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Jay Gatsby James Gatz Born James Gatz in North Dakota from an early age he was dedicated to moving up in society and becoming wealthy and respectable He changed his name to Jay Gatsby after meeting Dan Cody a wealthy older man who mentored him Before going to Europe for the Great War Gatsby met Daisy Fay with whom he became infatuated for she represented the genteel society he wished to join After the war Gatsby built his fortune partially through illegal activities yet dedicated his life to attaining Daisy His devotion to her was his major flaw he was attentive to her at the expense of any concern for others Nick Carraway The narrator of the story Nick Carraway comes from a well-to-do mid-western family He comes to New York to enter the bond business and becomes involved with the affair between Gatsby and the Buchanans Although seemingly responsible honest and fair Nick Carraway nevertheless shares some of the less desirable traits of his acquaintances He can be equally careless with others emotions Yet among the characters he is the only one who realizes the greatness of Gatsby compared to his contemporaries Tom Buchanan A brutal hulking man Tom Buchanan is a former Yale football player who like Nick and Daisy comes from an elite mid-western family Despite his physical stature and his high status Tom is an insecure and paranoid man perpetually concerned with what he sees as the downfall of society and the loss of his own high status He is a thorough hypocrite condemning his wife and Gatsby for their affair while having no qualms about his own infidelity Daisy Fay Buchanan Born Daisy Fay she is a cousin of Nick During her youth she fell in love with Jay Gatsby but broke off her attachment with him during the Great War because he was poor She subsequently became the symbol of everything Gatsby desired
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