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mattbuckley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby is the title character who lives in the enormous house neighboring the house of the story's narrator, Nick Carraway. Jay Gatsby throws elaborate and outrageous parties where everyone is invited. He is fabulously wealthy and it is later discovered that he has made this money through bootlegging and racketeering. He illegal connections are only hinted at in the novel. The name Jay Gatsby is one that he has taken on. His original name was James Gatz. In the end we see him as a romantic dreamer. He is, I think, best described in the first chapter when Nick states that "If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, . . . it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again."

michuraisin | Student

Gatsby refers to Jay Gatsby, Nick Carraway's neighbor in West Egg. Born Jimmy Gatz, he grew up as the son of poor farmers, and had to work as a janitor to pay his way through school. He later goes into the army, and it is during his time there that he meets Daisy, who he falls absolutely in love with. However, he has to go off to battle, and during that time, Daisy ends up marrying another man. Despite this, Gatbsy never stops thinking about Daisy.

After the army, he goes to Oxford and later makes a lot of money participating in criminal dealings. He uses his mass wealth to throw lavish parties that always draw a lot of people. Yet, he remains very mysterious, as he doesn't socialize with his guests, and no one really knows who he is. The purpose of these parties is really to attract Daisy in hopes that they can be back together again.

Eventually, he dies and becomes a neglected figure. Though he was a well-known name in life and had a powerful aura about him, only Nick and one other guest appear at his funeral. 

amysor | Student

Jay Gatsby is one of the main characters in the book, The Great Gatsby. He came from a poor family, but through his life events, he was able to reach wealth. He fell madly in love with a woman named Daisy, but had to leave her because of the military draft. He goes to oxford, although, learns that Daisy is married. He bought a house across the river from her, throws these extravgent parties, just to win her back. Winning her back did not end to well, although, you could learn about that from the book, which is worth it! For a detailed character anaylsis for Jay Gatsby, you could also use the Study Guide for "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald. In the study guide there are also summaries, themes, quizzes, etc.