In Chapter IV of The Great Gatsby, what kind of people are Gatsby's guests revealed to be?  

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Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Gatsby's guests, with a few exceptions, show up at his parties without invitation, drawn to them for their glamour and excess. In Chapter IV, Nick recalls writing down "the names of those who came to Gatsby's house that summer." Nick's list is dated July 5, 1922. From the names that appear on Nick's list, much can be inferred about Gatsby's guests and the wealthy societies they represented.

The guests from East Egg have traditional Anglo-Saxon names that suggest they come from well established families who have lived in America for generations. Theirs is "old money," as distinguished from the fortunes that were acquired in the new century. The East Eggers include guests such as Dr. Webster Civet, the Stonewall Jackson Abrams of Georgia, and a Mr. Bunsen who had attended Yale University. The social snobbery of this group is seen in the Blackbucks, "who stayed to themselves at the party and "flipped up their noses like goats" at the other guests.

Nick's list of guests from West Egg suggests a second, less prestigous social level among the wealthy. The West Eggers' names are ethnic-sounding, such as DaFantano, Mulready, Schoen, and Bemberg, which suggest a more recent immigrant status. These guests include "show people," gamblers, and bootleggers, such as James B. (""Rot-gut) Ferret.

Despite their social differences, Gatsby's guests all come to his parties for selfish reasons, some out of curiosity and most to behave, as Nick observed, "according to the rules of behavior associated with amusement parks."

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The Great Gatsby

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