The Great Gatsby Chapter 4

Performance Indicators:

P.S. ELA-1 Language:   Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

A. Notice and correct grammatical and mechanical errors in writing.
B. Demonstrate command of correct sentence structure and variety.
C. Apply standard usage to formal speaking and writing.

P.S ELA-2 Reading Analysis: Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

A. Evaluate the relevant themes and synthesize how they are present in the novel in oral and written responses.
B. Interpret the implications of setting and circumstance.
C. Analyze the role of characters in the plot in oral and written responses.
D. Analyze important quotations from the text in oral and written responses.
E. Annotate the text.

P.S ELA-3 Reading Craft and Structure: Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness or beauty of a text.

A. Understand SOAPSTone: Speaker, Occasion, Audience, Purpose, Subject, Tone
B. Analyze the plot and/or design of the text, following shifts in time and place.

The Great Gatsby Study Guide and audiobook

The Great Gatsby Chapter 4 (Part 1) Audio
The Great Gatsby Chapter 4 (Part 2) Audio
The Great Gatsby Chapter 4 (Part 3) Audio

At the outset of Chapter 4, Gatsby arrives at Nick’s house, informing him they are going to lunch in New York City. On this occasion Gatsby provides Nick with his long-awaited biography, swearing that he is the son of wealthy parents in the middle-west and that he attended Oxford. Nick, suspicious of the way Gatsby says this, wonders “if there wasn’t something a little sinister about him after all” (69). Gatsby continues, however, detailing how, after being promoted to major in World War I, every Allied government honored him for his achievements. Gatsby’s presentation of a war medal and picture from his Oxford days suddenly seems to convince Nick of his companion’s stories.

At lunch, Gatsby introduces Nick to Mr. Meyer Wolfshiem. After retelling a story about the brutal murder of one of his associates, Wolfshiem mistakenly asks Gatsby if Nick is present to negotiate some unnamed business. Gatsby quickly corrects him, replying mysteriously, “Oh no…this isn’t the man” (75). At the end of lunch, Nick sees Tom Buchanan and introduces Gatsby, who acts embarrassed and quickly disappears unnoticeable when Nick turns his head.

The rest of Chapter 4 is devoted to explaining Gatsby’s hasty exit, as Jordan Baker repeats the story Gatsby told her to Nick. Five years earlier Jordan and Daisy Buchanan were acquaintances in Louisville, back when Daisy was very popular with the young officers in town. One day, Jordan saw her in a car with an unknown lieutenant, who looked as Daisy “in a way that every young girl wants to be looked at sometime” (80). This young lieutenant’s name, Jordan reveals, was Jay Gatsby. By the next year, however, Daisy was engaged to Tom Buchanan. On the night of the bridal dinner, Jordan — a bridesmaid at the wedding — found Daisy drunk and crying, while clutching a mysterious letter and declaring she had changed her mind. In spite of this outburst, she married Tom Buchanan “without so much as a shiver and started off on a three months’ trip to the South Seas” (81).

Jordan continues, saying that the Buchanans’ party — when Jordan had inquired whether Nick knew the Gatsby living in West Egg — was the first time Daisy had heard Gatsby’s name in four years. Later, Jordan insists that Gatsby bought his West Egg mansion for the sole purpose of being across the bay from Daisy’s house — with the green light at the end of the dock — in East Egg. Using Jordan as his messenger, Gatsby requests that Nick invite Daisy to his house, then allow Gatsby to stop by and see her. The chapter closes with Nick kissing Jordan Baker, momentarily forgetting about the saga of Daisy and Gatsby.