The Great Gatsby: Characters

Characters

The main characters in The Great Gatsby are: Jay Gatsby, Nick Carraway, Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan, Jordan Baker, Myrtle Wilson, and George Wilson.

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Welcome The Great Gatsby characters page prepared by our editorial team! It describes all the main characters in The Great Gatsby and provides a comprehensive analysis of their roles in the book. The list is also expanded by a few more minor characters that contributed to the development of the novel. Altogether, they create a complex but rather accurate image of the American higher class that lacks morality and worships money.

🌎 The Great Gatsby: Character Map

Fitzgerald based his characters on the classic image of high society in the 1920s – aristocratic pleasure seekers. There is no evidence proving that the story is real. However, it was Long Island’s clash between elite classes that inspired the author. Moreover, some of the characters are based on some of Fitzgerald’s acquaintances. For example, Daisy is none other than an old flame of Fitzgerald’s Ginevra King, and Gatsby’s persona is created based on the famous bootlegger of the Jazz Age.

Below you’ll find a character map that contains all the main characters in The Great Gatsby as well as their relationships.

The Great Gatsby character map.

🤑 Jay Gatsby

Who Is Jay Gatsby?

Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby.

Jay Gatsby is the main character of the novel. He appears as the neighbor of the narrator of the story. There is no detailed description of Jay Gatsby’s appearance, but he is undoubtedly a handsome young man who is crazy rich. Gatsby’s first name is Jay; still, everybody calls him by his surname.

What is Gatsby’s Real Name?

Gatsby’s real name is James Gatz, or “Jimmy,” as his father calls him. His character remains mysterious, and no one knows the truth about his secret past until the middle of the book. James Gatz is Gatsby’s real identity that he is trying to get rid of. He eventually becomes the reason behind his failure.

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How Old Is Jay Gatsby?

By the time Nick meets Gatsby, the latter one is in his early thirties. According to the story, he was born in 1890, and since the main events take place in 1922, Jay Gatsby is 32 years old. In comparison, Daisy is only 23, and the age gap may be one of the obstacles in their relationship.

Where Is Gatsby Born?

Gatsby was born and raised in North Dakota. When he tells Nick some facts about his life, he mentions that he’s from the Middle West. However, when Nick asks about the city, Gatsby replies, “San Francisco.” It is clear that he is trying to hide his background, but it only makes him sound suspicious.

What is Gatsby’s Background?

Gatsby’s real background is far from what he wants people to believe in. He was born in the family of a poor farmer. At the end of the novel, his father shows Nick a notebook that young Gatsby was keeping for self-improvement. It is a piece of significant evidence that Gatsby has been ambitious and hard-working from his childhood.

When Does James Gatz Change His Name?

James Gatz changed his name when he turned 17. At the time, he earned a place on the yacht of Dan Cody, a millionaire who eventually gave James the idea to adopt a new name and taught him the art of behaving rich. That’s when Jay Gatsby’s identity was born, and it was the first step towards his dream.

How Did Gatsby Get His Money?

When Dan Cody died, there was a chance for Gatsby to get his money, but it never happened. Gatsby had to find another way to become wealthy. Eventually, he cooperates with Meyer Wolfsheim and sells alcohol behind the counters of the drug stores. Those drug stores which Daisy believes are the real source of Gatsby’s fortune.

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How Does Gatsby Die?

Gatsby dies in his pool from the gun of George Wilson. He becomes a victim of a misunderstanding. He is not the only one who dies in The Great Gatsby. Daisy killed Myrtle in the car accident, and George believed that Gatsby did it. Therefore, Wilson went to shoot him and then killed himself.

Jay Gatsby: Character Analysis

The first impression of Gatsby makes Nick think that he’s a rich party guy and maybe a prominent figure. However, it is only a mask, and everything appears to be more complicated than that. Jay Gatsby’s character analysis gives the idea of how he is related to the novel’s central theme and presents him as a protagonist.

What Makes Gatsby Great?

Jay is an example of a rags-to-riches man, but what makes Gatsby great is his talent to visualize and dream. Even though it almost makes him lose his mind, he still believes that there is nothing impossible. His unbelievable persistence and belief in a better life could have helped him to “build up the country,” as his father says.

Gatsby represents the American Dream as his talent led him from poor to wealthy. He only needed a loving family to have a perfect American life. However, his example shows that trying to get rich by wrongful means leads to failure. In a way, it’s a warning for people who take a shortcut on their way to the American Dream.

Jay Gatsby as the Novel’s Protagonist

Even though Nick doesn’t particularly like him, Jay Gatsby is the protagonist in The Great Gatsby. Every single event in the novel, from parties to the tragic death, is one way or another connected to Gatsby. He is a rather distinct character. All the rich prefer to be viewers, not bothering themselves to look for the purpose of life. Unlike them, Gatsby has a dream, which essentially becomes the sense of his life. After Gatsby met Daisy for the first time, his every decision has been made with the only purpose – to be with her. When they meet again, he’s so determined to get Daisy back that he doesn’t care about the consequences of his actions.

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“Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can!”

(The Great Gatsby, Chapter 6)

For instance, the impulsive expression of his feelings for Daisy in front of everybody serves as a sign of their love, which leads to Tom getting angry and wanting revenge. All that, on some level, also causes the car accident and ends up with Wilson killing Gatsby and himself.

The influence of Gatsby’s actions doesn’t end with these three deaths. Even after the funeral, he continues changing the lives of people who knew him. For example, Nick and the Buchanans decide to move out of Long Island after the events. Therefore, one of the hidden powers of Gatsby is being able to change the reality around him. Still, he had never won his dream girl back, while Daisy and Tom even seem to become closer.

“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made…”s

(The Great Gatsby, chapter 9)

It is essential to understand that even though Gatsby is technically a criminal, he remains the protagonist of the novel. He may have made some poor choices, but it is all in the name of love. This world appeared to be too cruel for his pure dream. People surrounding Gatsby are driven by lust, greed, and revenge. There has been no chance of a happy ending, but he kept on. Gatsby’s persistence might symbolize hope for people of all times. Till the very last moment of his life, he didn’t lose hope that Daisy would change her mind and was waiting for her call.

“Well, there I was, way off my ambitions, getting deeper in love every minute, and all of a sudden I didn’t care. What was the use of doing great things if I could have a better time telling her what I was going to do?”

(The Great Gatsby, chapter 8)

👦 Nick Carraway

Who Is Nick Carraway?

Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby.

Nick Carraway is the narrator of the story who comes from Minnesota to New York to get into the bond business. He appears to be Daisy’s cousin and Gatsby’s neighbor in West Egg, which makes him some sort of a link between the two lovers. Nick Carraway’s description also includes his traits, which are the primary tool of his.

Nick Carraway: Physical Description

Even though there’s no word about Nick Carraway’s physical description, it would be fair to say that he’s a handsome young guy, just like Gatsby is. His appearance might be kept in secret, but in The Great Gatsby, Nick himself says that he has turned thirty on the day of their improvised party in Tom’s apartment in New York.

Nick Carraway: Character Traits

Nick Carraway’s character traits appear to be a great addition to his role as a narrator. He describes himself as non-judgemental, tolerant, and “one of the few honest people” there. Altogether, it makes him trustworthy, and people tend to share their secrets with him. That’s how Nick ends up in the middle of all the drama.

Nick Carraway: Character Analysis

It may seem that Gatsby should attract all the readers’ attention since he is the title character of The Great Gatsby. However, the character analysis of Nick Carraway is here to introduce the narrator as the most captivating persona in the book. Some hidden aspects of his character will appear more evident than they seem.

Nick Carraway & Jay Gatsby

Throughout the whole novel, Nick keeps saying how he despises everything Gatsby does. At the same time, he almost adores him. Nick’s description of Gatsby reminds more of a passage from a romantic novel than a tragedy. What if Nick is actually in love with “one of those rare smiles” Gatsby has?

“He smiled understandingly – much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you might come across four or five times in life.”

(The Great Gatsby, Chapter 3)

One of the signs that Nick Carraway prefers men is his impressions of the main female characters. For example, Daisy is an idol of fantastic beauty for Gatsby, and she even becomes an American Dream for him. It would be silly to suggest that he would fall in love with someone unattractive. In contrast, the only thing Nick finds cute about her, apart from her “sad and lovely” face, is her voice. Later on, even this trait becomes “indiscreet.” Then, there is Jordan, who Nick is dating during the summer. The best thing he can tell about her is that she is a “small-breasted” fit and sporty girl with a wan face. It is almost impossible to find any other evidence confirming Nick is attracted to her. And finally, Myrtle, who is the embodiment of sensuality for Tom Buchanan. Nick notes that she is much livelier than others but has “no facet or gleam of beauty.” Overall, it is hard to believe that Carraway is interested in any of the beautiful women around him.

In Chapter 2, Nick engages in the party in Tom’s apartment in New York. Myrtle invites her sister, Catherine, who doesn’t impress Nick enough to pay attention to her either. Then, however, the McKees arrive. The first bell rings when the narrator describes Mr. McKee as a “pale, feminine man,” when Mrs. McKee is “handsome and horrible.” At the end of the party, Tom hits Myrtle, and everybody is leaving. Nick walks Mr. McKee home and finds himself “standing beside his bed” as McKee “was sitting up between the sheets, clad in his underwear, with a great portfolio in his hands.” The next scene is Nick waiting for a train. Isn’t there something missing? Fitzgerald left some room for imagination, though strongly implying that there is some action happening between the two men.

Later, Nick meets Gatsby in person, and it seems like it is love from first sight. Gatsby becomes the most special person for him as he confesses that he will probably never find anyone quite like Gatsby again. Nick’s decision to take care of the funeral at the end of the novel is another sign of deep feelings.

Of course, Fitzgerald doesn’t provide any straightforward evidence that Nick Carrays is gay; however, it is not hard to tell that he seems more interested in Gatsby than in his girlfriend.

Why Does Gatsby Call Nick Old Sport?

How Gatsby calls Nick “old sport” all the time may be showing that he has some warm feelings towards Nick too. On the other hand, Gatsby always plays the role of an aristocrat. “Old sport” is the phrase that the English high class used referring to dear friends. Using it, Gatsby keeps pretending that he attended Oxford.

🌼 Daisy Buchanan

Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby.

Daisy Buchanan’s description is rather short – she is a young and beautiful woman that comes from a wealthy family in Louisville, Kentucky. After a brief romance with Gatsby, she married Tom Buchanan and moved to East Egg in Long Island. Gatsby has still loved and praised her until his death. She is also a cousin of Nick Carraway.

Daisy Buchanan: Physical Description

In The Great Gatsby, Daisy is presented as extraordinary beauty. When she was living in Louisville, no wonder all the soldiers stationed there fancied her. Gatsby was one of them, of course. Even though he idolizes her, there is no word about Daisy’s appearance.

Nick describes her as a “golden girl” whose face “was sad and lovely with bright things in it.” Also, in Chapter 8, he dropped a detail about her hair color: “he kissed her dark shining hair.” Daisy’s voice is “indiscreet” and “full of money,” according to Nick and Gatsby. Except for that, Nick focuses on describing her character traits.

Daisy Buchanan: Character Analysis

Daisy is a dream that Gatsby never achieves. She seems to have a shallow personality, and her careless behavior at the end of the book confirms it. Her actions may seem to be contradicting, and it’s hard to read her motives. Daisy Buchanan’s character analysis introduces her as a victim of her times.

Daisy’s Personality & Her Role in the Novel

Jay Gatsby loves Daisy with such devotion and even risks everything for her that she must be an angel on Earth. But is she worth it? Since Gatsby confesses that he is chasing Daisy’s wealth, it is hard to tell whether her personality alone would attract as much attention as her physics does.

It appears that Daisy is a shallow, indecisive, and careless person. First of all, she is worried that Tom is cheating on her. However, she never does anything about it. The reason is his money, luxury, and power. Daisy doesn’t want to lose it all and even wants her daughter to have the same attitude.

“I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”

(The Great Gatsby, Chapter 1)

Moreover, when her daughter Pammy appears in the scene, Daisy doesn’t pay much attention to her and just shows her off. She is more concerned about how much money she has than about her family. After all, status has been her choice from the very beginning when she preferred Tom over Gatsby.

The best scene that represents the attitude of Tom and Daisy Buchanan towards the new rich is when they are invited to one of Gatsby’s parties. Since his mansion is in West Egg, there are mainly nouveaux riches there. Daisy does not enjoy it at all as she finds those people vulgar and lacking manners. She is not an exception – she is an aristocrat who despises the new rich.

Finally, after the accident, it is clear that Daisy is not worth even thinking about, but Gatsby still can’t see her shallowness. She drives away from Myrtle’s dead body and then casually has dinner with Tom the same night. From the next day, Daisy acts like she never knew Gatsby. She moves to another city with Tom and probably has the same life as she did. Unlike Gatsby, Daisy seems to have never had any dream in her life, yet she is the one who ends up living carelessly.

👿 Tom Buchanan

Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby.

Tom Buchanan is a wealthy husband of Daisy. He comes from an old and incredibly wealthy family. Just like other aristocrats, he doesn’t have any American Dream or goal to achieve. His primary interest is Myrtle Wilson, his mistress from the Valley of Ashes. The description of Tom Buchanan’s personality clearly shows how he opposes Gatsby.

Tom Buchanan: Physical Description

Tom Buchanan’s physical description comes down to the fact that he is a big bully. All his appearance is screaming about his arrogance and brutality. Nick describes him as a strong and muscular man with imposing posture, thanks to doing sports at college. His “arrogant eyes” give him “the appearance of always leaning aggressively forward.”

Tom Buchanan: Character Analysis

Tom’s aristocratic manners can barely hide his hypocrisy and cruelty. Probably, Daisy gives the best description of Tom, calling him “brute of a man, a great, big, hulking physical specimen.” All the negative traits make him so different from Gatsby that leads to the hidden opposition between them, which is illustrated in Tom Buchanan’s character analysis.

Tom as The Great Gatsby’s Antagonist

While Gatsby is the protagonist, there is no doubt that Tom is the antagonist in The Great Gatsby. It wasn’t uncommon for women to have little rights back then, but Tom Buchanan treats them as they are worth nothing. Not only does he abuse his wife and mistress, Myrtle, physically, but he doesn’t consider their feelings at all. Tom is an egocentric sexist and racist who only looks for a profit for himself.

“Have you read ‘The Rise of the Coloured Empires’ by this man Goddard?.. Well, it’s a fine book, and everybody ought to read it. The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be—will be utterly submerged. It’s all scientific stuff; it’s been proved.”

(The Great Gatsby, Chapter 1)

Just the fact of how upset he was when he lost Myrtle shows how possessive he is. Although he is having an affair himself, he cannot allow Gatsby to take Daisy because she is his woman. However, there is one more point of view on this issue as well. Tom feels that Gatsby’s background can threaten his privileged aristocratic life, so he tries to get rid of him. He would somehow accept Daisy cheating with another high-status wealthy guy, but he wouldn’t allow her to leave for the new rich.

The Great Gatsby, Tom has one of the most controversial personalities. While he is trying to look educated, it is impossible to hide how narrow-minded his point of view is. In Chapter 1, Tom recommends to everyone a book he recently read. Being so shocked by the ideas it presents, he doesn’t notice how extremely racist his speech sounds. Also, Tom doesn’t see any problem in his relationship with Daisy. Even when everybody finds out that they are cheating on each other, Tom believes that their love and marriage are unbreakable.

After all, Tom is a dominant man who doesn’t want to see any changes in the life he finds comfortable. He is impulsive and aggressive, so he uses violence to protect his beliefs. All in all, Tom is presented as the exact opposite of Gatsby.

⛳ Jordan Baker

Who Is Jordan Baker?

Jordan Baker in The Great Gatsby.

There is no wonder about who Jordan Baker is since her character is rather straightforward. She is a friend of Daisy and plays golf professionally. Also, Nick starts a romantic relationship with her. However, at the end of the novel, she revealed one secret: she is engaged to another man though Nick doesn’t believe her.

Jordan Baker: Physical Description

Nick presents a somewhat detailed physical description of Jordan Baker. She appears to be a very fit girl with an athletic posture. Her body type fits her profession quite well, but, at the same time, she remains a charming lady with “autumn-leaf yellow” hair and “grey sun-strained eyes.” Despite the alleged sexuality of Nick, he seems to find Jordan attractive.

Jordan Baker: Character Analysis

Jordan makes an impression of a girl bored with absolutely everything happening around her from the very beginning. She is not even that excited about Nick. However, later on, the readers find out that she is much livelier when it comes to the personal dramas of others. Jordan Baker’s character analysis reveals her real role in the book.

Jordan’s Role in The Great Gatsby

Since Jordan is a friend of the Buchanans, it is evident that she is from the upper class. She has quickly become successful in golf after moving to New York from the Midwest. However, it is not purely her talent that helps her win. It appears that she cheated during her first big competition.

Nick finds her very dishonest and says that she tries to protect herself from the troubles of the world this way. Whether she lied about being engaged or not, it only shows that she doesn’t want to deal with serious relationships. Jordan in The Great Gatsby is even more passive than Daisy.

She was incurably dishonest. She wasn’t able to endure being at a disadvantage… It made no difference to me. Dishonesty in a woman is a thing you never blame deeply—I was casually sorry, and then I forgot.

(The Great Gatsby, Chapter 3)

One of Jordan’s roles is to keep the drama going in the book. In the beginning, it is she who is spreading the word about Tom’s mistress. Later, she tells Nick the story of Gatsby and Daisy.

In The Great Gatsby, Jordan Baker also plays the role of a modern woman of her time. Having an egocentric and cynical personality, Jordan is one of the new women of the 1920s. She is single with no kids, openly drinks alcohol, smokes, and pursues a career in a usually male sport.

Women like her were breaking the social rules and standards, since typically, they would be expected to have a husband, children, and no job. Besides, it seems like Jordan doesn’t mind investigating her sexuality as she spends some nights in the hotels with other women.

🎭 Other Characters in The Great Gatsby

Myrtle Wilson

In The Great Gatsby, Myrtle is married to George Wilson, an owner of a garage in the Valley of Ashes. She is eager to have a better life, to become one of the upper-class riches. In Tom, she sees a chance to achieve her dream and, unfortunately, doesn’t realize that he uses her for entertainment as a toy.

How Does Myrtle Die?

Myrtle dies in Chapter 7 when she runs out to meet Tom and gets hit by a car. It is Gatsby’s car, but Myrtle thinks Tom is driving it because she saw him in it earlier that day. She associates Tom with her future wealthy life, so he’s her savior. But an unfortunate misunderstanding eventually leads to Myrtle Wilson’s death.

Myrtle Wilson: Character Analysis

In The Great Gatsby Myrtle’s character probably has the most tragic fate. She is full of hope that becoming a mistress of fantastically rich Tom Buchanan will save her from rotting in the Valley of Ashes. All the expensive gifts give her the illusion that their relationship will last forever. However, everybody understands that it is doubtful that Tom will leave Daisy to marry Myrtle. For him, she is one of his possessions. The fact that he uses physical violence proves that he has no emotional attachment to her.

Myrtle feels imprisoned in the way of life and marriage she doesn’t want to have. Later on, it becomes literal when George finds out about her infidelity and locks her in the room. She may be naive, but her vitality and unbreakable hope are the traits she shares with Gatsby. After all, they are the only two characters who dare to dream and hope, and both of them meet such a tragic fate.

George Wilson

In The Great Gatsby, George Wilson is not the main character, but he plays a fatal role in Gatsby’s destiny by the end of the book. Wilson owns a garage and a gas station on the edge of the Valley of Ashes.

There is not much description of George’s looks or personality. Nick introduces him as a “blonde, spiritless man, anemic, and faintly handsome.” A single glance is enough for Nick to understand that George is lifeless and stuck in the Valley of Ashes forever, pretty much like the other people living there.

George Wilson: Character Analysis

From what Nick observes, it seems like George B. Wilson is a hard-working man with moral values who wants his family to be happy. Nevertheless, he is beaten up by life and acts submissive when Tom comes for business issues to his garage. George is also very God-fearing, so when he finds out Myrtle is cheating, he says that “God sees everything.” He believes that she will not be left unpunished.

However, after Myrtle’s death, George supposedly receives another divine message – to revenge on her killer. He comes to the conclusion that it must have been her lover driving the car since she ran out to meet him. Thanks to Tom, Wilson finds the owner of the yellow car and comes straight to Gatsby’s mansion to shoot him. Essentially, it becomes George’s primary role in the novel. After that, he commits suicide because he doesn’t have the money to cover up what he did. In The Great Gatsby, Mr. Wilson represents the hopelessness and despair of the lower class, who appear to be victims of life circumstances.

George Wilson & Tom Buchanan: Compare & Contrast

It is useful to compare and contrast George Wilson and Tom Buchanan to understand their characters better. When Nick meets George, he realizes that despite their class difference, they have much in common. Wilson is just like Tom but poor and sick. Deep inside, they are both lifeless and stuck in a life without happiness.

Who is Catherine in The Great Gatsby?

In The Great Gatsby, Catherine is a sister of Myrtle Wison. She is portrayed as a young woman, wearing a bob hairstyle, a lot of makeup, and accessories. Catherine lives in New York, and Nick meets her at the party in Tom’s apartment in Chapter 2. They have a little chat, which helps Nick understand her personality better.

Character Analysis

Catherine is viewed as a fashionable and independent girl of the Roaring Twenties. She lives in a hotel room, sharing it with another woman. Her bold style suggests that she is one of the flapper girls who were change-makers at the time. Catherine’s conversation with Nick reveals her life-views. It appears that she wants to work on a fashionable Long Island.

Moreover, she doesn’t see anything wrong with Tom and Myrtle getting divorced from their spouses and living together if they enjoy it so much.

Catherine stays loyal to her sister throughout the novel. She covers up Tom and Myrtle’s meetings in New York. Even after the accident, she never said a word about their affair while testifying. However, Tom might have bribed her to save his reputation. Therefore, in The Great Gatsby, Catherine doesn’t play any significant role. Still, she contributes to the overall image of sinful people of the 1920s.

Who is Dan Cody in The Great Gatsby?

In The Great Gatsby, Dan Cody is pictured as an older self-made millionaire who owns a yacht on which Gatsby spends some years as an assistant. By the time Nick meets Gatsby, Cody is already dead. However, the older man left a significant impact on young Jay Gatsby and contributed to his development.

Character Analysis

Dan Cody was around 50 years old when he met Gatsby. He took a 17-year-old as a personal assistant on the board of his yacht. He had that luxurious life and unimaginable wealth that Gatsby was dreaming about. Even though Dan wasn’t a source of Gatsby’s money, he helped to create and develop his new identity.

The first step was the adoption of the new name, which appeared to be Cody’s idea. Then, Gatsby spent the next five years on the yacht learning all the details and tricks of the millionaire’s life. He got used to luxury so much that he just couldn’t come back to the life of the lower class he used to have. It pushed Gatsby to connect to the criminals since it was a fast way from rags to riches. Therefore, the significance of the role that Dan plays in Gatsby’s life cannot be underestimated.

Who is Klipspringer in The Great Gatsby?

“The boarder” is what they call Klipspringer in The Great Gatsby. He earned this nickname because he attends every single Gatsby’s party, and later Nick finds out that Klipspringer just lives in the mansion. Despite the fact that he only appears a few times in the novel, he brings a critical symbolism considering the people surrounding Gatsby.

Character Analysis

Nick introduces Ewing Klipspringer as the most frequent guest in Gatsby’s mansion. In fact, he is there not only for parties. When Daisy and Nick come over, they find there Klipspringer wearing his pajamas and looking quite disoriented. No wonder everybody calls him “the boarder.” His motives become quite clear when he refuses to come to Gatsby’s funeral. He is supposedly busy and only needs the tennis shoes back that he left in the mansion.

Klipspringer was only using Gatsby for free housing and didn’t care much about him as a person. That is why “the boarder” in The Great Gatsby represents all the guests who attended the parties for free food and entertainment, though they are not even invited.

Moreover, none of them knows the truth about Gatsby, and only a few met him in person. They care about him even less on the day of his funeral.

Who is Henry C. Gatz in The Great Gatsby?

Henry C. Gatz is a poor humble farmer and Gatsby’s birth father. He arrives all the way from Minnesota to his son’s funeral. Except for Nick, Henry appears to be the only person who is devastated by the tragedy. Thanks to him, Nick finds out more about Gatsby’s background.

Character Analysis

When Mr. Gatz arrives, it becomes clear that he is crushed by Gatsby’s death. At the same time, the success of his son makes him feel proud. He starts wondering what other great things he could have done. According to him, Gatsby could have been someone like James J. Hill and “helped build up the country.” Mr. Gatz shows a self-improvement plan that Gatsby kept in childhood. It helps to understand that his dedication and hard work were a part of his mindset for a long time.

Moreover, Henry says that Gatsby bought a house for him in the Midwest, which proves that Jay didn’t cut off his past completely. The arrival of Henry Gatz also brings up a moral issue. It highlights the fact that his son sacrificed his potential friendships for the pursuit of money. Is the wealth worth dying alone?

Who is Meyer Wolfsheim in The Great Gatsby?

Meyer Wolfsheim is Gatsby’s business partner, who also appears to be his underground connection. It was he who helped Gatsby get rich by selling illegal alcohol. Nick includes a short physical description saying that he is “a small, flat-nosed Jew.” Wolfsheim is a famous gambler who is rumored to have fixed the 1919 World Series.

Character Analysis

Wolfsheim is the leading gangster in the book and possesses all the traits of the criminal, which makes Nick want to avoid him. It can also be said that he represents the negative side of Gatsby. However, aside from their underground business, there is a crucial role Meyer Wolfsheim plays in the novel. First of all, he gives some more details about Gatsby’s past and even ironically says that Gatsby would “never so much as look at a friend’s wife.” He also mentions how poor Jay was when he came back from the war.

For Gatsby, Wolfsheim has not only become his business partner but his friend and, most importantly, a mentor. Just like Dan Cody, the criminal has contributed to Gatsby’s identity, but with one difference – Dan couldn’t give him a stable source of wealth. Despite their connection, the Jew refuses to attend Gatsby’s funeral protecting his status.

Who is Mr. McKee in The Great Gatsby?

In The Great Gatsby, Mr. McKee is a photographer, one of the guests invited to the improvised party at Tom’s apartment in New York. Nick describes him as a “pale, feminine man from the flat below.”

Mr. McKee comes with his wife, and both of them seem to be very gossipy. This couple is nothing more than an addition to the long list of rotten and shallow people in the novel. However, Mr. McKee gets involved in a scene that gets a lot of critiques. After he leaves the party, he ends up half-naked in his bedroom with Nick, which suggests that they had sexual intercourse.

Who is Michaelis in The Great Gatsby?

Michaelis is the Greek owner of a coffee shop next to Wilson’s garage in the Valley of Ashes. In The Great Gatsby, Michaelis is probably the only genuinely kind person. Whether it is because of his ethnicity or just his personality, he plays the role of a caring helper to George Wilson after Myrtle’s death.

Michaelis’ coffee shop is near George Wilson’s garage, so the young Greek unwillingly becomes a witness of Myrtle’s murder. Nick finds everything about the accident from him. Moreover, Michaelis stays with George so that he doesn’t stay alone with his grief.

They spend the whole night talking, and it proves that the Greek truly cares about Wilson’s state, even though it is unknown whether they are friends or not. There is also a special meaning of his name, which derives from Michael, the archangel. It makes the night scene when George sees the eyes of God even more religious.

Who Is Owl-Eyes in The Great Gatsby?

Owl-Eyes is a guest at the party who Nick and Jordan meet in Gatsby’s library. His real name is unknown, but Nick pictures him as a “stout, middle-aged man, with enormous owl-eyed spectacles,” which is where he gets this nickname. Owl-Eyes is slightly drunk and fascinated by the “realism” of the books.

Nick finds Owl Eyes going through the books in Gatsby’s library and exclaiming. The man thought that they would be fake, just pieces of the cupboard to create an illusion of a vast collection. However, the pages of the books are not even cut, which means no one has ever read them. At this moment, Owl Eyes discovers that Gatsby created this library just for the show, much like he does with the parties and this enormous mansion.

The man in glasses also compares Gatsby to Belasco, who was a director and playwright, which is essentially one of Gatsby’s alter ego since he is good at setting a stage for his play. Owl Eyes is also the only party guest who has the decency to come to the funeral at the end of the novel. Obviously, he and Nick could see and appreciate the real Gatsby.

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IvyPanda. "Characters." September 4, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/lit/the-great-gatsby-study-guide/characters/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Characters." September 4, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/lit/the-great-gatsby-study-guide/characters/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Characters'. 4 September.