What are three facts that Gatsby reveals about his life in chapter 4 of The Great Gatsby?

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It is interesting that at the beginning of the classic novel The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby is a mysterious individual, known only by his lavish parties. People speak of him in unsubstantiated rumors but seem to know little about him. However, in chapter 4 of the novel, Gatsby opens...

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It is interesting that at the beginning of the classic novel The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby is a mysterious individual, known only by his lavish parties. People speak of him in unsubstantiated rumors but seem to know little about him. However, in chapter 4 of the novel, Gatsby opens up to Nick Carraway while they take a ride and then have lunch together. He shares quite a bit of information about his life, although later revelations in the novel cast doubt on some of his claims. Here are some of the main points, and from these facts you can select the ones on which you want to focus.

Gatsby says that he is the son of some wealthy people in the midwest, but then he clarifies that by "midwest," he means San Francisco. He was brought up in America but educated at Oxford. His family has had a tradition of being educated there for many generations. When Gatsby's family died, he inherited a lot of money and spent some time traveling around Europe in places such as Paris, Venice, and Rome. During his travels, he collected jewels (like rubies), hunted big game, and painted. He tells Nick that he did all these things to get his mind off an old sorrow.

Gatsby also says that, during the war, he enlisted as a first lieutenant and saw battle in the Argonne Forest. Gatsby describes the battle to Nick and then adds that he was promoted to major and became highly decorated. To prove his story, Gatsby shows Nick a medal that he won during the war and a photograph of him with some classmates during his Oxford days.

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Three "facts" about Gatsby that are revealed in Chapter Four of The Great Gatsby are the following:

  1. His family "all died" and he inherited "a good deal" of money.
  2. Gatsby was educated at Oxford University.
  3. He was a major in the military and every Allied government gave him a decoration.

Of course, not all these "facts" are true.
For instance, his family is not all dead because his father, Henry C. Gatz, appears from a small town in Minnesota for Gatsby's funeral.

Gatsby did not graduate from Oxford; he simply attended for a while. In Chapter Seven, he later reveals that he only stayed five months:

"[i]t was an opportunity they gave to some of the officers after the Armistice."

Other obvious fabrications occur with some of Gatsby's war stories. Also, when Gatsby says that he lived like a rajah in all the capitals of Europe--"Paris, Venice, Rome"--adding trite phrases such as "hunting big game," "collecting jewels," and "trying to forget something very sad," such statements are false. 

After listening to everything, Nick narrates that he managed to restrain his "incredulous laughter."

 

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