Nick Carraway Nick Carraway is the narrator of the entire novel, he is also the protagonist of his own plot. He is a practical and conservative man who turns thirty during the course of the story. Raised in a small town in the Midwest, in New York he is in the bond business. He rents a small bungalow out from the city on a fashionable island known as West Egg. His next door neighbor is Jay Gatsby, and his distant cousin, Daisy Buchanan, lives across the bay with her husband, Tom. Nick plays an important role in the main plot of the novel, for he is responsible for reuniting Gatsby and Daisy.
Jay Gatsby Jay Gatsby is one of the most interesting and memorable characters in this novel. Born as James Gatz to poor farmers in North Dakota, he decided at an early age that he wanted more out of life than North Dakota could offer. Gatsby comes to the East Coast after the war and makes a fortune in bootlegging and other questionable business activities due to the help of characters such as Meyer Wolfsheim. He buys a mansion on West Egg, in order to be directly across the bay from Daisy Buchanan.
He gives his wild, extravagant parties and drives his flashy automobiles in hopes of attracting Daisy’s attention. She becomes his reason for being and Gatsby never loses sight of his dream and often reaches out to the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. After Nick arranges for Daisy and Gatsby to meet again, the two become close again. Gatsby believes that she loves him as much as he loves her and that she is going to leave Tom and be with him. Gatsby is murdered by George Wilson, who believes that Gatsby murdered his wife, Myrtle Wilson.
Daisy Fay Buchanan Daisy is an attractive, wealthy, and shallow lady with luscious voice, which seems to have a sound of wealth. Daisy is wealthy and comes from a prominent family in Louisville. She marries the very wealthy Tom Buchanan. Daisy is a bored and careless woman. She is incapable of entertaining herself and wonders what she will do with her life for the next thirty years. Although she is the mother of a young daughter, she is incapable of any depth of maternal feelings. Tom Buchanan Tom is Daisy’s wealthy husband.
He is a shallow, egotistical, rude man and the living personification of the shallowness and carelessness of the wealthy He plays with cars and race horses, has many affairs, and treats Daisy like a meaningless object. Tom’s mistress is Myrtle Wilson. He keeps an apartment for her in the city and often meets her there. On the night of the party that Nick attends, Tom grows angry with Myrtle for saying Daisy’s name and as a result, he hits Myrtle, breaking her nose. The violence almost emerges again when he confronts Gatsby about Daisy in the suite at the Plaza Hotel.
The men argue, and even though Gatsby forces Daisy to say she has never loved Tom, she soon takes it back. She does love Tom for his wealth and will always remain with him, because he offers her security and the life style she desires. Myrtle Wilson Myrtle is the gaudy and vulgar mistress of Tom Buchanan and the wife of George Wilson. Throughout the book, she is characterized as having a great sense of vitality. It is this trait that attracted Tom to the ostentatious and unattractive woman. Tom keeps an apartment for her in the city.
When George realizes she is having an affair, he locks her in her room and plans to move her out West. She, however, is killed in a car accident by a hit-and-run driver, who you later find is Daisy Buchanan. Jordan Baker Daisy’s good friend. She is an attractive and wealthy young golfer whom Nick dates while he is in New York. She is a liar and cheats often, she is almost as shallow and careless as Daisy. George Wilson Myrtle’s husband and the owner of a garage in the Valley of Ashes. He idolizes his wife and goes crazy when she is killed. Thinking that Gatsby is responsible for her death, he shoots him and then kills himself.