Study Guide on The Great Gatsby, Chapter 3

Pay attention to Nick’s judgments. What do they reveal about his character that he does this (especially in relation to his opening comments)? Answers will vary.
Describe Gatsby the first time Nick sees him. Nick finds Gatsby charming. He is totally different from what Nick expected. Nick is fascinated, and now wants to know the truth about Gatsby.
What rumors have been told about Gatsby? That he has killed someone or was in the army (either German or American) during the war. Think about why Fitzgerald reveals rumors rather than fact.
How is Gatsby different from his guests? He doesn’t participate in the party or lose control; everyone else makes fools of themselves.
Nick thinks he’s one of the few honest people he knows, why? Do you think he is honest? Answers will vary.
Something to think about: Is Gatsby a phoney? Answers will vary.
Describe Gatsby’s wealth and how he uses it. Gatsby’s wealth is “new” money; recently acquired, not old, family money. He is one of the newly rich in the postwar period of the twenties. He spends his money on flashy, extravagant things (a huge home, a fantastic car,
What is the party like? The party is very crowded with all kinds of people, most of whom were not invited by Gatsby. The guests are rude to each other and often comically, but hopelessly, drunk. There is a lot of drinking and dancing. The atmosphere gets more wild and desperate as the evening progresses
What does the owl-eyed man in the library find extraordinary about Gatsby’s library? He’s amazed that they are real.
Hint: THere’s some foreshadowing in this chapter. Think about how these people use automobiles. They are reckless and use their automobiles and dangerous ways.
Compare the three houses in this book. How do they reflect the personalities of the people who live in them?
What do you suppose it means with Nick claims that men and girls came and went at Gatsby’s house like moths among the whisperings?
What do you suppose Nick means when he writes, “The moon had risen higher and floating on the Sound was a triangle of silver scales”? Try drawing it.
What’s ironic about Jordan’s statement “I love large parties. They’re so intimate”? Intimacy is closeness between two people. One wouldn’t think you’d get that in a noisy crowd. Yet, it’s kind of true. It’s a paradox.
What do you infer from Nick’s statement “Dishonesty in a woman is a thing you never blame deeply”? Is that sexism, or the opposite?
Is Nick being upfront or is he making a joke when he says, “I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known”? Up front. At least in this book, he generally shows the truth of what he sees, rather than pretending that the wealthy and their lives are completely wonderful.

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