The Great Gatsby Questions and Answers
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Though we do not meet Gatsby until chapter 3 of The Great Gatsby, we hear references to him in the conversations of others. What impressions do you get?

Before Nick or the audience meet Gatsby in chapter 3 of The Great Gatsby, he is built up as a larger than life figure cloaked in mystery and even menace. He is also commonly linked with European aristocracy by the other characters, suggesting a more romantic past than what is actually the case.

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The main impression we get of Gatsby in the opening chapters is that he's something of a man of mystery; no one seems to know exactly who or what he is. And because no one really knows him, they fill up the huge gaps in their knowledge of Gatsby by indulging in myth-making. Some say he's a German spy; others that he attended Oxford University. Others still are much nearer the mark when they say that Gatsby's a bootlegger.

Still, no one knows for sure. But even so, his enigmatic nature only serves to make him an object of even greater fascination to those who've heard about him. Having heard so much about the great man, they inevitably want to meet him. Yet even though many of these people show up at Gatsby's parties, hardly any of them actually get to meet him, let alone know him, so good is he at melting into the background.

Fitzgerald knows that by delaying his introduction of Jay, the reader will be all the more curious to keep turning the page to find out exactly what this Gatsby...

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