The Great Gatsby Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis
Chapter 4 Summary
Chapter 4 begins with a Sunday morning party at Gatsby’s, while church bells are ringing in the distance. The usual rumors about Gatsby’s origins are heard among the attendees. Nick pauses to list the colorful regulars at Gatsby’s parties, which includes a heterogeneous array of wealthy and successful individuals.
Another day, in late July, Gatsby drives up to Nick’s house and takes him to lunch. On the drive, Nick is struck by Gatsby’s efforts to gauge whether or not Nick thinks highly of him. Indeed, he asks Nick’s opinion of him outright. He also asks what Nick thinks of Gatsby’s car, which is extremely luxurious and large.
Gatsby confronts the rumors about his origin directly, by saying he is the son of deceased wealthy parents from the Midwest. However, when asked where in the Midwest, he replies San Francisco.
Gatsby goes on to explain that after inheriting his deceased parents’ wealth, he spent years living lavishly in Europe. After Europe, he tells Nick, he showed great valor in WWI in the Ardennes, and received medals of honor from multiple countries.
To corroborate his stories, Gatsby shows Nick a picture of him at Oxford, and a medal given to him for heroism by Montenegro. To Nick, these stories prove that virtually everything Gatsby says is true.
They are pulled over for speeding, but Gatsby hands the policeman a Christmas card from the police commissioner, which he explains he receives because he once did this person a favor. Seeing the card, the policeman apologizes and lets them go.
They go to lunch in a basement pub in New York, where they meet Meyer Wolfsheim, a notorious man whom Gatsby apparently knows well. Wolfsheim, Gatsby explains to Nick, fixed the World Series once, determining the outcome in advance for gambling purposes.
After Wolfsheim leaves, Tom shows up. Nick introduces the two, but in the middle of speaking with Tom he looks back to find Gatsby gone.
The next part of the chapter recounts Jordan’s first meeting with Gatsby, in 1917 in Louisville. She lives in Daisy Buchanan’s neighborhood, and encounters Daisy in a car with a man who…