2 Chapter 1What do we know, and how do we know it? What does the narrator’s opinion of Gatsby tell us about both characters? List what we learn about the narrator. How is the narrator connected to the Buchanans? What is the state of the Buchanans’ marriage? How do we learn this? Gatsby does not appear until page 20. Why do you think this is? What purpose does it serve?
3 Chapter 2Describe the Valley of Ashes. What could it represent? What could the billboard of Dr. T. J. Eckleberg represent? Describe Tom’s mistress. What strikes you about this description? Examine Myrtle Wilson’s purchases and demeanor. What does this tell us about her? About her relationship with Tom? What is the latest rumor about Gatsby and the source of his wealth? Nick discovers Tom’s lie about Daisy. What is it, and what does it mean for them? What does it tell us about Tom? There is an altercation in the apartment. What started it? Who is responsible? What does this imply about the people involved?
4 Chapter 3Fitzgerald describes the parties at Gatsby’s house. What are they like, and why does Fitzgerald go into such detail about how people arrive? What is the purpose? The books in Gatsby’s library are “absolutely real.” Why would this shock the guest, and what does this tell us about Gatsby? At one particular party, Tom and Gatsby are finally introduced. What impression does Tom have of him? What does Tom call him? Why do you suppose Fitzgerald included the drunk driving episode and Gatsby’s response to it? What’s the point? What insight do we gain into Nick and Jordan, and how do we get that insight? Is Nick Carraway a reliable narrator? Can we trust him?
5 Chapter 4More rumors about Gatsby. How is this flattering? Why did Fitzgerald include the list of party attendees? And why the differentiation of the attendees’ places of residence? Wolfsheim remembers a mob hit on his friend Rosy Rosenthal. Why is this incident included? What are we to infer from this episode? Wolfsheim is based on a historical figure. Who is it, and what was this individual involved in? Through Jordan, we learn of Daisy and Gatsby’s past. Is it really true love? From what we learn here, what is Tom’s current motive behind his actions?
6 Chapter 5Even millionaires have to mow the lawn. Why did Gatsby have people do this for Nick? Gatsby says, “. . . you see, I carry on a little business on the side, a sort of side line, you understand a rather confidential sort of thing.” What do you suppose this might be? Contrast the Gatsby as host to the Gatsby we see during the visit with Daisy. Why does he change? Why is Daisy crying about shirts? What could the shirts represent? What is Gatsby really doing here? What is his motive for meeting Daisy for tea?
7 Chapter 6Summarize the true information about Gatsby. What is the irony in Tom’s statement about women? Contrast what Tom says about Gatsby’s business to Daisy’s version. It becomes clear what Gatsby is up to. What is it? Is he the only one clued in?
8 Chapter 710 important plot points 5 important quotes 7 examples of beautiful language 3 questions you have Choose 1 character who appears in this chapter and analyze what makes them tick.
9 Chapter 8What could be symbolized by the house in decline? Gatsby is surprised to learn something. What is it? Contrast the weather of the two days. What could this change symbolize? What is the effect of Fitzgerald’s use of the word “holocaust” in this context? George Wilson states that the billboard of Dr. T.J. Eckleberg represents something. What is it? What is the shocking event at the end of the chapter, and how does it make you feel?
10 Chapter 9Explain the aftermath of the events in Chapter 8. How do Gatsby’s party attendees respond to the news? Nick disapproved of Gatsby, but tells Henry “we were close friends.” Why? From Henry, we learn what Gatsby was like as a child. Summarize his description. Very few people came to the funeral. What can we infer about people from this? Nick and Tom meet up on a New York City street. What is revealed in this conversation, and how does Nick respond? Choose one quote from the text and explain how it could represent a theme of the novel.