What is the best way to title Chapter IV of The Great Gatsby?

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Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When I taught The Great Gatsby, I never made this assignment, but I like it! To write an appropriate title for each chapter, you really have to understand its content and purpose in the novel. You are right about many things happening in Chapter IV. It does seem fragmented, but one element unifies the chapter--revelations about Gatsby's present life and his past.

The "party list" that begins the chapter, the names and descriptions Nick wrote down of the people who came to Gatsby's parties, indicates the social environment in which Gatsby now lives. The stories of his life that he tells Nick on the ride into New York seem fabricated, but certain parts of them seem to ring true. The meeting with Wolfshiem reveals Gatsby's "business connections" and suggests a dark side to his present life, and the chapter ends with Jordan's memories of Gatsby as a young lieutenant in love with Daisy Fay in Louisville during World War I.

The purpose of the chapter seems to be to answer some questions about the mysterious Jay Gatsby while raising others. These titles might address that:

  • Visions of the Mysterious Gatsby
  • Gatsby's Mystery Deepens
  • Glimpses of the Real Gatsby
  • Bits and Pieces of the Truth

I kind of like the last two because each part of Chapter IV does reveal at least some of the truth about Gatsby and his life. Hope this helps!

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The Great Gatsby

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