The Great Gatsby – chapter annotations




  • He’s known daisy for a long time, he bought a house across from the buchanans so daisy may realise that he lives there.
  • To add effect to there were so many people who Gatsby didn’t personally know very well but knew of. The text makes these people sound important which are, as we know, the kind of people that Gatsby likes to invite to his parties.
  • I don’t believe all of what Gatsby said about his life as the text made it seem that Gatsby seemed a bit guilty when he said it. I find Jordan’s story more realistic for Gatsby’s character as he doesn’t seem like an oxford man and I think Nick thinks this too.
  • To me, this side of Daisy makes her seem less shallow but not too much as she was still willing to give up on Gatsby.
  • I think that Nick means that these are the status of people in life as people are neither    



“Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had vanished forever”

  • Occurred – moment of clarity/reality
  • Colossal significance – something that matters a lot, big, immense, huge, mammoth, important
  • Gatsby realises that the light was never actually important in terms of symbolism of Daisy.
  • Forever – never going to come back
  • Vanished – if something truly vanishes it never existed. We see ‘vanishing tricks’ in a magic show which are just forms of illusion.


“It had seemed as close as a star to the moon, now it was again a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one.”

  • As a star – simile, in appearance it looks very close. In reality, it’s really really far away.Gatsby believes daisy to be “just across the bay” so not very far in distance. In reality there is a lot of time and life separating them.
  • Enchanted – Gatsby’s obsession with Daisy is like a spell. He is so fixated on her that it seems unreal or fantastic.

Creative passion = to create with intense emotion

  • Creative  = expressive, outside the box, inventive, innovative, imaginative.
  • Passion = love, affection, intensity, dedication, strong emotion

Gatsby has created the dream with Daisy. Even though he felt such strong and intense emotion for it. It’s still an illusion, not real.

Decking it – creating/designing

Bright feather – material object/opportunities.

Drifted – They came to him. Chance brings them. DRIFT make us think of driftwood which came by water and has no control over its course. Some of the things Gatsby has decked his life (illusion) with have come by chance – it is luck that has brought them to him but he has ensured that he has gathered up all of the driftwood – taken the opportunity.

Ghostly heart – Deathless song

Hinting at us that Gatsby dies and Daisy lives.


“ raw vigour that chafed.”

  • Raw vigour – strength/presence.
  • Chafed – rub

Daisy thinks that West egg has an uncomfortable/imitating presence.

  • Fitzgerald uses air quotes around place to indicate its not the physical place that counts but the vibe/nature that surrounds.

“Nothing to nothing”

  • Daisy didn’t have anything to look forward to and still doesn’t



“Her voice is full of money… That was it. I’d never understood before. It was full of money – that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals song of it… High in a white palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl…”

Her voice is full of money –

  • Powerful, valuable, attractive. Money is attractive.
  • Sounds like money – high society – posh – UK – confidence – vocab is sophisticated.
  • She has so much money but just does what she wants.
  • Part of why gatsby is so attracted to her as high society is all he has ever wanted.

Inexhaustible charm – You never get tired of it/it never runs out of charm

Jingle –

  • A bell
  • Coins
  • Advertisement have jingles
  • A jingle draws you in just like Daisy’s voice

Cymbals –

  • You hit it and it makes a crashing sound
  • Not always pleasant
  • It stands out

White –

  • Daisy’s colour

Palace –

  • A symbol of wealth

Golden girl –

  • Money
  • So good/perfect trophy

“They weren’t happy, and neither of them had touched the chicken or the ale and yet they weren’t unhappy either.and anybody would have thought they were conspiring together.”

Natural intimacy –

  • Very comfortable with each other
  • Comes easily, it’s how things are supposed to be
  • Love, sense of familiarity, honest, comfortable around the person
  • Tom and Daisy have a relationship that goes deeper than we initially thought.
  • Their status brings them together

Conspiring together –

  • Making a plan, this implies that daisy has told tom the truth and they are now making a plan.
  • They have a natural instinct to protect not only their image but each other

“He put his hands in his coat pockets and turned back eagerly to his scrutiny of the house, as though my presence marred the sacredness of the vigil. So I walked away and left him standing there in the moonlight watching over nothing.”

Sacredness of the vigil –

  • Gatsby believes in his future with daisy like people believe in god

Standing there in the moonlight watching over nothing –

  • We see gatsby in the moonlight reaching for the green light
  • Now we see him reaching for nothing
  • Nothing will make him give up on daisy even though there is now nothing going to happen between them, he still has hope because she is his life.


“Paid a high price for living too long with a single dream”

  • Gatsby did this
  • Single dream – life with Daisy
  • High price – death
  • Single – implies that Gatsby never had any other goals


“Shivered as he found out what a grotesque thing a rose is”

  • Grotesque – ugly/disgusting
  • Rose – link with Daisy, both names are flowers  – when you see a rose you don’t think of all of the thorns meaning that you just look at its beauty but really have no idea how dangerous it can be. Daisy is like a rose  and gatsby only sees the perfect and beautiful side in her and only at the last moment realises that she is damaging and dangerous and actually has a prickly an horrible personality.                                

“ A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about…”

  • A new world – gatsby creates this, he creates a new person
  • His life is there but is also not, he goes with his new self but it is not actually real. It was an illusion
  • Illusion of being with gatsby was like oxygen for him.

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