F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby

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The Great Gatsby Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 6 Summary

The next chapter begins with a reporter arriving at Gatsby’s, asking if he has any statement to give. Gatsby has no idea what he means, and it seems that the reporter is simply following up on vague rumors attached to Gatsby that even the reporter himself does not understand.

After recounting this “fishing expedition” by the reporter, Carraway informs us of a story told to him by Gatsby about his origin. He tells us, first of all, that James Gatz is the true name of the man who comes to call himself Jay Gatsby. He took on this name upon meeting Dan Cody on a yacht in Lake Superior.

Gatsby is originally from South Dakota, from a good but unremarkable family. He always felt out of place there, and left as soon as he could to seek a better future for himself. He wandered to Lake Superior, and rowed his boat out on the pretense of giving boating advice to the captain of Cody’s magnificent yacht. He managed to ingratiate himself with Cody, and even become a partial heir. A self-made gold and silver magnate, Cody turns Gatsby into his unofficial assistant. Unfortunately, when Cody dies, his mistress or female companion Ella Kaye manages to keep the money from Gatsby.

Nick then moves on to an encounter that followed several weeks after the tea visit, since which he had not seen Gatsby. Walking over to Gatsby’s on a whim, he happens to see Tom Buchanan and two others riding up on horseback. They are merely using Gatsby’s home as a resting point on their riding expedition, and perhaps visiting out of curiosity.

Gatsby, who is at home, cannot help but be peculiarly friendly to Tom. When Tom and his companions mention moving on to another party, Gatsby nearly goes with them despite their unwillingness to take him.

A third section of the chapter details a part at Gatsby’s attended by both Tom and Daisy. Nick remarks on feeling a certain unpleasantness in the air, perhaps because he is experiencing the West Egg party through the East Egg eyes of Daisy. As it…

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