How Does Nick Meet Gatsby

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mlsldy3's profile pic

mlsldy3 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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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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podunc's profile pic

podunc | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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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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price7781's profile pic

price7781 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Nick Carroway, the young narrator of The Great Gatsby, comes to West Egg from the upper Midwest to make his fortune learning the bonds business.  When he settles in a cottage next door to Gatsby’s palatial mansion, his curiosity is peeked by his mysterious neighbor.  Nick gets an invitation to one of Gatsby’s parties and attends in hopes of meeting his neighbor.  Nick does meet Gatsby, and they become friends even though Gatsby has ulterior motives when he enlists Nick to help him become reintroduced to Daisy Buchanan.  Nick remains a moral character throughout the novel giving detailed accounts about the filthy, self-centered rich class of society in which he joins. 

Nick ends up being the only person who attends Gatsby’s funeral besides Gatsby’s father, Mr. Gatz.  It is through Nick’s participation and narration that we get a slice of what life was like for the upper class during the Roaring 20’s.

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