The Great Gatsby Main Characters – Introduction
Nick Carraway, the narrator, is Daisy Buchanan’s cousin and friend of Jay Gastby’s. Daisy and Gatsby had a relationship in the past but when he left to serve in the war, Daisy married Tom.
Tom Buchanan is an aggressive and untrustworthy man and it is obvious that Daisy still loves Gatsby. However, she will not leave her husband, which drives Gatsby to his downfall.
The Great Gatsby Characters List
Who is the Main Character in the Great Gatsby?
- Great Gatsby Protagonist – Jay Gatsby
- Great Gatsby Antagonist – Tom Buchanan and Daisy Buchanan
- Great Gatsby Narrator – Nick Carraway
Nick Carraway Description
Nick Carraway Character Traits – Nick has come to New York for business and decides to stay in the suburbs of Long Island near his cousin, Daisy. He rents a house next door to Gatsby. After attending a Gatsby party, Nick befriends Gatsby and starts to see how fragile the extravagant and wealthy man really is. He learns of Gatsby’s undying love for Daisy and watches this undo his friend over the course of the novel. Nick represents everything that Gatsby is not—he is rational and open-minded and detests the emptiness of the extremely wealthy. While he is attracted to the fast-paced luxurious lifestyle, he ultimately craves a quieter, more even-keeled way of life.
Jay Gatsby Description – Who is Gatsby?
Jay Gatsby Character Traits – Gatsby’s story is a true rags to riches story. Throughout the novel, it becomes apparent that everything that Gatsby has worked to secure has been to impress Daisy, in hopes of winning her back. Even the elaborate parties that he throws every weekend are all just in hopes that Daisy will attend. Once he convinces Nick to help him meet with Daisy, the wildly emotional affair begins. Gatsby begins to lose himself as Daisy refuses to leave her husband, Tom, so that they can be together. Gatsby represents the theatrical and restless nature of a man who will risk everything for love. He is the ultimate illusion—appearing aloof and indifferent on the outside, which hides his unstable, temperamental, and impulsive nature.
Daisy Buchanan Description
Daisy Buchanan Character Traits – Nick’s cousin and Gatsby’s love interest. Daisy was partially based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife Zelda. In Gatsby’s eyes, Daisy is perfection and his would do anything to win her back. His entire fortune was all created just to impress her. However, Daisy tends to be pessimistic and fickle and difficult to please. She is bored and restless and hides from problems behind her and her husband’s money. Daisy is far from the image of perfection that Gatsby sees her as. Daisy can be seen as a representation of the amoral aristocratic class.
Thomas “Tom” Buchanan Description
Tom Buchanan Character Traits – Tom is Daisy’s husband—the man she married rather than keeping her promise to wait for Gatsby when he left for the war. Tom is strong and aggressive and treats others terribly, including the women in his life. He seems incapable of considering things from perspectives other than his own and the narrator, Nick, sees him as everything that is wrong with the stuffy upper class. Tom is prone to using threats and violence to get his way and his controlling nature is tolerated because of his wealth. He is jealous and will do anything to maintain control of a situation. Even though Tom and Daisy Buchanan both cheat on each other during the course of the novel, Tom insists that they have only ever loved each other.
Jordan Baker Description
Jordan Baker Character Traits – Jordan is Nick’s love interest while he is in New York. He is both impressed with her exuberance and mysterious nature. She is a famous golfer but is from more modest means. She tends to express things for what they are, and Nick likes this genuine quality in her. However, she has a dishonest streak, which Nick attributes to the corruption that wealth brings.
George Wilson Description
George Wilson Character Traits – George Wilson is the hotheaded husband of Myrtle. He and Myrtle own a garage in the Valley of the Ashes, which is where the working-class suburbs of New York are found. George fiercely loves his wife and is destroyed over her affair and then her death. In a fit of revenge, he shoots and kills Gatsby and then himself.
Myrtle Wilson Description
Myrtle Wilson Character Traits – Myrtle is a vivacious woman who is unhappy with her dead-end marriage. She dreams of a better life and becomes mistress to Tom Buchanan. Although Tom treats her badly, she seems to see him as her ticket out of her current life. Her death at the hands of Daisy’s reckless driving is the catalyst for the story’s tragic ending.
Catherine Character Traits – Catherine is the friend of Myrtle Wilson. She lives in the city and gives Myrtle an alibi for her outings with Tom.
Meyer Wolfsheim Description
Meyer Wolfsheim Character Traits – Wolfsheim is a friend of Gatsby’s who is a prominent figure in organized crime. It is understood that he helped Gatsby make his fortune by bootlegging illegal liquor during Prohibition.
Owl Eyes Description
Owl Eyes Character Traits – Owl eyes is a symbol of wisdom and perception. At first, Nick thinks he is rather like the rest of the wealthy—spoiled and disconnected from reality. However, Owl Eyes notices things that others do not and is the only person to show up for Gatsby’s funeral.
Ewing Klipspringer Description – Who is Klipspringer?
Ewing Klipspringer Character Traits – The freeloader who seems to live in Gatsby’s mansion.
Michaelis Character Traits – Neighbor to George and Myrtle Wilson. He is the first person on the scene at Myrtle’s death and comforts George afterwards. He plants the seed in George’s head that Myrtle was murdered.
Henry C. Gatz Description
Henry C. Gatz Character Traits – Father of Jay Gatsby and reminder of Gatsby’s humble background.
- 1 The Great Gatsby Main Characters – Introduction
- 2 The Great Gatsby Characters List
- 3 Nick Carraway Description
- 4 Jay Gatsby Description – Who is Gatsby?
- 5 Daisy Buchanan Description
- 6 Thomas “Tom” Buchanan Description
- 7 Jordan Baker Description
- 8 George Wilson Description
- 9 Myrtle Wilson Description
- 10 Catherine Description
- 11 Meyer Wolfsheim Description
- 12 Owl Eyes Description
- 13 Ewing Klipspringer Description – Who is Klipspringer?
- 14 Michaelis Description
- 15 Henry C. Gatz Description