Who are the Major Characters in The Great Gatsby?

Who are the Major Characters in The Great Gatsby?

Great Gatsby is an English novel by Scott Fitzgerald, first published in 1925. The narrative takes place in New York during an era of the prohibition of jazz music and gambling. Each of the characters in the book has a unique personality and role. You can read a summary of The Great Gatsby here.

Jay Gatsby

Jay Gatsby is a young man of approximately thirty years old. He lived an impoverished life as a child but grew to be a wealthy man. In his youth, Gatsby despised being poor and dropped out of college when he could not pay fees. His primary motivation to become wealthy is a lady named Daisy, who she met in Louisville in 1917. He achieves his goal by engaging in organized crimes, for example, supplying illegal alcohol. He also buys and sells stolen securities. The author presents Gatsby as a poor man, a rich man, and a mystery in various parts of the novel.

Gatsby is also a romantic man who fancies beauty and generosity. He is a product of his industrial society and defines his value by other people's acknowledgment. Scott Fitzgerald mainly pays attention to the romantic trait of this character. His desire to have Daisy leads to his tragic and unfortunate death. Throughout the novel, Gatsby is a blurred character mainly because he is mysterious and because Nick tells the story from his perspective. The people who live around him present different aspects of the man; Nick presents the positive side while Tom shows readers the negative traits.

Nick Carraway

Nick Carraway is a Yale University graduate who moves to New York to trade bonds. He represents honesty, kindness, and courage. The manner in which he tells the story clearly defines his character because, despite the narrative talking about a lost generation, he finds a way to make it pleasant. Nick plays a crucial role in the lives of all the other main characters. For instance, Daisy needs Nick as his friend while tom as an ally.

On the other hand, Gatsby confides in Nick and requests a reunion with his dream lover. He shares many traits with Gatsby, but unlike the title character, Nick can resist temptations. He breaks off his relationship with Jordan after realizing she is shallow. Nick is also a true friend as he shows up to Gatsby's funeral while other people who enjoyed the parties don't attend. The author also portrays him as a responsible person who is not subject to societal influence.

Daisy Buchanan

Daisy Buchanan is Nick's cousin and wife to Tom Buchanan. She is a beautiful woman born in a wealthy family and loves having fun. However, Daisy is difficult to contact, and this inaccessibility bothers Gatsby. She loves her luxurious life and feels excited by Gatsby's mansion and his wardrobe. Despite Gatsby perceiving Daisy as a perfect graceful lady, the book presents a different side of her. She is charming but also cynical and shallow-minded. Nick makes her appear as a careless person who destroys things then hides behind her wealth. She chooses Tom over Gatsby despite her husband having an affair with another woman. Daisy is also selfish and allows Gatsby to take the fault for Myrtle's death even though she was the one driving the vehicle.

Tom Buchanan

Tom is Daisy's rich husband, who met with Nick at Yale University. He is arrogant, selfish, and a hypocritical bully. Tom holds on to his views and does not shy away from showing his ignorance and mindset. He is racist, a sexist, and does not abide by the moral standards he sets for the people around him. For instance, Tom has an extramarital affair with Myrtle and does not try keeping it discrete. He also confronts Gatsby when he suspects that he has a relationship with his wife Daisy. Tom defines his morals and ideas regarding humanity with wealth; hence, the suffering of other people is not his concern. He shows little or no remorse when his mistress Myrtle dies in a car accident and allows his wife to blame Gatsby.

Jordan Baker

Jordan is Daisy's friend, who later gets in a romantic relationship with Nick. Baker is also a renowned golfer and represents the young women of the 1920s. The novel portrays her as a self-centered, dishonest, and overly ambitious woman. Jordan is pretty and puts a lot of effort into her looks, but she has a questionable character. Nicks gets involved with her, but once he discovers that she has a different approach to life, he ends the relationship. While Nicks cares about how his actions will affect other people, Jordan only thinks of herself. Her ambitions drive her to cheat in her first tournament to win. Jordan also tries different means to fit in the world of fame and money because she is not rich like Daisy.


Published on: 29 May 2020

Academic Level:
Writer Category
Delivery Period:
Service Type
Pages / Slides
Words: 275    $ 17.82 Order