Does Gatsby design any invitations for the parties?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is not until Chapter Three that Jay Gatsby appears in the novel as Nick Carraway alludes to his neighbor's house from which music emanates through the summer.

At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach...On the week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city....

Every two weeks, caterers come with canvas and colored lights that they string throughout Gatsby's garden. On buffet tables, a feast of baked hams, salads, and turkeys are laid. Then in the evening, an orchestra arrives that plays "yellow cocktail music." Nick observes,

I believe that on the first night I went to Gatsby's house I was one of the few guests who had actually been invited. People were not invited--they went there. They got into automobiles which bore them out to Long Island and somehow they ended up at Gatsby's door.

Further, Nick notes that when they arrived, they were introduced by somebody who knew Gatsby. Then, they conducted themselves "according to the rules of behavior associated with amusement parks." Often they came and went without even seeing Gatsby. Of course, these parties stand in contrast to those of the residents of East Egg, who would have had invitations sent out, and would have greeted their guests, talking and moving among them according to social customs of those families of name.

This contrast of Gatsby's riotous parties set against the propriety of his East Egg neighbors points to the effulgence of brash materialism on the front lawn of the parvenu Jay Gatsby, who hopes that the sight of his glitzy parties will not only improve his social status, but will induce Daisy Buchanan to come to his mansion that stands as an imitation of a "Hotel de Ville in Normandy." 

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The Great Gatsby

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