Great Gatsby Character Chart: Get to Know the Key Players in Fitzgerald’s Classic Novel

Great Gatsby Character Chart: Get to Know the Key Players in Fitzgerald's Classic Novel

The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a timeless classic that takes readers on a journey through the Roaring Twenties. In this novel, characters dream of a better life, only to find themselves caught up in the disillusionment and decadence of the era. One of the main characters is Nick Carraway, the narrator of the story. Through his eyes, we see the mysterious and enigmatic Jay Gatsby, a man who is both wealthy and deeply longing for something more. Gatsby’s deep love for Daisy Buchanan and his pursuit of the American Dream are central to the novel.

Daisy Buchanan, a beautiful and wealthy woman, is another key character in The Great Gatsby. Her marriage to Tom Buchanan, a wealthy and arrogant man, is the catalyst for much of the drama in the novel. Tom’s friend, Jordan Baker, represents the independent and modern woman of the time, though she is not without her flaws. These characters become intertwined in a web of love, betrayal, and tragedy, as the past and present collide.

Another minor character is Owl Eyes, a man who attends Gatsby’s extravagant parties and observes the gaudy and excessive lifestyle of the Jazz Age. He symbolizes the superficiality and emptiness of the era, as he sees through the facade of wealth and glamour. Klipspringer, Gatsby’s pianist, is another minor character who becomes a symbol of the transient nature of Gatsby’s lifestyle, always there but never truly belonging.

The Great Gatsby is a novel filled with deep and complex characters, each having their own unique story. In Fitzgerald’s masterful portrayal of these characters, we see themes of love, wealth, and the pursuit of the American Dream. The novel challenges the reader to question the nature of happiness and the lengths one will go to achieve it. So dive into this character chart and get to know the key players in this captivating and thought-provoking novel.

The Characters of The Great Gatsby: Unraveling the Key Players in Fitzgerald’s Timeless Novel

In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, The Great Gatsby, a cast of intriguing characters come together to weave a tale of love, wealth, and deception in the Roaring Twenties. Each character brings their own unique personality and plays a significant role in unraveling the story.

Main Characters Description
Jay Gatsby A mysterious and wealthy man who throws extravagant parties to win back his lost love, Daisy Buchanan.
Nick Carraway The narrator of the story, Nick acts as a confidante to Gatsby and provides a deep analysis of the events around him.
Daisy Buchanan A beautiful and wealthy socialite, Daisy is torn between her love for Gatsby and her responsibility towards her marriage with Tom Buchanan.
Tom Buchanan Daisy’s husband and a wealthy man, Tom displays a domineering and arrogant personality and is having an affair with Myrtle Wilson.
Jordan Baker A professional golfer and friend of Daisy’s, Jordan is known for her seemingly carefree and independent lifestyle.
Myrtle Wilson The wife of George Wilson, Myrtle is having an affair with Tom and dreams of leaving her working-class life behind.
George Wilson Myrtle’s husband and the owner of a small garage in the Valley of Ashes, George is a modest man who becomes entangled in the chaos surrounding Gatsby’s life.

In addition to the main characters, there are several other notable personalities that play a significant role in the story:

  • Owl Eyes: A man Nick meets at one of Gatsby’s parties, known for his mysterious presence.
  • Henry Gatz: Gatsby’s father, who makes a brief appearance after Gatsby’s death.
  • Michaelis: George Wilson’s friend and the owner of a coffee shop near the scene of Myrtle’s accident.
  • Meyer Wolfsheim: A notorious gangster and one of Gatsby’s associates, known for his shady dealings.
  • Klipspringer: A frequent guest at Gatsby’s parties, known as “the boarder” who seems to have no real purpose.
  • The McKees: Myrtle’s friends in New York City who make an appearance at one of Gatsby’s parties.
  • Catherine: Myrtle’s sister, who appears in the novel briefly during a fight with her husband.

Getting to know these key players in The Great Gatsby is essential to unraveling the complex web of relationships and understanding the motivations behind each character’s actions. Whether you are reading the book or watching the film adaptation, understanding the personalities and backgrounds of these characters will enhance your experience of this timeless novel.

For a complete analysis of the characters and a deep dive into the themes and symbolism in The Great Gatsby, you can refer to online resources such as or study guides available for the book.

Jay Gatsby: The Enigmatic Protagonist of the Story

Gatsby’s past prior to his arrival in West Egg is shrouded in speculation and rumors. He often embellishes his background, claiming to have come from a wealthy family in North Dakota and to have attended Oxford University. However, it is later revealed that he was born into a poor farming family in North Dakota and made his fortune through illegal activities such as bootlegging and gambling.

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Although Gatsby has accumulated great wealth, his ultimate goal is not material success but rather the fulfillment of his romantic dream. Gatsby is deeply in love with Daisy Buchanan, a woman he met and fell in love with before he left to serve in World War I. Despite their past relationship, Daisy is now married to Tom Buchanan, a wealthy and arrogant man.

Gatsby’s love for Daisy drives him to create an extravagant lifestyle in the hopes of winning her back. He purchases a grand mansion across the bay from Daisy’s home and throws lavish parties, hoping that she will one day attend. Gatsby’s mansion is often described as gaudy and excessive, reflecting his desire to impress Daisy with his wealth and success.

Gatsby’s fascination with Daisy can be seen through his interactions with other characters in the novel. He becomes friends with Nick Carraway, the novel’s narrator and Daisy’s cousin, in the hopes of using their connection to get closer to Daisy. Gatsby also associates himself with shady characters such as Meyer Wolfsheim, who is rumored to be involved in organized crime.

Gatsby’s obsession with Daisy eventually leads to tragedy. When Daisy accidentally kills Tom’s mistress, Myrtle Wilson, in a car accident, Gatsby takes the blame to protect Daisy. This act of sacrifice ultimately leads to Gatsby’s demise, as he is shot and killed by Myrtle’s husband, George Wilson, who believes that Gatsby is responsible for his wife’s death.

Gatsby’s death is a poignant reminder of the hollowness of the American Dream and the destructive power of unattainable dreams. Despite his wealth and success, Gatsby is unable to find happiness or fulfillment. His tragic story serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of chasing after an idealized and unattainable image of love and success.


“He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way.”

“‘Can’t repeat the past?’ he cried incredulously. ‘Why of course you can!'”

“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter–tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And then one fine morning–So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”


Gatsby’s character represents the allure and emptiness of the American Dream. He embodies the pursuit of wealth and success, but his ultimate goal is to win back the love of Daisy, which he believes will bring him happiness and fulfillment. However, his obsession with Daisy ultimately leads to his downfall, highlighting the destructive consequences of pursuing unrealistic fantasies.

The character of Gatsby also serves as a symbol of the Jazz Age and the excesses of the Roaring Twenties. His extravagant parties, lavish lifestyle, and association with shady characters reflect the hedonistic culture of the time. Gatsby’s inability to find lasting happiness despite his wealth and success is a critique of the shallow and materialistic values of the era.

Fitzgerald’s portrayal of Gatsby as a self-made man who reinvents himself is both a celebration and a critique of the American Dream. On one hand, Gatsby is able to rise from a humble background and achieve great wealth and success. On the other hand, his pursuit of material wealth and social status ultimately leaves him empty and unfulfilled.

What’s Next?

If you want to learn more about Jay Gatsby and the other characters in The Great Gatsby, check out our study guides and analysis of the novel. These resources can help you deepen your understanding of the story and provide valuable insights into the themes and symbolism in Fitzgerald’s classic work.

Tips for Having a Great Gatsby-themed Party:

If you’re planning a Great Gatsby-themed party, here are a few tips to help you create a memorable event:

  1. Embrace the Roaring Twenties theme by decorating your venue with art deco-inspired decor, such as geometric patterns, feathers, and pearls.
  2. Encourage guests to dress in 1920s-inspired attire, such as flapper dresses, tuxedos, and feathered headbands.
  3. Serve classic cocktails from the era, such as the gin rickey, the sidecar, and the whiskey sour.
  4. Play jazz music and set up a dance floor for guests to show off their Charleston moves.
  5. Consider hiring a Charleston dance instructor to teach your guests some 1920s dance moves.

By following these tips, you can create a Gatsby-esque atmosphere that will transport your guests back to the glamorous and decadent era of the Roaring Twenties.

Whether you’re studying The Great Gatsby for an English class or planning a Gatsby-themed party, understanding the character of Jay Gatsby is essential. His enigmatic personality and complex motivations drive the plot of the novel and offer valuable insights into the themes of love, dreams, and the pursuit of happiness.

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Daisy Buchanan: The Alluring Love Interest and Catalyst for Trouble

Daisy Buchanan, born Daisy Fay, comes from an affluent family in Louisville, Kentucky. She is depicted as a woman who has always been surrounded by wealth and privilege, growing up with an East Egg upbringing. Daisy marries Tom Buchanan, a wealthy and socially connected man, because he fit into the mold of the life she was raised to live.

Daisy’s Relationship with Gatsby

Daisy’s allure extends beyond her marriage to Tom. She becomes the love interest of Jay Gatsby, the novel’s protagonist. Gatsby, infatuated with Daisy, throws extravagant parties at his mansion in West Egg in the hopes of impressing her and winning back her love. Daisy and Gatsby share a past romance, and Gatsby’s pursuit of her drives much of the plot.

Key Details Analysis
Daisy’s Marriage to Tom Daisy’s marriage to Tom is seen as one of convenience and wealth. While she may have once loved him, she is drawn to Gatsby’s idealized version of love.
The Accident and Its Aftermath Daisy is responsible for a car accident that kills Myrtle Wilson, Tom’s mistress. However, Gatsby takes the blame for the accident to protect Daisy, highlighting the power of their love.
Daisy’s Role in Gatsby’s Death Daisy’s indecisiveness and hesitation ultimately lead to Gatsby’s downfall. She chooses to stay with Tom, leaving Gatsby heartbroken. Her actions contribute to the tragic events that unfold.

Daisy’s Lifestyle and Society

Daisy, along with her husband Tom, is part of the upper class. They live a luxurious lifestyle filled with extravagant parties, material possessions, and social connections. Daisy’s association with this lifestyle causes her to make choices that prioritize her social status and reputation over her own happiness.

The Great Gatsby: Daisy’s Themes, Quotes, and Influence

Daisy’s character represents several themes throughout the novel, including the American Dream, wealth and materialism, and societal expectations. Her actions and choices reflect the corrupting influence of money and privilege.

Some notable quotes that depict Daisy’s character include:

“I hope she’ll be a fool–that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” – Daisy Buchanan

“Her voice is full of money.” – Jay Gatsby


Daisy Buchanan is a complex character in “The Great Gatsby” who serves as the alluring love interest for both Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby. Her actions and decisions drive the plot and highlight the themes of wealth, love, and the corrupting nature of the American Dream.

Tom Buchanan: The Arrogant and Powerful Husband of Daisy

Tom Buchanan is married to Daisy, a young and beautiful woman from a wealthy family. They live in East Egg, which is known for its old money and prestigious lifestyle. Tom is described as a strong and powerful man, with a sense of entitlement and arrogance.

Tom has an affair with Myrtle, who is married to George Wilson, the owner of a garage and gas station in the Valley of Ashes. Tom takes advantage of Myrtle’s vulnerability and her desire to escape her unhappy marriage. He flaunts his wealth and lifestyle to impress Myrtle, often bringing her to parties and social gatherings.

Despite his actions, Tom is responsible for a tragic accident that occurs at one of Gatsby’s parties. While driving Gatsby’s car, Tom hits and kills Myrtle. The accident creates tension and conflict among the characters, ultimately leading to the downfall of Tom and his relationships with Daisy and Myrtle.

Tom Buchanan: A Wealthy Gangster with a Troubled Past

Tom Buchanan’s background is revealed through his conversations with Nick Carraway, the narrator of the story. It is revealed that Tom comes from a wealthy and respected family, but his upbringing was far from ideal.

Tom’s family has a history of violence and criminal activity. His connections to organized crime are further confirmed when he introduces Nick to Meyer Wolfsheim, a notorious gangster. Despite his shady past, Tom manages to maintain his social standing by virtue of his wealth and powerful connections.

Throughout the novel, Tom’s character is often analyzed through the lens of his relationship with Daisy and his interactions with other characters. He represents the corruption and shallowness of the wealthy elite, using his money and influence to manipulate and control those around him.

The Great Gatsby: Tom Buchanan’s Impact on the Story

Tom Buchanan’s character serves as a contrast to Jay Gatsby. While Gatsby represents the American Dream and the pursuit of wealth and success, Tom represents the old money aristocracy that is based on social status and tradition.

Tom’s affair with Myrtle and his mistreatment of Daisy highlight the emptiness and superficiality of his lifestyle. Despite his wealth and power, he is unable to find happiness or fulfillment. This juxtaposition between Tom and Gatsby further emphasizes the themes of the novel, such as the illusion of the American Dream and the corrupting influence of money and privilege.


Who are the key players in “The Great Gatsby”?

The key players in “The Great Gatsby” include Jay Gatsby, Nick Carraway, Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan, and Jordan Baker.

What is the significance of the character Jay Gatsby?

Jay Gatsby is the main character in “The Great Gatsby” and represents the American Dream, as he strives for wealth and success in order to win back his lost love, Daisy Buchanan.

What role does Nick Carraway play in the novel?

Nick Carraway is the narrator of “The Great Gatsby” and serves as a moral compass and intermediary between the characters. He is Gatsby’s neighbor and becomes involved in the world of wealth and luxury that Gatsby inhabits.

How would you describe Daisy Buchanan’s character?

Daisy Buchanan is depicted as beautiful, wealthy, and shallow. She is torn between her love for Gatsby and her desire for stability and security, ultimately choosing the latter by staying with her husband, Tom Buchanan. Daisy represents the decadence and moral emptiness of the upper class.

Alex Koliada, PhD

By Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for studying aging, genetics, and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics. His scientific research has been published in the most reputable international magazines. Alex holds a BA in English and Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California, and a TEFL certification from The Boston Language Institute.