The Great Gatsby Characters List: Character Analysis and Questions

Want a deeper understanding of The Great Gatsby characters?

The Great Gatsby is a novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925. It’s considered to be one of the greatest pieces of American literature. And its characters are some of the most iconic in all fiction.

In this post, we’ll introduce you to the main characters in The Great Gatsby and briefly analyze each one.

An image of Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, and Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby as cartoon characters, with the text overlay:"The Great Gatsby Characters List and Analysis"

Who is Gatsby?

Gatsby is a character in the novel The Great Gatsby. He is a wealthy man who lives in a mansion and throws lavish parties. He is also known for his mysterious past and his love for the book character Daisy Buchanan.


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The Great Gatsby Characters List and Analysis

An image of Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby as a cartoon character

1. Nick Carraway

Who is Nick in the Great Gatsby? Nick Carraway is a recent Yale graduate who moves to Long Island to pursue his career as a bond salesman. In contrast to the extravagant lifestyle of the wealthy elite around him, he is a naive and gentle soul.

As Nick’s journey progresses, he gains wisdom and insight. He becomes more aware and somewhat jaded but never loses his kindness or integrity.

Nick narrates the story while also assuming the role of the protagonist. He undergoes the greatest transformation throughout the novel.

He has close ties to several of the characters. But he is fascinated by Gatsby and his parties and gains an invitation into his private circle. He helps to bring Gatsby and Daisy together.

An image of Jay Gatsby from the Great Gatsby as a cartoon character

2. Jay Gatsby

Gatsby is a classic example of “Rags to Riches.” He exemplifies both the good and the bad of the American dream. He went from poverty to incredible wealth through hard work, determination, and luck. But he used immoral means to accumulate wealth and power.

His story is both an inspiration and a warning. On the one hand, he demonstrates what’s possible through dedication and ambition. On the other, he shows the dangers of greed and the blind pursuit of wealth and power.

Gatsby loved Daisy, but he was poor. When he returned from serving in World War I, Daisy /had married Tom Buchanan. He spent the rest of his life trying to regain her love. Although Gatsby and Daisy did get back together, it didn’t last. He demands that she tell Tom she never loved him and that his mysterious past ended their relationship.

Gatsby is a complicated character. Gatsby embodies the American Dream. He provides a motivating example for those looking to pursue their dreams of success. But he also represents a failure of the American dream.

His obsession with status, power, and possessions leads to his demise. His journey shows the power of perseverance, commitment, and risk-taking in pursuing success.

An image of Daisy Buchanan as a cartoon character

3. Daisy Buchanan

Daisy Buchanan was a beautiful young woman from a wealthy family in Louisville, Kentucky. She’s blessed with an affluent lifestyle. She is married to Tom Buchanan, a man of considerable wealth, but the marriage is not loving. Daisy was the epitome of what Gatsby sought, yet he was too blinded by his longing for her to recognize her faults.

To Nick, Daisy was careless and always resorted to her money to get her out of a sticky situation. Her most famous line was “beautiful little fool,” referring to the best thing a woman could be in the world because a smart woman would see that they’re used or not loved.

An image of Tom Buchanan from the great gatsby as a cartoon character

4. Tom Buchanan

Tom Buchanan, Daisy’s wealthy husband, was born into a wealthy family and lived a luxurious life. He played polo, drove fast cars, and rode horses. He never had to work hard, and he enjoyed the good life. Yet, he was also a very selfish man. He was always having an affair, and he was always trying to control Daisy.

He was a very negative character, and he did not positively represent the American Dream. He was never satisfied, and he always wanted more. He was racist and worried that other races were gaining power.


5. Jordan Baker

Jordan Baker was Daisy Buchanan’s friend and golf partner. She was an attractive woman with a fit, athletic posture, sun-strained grey eyes, and hair the color of autumn leaves. During The Great Gatsby, Jordan Baker played a few important roles.

Jordan was also a professional golfer. It’s revealed that she’s engaged to another man at the novel’s end. She provided insight into Daisy’s and Nick’s characters through their interactions.


6. Myrtle Wilson

Myrtle Wilson was the mistress of Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby. She married George Wilson, who owned a rundown garage in the valley of ashes. Myrtle was an unfaithful wife, looking for a way to take control of her life. He sought freedom in her affair with Tom, who was far wealthier than her husband.

Unfortunately, she was also a victim of Tom’s cruelty. He treated her with no respect or consideration for her wishes and needs. Myrtle met a heartbreaking end due to her poor choices with men. The Great Gatsby character’s selfishness caused a tragic chain reaction.


7. George Wilson

George Wilson was the epitome of the downtrodden working class. He lived in the desolate Valley of Ashes with his wife and meekly followed her orders. After her tragic death, his grief was palpable, and it seemed as if he blamed himself for being unable to prevent it.

Not only did Tom Buchanan use George’s wife, but Tom also used George to do his evil bidding. George kills Gatsby and himself, giving Tom and Daisy a fresh start.


8. Dan Cody

Dan Cody’s influence on Jay Gatsby was profound. He adopted the teenager, renamed him, and gave him five years to learn about the millionaire’s life aboard his yacht. This allowed Gatsby to create and build a new identity. He absorbed the identity of wealth and luxury Cody exuded.

It was Cody’s example that inspired Gatsby to become a wealthy man himself. He also gave Gatsby his famous catchphrase, “old sport.”


9. Meyer Wolfsheim

Meyer Wolfsheim was an integral part of Gatsby’s life. He provided both financial stability and an underground identity on the North Shore of Long Island. Nick described him as a “small, flat-nosed Jew” and was uncomfortable in his presence.

Through Wolfsheim, we learn more about Gatsby’s honorable character. He said Gatsby would “never so much as look at a friend’s wife.” This statement complicates Gatsby’s character. Either it isn’t true, or Gatsby loves Daisy enough to sacrifice his principles.

Furthermore, his role in Gatsby’s life gives us insight into his personal development.


10. Ewing Klipspringer

Ewing Klipspringer is a character in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby. He is a friend of Jay Gatsby and an occasional guest at his parties. Klipspringer is a piano player and composer who lives off the generosity of others.

The narrator describes him as a “sad-eyed, elegant young man” with a “wistful mouth.” Klipspringer is a minor character in the novel, but he provides some comic relief. He helps to create a sense of Gatsby’s parties as decadent and excessive. He is also a symbol of the shallowness and emptiness of the lives of the rich in the novel.


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Who are The Great Gatsby characters?

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


What are three main characters in The Great Gatsby?

The three main characters in The Great Gatsby are Jay Gatsby, Nick Carraway, and Daisy Buchanan.


Who is the most important character in The Great Gatsby?

Jay Gatsby is the most important focus of the novel. But Nick brings all the book characters together. He gives us insight into the characters in The Great Gatsby.


What traits define the characters in The Great Gatsby?

Selfish ambition for wealth and status drove the characters from the Great Gatsby. They lacked empathy for each other and had no problem using each other.

Daisy Buchanan was an extravagant socialite who seemed to care more about a luxurious lifestyle than her family.

Jordan Baker was an ambitious woman willing to use men to achieve her success.

Ewing Klipspringer was a greedy businessman willing to take advantage of anyone who could help him financially.


How does the quest for The Great Gatsby’s characters unfold?

The Great Gatsby characters’ quest was wealth, social climbing, and power. Money was a major force in their lives, as each sought to gain something from its power. Gatsby wanted to amass enough wealth to win back his lost love, Daisy.

In contrast, Tom sought to create a new life as an elite citizen of America. Daisy wanted to fit in with high society, and her vanity drove her to seek any necessary means.

As their desires intensified, they became more and more desperate. They were willing to do whatever it took to achieve their goals. Betraying those close to them or sacrificing their happiness didn’t bother them.

Unfortunately, their obsessions led them down a dark path. They were unable to see beyond their materialistic desires and the dangers ahead.


How does the setting of The Great Gatsby affect the characters?

The roaring twenties was a time of economic and social upheaval. It bred many immoral behaviors like greed, lust for power and wealth, and a lack of empathy. This setting inspired the characters’ passions, dreams, and desires.

Some of these visions of success were admirable or romantic. But they often led to tragic outcomes such as suicide or murder when they went unfulfilled. The novel allows readers to reflect on the age and consider the consequences.


The Great Gatsby 2013 Cast

The cast of the 2013 film adaptation of The Great Gatsby included some big names. Leonardo DiCaprio played Jay Gatsby, Tobey Maguire played Nick Carraway, Carey Mulligan played Daisy Buchanan, Joel Edgerton played Tom Buchanan, and Isla Fisher played Myrtle Wilson. Baz Luhrmann directed the film.


The Great Gatsby Cast 1974

The 1974 film adaptation of The Great Gatsby starred Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby and Mia Farrow as Daisy Buchanan. The cast included Sam Waterston as Nick Carraway, Bruce Dern as Tom Buchanan, Karen Black as Jordan Baker, Scott Wilson as George Wilson, and Lois Chiles as Myrtle Wilson.

The film was directed by Jack Clayton and produced by David Merrick from a screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola.


How Do The Great Gatsby’s characters for society today?

The characters in The Great Gatsby remain relevant to our society today. Many people are still drawn to the power of money and material wealth. How we treat one another, especially in relationships, can reflect this desire. Too often, people focus on their own needs and desires over meaningful connections.

Fortunately, modern society has more resources to help individuals cope with such issues. such as education, therapy, and social services. There is greater awareness of mental health issues today. Lastly, the era helped inspire laws to protect vulnerable populations from exploitation.


How Did Gatsby Get His Money?

Jay Gatsby earned a place on the yacht of millionaire Dan Cody. Cody promised Gatsby an inheritance. But after Cody’s death, Cody’s family prevented Gatsby from getting any money. He had to find other ways to become wealthy, by even immoral means.

He sold alcohol behind drug store counters with Meyer Wolfsheim. Despite his criminal activities, Gatsby eventually made a fortune. He used his fortune to try and win over the heart of Daisy.


Why did jay gatsby lie about his past?

Gatsby most likely lies about his past because he wants to reinvent himself. He believes that a new name and wealth will give him what he wants and hide his humble beginnings.


Why Did Daisy Marry Tom Buchanan?

Daisy married Tom for luxury and because she thought Gatsby wasn’t coming back.. Daisy is from a wealthy family and expects a life of luxury. She’s also beautiful and charming, making her a desirable catch for Tom.


Why does gatsby call nick old sport?

There are a few potential reasons why Gatsby might call Nick this nickname. One possibility is that he feels a sense of camaraderie with Nick because they are both from the Midwest. Gatsby might also see Nick as a symbol of hope and possibility.


Is Nick in love with Gatsby?

No, Nick is not in love with Gatsby. Gatsby’s lifestyle and mysterious past fascinate Nick. He also admires his persistence. But Nick never justifies Gatsby’s means for achieving his dream.


How Old Is Jay Gatsby?

Jay Gatsby is around 30 years old.


How Does Gatsby Die?

George Wilson killed Gatsby in his pool. George thought Gatsby was responsible for the car accident that killed his wife, Myrtle. Consumed by grief and revenge, he goes to Gatsby’s mansion and shoots him before taking his own life. Gatsby’s death symbolizes the fall of the Roaring Twenties. It was an era of reckless money-spending that led to the Great Depression.


How Does Myrtle Die?

When Myrtle’s husband George discovered her affair with Tom Buchanan, he locked her in a room. He threatened violence if she didn’t call it off. One day Myrtle ran into the road to escape George. Daisy hit her with Gatsby’s car, killing her.

Myrtle longed for the life of luxury that the upper class enjoyed. She thought she had found her way when she began an affair with Tom Buchanan.


What Makes Gatsby Great?

Gatsby’s extraordinary optimism and determination to turn his dreams into reality were remarkable. Born on a farm in North Dakota, he worked hard to gain the wealth and social status he desired.

Gatsby met Daisy while training to be an officer in Louisville. He was immediately smitten and willing to do whatever it took to win her approval. Through his criminal activities, Gatsby was able to amass a fortune.

It allowed him to buy a Gothic mansion in West Egg and host lavish parties every Saturday night. His ambition and drive are what made him great, despite his deep flaws as an individual.


What is Gatsby’s Background?

James Gatz was born on a farm in North Dakota. He met Daisy while training to be an officer in Louisville. When he returned from the war earning a place on the yacht of millionaire Dan Cody, he changed his name to Jay Gatsby.


What is Gatsby’s Real Name?

Jay Gatsby’s real name was James Gatz. Gatsby changed his name at the age after millionaire Dan Cody granted him a place on the yacht.


Why did Gatsby change his name?

Jay Gatsby changed his name to sound more aristocratic and to escape his family and poor upbringing. The only thing he wanted to keep from his past was his love for Daisy.


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The Great Gatsby Summary

The Great Gatsby is a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, set in the Jazz Age of America in the summer of 1922. The story follows Jay Gatsby, a wealthy man living in the fictional West Egg on Long Island. He throws extravagant parties for his many acquaintances. But the real reason is to get back together with Daisy Buchanan, his lost love living across the bay in East Egg.

The novel delves into themes of love, ambition, and privilege as Gatsby strives to make Daisy fall in love with him again. He believes that becoming rich and throwing lavish parties will impress her. Ultimately, Gatsby fails in his mission and has a tragic end. Daisy accidentally kills her husband’s mistress while driving Gatsby’s car. The husband kills Gatsby because he thinks that he is the one who killed his wife.

The novel is an exploration of the tragedy and consequences of greedy ambition. The Great Gatsby characters didn’t understand that money cannot buy true love or happiness. The Great Gatsby provides a timeless commentary on the human condition. It illustrates the greed and corruption that can come from seeking the American Dream.

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Fitzgerald published The Great Gatsby almost a century ago, but its themes are still relevant today. The characters in the novel represent a cross-section of American society. And their actions and motivations continue to resonate with readers. To deepen your understanding of the novel, check out our post on the Great Gatsby quotes with page numbers.

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