Rumours and identity

Chapter four

Gatsby comes to Nick’s house and takes him for lunch in New York. There he reveals various things about his background. He claims:

  • he is from a wealthy San Francisco family
  • he studied at Oxford
  • he served in the army during World War One where he rose to became a Major
A photo of Meyer Wolfsheim, Nick Carraway and Gatsby from The Great Gatsby movie (2013)
Meyer Wolfsheim, Nick Carraway and Gatsby in The Great Gatsby movie (2013)

At lunch Nick is introduced to a gambler, Meyer Wolfsheim, who is rumoured to have fixed the 1919 Baseball World Series. Being associated with Wolfsheim strongly suggests that Gatsby has links to the criminal world.

Jordan tells Nick that in 1917 she met Daisy and a young military officer called Jay Gatsby, who wanted to marry her. When he was away fighting in the war, however, she married the rich Tom Buchanan.

It becomes clear that it was not a coincidence that brought Gatsby to West Egg, he deliberately bought a house opposite Daisy's house. On behalf of Gatsby, Jordan asks Nick to engineer a meeting with Daisy.

Chapter five

Nick arranges the meeting between Gatsby and Daisy at his house. He leaves them alone and returns to find Daisy in tears. The three of them then go over to Gatsby’s mansion where he shows off his expensive possessions. Nick leaves Gatsby and Daisy alone at the mansion.

Chapter six

We learn from Nick about Gatsby’s true origins. His real name is James Gatz. He comes from North Dakota. At the age of 17 he changed his name to Jay Gatsby after meeting a rich mining prospector called Dan Cody. He became Cody's assistant for five years until his death.

Tom and Daisy Buchanan go to one of Gatsby’s parties and Tom suggests to Nick that Gatsby is a bootlegger.