says she's a cynic. What does that mean? Why has she become a cynic?
  8. Why does Daisy want her daughter to be a fool?
  9. What is Nick's impression of his evening with the Buchanans?
  10. What is Gatsby doing when Nick first sees him? Why doesn't Nick introduce himself?

Chapter 2

  1. What is the Valley of the Ashes? Where is it?
  2. Who is Dr. T.J. Eckleburg? What might this be symbolic of?
  3. Who lives in the Valley of the Ashes?
  4. What are George and Myrtle Wilson like? What does George do for a living?
  5. Who comes to Tom and Myrtle's apartment party? How do these characters relate to Myrtle?
  6. How does Myrtle behave at the apartment?
  7. Who is Catherine? Why does she lie about Daisy and Tom's reason for marriage?
  8. Why did Myrtle really marry George Wilson? Why is she unhappy?
  9. How does Nick feel at the party? Why does he stay?
  10. What does Tom do to Myrtle at the apartment? How is this consistent with his character? How does everyone else react? Why?

Chapter 3

  1. Describe Gatsby's parties. Give as much detail as you can.
  2. Why do so many uninvited people attend Gatsby's parties? How do people behave at the parties?
  3. Two girls gossip with Jordan Baker. What rumor do they spread? Why is this incident important?
  4. Who is Owl Eyes and what does he notice about Gatsby's books? Why is this significant?
  5. How does Nick meet Gatsby? What do they discuss?
  6. What happens at the close of Gatsby's party? Why is this incident significant?
  7. Nick pauses from the story near the end of Chapter 3. What does he want the reader to know? Why?
  8. What is Jordan Baker like? Why doesn't Nick mind that she is dishonest?
  9. What phrase does Gatsby repeatedly use? Why might he call Nick this?
  10. What is Nick Carraway's "cardinal virtue"?

Chapter 4

  1. What is Gatsby's biography? Why doesn't Nick believe it?
  2. Gatsby shows Nick his medal. What is Nick's reaction? Why? Where is Montenegro?
  3. How does Gatsby get out of the speeding ticket on t he way to New York City? What does this show us about Gatsby?
  4. How might the funeral procession be symbolic? What might it foreshadow?
  5. Who is Meyer Wolfsheim? What is his biggest gambling plot?
  6. What does Jordan tell Nick about Gatsby and Daisy? Why has Daisy married Tom?
  7. How does Daisy first find out that Tom is cheating on her?
  8. According to Jordan, why did Gatsby buy the house in East Egg?
  9. What request does Gatsby have of Nick? Is this reasonable? Why?
  10. Why doesn't Gatsby want Daisy to know the real reason Nick has invited her to tea? What does this tell us about Gatsby's personality?

Chapter 5

  1. What does Gatsby propose to Nick when he learns that Nick doesn't earn a lot of money? What is Nick's reaction? Why?
  2. What colors does Gatsby wear to the tea party? Why might this matter?
  3. How does Gatsby behave on the day of the tea with Daisy? Why?
  4. What is the initial encounter between Gatsby and Daisy like? What is Gatsby's reaction-- what does he tell Nick?
  5. When Nick returns to the house, what do Gatsby and Daisy look like? Why is this important?
  6. Nick informs Jay and Daisy that the rain has stopped. What might this be symbolic of?
  7. What is important to Gatsby as he gives Daisy a tour of his home? Why?
  8. What can Gatsby see across the bay? What might the green light symbolize?
  9. Who is Ewing Klipspringer? What do the words of Klipspringer's song tell us?
  10. What observation does Nick make about Gatsby's five-year dream-come-true?

Chapter 6

  1. What is the true story of Jay Gatsby? Be specific.
  2. What is shown in the scene with Tom a nd the other couple dropping in on Gatsby? What is Tom's encounter with Jay like?
  3. Why does Gatsby decide to go to dinner with Mr. Sloane, the woman, and Tom?
  4. Why does Tom decide to accompany Daisy to Gatsby's next party?
  5. Why is it ironic that Gatsby does not drink alcohol?
  6. What kind of conversation do Tom and Daisy have about Gatsby's party?
  7. Why does Gatsby ask Nick to stay after Daisy leaves? Why is Gatsby concerned about Daisy's opinion?
  8. What does Gatsby want Daisy to do? What does Gatsby really want?
  9. What are Gatsby's beliefs about the past? Why is this important?
  10. What is the true story of Gatsby and Daisy? Why is this important?

Chapter 7

  1. Give two reasons Gatsby may have decided to stop hosting parties.
  2. The weather is hot when Nick goes to meet Daisy. How might this be symbolic?
  3. Why is Tom researching Gatsby's past? How does Tom live by a double standard?
  4. What does George Wilson want from Tom? Why?
  5. Why do Tom and Gatsby fight? What do they argue about? How does Daisy appear to feel about the situation? Why?
  6. What does Gatsby tell Tom about himself and Daisy? Why are the men so concerned about love?
  7. Why does Tom send Daisy home in Gatsby's car?
  8. Why does George lock up his wife? Myrtle calls George a coward because he won't beat her. How is this ironic?
  9. Why does Myrtle go running out of the house after the car? What happens to her?
  10. What color was the "death car" reported to be? Why is this detail important?
  11. Compare Wilson's reaction to his wife's death to Tom's reaction.

Chapter 8

  1. After the incident with Myrtle, Jay tells Nick the truth. Why does he choose that moment to tell Nick the truth?
  2. What advice does Nick give Gatsby?
  3. Why is Gatsby so intent on winning Daisy over?
  4. Did Gatsby go to the war? How did he end up at Oxford?
  5. What did Gatsby do after he returned to America?
  6. Why does Nick tell Gatsby, "They're a rotten crowd . . . You're worth the whole damn bunch put together"?
  7. How does George finally find out Myrtle is cheating on him?
  8. What role does the sign play in Myrtle's murder? How does the ad "inspire" George? Who does George think killed Myrtle?
  9. Why does Gatsby go swimming?
  10. What happens to Gatsby and to Wilson?

Chapter 9

  1. Why is Nick writing this story?
  2. Nick tries to invite Gatsby's "friends" to the funeral. What happens? Why do people react the way they do?
  3. What is Henry Gatz like? What is his attitude about his son, Jay Gatsby?
  4. Who does come to Gatsby's funeral? How is this significant?
  5. What does Nick's dream symbolize? (p. 178)
  6. How does George find out Gatsby owned the car? Why does Nick refuse to shake Tom's hand?
  7. Why does Nick see Jordan again?
  8. What is Nick's opinion of Tom and Daisy? How has Nick changed?
  9. What is the lesson we learn at the end of the novel?
  10. What "preyed" on Gatsby?