The Great Gatsby Chapter 1

The Great Gatsby Chapter 1

The narrator of the Great Gatsby is a young man from Minnesota named Nick Carraway. He begins the book by saying that his father taught him not to judge other people. He also describes himself as a tolerant man who understand people of all forms and character. He then proceeds to narrate the events that took place during the summer of 1922.

Synopsis of Chapter 1 of the Great Gatsby

Soon after graduating from Yale and taking part in World War 1, Nick moves to the vicinity of New York City to trade bonds. He rents a house in the less fashionable West egg district and lives next to a large house. The owner of the mansion, Gatsby, is a wealthy secretive man. When Nick visits his cousin Daisy and her rich husband, Tom, to have lunch, he describes Tom as a physically intimidating and aggressive man. The couple introduces him to their lady friend Jordan Baker. As they have dinner, Tom receives a call, and Daisy leaves the room upset. Jordan informs Nick that the call is from Myrtle, Tom's mistress, who lives in New York. 

Daisy later tells Nick that she feels skeptical, and when he asks her about her daughter, she seems uninterested. She also admits crying when she found out that she had given birth to a daughter and hoped that the child would grow to be a beautiful fool. The two rejoin Jordan and Tom, and Nick discovers that the guest is a famous golfer. Jordan goes to bed early, and Daisy hints that he wants Nick to start an intimate relationship with the lady.

 Nick leaves Tom's house and feels confused about why Daisy cannot take her daughter and divorce Tom. When Nick arrives home, he sees Gatsby outside his mansion. He intends to introduce himself but retaliates once he sees Gatsby stretching his arms in the dark. Nick looks for what Gatsby seems to stare at but can only see a green light on the other side of the bay.

An Analysis of the Great Gatsby Chapter 1 -Themes and Symbolism


The novel shows a clear difference between East Egg and West Egg Districts. West Egg inhabitants are vulgar, extravagant, and driven by ambition, while East egg residents are classy and old money elites. Nick notices the difference when he visits his cousin for lunch. The house's décor and how Jordan and daisy lie on the couch displays they are wealthy and pampered. Daisy's joke on her boredom also shows the darker side of accessing everything a person desires.

Love and Relations

Nick knows that Tom and Daisy's marriage is dysfunctional. Tom has an affair that he does not try to hide, and his wife feels unhappy. However, she shows no intention of leaving her husband because their relationship seems to work for them. Nick figures this concept when he watches them stand next to each other as he leaves their home.

The Green Light

The green light at Daisy's dock is one of the most important symbols in the novel. Gatsby values the light as it represents every aspect that motivated him in the past five years. His main desire is to reunite with Daisy and thinks that she is obsessed with him


Published on: 26 May 2020

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