In the first chapter, how was Gatsby introduced as a character, and what two characteristics were revealed?

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

 Gatsby is introduced in the first chapter when Nick mentions him in retrospect saying that Gatsby represented the ideals Nick disliked, but that his opinion of Gatsby changed when he came to realize that Gatsby was the way he was because of something out of his control. Gatsby is also revealed in the chapter when Jordan asks Nick if he knows Gatsby and Daisy responds, "Gatsby?  What Gatsby?"  This tells the reader that Jordan knows Gatsby as does Daisy, and that Daisy knows of him in a way that is not merely casual since her reaction is so sudden.  The reader also knows that Nick lives next door to him. At the end of the chapter, the reader sees Gatsby stand at the end of his dock and look across the bay apparently at the green light at the end of Daisy's dock.  Gatsby reaches out his arms "toward the dark water in a curious way" so that it appears he is reaching for that green light.  The characteristics that are revealed by all of this are that he has had a relationship with Daisy and wants it to continue and that he is a man driven by this desire for Daisy.  The reader sees from Nick's first mention and then the description of Gatsby's reach toward the light, that he has a force driving his actions and that this force is Daisy.

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The Great Gatsby

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