What contradictions are used in chapter 3 in the Great Gatsby? I only want to know 3...but the more the better...  

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Gatsby, though the host of the grand party, does not mingle with his guests.  In fact, his guests don't even know him.  They're strangers: they circulate all kinds of rumors about him.

Owl Eyes, who has been drunk for a week, is impressed that Gatsby's books are not cardboard.  But, we do learn that the pages of all the books have not been cut (which is to say they they've never been opened or read; they are indeed ornamental).  If fact, the entire house is thus; it is pure facade, all for show.

Nick, though he tells us in chapter one that he reserves all moral judgements about people, makes all kinds of moral judgements about people in chapter three.  He says they are all careless.  Gatsby's party is a Roman Carnival.  People are drunk; cars are crashed.  Nick, the most honest person he knows, is curiously attracted to the most dishonest, careless person he knows, Jordan Baker.

"Suppose you met somebody just as careless as yourself." "I hope I never will," she [Jordan] answered. "I hate careless people. That's why I like you." (pg. 63)

Nick is as careless as everyone else.

At the end of the chapter, Gatsby, whom Nick worships as a god, or the son of God (Jesus), is seen throwing his hands in the air toward the green light; though a god, he's obviously worshipping the house across the sound (Daisy's).

This is during Prohibition, but the alcohol is flowing.

And now, to recap, by page number:

(41) people just there, "not invited"

(44) gossip about Gatsby's elusive past, believing in nothing


(46) books in library -- un-cut pages

(57) Nick's double standard in judging people

(58-59) Jordan as dishonest

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The Great Gatsby

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