The Great Gatsby Chapter 1 Summary {Step by Step Guide}

The Great Gatsby Chapter 1 Summary {Step by Step Guide}

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The Great Gatsby Chapter 1 Summary

At the beginning of this book, we’re introduced to the main character his name is Nick Carraway.

And Nick Carraway the narrator of the book talks about a mantra that he’s lived most of his life by.

This is something that his father used to tell him and his mantra is “whenever you feel like criticizing anyone just remember that all people haven’t had the advantages that you have had”.

He says this is something that he has based his life on for a long time. he said whenever he met someone he tried not to jump to conclusions and he wouldn’t criticize people because of this he got the nickname of the politician in college.

Nick Carraway the narrator says that over time he got tired of caring who people really were and why they did the things they did. he said that he sort of lost interest in people until he met Gatsby.

He also hints at the beginning of the book that Gatsby’s gone are dead for some reason. Nick Carraway explains a little bit about who he is, his family owned a wholesale hardware store and have owned it for generations.

He talks about how he’s from the Midwest and he says that he graduated from college in New Haven and 1915 which was the same place as his father.

He also served in the Great War aka World War one and after the war, he decided to join all his friends and get into the bond business.

He talked to his father about this and his father agreed to pay for him to move to New York and finance him for one year.

Nick Carraway says that when he moved to the East Coast he found a friend and they were gonna rent a beachfront property for $80 a month but when it came time to move in his friend’s company moved into Washington DC.

So, he was left alone at a house with himself and a dog and a Finnish lady to do is cooking and cleaning.

Nick Carraway says that when he first got to New York, he was feeling really lonely at first but after a couple of days he bought some baking and investment books and got really excited.

The narrator describes his neighborhood as one of the strangest neighborhoods in America.

He says that his house was pretty much made of cardboard and that his two neighbors had mansions. his rent was $80 a month whereas the houses next to him were around $15,000 to rent.

He describes the mansion to his right. he says it was modeled after a hotel from Normandy Hotel de Ville and then it had a marble pool and ivory all over it.

He says this was Gatsby’s house, he had never met Gatsby but he had heard people talking about him. he also described the islands of New York as a West Egg and an East Egg.

Nick Carraway says that he lives on the West Egg, a little while after getting there Nick calls one of his distant relatives to have lunch with them. he says if they lived on East Egg.

Nick goes over to the East Egg and meets with his distant cousin Daisy Buchanan and her husband Tom Buchanan. he honestly didn’t know Daisy really well and he had gone to college with Tom, he figured he’d make some contacts.

He describes Tom Buchanan as being a big football player that comes from an extremely wealthy family.

When he drove up to the house, he was impressed with how much money they had and couldn’t believe that someone his own age has as much money as they did.

Tom advises Nick Carraway and two women are chatting, Nick looks across the room and looks at one of the women and is immediately enamored with her beauty, the other one was this distant cousin Daisy.

Daisy introduces her friend by her last name Baker. Daisy begins to be super nice and friendly and it’s just the nicest person in the world.

Daisy talks about how they have a three-year-old daughter now, things settle down, and Thomas Nick where he works.

Nick tells him that he works for a bond company and they start to have small talk, as they’re talking Tom passive-aggressively complains about his wife not letting him leave New York, tom says damned if I live anywhere else.

Miss Baker finally speaks up and says absolutely. miss Baker stands up and says that she’s been sitting on the cash too long and that she’s feeling really stiff.

Daisy gets mad at miss Baker because she’s been trying to get her to go to New York all day. as Daisy and Miss Baker talking Nick remembers that he saw miss Baker in a picture one time.

He describes miss Baker as being slender small-breasted with a nice butt and that he enjoyed staring at her. before Nick could tell her that Gatsby was his neighbor. Tom came in saying dinner was ready.

they headed to dinner and everyone had a nice conversation, as they were having dinner the conversation suddenly turned racist. Tom started talking about how whites needed to oppress the other races or else they would rise up.

Tom says that he’s been reading books to talk about how important it was for whites to keep power, he says it’s scientific and stuff.

Daisy complains that he changed the conversation to something super gloomy but then she joins in the conversation and says that whites should be done all the other races.

Miss Baker is feeling super uncomfortable and interrupts them the random question, Tom interrupts her and says that whites have made every modern invention, and as things are getting more and more uncomfortable the phone rings and ends their conversation.

The butler comes and gets Tom and Tom leaves the room. well, Tom and the butler are out of the room. Daisy tells Nick that the butler’s nose got jacked up because he smelled too many chemicals when he was a silver polisher.

Daisy leans in and says to Nick, Nicky remind me of an absolute rose. Nick said that she had a sort of warmth that flowed out of her.

She left the room to check with her husband and it was just Nick and Miss Baker at the table it was awkward for a moment so Nick started to talk.

As Nick started to talk miss Baker shushed him, she got up close to the door and listened in on their conversation.

Miss Baker told Nick that tom was cheating on Daisy with another woman. when Daisy and Tom got back things were super awkward, to break the awkward silence, Nick commented about how the sunset was so romantic.

The phone rang again and Daisy discreetly shook her head towards Tom telling him not to show him the stables.

This is when things get weird, Nick says that it was so painful at this moment that he wanted to call the police after dinner Tom and Miss Baker moved to the library to chill and Daisy and Nick head to the porch.

Nick breaks the silence by asking her about her daughter Daisy interrupts him with a complete mood change and says Nick we don’t know you very well even if you are my cousin you didn’t come to my wedding.

Nick tells her that he was still out in the war and that he wasn’t able to make it, she gets serious and says that she’s had a very bad time and that she’s cynical about everything.

After a little bit of conversation, she tells Nick that once she had her baby Tom wasn’t there and she didn’t know where tom was. she sat there all alone feeling completely isolated.

She didn’t even turn to look at her baby and just asked the nurse who was a boy or a girl, the nurse told her that it was a girl and she began to cry.

The only thing she said to the nurse was that she wished that her daughter would be a beautiful fool, at this moment Nick felt like he had been tricked the whole time and like the whole evening had just been a play or an act.

Nick and Daisy joined Tom and Miss Baker inside and Daisy is reading Tom a magazine after she’s done reading the magazine, she heads off to bed as she’s walking to her room, Daisy jokes that she’s gonna get the two of them married.

When Miss Baker’s in bed Tom talks about how it’s really good for her to be around them and hints that she might not be 100% white.

Nick decides it’s time to leave and as he’s starting his car, Daisy stops him and asks about a rumor of him being engaged. he tells her it was a lie not to believe every rumor she hears.

He narrates and says that he was dating a girl seriously but they were never engaged. as he drove home he had a feeling of disgust and he wished Daisy would just run away with her baby but he knew she wouldn’t do that.

When he arrived home he looked towards Gatsby’s house and saw a figure in the dark standing looking up at the stars.

He figured that this guy was Gatsby and he was going to introduce himself but he got a vibe from Gatsby that he wanted to be left alone and before Nick could decide what to do Gatsby had disappeared and that concludes this chapter.

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