6212599 orig

The Life of Jay Gatsby

  • James Gatz is born

    to poor, unsuccessful farmers in North Dakota. “His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people—his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all.”
  • James Gatz aims for bigger things

    James Gatz works as a clam digger and salmon fisher on Lake Superior, and tries to go to St. Olaf Lutheran College in southern Minnesota before dropping out two weeks later unhappy to be working as a janitor to support himself.
    "For over a year he had been beating his way along the south shore of Lake Superior as a clam digger and a salmon fisher ..."
  • James Gatz becomes Jay Gatsby

    James Gatz, 17 years old, meets Dan Cody in Little Girl Bay on Lake Superior and changes his name to Jay Gatsby.
    “Cody was fifty years old then, a product of the Nevada silver fields, of the Yukon, of every rush for metal since Seventy-five. The transactions in Montana copper that made him many times a millionaire ... He had been coasting along all too hospitable shores for five years when he turned up as James Gatz's destiny at Little Girl Bay.”
  • Jay and Cody sail away

    Jay and Cody sail away
    Gatsby sails the seas with Cody for five years. “He was employed in a vague personal capacity—while he remained with Cody he was in turn steward, mate, skipper, secretary, and even jailor, for Dan Cody [put] more and more trust in Gatsby ... The arrangement lasted five years during which the boat went three times around the continent.”
  • Dan Cody dies

    Dan Cody dies in Boston. He leaves $25,000 to Gatsby, but Ella Kaye uses legal means to take away this inheritance. Gatsby is penniless but has learned polished manners and how the rich operate.
  • Jay and Daisy meet

    Jay and Daisy meet
    Gatsby is stationed at Camp Taylor in Louisville, where he meets Daisy Fay (he is 27, she is 18). They are together for a month, and he is shocked by how much in love with her he falls.
    “He knew that Daisy was extraordinary ... He felt married to her, that was all.”
  • Gatsby leaves for WW1

    Gatsby leaves for WW1
    Gatsby leaves for Europe to fight in WWI.
    "Wild rumors were circulating about her—how her mother had found her packing her bag one winter night to go to New York and say goodbye to a soldier who was going overseas."
  • Gatsby becomes an Oxford man

    After Armistice, Gatsby spends five months at Oxford University in England, in a program for army officers. "It was in nineteen-nineteen, I only stayed five months. That's why I can't really call myself an Oxford man ... It was an opportunity they gave to some of the officers after the Armistice," he continued. "We could go to any of the universities in England or France.""
  • Jay and Nick meet

    Jay and Nick meet
    Nick is invited to one of Gatsby’s house parties and meets him. Also at the party is Owl-Eyes, the guest who enthuses about Gatsby’s library. “People were not invited—they went there. … they conducted themselves according to the rules of behavior associated with amusement parks. Sometimes they came and went without having met Gatsby at all”
  • Nick gets to know Gatsby's business

    Nick gets to know Gatsby's business
    Gatsby takes Nick out to lunch, where Nick meets Meyer Wolfshiem, and where Gatsby meets Tom.
  • Jordan tells all

    Jordan tells all
    Gatsby has Jordan explain to Nick about his past relationship with Daisy, and asks Nick to invite her over for tea so he can 'casually' meet her again.
  • The Affair

    The Affair
    Gatsby and Daisy begin their affair; Gatsby fires his staff and stops his parties. He also tries to get Daisy to leave Tom, and she seems willing.
  • Coming clean

    Coming clean
    Daisy is unwilling to completely renounce Tom, which decimates Gatsby. Daisy decides to stay with Tom.
  • The Accident

    The Accident
    Daisy, driving Gatsby’s car, runs over and kills Myrtle Wilson. There is then a search for Gatsby's yellow car by Myrtle's husband- George.
  • Death

    Jay Gatsby is shot by George Wilson, after being mistakenly identified by the one who killed Myrtle, and he believes it is Gatsby that she was having an affair with.
  • After

    Gatsby is slated in the press, and only Nick is the only one who knows that it was Daisy that killed Myrtle. No one comes to Gatsby's funeral, and then Nick leaves New York and goes back to the Mid-West