Nick Carraway is a young man from Minnesota who moved to New York in the summer of 1922. He rents a house in West Egg, a district of Long Island. It is a wealthy area populated by people called the “new rich”, who include those that have made their fortunes too recently to have established social connections. Nick’s next door neighbor in West Egg is Jay Gatsby, a mysterious man who lives in a mansion and throws massive parties every Saturday night. Unlike the others in West Egg, Nick was a man who went to Yale and has connections in East Egg, a more sophisticated area of Long Island.
Nick drives out to East Egg for dinner one night with his cousin, Daisy, and her husband, Tom. Daisy and Tom introduce Nick to Jordan Baker, young woman who Nick begins a relationship with. At the dinner, Nick learns some things about Daisy and Tom’s marriage. Jordan says that Tom has been having an affair with Myrtle Wilson, a resident of an industrial dumping ground between West Egg and New York City. Not long after the dinner, Nick travels to New York City with Tom and Myrtle. At a party in the apartment that Tom keeps for the affair, Myrtle begins to talk smack about Daisy to Tom, in which Tom responds by breaking her nose.
As the summer goes on, Nick eventually acquires an invitation to one of Gatsby’s legendary parties. He sees Jordan Baker at the party, and they both meet Gatsby himself. Gatsby is a young man who has an English accent, an affectionate smile, and calls everyone “old sport. ” Gatsby asks to speak to Jordan alone, and, through Jordan, Nick later learns more about his mysterious neighbor. Gatsby tells Jordan that he had met Daisy in Louisville in 1917 and is in love with her. He spends many nights staring at the green light at the end of her dock, across the bay from his mansion.
Gatsby’s lifestyle and wild parties are only an attempt to impress Daisy. Gatsby now wants Nick to arrange a reunion between himself and Daisy. So, Nick invites Daisy to have tea at his house, without telling her that Gatsby will be there. After they start to get to know each other again, Gatsby and Daisy start to fall in love with each other and eventually begin an affair. After a couple weeks, Tom starts to become suspicious of Daisy’s and Gatsby’s romantic relationship. At a dinner at Tom and Daisy Buchanans’ house, Gatsby stares at Daisy with passion and love, and from then on Tom realizes Gatsby is in love with her.
Although Tom is also involved in a scandalous affair, he is extremely angered by the thought that his wife is most likely cheating on him. He forces Nick, Daisy, and Jordan to drive to New York City so that he can meet up with Gatsby. In a suite at the Plaza Hotel, Tom demonstrates and proves that Daisy and himself have a history that Gatsby could never understand. Tom also announces that Gatsby is a criminal because his fortune come from bootlegging alcohol and other illegal activities. Daisy realizes that her loyalty and love is to her husband.
Tom then sends Daisy back to East Egg. When Nick, Jordan, and Tom drive through the industrial dumping ground where Myrtle lives, the group discovers that Gatsby’s car had hit and killed Myrtle, Tom’s lover. They rush back to Long Island, where Nick learns from Gatsby that Daisy was driving the car when it struck Myrtle, however Gatsby intends to take the blame. The next day, Tom tells George, Myrtle’s husband, that Gatsby was the driver of the car. George was outraged. He presumed that the driver of the car, Gatsby, must have been her lover.
So, George goes to Gatsby’s mansion to find him swimming in the pool. George shoots and kills Gatsby, then fatally shoots himself. Nick plans a small funeral for Gatsby. He also ends his relationship with Jordan and moves back to the Midwest to escape the people surrounding Gatsby’s life. Nick also moves because of the emptiness he has in West Egg. At the end of it all, Nick reflects about Gatsby. He reveals that Gatsby’s power to transform his dreams into reality was what made him “great. ” He expresses that the era of making dreams come true – what Gatsby was capable of doing – is now over.