Nick Carraway is the novel’s narrator who serves as the moral judge of all the events that take place around him. Raised in the Midwest, he moves to the East Coast to learn the bond trade business while trying to form an identity and a sense of freedom in New York.
He rents a house on the fashionable West Egg Island and is neighbors with the young tycoon Jay Gatsby. His distant cousin, Daisy Buchanan lives across the bay on East Egg Island with her husband, Tom. Nick’s main purpose is to reunite Gatsby and Daisy.
Initially coming across as naïve and innocent, Nick eventually becomes completely disillusioned with the fabulous lives of the wealthy on the East Coast before finding his true identity. He is hesitant at first to take a stand or judge those he comes into contact with. But as the novel progresses, he begins to find everything about New York and his new-found friends disgusting.
Nick realizes that he has absolutely no desire to marry Jordan Baker, to live Daisy’s careless life, nor does he want to be associated with immoral characters like Meyer Wolfsheim. On his 30th birthday, he comes to the realization that he belongs in the Midwest, a symbol of morality and conservatism.
Born James Gatz to poor farmers in North Dakota, he realizes early in life that he wants more in life than what North Dakota has to offer. This leads him to leave home in search of wealth and excitement. As luck would have it, he meets an extremely wealthy man who likes him enough to make him his assistant. When the man, Cody, dies, Gatsby joins the army where he meets and falls in love with Daisy, the most fabulous lady in Louisville. While he is fighting in the war in Europe, Daisy marries Tom Buchanan. This crushes Gatsby who vows to spend the rest of his life trying to win her back.
Daisy is an attractive, wealthy lady who is careless and lacking in character. She is Nick’s distant cousin who once had a fling with Gatsby though she later marries another man, Tom Buchanan. Throughout the novel, Daisy remains the woman who Gatsby desires most of all.
Daisy’s wealthy husband Tom is a cruel man who is a living personification of the shallowness and the carelessness of the rich and opulent. He treats Daisy shabbily and keeps a mistress without even trying to hide it. Tom is repeatedly engaged in a number of altercations and fights, which show him to be a violent person.
For example, he hits his mistress for mentioning Daisy’s name and later confronts Gatsby when he suspects that he might be having an affair with Daisy. In the end, Daisy remains with Tom only because of the financial security he offers, which can sustain the affluent lifestyle that she has become accustomed to.