Who is Gatsby in The Great Gatsby?

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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."

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Who is Gatsby?

Jay Gatsby is in most ways the main character in this book.  Everything really revolves around him in the book.

He is a man who was born poor in the Midwest.  He got a taste of being rich when he signed on with a rich man whose yacht he saw out on a lake.

He was not able to get rich himself at first.  Being poor made him unable to get Daisy to marry him.

He then made himself rich through illegal means as a way to try to win Daisy.  He moves to Long Island in hopes of seeing her again. This book shows what his life is like now that he is rich.  And it shows what happens when he finally meets up with Daisy again.

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