Jay Gatsby is the central character in The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Born "Jimmy Gatz," Jay Gatsby was born and raised on a farm in North Dakota.
- He was determined to do what it took to get ahead (to succeed).
- His father said: "Jimmy was bound to get ahead. He always had some resolves like this or something. Do you notice what he's got about improving his mind? He was always great for that. He told me I et like a hog once, and I beat him for it"
- "The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God – a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that – and he must be about His Father's business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end."
- Nick says that Jay Gatsby is "better than the whole damn bunch put together"
The name of our central protagonist in The Great Gatsby has become synonymous with everything that is glittery-golden and dream-like, the American Dream--all that we hope for in America (the land of promise and possibility).
But, even his name (Jay Gatsby) is contrived. And, the title (The Great Gatsby) is borrowed from the fake name (a life that was created in an attempt to "get the girl").
The Great Gatsby Study Guide
- Review: 'The Great Gatsby'
- Questions for Study & Discussion
- F. Scott Fitzgerald - Profile