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Why does Fitzgerald list all of Gatsby's party guests?Chapter 4 of the Great Gatsby

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rhiley | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 28, 2012 at 11:12 PM via web

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Why does Fitzgerald list all of Gatsby's party guests?

Chapter 4 of the Great Gatsby

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paiblauer | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted March 28, 2012 at 11:32 PM (Answer #1)

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In Chapter 4 of his book “The Great Gatsby,” Fitzgerald’s detailed description of Gatsby’s lavish party underlines Gatsby’s wealth and love of extravagance. The reader is told that there are four types of guests at Gatsby’s party. (1) Guests that were invited by Gatsby (probably only Nick and Jordan), (2) Rich middle-aged men, seeking entertainment; (3) Young bodacious women, musicians, and performers; (4) Guests who were not invited by who attend anyway to enjoy the entertainment. Fitzgerald details the guest list to emphasize the immorality of the engagement. Young women attend the parties to connect with older, wealthier men, who exploit them for their sexual enjoyment. The women behave like prostitutes. Although the party is fancy and decadent, the underlying principle is the classiness is a façade, and that the attendees have questionable morals.

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thewanderlust878 | Student, College Freshman | TA | (Level 3) Salutatorian

Posted December 31, 2014 at 8:23 PM (Answer #2)

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I think that Fitzgerald listed all of the guests to help paint the picture of how extravagant and lavish Gatsby's parties were, and how much people wanted to be there. It seemed to me that many people who attended didn't really know Gatsby at all, who he was or what he did, and perhaps they weren't all who they say they were either. Much like Gatsby I think that most of them had secrets to hide as well. 

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