Chapter VI


After a brief commentary on the appearance of a reporter at Gatsby's house, ambitious and interested in what was becoming Gatsby's fame, Nick describes Gatsby's origins. Born James Gatz, Nick says, the man became Jay Gatsby as the result of his relationship with wealthy prospector Dan Cody in the last days of the latter's life. Gatz, Nick says, saw and took an opportunity to integrate himself into Cody's life and lifestyle, with the result that he (Gatz) assumed a new personality (Gatsby). This story, Nick says in narration, was told to him by Gatsby much later, but he recounts it at this point as a commentary on the rumors about Gatsby's history that began to circulate at the time Nick is writing about.

The rest of the chapter is taken up with Nick's narrative description of another of Gatsby's parties. Daisy and Tom Buchanan are invited, and over the course of the evening, in spite of dancing with Gatsby and of the presence of a famous, beautiful film star, Daisy has an increasingly evident bad time. As he described the evening's events, Nick comments that all Gatsby wanted was for her to tell Tom that she doesn't love him and never did. That way, Nick says, Gatsby and Daisy could return to where they left things when they parted. When Nick tells him the past cannot be repeated, Gatsby insists that it can and vows to 'fix everything just the way it was before'. Nick comes to understand that Gatsby wants to reconnect with the part of himself and his past that 'had gone into loving Daisy' and, through doing so, bring some order into his life. The chapter concludes with Nick's description of a memorable nighttime encounter between Gatsby and Daisy during which they kissed and Gatsby's dreams of a future with her became complete.

Themes and Character Analysis


More is revealed about him, his origins and values and belief systems. James Gatz adopted the identity of Jay Gatsby as a new truth, an illusion : his money, his identity, his social prominence and, perhaps most importantly, his dreams of love, life and success with Daisy Buchanan. In his determination to bring those dreams to reality, he dismisses Nick's commentary that we cannot return to the past. Parallel between the story of Gatz and Cody and the story of Nick and Gatsby : Nick has done the same thing with Gatsby as Gatz did with Cody, only Nick, to his credit, discovers the emptiness at the core of that particular lifestyle and gets out while he is still morally intact.

Daisy Buchanan

The descriptions of the party portray her as being resentful that she is not the center of attention, the reason for her having an increasingly unhappy time : self-absorbed and only focused on herself.