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In Chapter 4, he spends more time with Nick, telling him about his service in WWI as well as a made-up story about his past as the only surviving member of a wealthy family.Later, he has Jordan explain Gatsby and Daisy’s background in a bid to get Nick to help the pair reunite.Perhaps Gatsby having more of a “blank slate” appearance allows the reader to more easily project his shifting characterization onto him (from mysterious party host to the military man madly in love with Daisy to the ambitious farmboy James Gatz), whereas characters like Tom Buchanan and Myrtle are more stiffly characterized.
Although Nick briefly glimpses Gatsby reaching out to Daisy’s green light at the end of Chapter 1, we don’t properly meet Gatsby until Chapter 3.
Gatsby has been throwing lavish parties, and he invites Nick Carraway to one.
They meet, and Gatsby takes a liking to Nick, inviting him out on his hydroplane the next day.
He also speaks to Jordan Baker in private, and reveals his past history with Daisy Buchanan.
However, although Cody intended to leave his fortune to Gatsby, it ended up being taken by Cody’s ex-wife Ella Kaye, leaving Jay with the knowledge and manners of the upper class, but no money to back them up.
Gatsby ended up enlisting in the military during World War I.
Nick first comes to know him as an incredibly wealthy, mysterious man who throws lavish parties, but we eventually learn his background: a boy from humble origins who is desperate to win back the love of a rich woman, Daisy, and loses everything in his last attempt to win her over. Our citation format in this guide is (chapter.paragraph).
Read on for an in-depth guide to all things Jay Gatsby.
That said, Nick’s description of Gatsby’s smile – “rare” and “full of eternal reassurances” that “understood you the way you wanted to be understood” – sets Gatsby apart as someone special and alluring.
Gatsby has tan skin and short hair, but otherwise most of Gatsby’s characterization comes through his dialogue and actions – Nick doesn’t linger on his physical appearance the way he does with other characters (especially Tom and Myrtle).