The Great Gatsby
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald
Contributed by Karim Chandra
Chapter 3
Summary

Jay Gatsby is famous in town as he is normally engaged in organizing parties in his home every week. Nick Carraway his, however, surprised at one week, when he receives a handwritten invitation from Jay Gatsby to attend a party at his home. He does not know what to do, but he chooses to attend it, anyway, though nervous. He is also surprised when he attends the party. He realizes how immensely rich he is, based on the guests who attend it. He also has a large swimming pool and several fancy cars. The menus available are elaborately catered. The party also has a full orchestra. The opulence was a clear show that Jay Gatsby was not a mere man. He was majorly concerned with showcasing how rich he was, and he met the billing expected of him. People were also giving tales of how the man might have had stumbled upon his fortune.

While at the party, Nick feels awkward and quite out of place to attend the party. He holds the feeling that he does not belong to such an environment. It is, however, not long before he meets Jordan Baker. He, therefore, feels that he has met someone whom he can feel comfortable around. While together, they move around, mingling with other guests. He is also surprised by the level of lavish displayed within the party. He is also surprised by what other people say regarding the past of Jay Gatsby and the source of his immense wealth. Whenever Nick is asked where Jay Gatsby is, he says that he has not seen him. Nobody in the party seems to have met the host since entering his house. The case is, therefore, a representation of a high level of mystery that the man is.

While both Nick and Jordan continue to walk around searching for Gatsby, they stumble upon a handsome man who is sitting at a table. The gentleman seems so familiar, though vaguely, to Nick. As Nick looks on the closer, he realizes that the man is Gatsby himself. Nick is highly surprised with the easy style that Gatsby puts up. He also appears to have a genuine interest in communicating with his guests. At the time, Gatsby was sitting next to two men with whom they served in the World War I that had just ended. Someone calls Gatsby, and he moves to another position. Jordan, thereby, starts to speculate whom Gatsby is and starts to share in rumors with other men at the table as it relates to who the man is and the source of his immense wealth.

Nick mentions that he did not waste most of his summer time in parties. He indicates that he was diligent and worked so hard while in New York. He also states that he managed to date a few women while in the city. However, by the time midsummer comes, Nick starts to date Jordan seriously. He feels that he has a strong attraction towards her although she seems to bear some elements of dishonesty. For instance, he is aware that she cheated in her first golf tournament. By the time the summer ends, he begins to second guess himself. He starts to wonder whether he is actually in love with the lady.

Analysis

Gatsby symbolizes new money in the West Egg. People who have not been used to being wealthy find it challenging to control themselves around it. He, therefore, need to need a way to show other people that he is wealthy. One of the ways is through organizing parties. He also ensures that his parties depict a high level of opulence that may make people acquire a high level of respect towards him. No one appears to know more about Gatsby or where he got his money from. However, people are more than ready to take full advantage of the generosity that he appears to levy towards them. They are, therefore, willing to party with him until the wee hours of the morning. They are also willing to eat his food and drink his wine. They do not feel any form of remorse indulging in enjoying some of the goods found within the house of a man they do not know well.

Although people happened to have very limited knowledge about Jay Gatsby, they were quick to pass around rumors about him. They detailed that he was a German spy. Some of them stated that he had killed a man. The information passed across by people is a clear depiction of the theme of superficiality against the truth. It also showcases the theme of truth against lies. The theme is also perpetuated in the area where Nick and Gatsby meet. Although Gatsby is famous, Nick is quite surprised at how humble he is. He is also surprised to establish that he served in the military with the two men that he appears to be talking to. He, therefore, appears to be an individual who is fully committed to treating others more appropriately. He, therefore, puts behind some of the expectations that people seem to have against him and projects to them as being a man of the essence and who is full of love towards others.

Although the accent of Gatsby appears to be fake, he happens to throw a party for people whom he does not know. He also allows the people to tour his house and have some fun amongst one another. It is also clear that each detail as presented at the home of Gatsby is well chosen to present some element of opulence. The audience is, therefore, able to easily identify with the life of Gatsby as people take note of the fact that he is fully committed to showcasing to people the kind of person he is and the vast level of wealth that he happens to have. An instance is showcased at the library. One of the visitors at his home is largely surprised by the fact that the books that are contained within are real. He had, earlier on, though that the books had some level of an ornate fashion that made them appear real when they were not.

In the chapter, Fitzgerald applies the perception of Nick about the house of Gatsby to explain to the audience about the high level of superficiality that could be noted amongst the various characters represented within. Nick also appears to enjoy the view and quite interested in learning about the people whom he has interacted with in the most applicable fashion. Although Nick is fully engrossed in the high level of fun that the East Coast happens to offer him, he is not entirely absorbed into such kind of life. He, therefore, holds the view that there is a high chance of attaining success concerning the different activities that he may choose to engage in to achieve some level of interaction that would be appropriate for him. The personal ethics of Nick is also well identified when he takes note of Jordan as being dishonest. According to him, he does not enjoy. However, he happens to be attracted to both Jordan and Gatsby, despite the fact that they appear to be dishonest in their practices.

The audience is, however, left to wonder much why Nick would choose to be comfortable around people who are openly dishonest and do not seem to bear high levels of ethical values that may be attached to them. For the most of the novel, it is evident that morality forms a central part in the life of Nick. They are part of his character, and he would not wish to engage in an activity that is a clear contravention of the high level of trust that may be put upon him. He also terms himself as, “one of the few honest people that I have ever known.” He is, however, ironical as he is willing to interact with people who seem to bear some of the characteristics that are way different from the expectations put upon him. The audience is, however, left to wonder whether he is trying to the advice that his father gave him where he asked him not to judge anyone. Thus, he does not seem to talk in a way that may be deemed as an act of criticizing others for the different actions that they happen to be involved in.

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