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Describe Gatsby the first time Nick sees him in "The Great Gatsby".

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aymira | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 11, 2009 at 11:16 AM via web

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Describe Gatsby the first time Nick sees him in "The Great Gatsby".

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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted May 11, 2009 at 1:11 PM (Answer #1)

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Nick first sees Gatsby at the end of Chapter I.  He describes him as "standing with his hands in his pockets...."(25).  Nick is about to talk to call out to him, but decides not to when "he stretched his arms together toward the water in a curious way..."(26).  Nick then says, "...I could have sworn he was trembling" (26). Nick tells us that he is simply assuming this is Gatsby, but this does turn out to be a correct assumption.  Nick does not actually need Gatsby until the end of Chapter III, and there are a few passages that describe Gatsby, particularly very famous description of Gatsby's smile.

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cbgaonyi | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted June 8, 2011 at 10:52 AM (Answer #2)

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Gatsby is completely isolated at a table the first time nick sees him. He seemed extremely lonely. With no friends at the party, a place where usually your friends are, it can be inferred he generally lacks friends. It can also be assumed he is used for such parties. He is a skinny but handsome man

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hanifa01 | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted October 28, 2011 at 6:50 AM (Answer #3)

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NIck describes Gatsby as" standing alone on the marble steps and lookkig from one group to another with approving eyes. His tanned skin was drawn attractively on his face and his short hair looked as though it was trimmed everyday. I could see nothing sinister about him" (p. 51)

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