The Great Gatsby Questions and Answers
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby book cover
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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Henry C. Gatz, also referred to as Mr. Gatz, is Jay Gatsby's biological father. It is important to note that James Gatz was a humble man from a poor family, who transformed himself into the wealthy, renowned Jay Gatsby. Following Gatsby's tragic death, Nick Carraway proceeds to make funeral arrangements for his deceased friend and informs Gatsby's father of his son's death. Mr. Gatz is initially portrayed as a solemn-looking old man; he is dismayed and helpless when he arrives for his son's funeral. Mr. Gatz is a humble man from the Midwest who is extremely proud of his son's accomplishments. Nick Carraway mentions that Gatsby's father viewed his son's home in amazement and believed that James could have become one of America's most prominent men. Mr. Gatz also shows Nick a picture of Gatsby's mansion that his son gave him and mentions that James bought him a home in the Midwest. Mr. Gatz also shows Nick his son's strict self-improvement schedule written in the back of a book, which reveals James Gatz's work ethic and dedication.

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julikiyomi eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Mr. Gatz is Henry C. Gatz, Jay Gatsby’s father. We meet Gatsby’s father in chapter nine of the book, before Gatsby’s funeral. It is interesting that the last name of Gatsby’s father is different from Gatsby’s. This is further proof of the façade Gatsby lived his life behind in order to fit into the social class of the fashionable East Egg. Gatsby wore the face of wealth. His father, Mr. Gatz, was a startling contrast. Mr. Gatz was a “solemn old man very helpless and dismayed, bundled up in a long cheap ulster against the warm September day” (p. 175).

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