The Great Gatsby Study Guide Answers

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The Great Gatsby

Chapter One:

  1. How does Nick describe himself at the beginning of the book? He is tolerant and doesn’t make snap judgments about people. People therefore tend to confide in him. He is also restless, seeking something he cannot name.

  2. How does Nick describe Tom Buchanan? Tom is aggressive, arrogant, pugnacious, and extremely wealthy.

  3. Who is Jordan Baker? A friend of Daisy.

  4. What does Nick find appealing about her? She is aloof and self-sufficient.

  5. Describe the ambiguity in Nick’s initial descriptions of Gatsby. Nick says that Gatsby represented “everything for which I have an unaffected scorn,” yet he also says that “There was something gorgeous about him,” and that he “turned out all right.”

  6. How does the tone of Nick’s description of Tom reveal Nick’s feelings about Tom? He describes Tom’s manner as “supercilious,” his body as “cruel,” and his voice as gruff and husky, which “added to the impression of fractiousness he conveyed.” These physical descriptions indicate the flaws that Nick sees in Tom’s character.

  7. How would you describe Daisy’s state of mind during dinner? Daisy seems flighty and upset.

  8. What does she say and do that help reveal her inner conflicts? She confesses to Nick that she has become cynical and overly sophisticated and implies that she is deeply unsatisfied with her marriage.

  9. Nick thinks that, given the state of their marriage, Daisy should leave Tom, but it is clear to him that she has no intention of doing so. What indication is there that Tom and Daisy are closely linked despite their marital difficulties? The most significant link between Tom and Daisy is implied after Daisy’s outburst to Nick when she smirks “as if she had asserted her membership in a rather distinguished secret society to which she and Tom belonged.”

  10. What indications are there that the green light will have a powerful emotional significance to Gatsby? Gatsby’s gesture and his trembling help to highlight the significance of the green light.

Chapter Two:

  1. How does Nick meet Tom’s mistress? Tom meets Nick on a train to New York, and while the train is stopped at a crossing, he takes Nick to the garage where she lives.

  2. How does Myrtle react to Tom’s arrival? Myrtle is excited by Tom’s presence. She makes no effort to hide her feelings from her husband.

  3. Describe George Wilson. George appears to be a meek, unassertive and unperceptive man.

  4. How does he react to Tom’s arrival? He is interested in Tom’s arrival because of a business deal, and apparently he doesn’t notice his wife’s feelings.

  5. How does Myrtle behave as the party progresses? She becomes more affected and arrogant as the evening goes on.

  6. Describe the setting of the Valley of Ashes where George and Myrtle live. It is a desolate areas where everything is covered with dust and ash.

  7. How does Fitzgerald describe Myrtle Wilson? She is in her mid-thirties, stout, and not particularly beautiful.

  8. Does Myrtle’s physical appearance reflect her character in any way? Her physical coarseness reflects her inner coarseness. However, she also has a sensuality and vitality about her that account for Tom’s attraction.

  9. Compare the setting of the party in this chapter with the setting of the party in Chapter One. The Buchanan mansion is light, airy, and elegant, while the apartment is small, dark, and filled with tasteless appointments. Like Myrtle, the apartment is a kind of parody of “gracious living.”


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