In The Great Gatsby, what all does Jay Gatsby lie about?

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Blaze Bergstrom eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Although Jay Gatsby constantly lies and avoids telling the truth, one can group his fabrications into two types: of omission and of commission. That is, more often than actually stating a lie (commission), Gatsby allows other people’s assumptions to go uncorrected and stories to circulate freely; he simply neglects to provide accurate information (omission). It takes Nick a while to formulate his own picture of who the real Gatsby is—to him, not to anyone else—both because so many other people say so many conflicting things about him and because Gatsby often invents stories or makes factual errors that are fantastic.

A good example of the latter is when Gatsby says he is from the Midwest. When Nick (who is actually from that area) asks him where, Jay replies, “San Francisco.” This seems to be his way of dismissing the question as irrelevant more than an error. Jay’s attitude toward many factual matters seems dismissive. Because he has learned the value of perpetual...

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