The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby is a highly specific portrait of American society during the Roaring Twenties, its story is also one that has been told hundreds of times, and is perhaps as old as America itself: a man claws his way from rags to riches, only to find that his wealth cannot afford him the privileges enjoyed by those born into the upper class.

September 1922
September 12 (Tuesday)  

In the summer of 1922, Nick Carraway (the narrator) writes in a letter, he has just arrived in New York. He moved in order to begin a career in the bond business. He is renting a house in a neighborhood names the West Egg that in located in a harbor on Long Island. Unlike the conservative, aristocratic East Egg, West Egg is home to the “new rich,” those who, having made their fortunes recently, have neither the social connections nor the refinement to move among the East Egg set.

September 17 (Sunday)  

One night, Nick drives out to East Egg to have dinner with his cousin Daisy and her husband, Tom Buchanan, a former member of Nick’s social club at Yale. While Nick and Tom talk outside, Daisy and her friend Jordan lounge inside. Tom leaves the group in order to take a phone call. A phone call from a woman that Jordan clarifies is Tom’s love in New York. After the party has ended, Nick returns home to see Gatsby on the lawn with his arms reaching out toward the dark water. Nick looks out at the water, but all he can see is a distant green light that might mark the end of a dock.

September 27 (Wednesday)  

Tom takes Nick and Myrtle to the apartment that he keeps in New York that he has in order to keep his affair a secret. In the apartment Tom and Myrtle throw a small get together with the neighbors. During the party, as the more drinks are passed around Myrtle begins to bring up Daisy. Tom tells her to not speak his wife’s name in his presence and when she talks back and says Daisy again, he breaks her nose. This brings the party to an end.

September 27 (Wednesday)  

Halfway between West Egg and New York City sprawls a desolate plain, a gray valley where New York’s ashes are dumped. Overhead, two huge, blue, spectacle-rimmed eyes stare down from an enormous sign. These unblinking eyes, the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg, watch over everything that happens in the valley of ashes. This valley is the sight of a train stop that Tom forces Nick to get off with him. This is the meeting place for Tom and his “New York Lover” named Myrtle Willson.

November 1922
November 15 (Wednesday)  

 One day, Gatsby’s chauffeur brings Nick an invitation to one of his famous extravagant parties. Nick runs into Jordan Baker, whose friend, Lucille, speculates that Gatsby was a German spy during the war. Rumors about Gatsby’s past continually circulate amongst the guest. Nick also hears that Gatsby is a graduate of Oxford and that he once killed a man in cold blood. Nick, finally meets his mysterious neighbor, Gatsby. As the party progresses, Nick becomes increasingly fascinated with Gatsby.

December 1922
December 7 (Thursday)  

Gatsby one day takes Nick out to lunch in the city. On the way to lunch, Gatsby tells Nick about his "past" as big game hunter, WWII hero, Oxford graduate. He even tells Nick about how he got his money from his wealthy diseased parents. Once they're at the restaurant, Gatsby introduced Nick to Meyer Wolfsheim who is a millionaire who got his fortune doing under ground illegal work.

December 7 (Thursday)  

Once Nick gets back from lunch, he goes to meet Jordan. According to Jordan, before the war, Gatsby and Daisy were in love. But, after Gatsby was stationed, Daisy became engaged to marry Tom Buchanan. Though she loved Tom, she was conflicted about her feelings toward Gatsby, she even drank herself to numbness the night of her wedding because of a letter she received from Gatsby. Jordan even adds that Gatsby bought his mansion in West Egg just so that he could be close to Daisy.

January 1923
January 7 (Sunday)  

The night of Nick's date with Jordan where she reveals Gatsby's secret love, Nick agreed to set up a tea for Gatsby and Daisy. The day of the tea has come and Gatsby expresses his anxious feelings toward the whole thing. At first, Gatsby’s reunion with Daisy is terribly awkward. After he leaves the two alone for half an hour, however, Nick returns to find them radiantly happy—Daisy shedding tears of joy and Gatsby glowing. Gatsby invites the two to his house and he shows off his luxuriant life style to Daisy who seems to be impressed. The night ends with a kiss goodnight from Gatsby to Daisy out on the dock.

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