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In Chapter 3 of The Great Gatsby, how does Nick meet Gatsby?

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nene1990 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 10, 2008 at 9:54 AM via web

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In Chapter 3 of The Great Gatsby, how does Nick meet Gatsby?

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podunc | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted May 10, 2008 at 10:20 AM (Answer #1)

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Nick is Gatsby's next-door neighbor. They both live in West Egg, a commuter town for New York City, and Gatsby's mansion sits next to Nick's rented "eye-sore." We do not know it at the time, but Gatsby has built his house on that particular spot in West Egg because it is directly across the water from Tom and Daisy Buchanan's place.

Their first meeting comes after Gatsby invites Nick to one of his extravagant parties. Nick is, in fact, "one of the few guests who had actually been invited" while others just show up to enjoy Gatsby's wealth. The invitation is carried over by a "chauffeur in a uniform of robin's egg blue" and is signed "in a majestic hand." At the party, Nick strikes up a conversation with "a man of about [his] age" who turns out to be a fellow WWI veteran. Later, Nick discovers that this unassuming man is Gatsby.

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mlsldy3 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted March 23, 2015 at 1:14 PM (Answer #2)

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In chapter three of The Great Gatsby, Nick has been hand-delivered an invitation to one of Gatsby's parities. Other people just seem to show up and are never invited. They take advantage of Gatsby's great wealth. Nick, on the other hand, gets personally invited so he decides to go. Once he is there he looks for Gatsby with no success. Nick meets Jordan Baker and the two strike up a friendship. Everyone is dancing and having a good time. Nick and Jordan are seated with another couple and strike up a conversation. The other man tells Nick he looks familiar and asks him if was in the war. The two men talk about the war and start a conversation.

"We talked for a moment about some wet, gray little villages in France. Evidently he lived in this vicinity, for he told me that he had just bought a hydroplane, and was going to try it out in the morning."

We learn that the man is in fact Gatsby himself. Gatsby just talked to Nick like any other guest at the party. It goes to show us that Gatsby is not the type to just announce who he is. Everyone wants to know the elusive Gatsby, but Nick is the first to see the real man. He is not there to use Gatsby or take advantage of him. Nick is, and will be, Gatsby's one true friend.

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